Liz Williamson

Development Projects in Asia

Development Projects in Asia

Liz Williamson

2001 – Present

Expanding her research and advocacy for textiles and culture, Liz Williamson is involved in several ongoing cultural development projects in Asia, assisting artisan groups in developing sustainable production models.

In 2001, UNESCO invited Williamson to contribute to their Vital Traditions project in Hanoi, Vietnam, as a workshop leader for woven textiles. Vital Traditions brought artisans from 14 Asian countries to work together on creating designs that reflected their specific culture by translating traditional textiles into contemporary designs and acknowledged market place considerations. Since then, Williamson has been involved in similar sustainable, income generating projects with groups of highly skilled weavers in India, Pakistan and Tibet as well as projects in the Philippines with colleague Associate Professor Rick Bennett.

This involvement in Asia lead to the establishment of Liz Williamson: Woven in Asia a range of her designs for wraps and scarves, hand woven in West Bengal. This has given the weavers the experience of producing designs for a higher end market; a market they are now seeking in Europe.

More recently, Williamson has conducted courses at India’s leading design education institution, the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. In January 2012, the Cultural Textiles course involved COFA and NID students studying the textiles traditions in Gujarat, specifically artisan produced, hand made textile produced by community, NGO groups or family groups. The aim of the course was to understand how, as contemporary designers, to assist these groups develop marketable designs – designs that blend, incorporate and integrate contemporary influences with traditional textile, to produce new, innovative designs

Williamson has been involved in SANGAM, Australia India Design Platform as an advisor. This three year project is to develop a platform for creative collaborations and design partnerships between artisans and designers within the region.

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SANGAM
Development in Asia

Liz Williamson, Weavers studying cloth during the scarf weaving workshop in Lhasa, Tibet (2007). Photograph: Liz Williamson

Liz Williamson, <i>Weavers studying cloth during the scarf weaving workshop in Lhasa, Tibet</i> (2007).  Photograph: Liz Williamson