Lung Tam, Vietnam 2017
A collaborative design and build project with an H’mong ethnic group in northern Vietnam. The cooperative provides space for designing and making Batik Hemp Textiles.
Lùng Tám is a small village located in the northernmost province Ha Giang in Vietnam. The village consists of 200 Hmong families and is considered the regional center of the seven surrounding smaller villages. In 2001 Ms. Vàng Thi Mai started the Lung Tam Linen Textile Cooperative offering work opportunities for women in the surrounding villages. Today the cooperative has 130 members engaged in different steps of producing batik textiles but aim to reach 400 women within the next years. The cooperative expressed the need to have a space for community activities such as cultural events, training classes and community meetings. The community organized themselves into a core group of 12 leaders to facilitate the design workshops and eventually coordinate the building process of the new cooperative building. After a series of workshops, the group identified ‘the grid’ as a concept derived from traditional vernacular timber structures in the region. The concept enabled the members of the cooperative to map the existing facilities and together with the architects developed a new design for the site. A small prototype timber structure was built using existing knowledge and skills of local carpenters. The structure has brought attention to the initiative in the village and is currently being used for drying hemp textiles after the colour dying process.