- RMIT Industrial Design
- Georgia Hutchison & Robert Sowter
- Asialink Arts
Five writers, a nomadic library, 4000km by train. The Bookwallah roving writers festival provided a unique design condition: to create a portable literary environment to travel India and Australia, holding 400 books and to be an enabling space for cultural exchange.
A set of wheeled cases was designed to transport the books, a complete library shelving system for adaptation to new environments.
The project encouraged discourse around narrative driven design; design for cultural activity; bespoke production and the notion of the \’Industry of One\’; and the convergence of traditional craft and digital fabrication.
The Bookwallah is Design for Cultural Exchange. The user experiences the nomadic library as an adaptable, inclusive space. The tangibility provides a touch-point for audiences and writers to engage, fostering development, learning, and inter-cultural exchange – and the swapping of books.
A modern reinterpretation paying homage to the classical travelling case, the design is embedded with contemporary narratives of culture, migration and national porosity.
Australian materials, Kangaroo leather and Tasmanian Oak, were chosen to develop patina and evidence of experience. The system was designed for longevity; and the manufacturing processes are a convergence of digital and traditional techniques.