Rice Straw Stool by Gina Hsu and Nagaaki Shaw

Rice Straw Designs by Gina Hsu, Nagaaki Shaw and Jenju Villagers

The Jenju Village Community in Taiwan, also known as ‘Jane’s Pearl’, is the ancestral site of the Pingpu Kamalan Tribe. The Dongshan river runs directly through the community, making it ideal for residents to preserve the area’s rice paddy-based industry, which accounts for up to 136 hectares of the area in and around the village. Following each rice harvest, a huge amount of rice straw is left behind. historically for farmers, this was an essential building and material supply. However, with our changing times, this excess supply is no longer needed for building and is not being utilized.

Taiwan is currently facing many agricultural changes, as certain types of materials and products are being removed from their areas. Jenju Village communities are promoting the symbiotic concept of peaceful coexistence with nature, encouraging us to return what we have expelled, so that nature can begin to produce and provide us with essentials once again. For the preservation of the village’s rural culture and ideas concerning the environment, Taiwanese designers Gina Hsu(Hsu Ching Ting 徐景亭) and Nagaaki Shaw(Hsiao Yung Ming 蕭永明) have developed ‘Rice Straw Design’ – a series of objects – in which the straw received from the fields is used by the community to promote the material itself, becoming a point of departure for use in arts and crafts. As part of the development and usage of this rice straw, a museum, as well as a DIY shop has been established so that visitors can experience the art and craft of working with the natural material.

Rice Straw Stool by Gina Hsu and Nagaaki Shaw

Rice or grain products have advantages and disadvantages concerning its usages as a design material. One of the advantages of rice straw, rice bran or rice itself is that it is rich in texture. however, the major disadvantage of these materials is that they do not possess enough long-term durability. Gina Hsu and Nagaaki Shaw have combined epoxy resin with the straw and rice to improve their resilience and durability so that the materials may serve a broader purpose and be transformed into items used in the home on a daily basis.

The projects will be on show at the Lanyang Museum, Taiwan until september 26th, 2010.

Via Designboom