Jiwen Chen Cornelia

MA Fashion Design


MA Project: Wood Joints

Construction: the translation of traditional building techniques into contemporary women wear.

In ancient Chinese architecture, wood was the principal material. Early Chinese artisans constructed wooden buildings without the use of any nails using traditional Tenon and Mortise structures. The significant levels of craftsmanship and creativity were evident particularly in the construction of the roof supporting bracket sets. I have been inspired by these strong, yet harmonious structures and I have explored the qualities of the traditional forms and patterns of these wood joints in the development of my designs.

In going back and uncovering the beauty of these early building techniques I have developed an insight into some of the ancient wisdoms and artistry of early Chinese culture. I hope to share this heritage and develop peoples understanding of these traditions in the creation of my collection.

‘Fragment’, a piece of work from the provocative Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was created using wood from ancient Dynasty temples. This piece influenced my approach to the development of my designs in referencing traditional heritage whilst creating new aesthetic forms. Another designer, Dzhus, also inspired me, whose severe construction details have specific reference to architectural elements whilst employing traditional cutting principals.


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