'North South Project: A New Model of Design and Craft Collaborations in the Developing World' Patty Johnson 22nd August 2006 India International Center, New Delhi"North South Project: A new model of viable design and craft collaborations in the developing world" was realised over a two year period and resulted in a product launch at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, New York City in May 2006. Called the North South Project because of reach across the global north-south axis, it was implemented in Guyana, South America and Botswana, Africa. The tenets and principles were the same: a collaborative effort involving small scale craft factories and indigenous producers in the creation and branding of new design products that used regional vocabularies in unexpected ways to reach high end markets.
"North South Project" received an ICFF Editors Award for Craftsmanship and was included in Newsweek's "Design Dozen" for 2006.Product oriented design and practice is being changed by new technologies, global marketing and the internationalisation of products and production. As the basis of manufacturing shifts in response to commercial forces, the role of the designer is becoming increasingly strategic. Design practitioners need to be able to think about the identity of products and their cultural backgrounds, issues underpinned by the need for innovation, and, economic, sustainable and ethical thinking. As the rapid pace of globalisation changes the role of the designer, the means of production and the market itself, at an ever-increasing rate, new approaches must be undertaken. "North South Project" is a design program that over a period of two years focussed on the creation of partnerships with manufacturers, indigenous communities ...