Consultancy : Global Handicrafts Design

Re-inventing traditions in sustainable contemporary designs

With twelve years of experience working as an architect and over two decades of innovating and revisiting traditional raw materials of Nepal in contemporary handmade designs – while sourcing and creating custom-made traditional handicraft products for European labels – I have developed and built my own brand, exporting my creations worldwide since 1994 and I am now keen to share this invaluable experience in both the creative and practical stages of a handicraft product from its concept development, to its design, realisation, quality control and merchandising. As a design consultant I wish to guide and accompany retailer and hospitality brands, development organisations and local artisan groups that value sustainability and the preservation of living heritages in their different handicraft projects.

DESIGN | Re-inventing Traditions

The beauty, self-sufficiency and intrinsic sustainability of Asian artisan traditions are a true inspiration. My life’s work has been motivated by the desire to celebrate these exceptional living heritages and help perpetuate them. Re-inventing traditions in contemporary designs, not only allows them to be rediscovered and appreciated, ultimately giving local communities the opportunity to live off their own know-how, but it also produces socially and environmentally conscious alternative products on the international market.

  • Preliminary research & artisan collaboration

    Before entering the design stage, I collaborate on the ground with local artisan groups to understand local materials, cultural heritage and craftsmanship skills. With their help, I identify possible raw materials and create practical innovations to bring a contemporary flair to traditional crafts.

    Prior experience with:

    Handmade paper / Silver and brass jewelry / Brass and copper / Natural fibers & textiles / Pashmina & wool / Pottery

  • Design

    Aside from my own creations, I have designed numerous custom-made collections for my clients, following a specific given theme. This has given me extensive experience in researching and working on color combinations, graphics, and different raw materials according to a thematic.

    Based on your vision, the traditional know-how you work with and your specific raw materials, I develop exclusive artisanal product designs, which are attractive, convenient and reflect local talent and tradition as well as a contemporary global design.

  • Design expertise includes

    • Inspired concepts and styling direction
    • Color recommendations
    • Product design
    • Knowledge of global trends
    • Product development
    • Adobe Photoshop or drawn sketches & tech packs
    • On-the-ground design direction
    • Knowledge of Asian traditional arts
    • Understanding of weaving techniques
    • Sourcing of artisan raw materials and finished goods
    • Direct collaboration with artisans and artisan groups

PRODUCTION | Ensuring Quality & Sustainability

The very choice of working with artisan traditions will naturally create an environmentally and socially conscious end product. It remains essential to ensure, through careful planning and problem solving, that a handmade product remains sustainable throughout its different manufacturing stages. Artisanal production methods are unique and constantly demand creative solutions to ensure productivity and quality.

  • Technical solutions for a sustainable end-product

    Replicating products efficiently and with the required degree of quality, demands ingenuity and a deep understanding of artisanal production. The manufacturing process for a handmade design is very different from a machine-made product as there is a larger potential for natural inaccuracies and human error when making by hand. Taking them into consideration during the design stage, I use creative problem solving on the ground to create an end design that is practical to make and replicate by hand. I devise sustainable solutions for each step of the manufacturing process to ensure efficiency, quality and an environmentally conscious end product.

  • Working locally

    Good communication is an essential part of working with artisans in Asia. Directions can be misunderstood or misinterpreted due to subtle cultural differences. My thrity-five years of experience living and working in Asia has helped me gain a deeper understanding of local culture and way of thinking, giving me the ability to efficiently communicate and direct local artisans in the development and production of a new design. I work on site with local communities and resources for all proposed projects in Asia, with prior experience working in Nepal and Thailand and particular familiarity with India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

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  • Production and post-production expertise includes

    • Sourcing of ethical raw-materials
    • Quality control
    • Sampling & production timeline management
    • Collaboration and interaction with artisans to ensure quality and efficiency
    • Intercultural experience and understanding for interacting with artisans in Asia
    • Creative problem solving during manufacturing process
    • Pricing
    • Shop merchandising

CLIENTS | For whom?

For the Hospitality industry

Several hotels and restaurants have relied on me to source design, produce and/or personalize their accessories and amenities. I have also been consulted to take part in interior design and decoration.

Service :

I work on the concept and design according to the theme and brand of the hotel or restaurant to ensure a seamless and memorable experience for guests. In concert with design teams, I offer my services in all areas of interior decoration and in developing exclusive designs of accessories and stationery in order to enhance interiors and concept image. When possible I can take charge of the production of selected accessories and amenities.

• Concept development and design
• Direct and on the ground collaboration with interior design teams
• Interior decoration
• Color scheme
• Fabrics
• Final touch with color and accessories
• Exclusive and personalized accessory designs
• Production of accessories/amenities

For International retailers & wholesalers

European brands rely on me to source, develop and produce specific product lines. These include ethnic-inspired brass and silver jewelry, interior and lifestyle products made of handmade felt, brass and copper, pashmina shawls and blankets, pottery items and many more.

Service :

For international retailers and wholesalers that have ties to production units in Asia, but lack knowledge of the local culture or are in need of a designer, I offer my services in developing product lines according to given concept and requirements – encompassing all areas of design, manufacturing details, pricing, and production. I provide a short-term technical consultancy or creative development workshops to the manufacturing unit to improve quality, sustainability and efficiency.

• Product design and development
• Sampling
• Technical problem-solving
• Packaging
• Pricing
• Online collaboration and updates with client

For Local manufacturers / retailers or development organisations

• Product development, design & improvement
• Technical problem-solving and advice
• Shop merchandising

Development Organization / Local Artisan groups:

Development agencies that wish to help local artisan groups often have the marketing tools and structure to find the right clients for these communities. What can be lacking at times is knowledge of design or the need for fresh ideas. I provide a short-term consultancy in manufacturing workspaces or with artisan groups to develop new products or improve existing ones. This can also be done in the form of a collaborative creative workshop.

Local retailers :

Shop merchandising is an important aspect of sales. An attractive store will inevitably improve sales. I offer a short-term consultancy for restyling shop and window displays of local handicraft retailers. After reviewing products on sale, I advise on design improvements and color schemes according to current trends, without modifying prices. If necessary I can give instructions and technical advice directly to the manufacturing unit. Once products have been modified, I restyle the store and window display.