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So far, the works we have shared cover many approaches: technical, aesthetic, conceptual, playful, political or full of historical references.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.
WHAT IS BASKETCLUB?
Basketclub is a community of crafts-oriented designers who show their basketry explorations in public. The Instagram account @_basketclub_ has been launched in 2020 in order to create a communal platform around 3D weaving and a mode of communication for the group.
HOW DOES BASKETCLUB OPERATE?
The Instagram account @_basketclub_ has until this day been at the heart of our initiative. On it, a monthly cycle takes place: in the beginning of each month, an emoji is released, depicting a theme (🚲,🍊,🥁,🌞). Basketclub members then have a few weeks time to create a basket inspired by this theme. In the course of the next month, the Instagram account is filled with varying responses to an emoji.
Furthermore, we have been given the chance to collaborate with several design companies DEDON, Karimoku and Maharam and we have started engaging in real life exhibitions.
WHAT IS A BASKET?
As basketry is traditionally the craft of weaving baskets, we call our creations baskets. A “basket” here, however, can be approached freely — we celebrate varying interpretations of a basket depending on context and theme, as you can see in our archive.
WHO INITIATED BASKETCLUB?
Basketclub was founded by Adrianus Kundert and Jamie Wolfond during the spring of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. The two young designers got in touch on Instagram after finding out they both experimented with weavings made of shipping straps. After a phase of intensive exchange and encouraged by likeminded creatives, both designers decided to try something new. Soon after that, Basketclub launched its first brief.
CAN I PARTICIPATE?
In general, Basketclub participants are selected by the Basketclub team. If you feel like you should be a part of Basketclub, however, feel free to convince us with your contribution to one of our open briefs, which occur every 6 months. Alternatively, you can send us a message at: firstname.lastname@example.org or try our Upload form.
HOW ARE PARTICIPANTS SELECTED?
Participants are selected based on their interests and creative course taken so far. In many cases, we encounter new members through our network, through crafts events and by endless scrolling through Instagram. We aim for an inclusive, international group of basketmakers, even more so because crafts are based on varying cultural traditions.
WHAT DOES BASKETCLUB AIM FOR IN THE FUTURE?
As a platform for craft-based design, Basketclub aims to inspire crafts enthusiasts. Our growing collection of imagery and knowledge has the potential to fuel creative movements around the world. By continuing to operate independently, transparently and with conviction, we aim to contribute to an increase of makers showing interest in integrating traditional crafts into contemporary creative processes.
Besides, we would like to invest in regular collaborations with relevant brands and manufacturers and take part in real life exhibition formats.