Renfro/Zhang China Studio

Bags are also architectural in nature. They provide space for a particular set of items, they are structured to accommodate those items, they protect the items from the elements, and they operate as a sign — of luxury, functionality, knowledge or status.

In this project, students were asked to design and fabricate their own bags to be used on our trip to China. Intimate knowledge of the bag manufacturing process was essential to properly assess the technical requirements of our studio project, a bag manufacturing facility employing 2000 workers in Shenzhen, China.

Students traveled with the bags to the existing factory where they were shown to our client, Ms. Zhou of Dissona. Students then worked in the factory for a day alongside their Chinese counterparts, comparing skills from their own bag making experience with those of the workers.