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The Craft Swap: A Social Network That Lives Beyond The Digital Space

The Craft Swap: A Social Network That Lives Beyond The Digital Space
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Ayka Ito's Craft Swap offers a creative, tangible method for sharing ideas.

Paloma M. Vazquez
  • 6 may 2010

Big Spaceship’s Ayaka Ito recently posted to Big Spaceship Labs about The Craft Swap, a personal project she started and shared with a group of friends. The Craft Swap allowed each participant to create a craft within a month; the crafts were a reflection or interpretation of a selected theme, and were ultimately (snail) mailed by each participant to their designated recipient at the end of the month.

Ito explains;

It was simple. We gathered interested friends and colleagues. In early March, every participant received an email with the person they were to make the craft for, and their mailing address. Everyone was given one month to complete their craft, and had to send them out by April 1st.

The theme of this craft swap was “An answer to everyday crisis”. This was perfect because it was something everyone could relate to, and could easily be interpreted into whatever the crafter decided. This was meant to give everyone a direction to start from, but wasn’t required to strictly stick to.

What we love about Ito’s Craft Swap is its encouragement for participants to create something that was ultimately shared/swapped with others – a collaborative effort in which participants were able to enjoy someone else’s interpretation – and which resulted in something tangible that participants could look forward to sending and receiving at the end of the month. Ito’s group also seems to have consisted of designers and friends at other agencies, not just her own – we love that the collaboration crossed “competitive lines”. This is an old-school social network that lives beyond the digital space.

We’d love to see more groups like this coming together to allow participants a form of creative expression outside their day jobs – where participants can ultimately enjoy the fruits of each other’s labor tangibly.

Photos from Ito’s Craft Swap project are posted to this Flickr pool.

Big Spaceship Labs: “Creative Craft Swap Project”

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