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The Bookwallah

By

  • RMIT Industrial Design
  • Georgia Hutchison & Robert Sowter
  • Asialink Arts

Description

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.

Key Features

1

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.

2

A modern reinterpretation paying homage to the classical travelling case, the design is embedded with contemporary narratives of culture, migration and national porosity.

3

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.

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