Added Value? is a touring exhibition by the Crafts Council that questions the value of contemporary craft within the current landscape of branding and luxury. It showcases high-quality and bespoke work from makers Zoe Arnold, Bompas & Parr, carréducker, Simon Hasan, Tracy Kendall and Oliver Ruuger.
Our beautifully shot films capture the processes of each of these makers and focus on a different theme that links craft and value. Each film features a brief introduced by Bruce Montgomery, Professor of Design and Craftsmanship at Northumbria University.
Direction: Christopher Thomas Allen and Tim Cowie
Producer: Alice Ceresole
Assistant Producer: Annie Kwan
Production Assistant: Bea Wilson
Camera: Christopher Thomas Allen, Tim Cowie and Jai Rafferty
Editors: Christopher Thomas Allen, Tim Cowie and Helen Omand
Why are brands adopting craft and craft values? Luxury brands are no longer exclusive. High street replication and imitation provide global access at a range of price points. In this market context many brands, through overt collaboration, association and marketing, have looked to align their products with craft makers and hand-making processes.
This approach places a focus on how, and by whom, the products are made or crafted. The unique nature of the original product is brought into focus, and becomes exclusive once more. Does craft give back to luxury brands what mass production and replication take away?
Simon Hasan occupies the territory between ancient craft processes and industrial design. He is best known for his revival and development of the medieval process ‘cuir bouilli': boiling leather to create an irreversibly rigid material, first used to make armour. He has pioneered the use of this technique to make unique objects and furniture.
Hasan has collaborated with a range of brands including the Fendi Foundation for Design, Danish design-textile company Kvadrat, and Wallpaper Magazine. Through these collaborations he has explored diverse dialogues between design, process, fashion and crafts. What do Hasan's craft sensibilities bring to the work of these brands?
A graduate of the Royal College of Art, London, with an MA in Design Products, Hasan now has his own studio practice in London. His work has been exhibited internationally. In 2011 he was part of the Design Museum's Designers in Residence programme.
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