Talk “from Trash To Art”: Redefine The Future Of Design

Designing seems to be synonymous with creating, however, at the talk “What’s Left: From Trash to Art” on 19.11.2022 at De La Sól, 244 Pasteur Street, designer Phạm Thị Kiều Phúc introduced a new perspective, a design space that brings about changes and high values with discarded materials.

That is In a minute. Hội An, a fashion and lifestyle brand aiming towards using and recycling discarded fabrics founded by designer Phạm Thị Kiều Phúc. After 18 years of working as an interior designer and success with the renowned brand MODULE 7, designer Phạm Thị Kiều Phúc came to Hội An and started her journey of “befriending” excess fabrics. In a minute Hội An sees excess and discarded fabrics as an existing source of local materials, not only applicable to recycling fashion but also to interior design and installation art.

The designer came up with this idea when she witnessed the rampant production of fast and tourist fashion in Hoi An, where millions of visitors arrive every year. To meet the tourists’ demands, thousands of tailor shops emerged and leave tons of excess fabric and textile scraps each day. What In a minute. Hoi An does is simply asks and takes whatever fabrics these shops gave them to “create”. Yet the effort of an individual concept like In a minute. Hoi An would not be able to handle 75% of the materials that are not recycled in Vietnam’s textile industry.

In the past, generations previous to us actually maintained a “zero waste” lifestyle, that is, not throwing anything away, recycling all that is still usable and minimising the use of chemicals. One other familiar example of recycling is the Buddhist robe, which is sewn from cloth scraps collected rather than using new fabric. However, society’s course of development results in how we are going from “shortage” to “abundance”, and human consumption is the final link of the production chain. The complete absence of recycling separates consumers from that chain and turned them into an unconscious product among the links. That situation raises the problem that requires us to step back to realise in which direction we can change to be more balanced and minimise harm to the environment.

In addition to ideas upon establishing her brand, designer Phạm Thị Kiều Phúc also presented the impact of consumerism on the environment, discussing the role of designers in the future of design and applied art, and the trend of “From Trash to Art”. She believed that “design is a way of observing problems and bringing about change, a way of developing one’s self and inner philosophy. And creating art is a process of cognitive transformation, transforming the way we perceive and interact with our living environment.”

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Minh Hằng