Tha Chai Workshop

This was one day workshop.
We worked together with the Tha Chai artisans community to develop the first and original Thai Chai fabric pattern.
We challenged 30 artisans, with no experience in design, to create and developt an original pattern for what will be their new traditional fabric and skirt. We applied the design thinking process to drive them from the selection of the keywords to the concept and final pattern creation.
During the workshop, we introduced the pattern design board we have developed, which allows people to easily approach design patterns and shape abstraction using basic geometry shapes. This tool was essential for our needs allowing the artisans to abstract shapes and elements without the need to draw.
For the keywords and concept selection, we asked them to bring objects or photos which reminded them of the Tha Chai community and craft life.
We divide the workshop into three different phases. In the first one, we let the pairs play with the board on shape abstractions. In the second one, we created balanced groups, from what we saw in the previous phase, to work on keywords and concept development. And the last phase, we asked the same group to develop a pattern based on their keywords using our grid and our board.
After the groups presented their works, we collected the result and we worked on refining their pattern to create the final product to weave. We helped also to develop different colour schemes based on the community environment.
In the following weeks, helped by the Suntree weaving centre, the artisans improved their skills and learnt how to weave the new pattern. In less than a month from the workshop, the first skirts with the new pattern were already on the market.