Basketclub was founded in 2020 as an Instagram-based initiative. It plays by a simple set of rules: Each member of a selected, international group of designers and craftsmen weaves a new “basket” every month. A brief in the form of an emoji dictates the monthly theme of the baskets. At the end of the month, photographs of the finished baskets are shared on Instagram.
So far, the works we have shared cover many approaches: technical, aesthetic, conceptual, playful, political or full of historical references.
Our concept is based on basketry, which is a traditional craft and one of the first expressions of human culture. It is striking that all around the world, humans have been weaving pliable materials into three-dimensional shapes since 10.000 years. Within the framework of Basketclub, possible futures for an ancient craft are speculated upon through modern modes of representation.
Designers traditionally depend on crafts, but are not themselves craftspeople. Following industrialisation, designers moved away from crafts and oriented themselves towards industrial processes, tailoring their designs to fit these processes. The current shared opinion says that traditional crafts are irrelevant to modern societies. As part of a growing group of emerging designers, however, we show interest in practicing crafts as part of a humane and physical design process. By doing so, we put the theme in a new light. Experimenting with basketry and its diverse forms, meanings, and implications is what sparks new ideas: designing through making.
Basketclub was founded in the heat of a global pandemic. By choosing an online format, we found a way to transform isolation into a productive communal spirit.Existing by the means of Instagram, however, means relying on photography as a medium. We first make physical baskets, then photograph them and present them digitally. This strongly influences the way we perceive and understand the displayed objects. Flat images can quickly be grasped. The practice of basketry, on the contrary, is a slow and time-consuming act. This discrepancy motivates us to pursue not only digital modes of representation, but to explore real life exhibition formats as well.