Keywords:craft, tradition, community development, workshop
This article reflects on the disappearing carpentry tradition in a rural village called Miaoxia in Sichuan Province China. Since 2015, villagers, social workers, architects, and university scholars have been collaborating to look for alternative development possibilities in Miaoxia Village. The idea of using the local carpentry tradition has been one of the key focusses in the process. Since the Chinese Economic Reform in 1978, the influence of urbanisation and market economy in China has led the Chinese government to rethink the value of rural customs and traditions. While the country has been encouraging progressive economic development, local making culture and development have subsequently been under threat. The collaborations between social workers and design professions in Miaoxia tested small-scale architecture interventions and educational workshops. These experiments have started to record and test out different ways to save carpentry traditions from extinction. This article outlines this process in Miaoxia and asks for new ideas to re-utilise this traditional making.