The show, between June 12th-30th, features the works of 20 young designers and entrepreneurs who participated in British Council’s Craft and Design Challenge 2017.

The three winning projects were also announced: First prize (VND60 million in cash prize) - Vi Thi Thu Trang with the Indie Hand project; Second prize (VND50 million in cash prize) - Nguyen Hoang Huy with Viet collection; and Third prize (VND40 million in cash prize) - Nguyen Song Thanh Tram with Hoa Moc.

Photos: British Council Vietnam
The organiser hopes that these will serve as nurturing funds so that the winners can realise and implement their respective initiatives - to which goal the British Council guarantees to provide support.

Realised as part of the British Council’s Crafting Futures global initiative, the works exhibited combine age-old knowledge with contemporary designs and span a wide range of disciplines and products. Together, they serve as suggestions towards innovative and sustainable ways of preserving and developing Vietnam’s craft sector.

Unlike other Challenges for which candidates submit entries to jury, participants entered the Craft and Design Challenge with a series of development workshops and practical residency programs. They have been provided with practical knowledge and skills in craft, design and business planning, so as to be better prepared for their ideas, products and business plan.

At the exhibition, audiences will be able to observe the results of creative processes that our young designers have been developing. The projects displayed, featuring contemporary design and high quality craftmanship, also demonstrate an intimate connection with participants’ interest in supporting craft products and communities.

Vietnam has an annual USD1.6 billion handicraft export value of low price products. Craft products by ethnic minority groups in most Northern Vietnam localities rarely make it to the export market through official channels but their works are largely sold as cheap souvenirs to tourists.

“The primary issue that Crafting Futures in East Asia seeks to address is maintaining the well-being and sustainable livelihood of and developing opportunities for women and girls. The Challenge 2017 in Vietnam is contributing to the discussion of these issues and improves the connection between designers and craft entrepreneurs with ethnic minority women artisans,” said Ms Delphine Pawlik, Program Director, Culture and Development, British Council, South and East Asia.

This year, the British Council is celebrating its 25th anniversary of cooperation with a series of events celebrating cultural relations and exchange between the UK and Vietnam./.