Research: Welsh Tapestries and Asian Markets…

Over the Easter break I watched several episodes of BBC TV programme; ‘Digby Jones: The New Troubleshooter’, a series which followed Businessman Digby Jones as he observed and advised a range of British manufacturing companies. It highlighted that British manufacture is related with quality, prestige and tradition. During one particular series he visited Scottish knitwear company; Hawick Knitwear. The importance of this to my design education was two fold, it highlighted how precious traditional British manufacturing is to our culture and economy, and it served as an eye opener to potential new markets for British products. Digby advised Hawick that they should considered foreign markets, and upon further discussion with advisers it became apparent that there are strong and expanding markets in Japan and China  for British products with design heritage.

The programme can be found here.

With this I reflected on my current end of year project; designing a piece of office furniture for Orangebox. I was inspired to consider how my design might be developed in a direction where it would better attract buyers from the Asian markets. I thought of the rich resources available in Welsh design heritage. One design which seems particularly sought after and steeped in history is the Welsh tapestry. If Digby Jones and other advisers were advising a Scottish knitwear company to aim for Asian markets, then why would the rich heritage of Welsh tapestry not be equally as attractive?

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