Hmong woman working on indigo batik prints, Mae Rim, northern Thailand.
Hmong woman working on indigo batik prints, Mae Rim, northern Thailand. Photography by Sali Sasaki.

About the programme

New for Old is a regional programme co-ordinated by Sali SASAKI (佐々木 沙梨) [], that provides learning opportunities for women artisans through creative innovation and exchange whilst promoting traditional crafts and heritage for social inclusion and economic development within Southeast Asia (Burma, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam).

It aims to generate refreshed opportunities for the craft sector through the following objectives:

  • Maintain local cultural assets and identities through sustainable approaches that can be used by future generations, notably by introducing culture-based creative processes and social entrepreneurship within local training programmes.
  • Establish connections between artisans and designers (particularly young designers) in order to generate a renewed interest in traditional crafts, materials and techniques, leading towards sustainable design practices and social innovation.
  • Grow a stronger appreciation for ‘culture-based goods’ both locally and internationally. 
  • Deepen the relation between the UK and Asia through close collaborations based on creative innovation, drawing a new path that combines the design expertise from UK institutions and the unique knowledge of traditional artisans in Asia.

Programme Partners


Creative Research Residency
Locations: Burma, Thailand, Vietnam
Dates: 6-21 December 2016

During 2016-17, the Research Residency programme will send cross-disciplinary teams comprising of UK designers and local researchers to collectively analyse local cultural contexts and the specific needs of artisan communities in target locations of Burma, Thailand and Vietnam. The research content will be used as a starting point to develop relevant support models for artisan communities and encourage stronger industry connections between designers and makers, emphasizing ethical and entrepreneurial practices.


Craft Reveals

conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand
3-4 December 2016
in partnership with TCDC, Japan Foundation

Craft Reveals will gather speakers from Asia, the UK and Japan to open up conversations about the future of sustainable craft and design, articulating the connections between cultural, social and environmental aspects of traditional skills and local knowledge.

New for Old Exhibition at the London Craft Week

London, UK
Dates: May-June 2017
Partners: Aram Gallery, London Craft Week

A cross-cultural exhibition displaying the distinctive crafts cultures, artisans and environments of southeast Asia, curated by the Royal College Art and based on the findings of the Creative Research Residency programme in Burma, Thailand and Vietnam.

Past activities

During the first active years (2014-16), New for Old worked to support the development of the handicraft sector through business and design training workshops as well as public showcases in both Asia and the UK. 

Scottish-Thai Crafts Exhibition at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh Scotland

New for Old at the Clerkenwell Design Week

Scottish-Thai crafts collaboration in Phrae, Thailand

Crafts and Social Enterprise (Thailand)

From Craft to Art (Burma)

Craft Forward Conference (Burma)

New for Old in Indonesia – Kotagede silversmiths

For more details on the regional New for Old programme contact: Sali SASAKI (佐々木 沙梨)