By curating in-country collaborations between creative practitioners and organisations, Gavan's research seeks to offer opportunities for sustainable, innovative ways of raising productivity and valuing creativity in Vietnam.
The program is based on a pilot run by Dr Gavan in 2016. Entitled Factories as Studios, it focused on the use of factory waste from six partner manufacturers to make new design works in partnership with the University of Architecture Ho Chi Minh City. Now in partnership with UNESCO, the project’s activity refocused inside the factories for the first time.
The artists and designers in the project come from a wide range of backgrounds, from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and include sculptors Lê Giang, Richard Streitmatter-Tran and Lai Dieu Ha; industrial designers Ngô Thị Thu, Khiết Giang, Nguyễn Huy; fashion designer Lương Thị Minh Hoa; and photographer Đào Hà.
Creative business partnerships have been formed between a wide range of manufacturers around Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Bien Hoa. Companies involved include the Lap Phuong Shoe Company, Hami Plastics, Noi Pallet Furniture, Fulin Plastic, Naturecraft Ceramic and Rattan, Gao Nam Binh Rice, and Triac Composites. Phong Phu, the top textile company in Vietnam, is also involved, offering leadership and guidance on Vietnamese manufacturing.
This research project has culminated in an exhibition, Manufacturing Creativity, currently showing at Ho Chi Minh City Museum, featuring design and artworks that use clean waste, factory materials and processes in new and unexpected ways.