In this collaboration with Bodj, I designed a simple log basket using local sustainable materials (rattan) and craft-based manufacturing techniques.
Doing away with the traditional notion of a handle, the oversize rim of ‘Fat Lip’ can be grabbed anywhere, resulting in an ergonomically preferable design solution, whilst the light weight steel frame within the basket provides a splash of contemporary colour.
My royalties from this project were put back to the local community, paying for children’s educational materials and bonuses for the young Khmer apprentices that produce ‘Fat Lip’.
Fat Lip was a finalist in the Utilita Manifesta ‘Fight Poverty’ design competition and also won a Bronze Best Award.
The Bodj initiative was first conceived in 2001 when Ced Wells travelled to Cambodia to work for a fair trade business support organisation, Bright Arrows Development Ltd.
Bodj aim to continue to assist in building up these and other communities with carefully monitored fair trade practices: to relieve poverty and to improve social and environmental conditions – while respecting the culture and environment these villagers live in.Bodj continue to work in partnership with Bright Arrows Development Ltd. developing local businesses for Cambodia’s indigenous population. Based in Phnom Penh, they closely monitor each project with regular visits and support.
All Bodj products aim to strike a balance by applying the western design practicalities with age old Cambodian traditions.
Photography: Ced Wells