Field Experiments is a nomadic design collective that explores traditional crafts by engaging in collaborative making with local craftspeople in diverse regions around the world. Underpinned by cross-cultural exchange, they produce projects, products and ideas across multiple formats including furniture, clothing, video works, publications, exhibitions, interiors, installation and printed materials.
The inaugural Field Experiments project was conducted over three months in Bali Indonesia. From June – September 2013, the New York based art collective set up a studio and home in Lodtunduh, a farming community situated on the outskirts of Ubud. They collaborated together and conducted daily experiments in stone masonry, wood carving, batik, painting, basket weaving, kite-making with a selection of local craftspeople.
The project explores the re-assemblage of cultural craft objects in a tourist-driven economy. It resulted in the making of more than 100 one-off objects that examine the influence of transnational exchange in the making process. Field Experiments proposes how a souvenir can manifest and encourage cross-cultural learning and understanding.
We had hoped to join them on one of their field experiments but the planets didn’t align for us unfortunately. The energy and integrity of the results show that this form of collaboration and field work almost always yield hugely positive results; it shows how the design process we designers are so familiar with can energise an entire community when they are invited into the process; tapping into local skills and allow the community to re-evaluate their traditional souvenir.