Preserving Craft Heritage by Forging Rural–Urban Connections

Haodan Tan, Huaxin Wei, Eli Blevis

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


This study aims to explore the difficulties of preserving cultural heritage in rural areas and to inform better designs of computer systems to support such preservation. In this case study, we observed and documented craft cultures in three rural villages in China. Our methods include photoethnography, interview, and observation. From analyzing various types of data, we were able to identify issues of cultural heritage preservation, including cultural identity and values. We propose a conceptual system design for an installation and software connecting rural craftspeople and people who appreciate crafts, as a means of fostering a mutual relationship of support and appreciation. We believe this relationship can help preserve cultural heritage in rural areas. Some of the system installation elements were prototyped in scale models. The paper’s primary contribution is the design field research, analysis of design field research, and conceptualization.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign Discourse on Culture and Society:
Subtitle of host publicationRe:Research, Volume 5
EditorsGjoko Muratovski, Craig Vogel
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherIntellect Books
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78938-148-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-78938-141-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


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