What seem to be useless Areca leaves are turned into useful products to create a new material craft. This is an attempt to combine native organic material and unique indigenous technology and together, present the natural beauty of Taiwan, Formosa.
The Areca is widely planted in Taiwan because its fruit, the betel nut, is very popular with Taiwanese. However, Areca leaves fall abundantly after each flowering season and become useless leaves that are decomposed arbitrarily. It is not usually known that Areca leaves actually bear unique characteristics – they are extremely flexible, they provide good supporting strength, they become light and beautifully textured when dried, and they are also moth-proof.
This project is in part inspired by the aboriginal people of Taiwan, who use Areca leaves to make bowls and pots – a habit that has slowly disappeared. As such, to highlight and preserve this cultural craft, experiments were conducted to identify a series of modern objects and forms that best showcased the remarkable characteristics of Areca leaves. Combined with industrial manufacturing methods, the designers seek to create quality craft objects with Areca leaves that can be reproduced in standardised processes.
Du Hsin-Yu, William Mun Kuan Lai Dong