December 1, 2011

Ivonne Sigler part 1

Hi, my name is Ivonne Sigler. I’m a young textile designer in Mexico.
At the beginning of this year, I traveled to Japan because I made a training course in “Modern Design and Traditional Culture & Craftsmanship” held by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

This eight-month’s training course consisted in two parts. The first period was formed of master course’s classes in Kyoto Institute of Technology; related on Japanese traditional culture and aesthetics.

For example, I attended lectures given by Mr. Kitayama the gardener of Kodaiji's Temple; by Mr. Keimei a famous Buddha Sculptor; and by Mr. Morito an Architectural decorator. I also visited Watabun Company (brocades from Nishijin), Zuikogama Company (Ceramics), Shoeidou Company (Incense), and others. This was my first deep approach to Japanese traditional culture trough their artists and artisans.

The second part of the program began on September. It consisted in making my personal project. Because I am a textile designer I decided to research about traditional weaving and dyeing techniques, as well as interviewing textile and fashion designers: to learn how they apply the traditional techniques in the contemporary clothes or interior design.

My research consisted of eight interviews, eight weaving and dyeing workshops, stays in other cities, like: Tokyo, Okinawa and Nagoya; and visits to remarkable temples or buildings, museum’s exhibitions and design stores.

The design process that I learnt in Japan was unexpected. The Japanese Design is so close to philosophy and also to humans. I could notice a strong relationship with human’s fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason and language.
As designers we are focus on the aesthetic or the functional of the product for follow the market constants demands. But when we rediscover the past techniques and we stay in contact with the artisan's work, we remind the importance of pursuing bring a better service to humankind using wisely the natural resources and knowledge.

The designer’s main goal should be to build a bridge between these artisans and the common people. Always reminding that before products are the human beings.

Above all, we have to preserve things that remind us of our humanity.