In 2013 three designers met in Bali to start the first Field Experiments project. Benjamin Harrison Bryant (New York City), Paul Marcus Fuog (Melbourne) and Karim Charlebois-Zariffa (Montreal) set up a studio in Lohtundah, a farming community outside Ubud.
They held a series of daily design experiments collaborating with the local craftspeople. Although traditional crafts are on the decline worldwide, in Bali they thrive, and are routinely passed down from generation to generation, with each village specialising in a particular craft. The idea for the project was to focus on souvenirs – a common catalyst for the degradation of authentic traditional work – as makers create for a market, without the luxury of new designs, new ideas.
The visiting designers immersed themselves in the Balinese experience, watching and taking in everyday aspects of life, documenting the things they saw, from commonplace objects like buckets and plastic baskets, to agricultural implements and traditional dress.
They used all of these things to create new things – they physically stacked them up, knocked them down and strapped them together to create new designs. Collaborating with the local craft-makers, each with a specific skill, they created a range of 100 experimental works. This collection is so much fun. It tells a story about life in Bali, while highlighting the skill and diversity of the people that live there. field-experiments.com