“Reviving local crafts through design for mass production”
This project transforms the traditional ‘sand art bottles’ into a useful, relevant and trendy product line; by embodying hand filled sand art into home furniture and décor items like table lamps, coffee tables, book ends, and wall arts.
It is said that sand art bottles originated in the Mediterranean and Gulf rejoins and date back to the Nabatean culture that is famous for colored sand-stone carved city; Petra. Ever since, the art has been passed on through generations, where it is practiced nowadays mostly by young and underprivileged men. No new development has occurred to this art, it is now sold in bottles for few dollars ending up being neglected on shelves.
This project guarantees generating demands on this dying art, and creates more opportunities to empower a struggling community, thus, collaborating in decreasing unemployment rates in the rejoin.
The general challenge was to take a handicraft and apply it to a large scale production item, without losing the integrity of the craft, or alienating the community itself. Also, when the craft uses a loose, natural material such as sand, it adds to the complexity of the design challenges, yet adds a special and different touch every time sand is filled to create a unique items every time, rising the value of the product.
We spent over a year working on both the development the art itself, and the product that embodied the art. Starting with the table lamps, we went through many alternations to design a product is safe, stable, easy to produce, and able to preserve and prevent the art. Moving to the sand, lots of time were dedicated working with the craft’s community, experimenting with sand, testing its compression rates, generating new sand colors, trying new artistic sand techniques, and searching for new materials to introduce along with the sand. We were able to reach for new neon colors that weren’t available before. Also, we sourced a new mineral that has a metallic sparks; Mika. This adds special spark and glamour / classiness to the product. Moreover, we integrated glow-in-the-dark powders that when the lights are off, new pattern would glow inside the art.
Sand art come as a separated inserts that can be updated whenever the user wants to. Simply they can order new sand inserts and replace the old ones. This extends the lifetime of the product, and generates sustainable demands for the artists.
• Spark Awards – Finalist
• A’Design Awards – Gold
• UNESCO Handmade Objects Competition – Winner 1st place