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September 14th, 2023

Cara Turnbull

With centuries of knowledge inherited from our ancestors, craftmanship requires delicacy and a lot of patience...

Consumers are embracing a slower and more sustainable way of living which filters into all aspects of life, including how we shop. In this blog, we highlight five of our favourite examples where the art of craft is championed through the use of natural materials, artistry and heritage.

The beauty of Craft.

As discussed in ‘Craft Culture’ and ‘The Makers Market’, consumers are looking to invest more and more in slow living as well as prioritising wellbeing. This can be achieved in a multitude of ways, but we believe the presence of craft is a good place to start!

The art of craftmanship is mastered through the relationship between our brain and our hands, combined with true passion. Craft has many complexities and it exists in more than one expression. Often we become wrapped up in the uniformity of life that we forget to acknowledge that true craftsmanship is present in all objects, clothing and even buildings surrounding us every day.

[Image Credit: Lorenzo Tugnoli]

Modern craftmanship:

1) Loewe, Recraft Store (Oskana,Japan)

Luxury Spanish retailer, Loewe, launched a store of innovation named the ‘ReCraft’ store which focuses on the consumer’s desire for more sustainable alternatives and ensuring product longevity. To demonstrate their commitment to sustainable materials Loewe are offering their customers a repair service in store where the handcrafted bags can be re-stitched or repainted to preserve their original look and feel.

Loewe have also introduced a re-purposing initiative, consisting of up-cycling well-loved products with the use of surplus high-quality materials from previous seasons, to create a more unique ‘one off’ bag for each of their customers. This initiative gives products a new lease of life while showcasing the pure craftsmanship that is needed to achieve the high level of luxury Loewe customers invest in when buying their bags.

Alongside the personalised offerings, Loewe’s ReCraft store also offers an exclusive collection of hand-woven leather baskets made from leather scraps to ensure as little waste of possible.

[Image Credit: Loewe]

2) Hermes Window Display

Aside from their iconic Birkin bags, Hermes, is known for their elaborate and highly effective creative visual merchandising. Worldwide, they captivate their customers with rich storytelling through intricate design and craftmanship. Hermes connect to their customer with activations that spark deep emotion and intrigue whilst always showcasing the brand identity.

For example, in the spring of this year Hermes executed a window display that had distinct connections to childhood. Craft can often have its juvenile connotations, and in this execution, childhood is exactly what the brand was looking to capture, linking back to a time when creativity has no limits. The display supported the idea of craft by bringing inanimate household objects to life through papier-mache, a medium usually associated with amateur craft but the luxury brand has completely reworked this to create a beautiful moment in retail.

Hermes collaborated with local artisans and craftsmen on the display which entices you into the world of Hermes and gives a new sense of imagination through bringing out your inner child. The underlying message behind the project is to allow children to believe anything is possible and bring their curiosity to life with a bit of ‘magic’.

[Image Credit: Venue]

3) The Candy Room, Red Design Group

New methods of craft have evolved over time but when we look back to craft in its simplest from, illustration, drawing and mark-making is at the core. Throughout the years, illustration has experienced influence from various art movements and cultures, but its presence is always visible in some shape or form. Agency, Red Design Group, brought ‘The Candy Shop’ to life through illustration. Briefed with the store needing to have edge, humour and charisma, Red Design Group designed the Melbourne store with only black and white illustrative plaster to mimic a large-scale colouring book. The monochrome walls allowed customers to have freedom in imagination, leaving an impression that only you can make in your own mind, an illusion that you are in your own artistic world. An effective example of where shop interiors can create an stimulating experience.

[Image Credit: RED Design Group]

4) Earthscape Studio, Kerala Forest

Craft is not just celebrated in commercial design, but also residential, looking into architectural techniques that celebrate artistry and allow us to develop deeper connections to the design.

Situated within the Kerela Forest, India, the Wendy House is made solely from locally sourced recycled materials. With an aim to blend in with its existing surroundings, EarthScape Studio used traditional Sithu Kal bricks sourced within a 50km radius of the site, to help maintain the presence of indigenous culture and celebrate ancestral traditions.

In order to preserve the landscape, the house was shaped according to the existing terrain, ensuring the surrounding habitats were not disturbed. The architecture consists of sloping terrace roofs formed from the ancient Madrass technique that encourages rainwater drainage for water harvesting, as well as educating and engaging the local community of the ancient craft.

[Image Credit: Syam Sreesylam]

5) The Picnic by Raw Edges for Kvadrat

Textile brand, Kyadrat, bring their fabrics to life in their store through the vision of ‘a wooden cabin, soft roof tiles, fish skin and a picnic under a weeping willow’. Thousands of fabric ribbons allow the brand to provide their customers with a captivating and immersive experience that tells the story of the brand. Each ribbon is folded using the ancient Japanese craft of origami to create the three-dimensional pockets that symbolises roof tiles.

[Image Credit: Raw Edges]

How will you incorporate craft?

Get in touch to discuss your project with one of our talented retail design specialists. We can turn your idea into a reality and manage the project through the stages – from its design through to its final implementation.

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Every trend has an opposite, a counterpart that is its antithesis, and these ‘design dualities’ is precisely what our latest insight report explores. Delving into these dualities is not merely about style; it’s decoding the unspoken conversation of fractured communities, seeking pathways for bridge building through forms that reflect our division. Request the report!