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Wuthigrai Siriphon

PhD Work

Revealing Localised Design Practice in Thai hand weaving

This research project proposes the formation of Localised Design Practice as a new framework for working between Thai designers and Thai hand weavers. The overarching principle is that the disciplinary knowledge of design is localised and evolves according to what has been learned from local knowledge. This framework is directed to form long-lasting and mutually beneficial development projects for the designers and the weavers. The research project has emerged from a concern about the politics of knowledge; in that the disciplinary knowledge of design is considerably more dominant than the local knowledge of hand weaving, in current textiles design development projects in Thailand. This state of affairs poses the risk that local knowledge is suppressed and diminished by the act of design development.

This research project was realised through a hybrid methodology utilising theoretical frameworks of critical ethnography and grounded theory with apprenticeship and making practices. The research activities were divided into two parts. The first part explored apprenticeship and learning Thai hand weaving, within its contexts in Thailand. The second part aimed at the integration of the two forms of knowledge – research being conducted both in the UK and Thailand.

The research has identified that, although Thai hand weaving and design are fundamentally different, they share many qualities; hence knowledge integration is actually possible. Further research could test this framework to make changes in real settings, and to study the applicability of this framework in other contexts.

MA work

The future of hand weaving in my country, Thailand, is vulnerable due to the lack of young craftsmen/women who will continue the practice. My intention is to explore and create innovative hand woven textiles that display potentials of the craft and making in the market, and further attract the younger generation who might then consider hand weaving to be a viable career choice, and create their own path within this field.

Considering innovative structures, functions, individual artistic expression, locality, traditional skills and techniques, productivity and environment. I have created a series of hand woven 3D spacer textiles that has strong potentials for furniture and interior designs. Moreover, single layer weaves are provided to present more variety in uses and aesthetics.

Materials include recyclable hand-cut PET bottle yarns and polyester along with biodegradable silk, paper, cotton, mohair, and wool.

Info

  • PhD

    School

    School of Design

    Programme

    Textiles, 2015–2018

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Design

    Programme

    MA Textiles, 2015

    Specialism

    weave

  • Wuthigrai Siriphon is an award-winning designer and practitioner in fashion and textile design, specialising in woven textiles. A highly-skilled researcher and lecturer. Experienced in textile design development for craft, industrial and government development projects. Knowledgeable in research methods for improving design in local craft contexts. 

    He is also a lecturer in textile design at Thammasat University in Thailand, currently a scholarship recipient of the prestigious Anandamahidol Foundation.

  • Degrees

  • MA Textiles, Royal College of Art, London, 2015; BFA Textile and Fashion Design (Hons), Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand, 2010
  • Experience

  • Led a back strap loom workshop, Kensington Garden, 2015; Works selected for commercial application, NOKIAxRCA Future Creatives, UK, 2014; Collaborative projects between the RCA, Jaeger and Land Rover, Warners Archive and Balfron Tower, UK, 2014; Lecturer, Department of Textile, Costume, Garment and Fashion Design, Thammasat University, 2013–present; Instructor for various Thai governmental projects for textiles development (e.g. design training and product development), 2010–2013; Textile designer, All Art Craft Co., Ltd., Thailand, 2010–2012
  • Exhibitions

  • Young Creations Awards: Upcycling, Heimtextil, Germany, 2016; Sustain RCA 2015, Royal College of Art, 2015; ELSEWHERE, Royal College of Art, 2015; Contemporarist by OCAC, ELLE Fashion Week, Thailand, 2012
  • Awards

  • Winner of the ATS Education Awards in the Arts, 2018; Third Prize, Young Creations Awards: Upcycling, Heimtextil, Germany, 2016; Best Experience Award, RCA and Ford Collaboration Project, UK, 2014; Commendation, Bradford Textiles Competition, UK, 2014; Finalist, Designer of the Year, Silpakorn University, Thailand, 2013; First Runner Up, Contemporary Fashion Contest 2012, Ministry of Culture, Thailand, 2012
  • Conferences

  • FTC Annual Event, Association of Fashion and Textiles Courses, Royal College of Art, 2017; Craft Reveals Conference, Chiangmai Design Week, Chiangmai, Thailand, 2016