The focus of this dissertation aims to bring about a dialogue between craft and design by using interior architecture as design medium. The study will investigate how craft can be implemented in space, in the form of products and as a part of place-making, in order for it to be elevated to the status of design. The roles of the producer and the user are of particular focus and are the means by which this re-establishment of craft’s identity, previously prey to local and global perceptions, will take place. An intervention that enables a productive work ethic is envisioned, to help contextualise a product effectively in order for it to reach its full potential. This concern for craft can raise awareness of local and global trends in its innovation and encourage the continuous integration of various creative fields. Furthermore, the investigation anticipates a redefinition of the term, commonly associated with souvenirs or curios, into an entity that harbours independence: an attribute that many designed products have. A vacant building in the Pretoria CBD is home to this crafts centre and its refurbishment aims at addressing the needs of those within the creative fields, as well as the general public. This Pretoria regionalist building from the 1960s poses an opportunity in terms of its materiality and its interior, comprising only a column grid. Thus a design opportunity arises in the form of vertical planes as infill, light entry and pedestrian movement, allowing surfaces and details to illustrate craft’s potential within the built environment. The value in the Modern facade is considered to a great extent in terms of retention, whereas the interior allows for a bolder intervention.
Dissertation (MInt(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2011.