This workshop, the fourth under the ‘CLUSTER MAKES’ initiative (a series organized by CLUSTER-ALFABRIKA) has a two-fold goal. It aims to map out small crafts and furniture manufacturing workshops to understand the broader landscape of creative industries in Ard al-Liwa and informal areas in general; including carpenters, metal workers, polishers and upholsters. Additionally, it aims to engage local carpenters with art/design students in a direct design-build tutorial to produce prototypes based on the principles of social furniture.
Social furniture refers to affordable and modular furniture design that uses basic materials, simple detailing and a construction system that is easy to assemble. The term also implies that the furniture is conducive to social settings and communal spaces, emphasizing co-living, co-learning and co-producing. The workshop was structured around these two parallel goals and took place between the 24th-26th of October 2019 at ALFABRIKA in Ard al-Liwa. Dividing participants into three teams, the workshop utilized ALFABRIKA’s series of spaces (fablab, resource library, workshop space and related facilities) and machines/tools (laser cutter, 3D printer, CNC and other power tools). A group of instructors from both academia and practice led the teams in a direct collaboration with local carpenters and craftsmen.
This workshop is part of a larger project known as ‘Design, Craft, Brand’ which is a collaboration between CLUSTER and Peacock for Arts. The main funding supporter of the project is the Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE) program. The mapping component was developed in collaboration with Hawamesh initiative in Ard al-Liwa.