Revitalising brassware handicrafts in Terengganu, Malaysia through sustainable design

Bin Mohamad, Sharih and Walker, Stuart (2021) Revitalising brassware handicrafts in Terengganu, Malaysia through sustainable design. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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The state of Terengganu has been long recognised as Malaysia’s national capital of brassware handicrafts. Here, traditional knowledge and wisdom are made manifest by skilled artisans who use local materials to create culturally distinctive products. These products and practices have strong historical connections to the people of the region, to the notion of place and to the sense of community. However, in recent decades, this handicraft industry, like many others around the world, has been in decline. The effects of globalisation and modernisation have affected the viability of craft practices as well as the way local societies perceive and value craft products. The research consisted of extensive qualitative studies that included semi-structured interviews involving 37 informants and followed by exploratory case studies comprising direct observation, photographic documentation and document analysis that were carried out through investigation of the brassware craft sector and its associated practices in Kuala Terengganu region. This research set out to determine the value of significance of brassware handicraft and to identify design opportunities in order to develop design-oriented strategies to revitalise culturally significant design, products and practices of brassware handicraft in Terengganu, Malaysia. This research looks at how can brassware handicraft, as a culturally significant craft practice, be revitalised in Malaysia through effective design contribution that is in accord with principles of sustainability. Findings suggest that collaborative design practice involving various organisations in the community is needed to better convey and promote the value of the cultural, philosophical, historical significance of these crafts and their relationship to place, culture, community and identity. In doing so, collaborative design has the potential to stimulate a greater appreciation and sense of belonging towards Malaysia’s traditional material culture and potentially raise the profile, and prospects for these important craft practices.

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Thesis (PhD)
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22 Nov 2021 17:36
Last Modified:
05 Mar 2024 01:52