Vi Thi Thu Trang, a Thai ethnic architect, has won the first prize at the Craft and Design Challenge 2017. The prize has been awarded by the British Council at the exhibition Crafting Future at the Hanoi Old Quarter Culture Exchange Centre.

Born and raised in Mai Chau, Hoa Binh province and of Thai ethnicity, Thu Trang was familiar as well as fascinated with her people’s pattern designs. Yet, in her collection, Indie Hand, with a variety of purses, scarfs handbags and pillow cases, she took her inspiration from the traditional hand-made linen fabric of the Black H’Mong people in Lao Cai province and combine them with decorative designs in Hang Trong folk paintings.

Vi Thi Thu Trang: "Through the challenge, I had a chance to attend different workshops and set up a relationsip with craft villages and other contestants."

Craft and Design Challenge is part of the British Council’s Crafting Futures global initiative. It is aimed to promote creative, sustainable and ethical approachs as well as business development in craft and design.

Activities of the programme are designed with a strong  focus on skills and capacity buidling across the areas of design, social innovation, and cultural heritage management.

Pham Minh Hong, Arts Manager of British Council: "Field trips to craft villages in the mountainous province of Lao Cai encouraged contestants’ creativiness, helping creating diversified products with close connection to these craft villages."

An exhibition featuring the products of 20 desginers and entrepreneurs who participated in the `challenge is taking place at the Hanoi Old Quarter Culture Exchange Centre until June 30. This is an opportunity for the contestants to introduce their products and raise funds for their business.-VNA