The developing world is one of the next design frontiers, producing goods that fuse quality with creativity beyond just low cost. For a long time, design in these places has been relegated to handicrafts and regional products. There is no point in artisans and craft production factories in the Caribbean competing with mass-produced goods. They can instead compete on the strengths of the product, by focusing on the upper end of the market through high quality materials, detailing, production and design.
Caribbean culture is a confluence of African, European and Amerindian heritage and cultural retention and fusion has produced a unique hybrid. These complex and mixed cultural histories have tremendous value. Material culture is central to the Caribbean region with a long tradition of the use of indigenous materials, and, the production of art and craft is tied to the politics of oppression and resilience.
A focus on producing unique regional hybrids that combine craft tradition and contemporary design process is the aim of New Caribbean Design. Through the push and pull of cross cultural collaboration the group has balanced traditional cultural practice in the Caribbean and forward-looking design solutions; developing new methods and new vernacular that respects and elevates local traditions. In contrast with the familiar presentations of Caribbean culture—souvenirs and resort experience—this collection presents something much more dynamic: a living breathing culture with a critical role in the global design marketplace.