Crafting Futures Forum 2018
The forum will gather speakers from Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and the UK to open up conversations about the future of crafts in Malaysia and Southeast Asia ©

British Council

On 23 October 2018, the British Council hosted the Crafting Futures: Southeast Asia Craft Forum at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur as part of its Crafting Futures programme. The forum gathered speakers from Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and the UK to open up conversations about the future of crafts in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

Youth engagement is a key challenge to overcome in order to revitalise the craft sector in this region. The forum will serve as a platform for artisans, designers, craft organisations, design schools and policymakers to:

  • share experiences
  • share ideas
  • create new networks
  • advocate for the crafts in Southeast Asia
  • engage with you who are in the craft sector

To read more about the discussions and outcomes of the forum, you can refer to our forum report Crafting Futures; Youth Engagement and the Future of Craft by downloading the document below.


About Crafting Futures

Crafting Futures supports the future of craft around the globe. This British Council programme strengthens economic, social and cultural development through learning and access. Crafting Futures’ projects support practices and people, through research, collaboration and education.

Through international collaboration, Crafting Futures creates new networks and opportunities for shared learning between the UK and other countries around the globe. The programme supports research and education in craft, ensuring our projects are relevant and the quality of creative practice is preserved and continues to develop. Crafting Futures offers designers and artisans access to knowledge and expertise, new markets and new audiences, ensuring the value of craft is appreciated more broadly and knowledge can continue to be shared within the sector.

We work with a consortium of partners in the UK and match them with overseas partners. We are supported by Regional Advisory Groups of local craft, design, technology and social enterprise experts.

The programme is currently active in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Latin America.

In Malaysia, Crafting Futures aims to improve the overall quality of life of indigenous artisans, particularly female weavers, at the same time attracting the younger generation to learn these skills and see craft making as a viable income, bringing the ancestral tradition into contemporary relevance.

Working with the Institute of Design Innovation at Glasgow School of Art, the programme will include developing creative toolkits for both artisans and designers drawing on the wisdom of rural and island communities to generate new processes, knowledge exchange around materials, design process and eco-friendly production, and creating channels of access to the textiles to the wider public.