Event — Other

Making Place, and Place Making: Vernacular Heritage in the Urban Development in Taiwan

From 30 October to 2 November, presenters from various Taiwanese organisations will show how they work to regenerate urban areas by engaging local communities in practical craft and place making activities, using vernacular culture and urban heritage as a resource. The program consists of workshops, presentations, documentaries and an exhibition.

Date: 30 October - 2 November

In Taipei and Yuanli township in central Taiwan, young activists have taken initiatives using vernacular culture and urban heritage as a resource to connect various communities and to bring new energy to city areas.  

From 30 October to 2 November, they are in Leiden to share their experiences through a series of presentations, workshops and an exhibition. 

Organisation: IIAS and Taiwanese partners. Sponsored by the Taiwanese Ministry of Culture

The lectures will take place at IIAS on Rapenburg 59, Leiden. The workshops, exhibition and reception afterwards are at the Textile Research Centre on Hogewoerd 164, Leiden.

Participation is free, but please register in advance. For activities at IIAS, email: iias@iias.nl. For the activities at the TRC: info@trc-leiden.nl

On this page:
About the programme
Programme (timetable and locations)
Taiwanese partners & participants 
Lecture and disscussion forums at IIAS (forums 1,2 and 3)
Exhibition 'Weaving heritage together'
Rush weaving workshops full
Concluding workshop ‘Heritage for Linking Places

About the programme

Vernacular (everyday) living experiences of a specific community and place are memorised and passed down through generations. Experiences of 'making', - such as in crafts, religious activities and culinary specialities - often anchor feelings of belonging to a particular place. Conversely, the disappearance of these experiences may risk the loss of a community's roots and identity. 

In vernacular heritage studies and practices, experiences of ‘making’ are repeatedly used as a means to nourish common memory through physical involvement, in activities where people gather and bond with each other while building a shared perception of the community’s future.

In Taipei, as well as in the Yuanli Township (central Taiwan), young activists have taken initiatives to reacquaint themselves with places that have been long regarded as left behind with urbanization and industrialization. Through engaging the heritage and crafts of a place, such as through rush weaving, these young people (and vibrant NGOs) endeavour to connect with the local communities, and help them to rebuild their inherent inner strengths and identities. 




Tue 30 October  

10.00 – 12.00 Opening and Forum 1: Inner city regeneration and activism IIAS

12.00 – 13.00 Lunch at IIAS IIAS

13.30 – 14.00 Guided tour of exhibition TRC

14.00 – 16.30 Rush weaving workshop 1 full TRC

Wed 31 October   

10.00 – 12.00 Forum 2: Crafting public engagement IIAS

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch, and presentation of the IIAS Certificate for the Double Degree in Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe IIAS

14.00 – 16.30 Forum 3: How did I become an organisor / activist / initiator? IIAS

14.00 – 16.30 Rush weaving workshopfull TRC

Thu 1 November  

13.30 – 14.00 Guided tour of exhibition TRC

14.00 – 17.00 Rush weaving workshopfull TRC

Fri 2 November  

10.00 – 12.00 Concluding workshop ‘Heritage for linking places' TRC

13.30 – 17.00 Rush weaving workshop 4 TRC


17.00 – 18.30 Concluding reception TRC



Taiwanese partners & participants

Graduate Institute of Architecture and Cultural Heritage, Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA)

This interdisciplinary institute examines theories and history of architecture and settlements that underlie tangible cultural heritage, such as historic monuments, archaeological sites and cultural landscape. It does so in combination with the study of intangible cultural heritage, including folklore, traditional craftsmanship and fine arts.

CHIANG Min-Chin Programme Organiser 
​Assistant Professor at the Graduate Institute of Architecture and Cultural Heritage of TNUA.

Graduate Institute of Building and Planning, National Taiwan University (NTU)

With the goal of training “cross-disciplinary professionals”, it integrates the fields of architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning, to educate professionals equipped with the knowledge and skills in environmental planning, and social and cultural involvement, and able to adapt to the future development of the professions. 

Wanhua School Co., Ltd.

Re-envisioning a public life where people live and connect with each other in the city, Wanhua School serves as a platform where residents could gather and bond through old town heritages and social assets, while local industries and the old town could be seen in new perspectives. 

CHEN Te-Chun, Director of Wanhua School Co., Ltd., community planner

Yuanli Hi Home Co., Ltd.

Devoted young people across different professions came together at Yuanli Township to seek the preservation and revival of the local heritage and traditional cultures: Promoting rush-weaving and eco-friendly agricultural products, publishing local magazines, organizing cultural activities and engaging people in public affairs.

LIU Yu-Yu, Co-Founder of Yuanli Hi Home Co., Ltd., rush-weaving Instructor
CHEN Hsiu-Luan, Experienced rush-weaving artisan and instructor

Taiwan Dream City Building Association

Through artistic means and mutual learning programmes, the Taiwan Dream City Building Association connects homeless people, labourers, local industry owners, and young volunteers in the city of central Wanhua, where different lives and cultures of different paths can be understood, appreciated and respected.

KU Ming-Yun, Artist and carpentry project manager
TSAI Ming-Ying, Programme Curator; Architect and interior designer. Advanced Master of Architecture in Architecture & Urban Planning, The Berlage Institute, Netherlands.


Lecture and discussion forums at IIAS

Forum 1 Inner city regeneration and artivism

Location: IIAS, Rapenburg 59
Date: Tue, 30 October 10:00-12:00 hrs 

(presentations, discussion and short film)

The presenters are sharing their practices in the inner-city area of Taipei (Bang-kah) through approaches of art engagement and placemaking, using vernacular culture and urban heritage as a resource to connect various communities and to bring energy to the inner city area.

The two presenters Ku Mingyun (古明韻) and Chen Techun (陳德君) are from two organizations based in Bang-kah, which is the oldest part of Taipei City. It is an area with rich historical value, yet with marginal economic status, as well as a large population of aged and homeless. Two participating organizations are working with the local community and homeless people in Bangkah, hoping to generate mutual understanding and bond, and finding new possibilities for revitalizing Bangkah through art engagement and placemaking projects.

Forum 2 Crafting public engagement

Location: IIAS, Rapenburg 59
Date: Wed 31 October 10:30-12:00

(presentations, discussion and short film)

Four presenters, Liu Yuyu(劉育育), Lin Hsiufan(林秀芃), Ku Mingyun(古明韻) and Chen Techun(陳德君), are attached to three NGOs respectively, namely Yunli Hi Home(苑裡掀海風), Taiwan Dream City Building Association(台灣夢想城鄉營造協會) and Wanhua School Co., Ltd.(萬華社區小學). During the forum they are going to share their working experience. By using ‘making’ as a method to trigger community participation, they engage local communities and homeless people with craft making activities. In these activities, the participants are bonded by their sharing of memories and emotions. In doing so, the sense of confidence, dignity and autonomy is generated in the sustaining process of ‘making’ together.

Forum 3 How did I become an organizer/ activist/initiator?

Location: IIAS, Rapenburg 59
Date: Wed 31 October 14:00-16:30

What kind of skills are required for place-making with communities? How the communication skill across disciplines can be built by academic/non-academic training? The participants of this session are going to revisit their own experiences and invite wider discussion on the issue.

The two presenters are Ku Mingyun (古明韻) and Chen Techun (陳德君). They work at Taiwan Dream City Building Association (台灣夢想城鄉營造協會) and Wanhua School Co., Ltd. (萬華社區小學), both at Bangkah, the oldest part of Taipei City.


Exhibition: Weaving heritage together

Textile Research Centre (Hogewoerd 164, Leiden), 30 October – 2 November 2018. Entrance free.

Vernacular living experiences are represented by spatial fabrics and they sustain memory and continuity of a community and place. Memory of ‘making’ in a place, such as craft production, religious activities, culinary characteristics, often anchors the sense of belonging. When the vernacular living experiences gain the role of ‘heritage,’ often in the context of urbanization or development, the once familiar forms of ‘making’ are often no longer living, with the risk of a community losing its roots and identity. In vernacular heritage studies and activities, ‘making’ is used as a starting point and a means to grow common memory, through bodily involvement in order to connect diversity, to bond the community and in some case to trigger a shared perception and future of a place. Actions have been initiated by young activists using ‘making’ as a strategy to involve and extend care for the less affluent. Yuanli, a town of Miaoli in central Taiwan, was famous for its rush weaving industries since the early twentieth century. Yet not until 1990s did the locals realize their loss of rush weaving craft as well as associated memories in the shift of local industries.

The exhibition will cover the following aspects:

  1. The territory of Yuanli
  2. Memorabilia of rush weaving in Taiwan
  3. Documentary and video on rush weaving
  4. Technique of the craft of rush weaving
  5. The product and the culture


Rush Weaving workshops

== All rush weaving workshoppes are fully booked ==

Rush weaving sessions will be conducted in four workshops. Participants are encouraged to take one or more workshops that will gradually increase in difficulty (but this is flexible, bearing in mind that there is a limited number of places per workshop. There will be personal guidance given in the various forms of rush weaving). Participants will therefore have sufficient time to practice the traditional craft step-by-step and appreciate the art and history of rush-weaving.

[collapsed title="Read more"] Registration: info@trc-leiden.nl Location: Textile Research Centre, Hogewoeerd 64, Leiden Dates:  Tuesday 30th October: 14.00 – 16.30 Wednesday 31st October: 14.00 – 16.30 Thursday 1st November: 14.00 – 17.00 Friday 2nd November: 14.00 – 17.00 Maximum number of participants per session: 12 people. Finished work: rush coasters (with motifs) Instructors: Chen Hsiu-Luan, Lee Tou-ze, Liu Yu-yu, and Lin Hsiu-Fan The four workshops will cover the following subjects: Activity 1- Introduction Introduction of rush-weaving and the place of origin, Yuanli County (with PPT and video) Activity 2- Rush-weaving Close-up Observation Instructor Chen will exhibit skills to weave different motifs in two-dimensional rush-weaving works. At the same time, instructor Lee will show three-dimensional weaving skills by doing a semi-finished hat. Activity 3- Pre-weaving work Beating rush and skinning rush Activity 4- Traditional “One-on-one” (Ya-yi) Weaving Practice (with 8-16 pieces of rush) Activity 5- Traditional “One-on-one” (Ya-yi) Weaving Practice (with 32-40 pieces of rush) Activity 6- Traditional “Closing” Skill Practice Activity 7- Traditional “Slanted Motif” Skill Practice[/collapsed]


    Concluding Workshop ‘Heritage for Linking Place’ 

    Location: Textile Research Centre, Hogewoeerd 164, Leiden
    Date: Friday 2 November, 10.00 – 12.00 

    Registration: info@trc-leiden.nl

    We use this workshop to show and discuss how three teams (of some five participants each) can be ‘making places’. The three teams will cover (rush) weaving, woodwork and making tea. Rush weaving, for instance, is a craft that produces a product, but it is also a means to create and strengthen a community. The same applies to woodwork and tea making. The workshop will reflect the processes involved and the setting up of new networks to connect various initiatives.

    Moderators: Li Yuyu with rush weaving, Ku Mingyun with wood work, Chen Techun with tea making.

    • Maximum number of participants: 15