New craft in a Western Cape design identity
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This research project has endeavoured to analyse the extent to which craft ideas and techniques are combining with technological skills in order to formulate an identity for Western Cape furniture design. This identity has been shown to be strongly linked to the determinants of style". which include the national striving for a South African zeitgeist. a sense of unified spirit. The problems of eclecticism are discussed in the light of superficial ethnic cooption. The new craft of the Western Cape (and more specifically Cape Town) of South Africa. is represented against the background of the old craft of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain at the turn of the century. Those old methods and ideas influenced the Cape Colony especially when it was under British rule. This dissertation shows that the new craft ideas and methods are synonymous with the new ideology of South Africa. a new craft for a new South Africa. The designers and practical work selected to be part of this research all share a common approach in their positive attitude towards experimenting with new techniques and using available resources to produce quality furniture which is accessible to most consumers. The work of four design groups: Greenspace. Metropolis. Flying Cow and the Montebel70 Smithy are discussed in terms of the objectives of this research which are essentially linked to the unravelling of the determinants of style and their relation to the concept identity in the South Africa which has succeeded the first free and fair general elections of April 1994.