Date Fall 2010 to Spring 2012
Work Academic, MFA Thesis
Photography Menchit Ongpin, Erin Canoy, Joelle Cuna
Help provide a livelihood opportunity for impoverished indigenous T’boli women living in Lake Sebu, a remote area in the southern region of the Philippines. Stimulate the waning production of the t’nalak, a traditional cloth that these women weave, by making them marketable and accessible to the outside world, turning this traditional endeavor into a self-sustaining enterprise.
To address the current situation, I developed a fictional non-profit organization called One Weave, One Dream, that aims to achieve a delicate balance between providing a source of income for the T’boli women and safeguarding their t’nalak weaving tradition. The underlying thread merges the idea of how the women design patterns based on their dreams, with their current dreams for a better life.
This organization provides retail channels to help sell the fabric, educates the public on the unique tradition behind the t’nalak, encourages a sustainable production of raw materials as well as educates the women on basic marketing concepts and fair trade principles. As a brand, it shares a warm and approachable voice that brings this unique, indigenous art form into the modern world.
The research conducted involved referencing a variety of print materials, several interviews with the target audience, founders of similar organizations as well as textile and industry experts. The most essential and rewarding research done was through two field research trips backs to the Philippines. The visit to Lake Sebu involved gathering original photography as well as one-on-one interviews with the weavers through various activities taken from IDEO’s Human Centered Design Toolkit.
View my thesis book containing research, process and the final output: