Review of the Issues in Traditional Woodcarving Craft in East Coast of Malaysia and the Potential Area for Design Strategy


  • Muhaimin Amat Sairin Mr
  • Dr Shahrul Ts. Dr.


Malay woodcarving, Design strategy, Traditional craft, Design for sustainability


This paper presents preliminary data from an ongoing study that investigates design strategies to revitalise Malay traditional woodcarving craft. Hence ensuring craft viability, as a culturally significant product, in the future. The central questions are: 1; What are the issues and challenges in the Malay traditional woodcarving craft industry? 2; How can the Design for Sustainability (DFS) strategy contribute to revitalising culturally significant products such as traditional woodcraft? This initial research paper will focus on findings from the literature review revolving around the significant issues and relationship between craft, sustainability, and design. The literature review was analysed through data triangulation, and the results and recommendations were developed based on the findings. The research consists of three main components: (i) Background study on crafts, (ii) identifying wood carving craft as a selected research area, and (iii) investigation of issues of concern on the woodcarving craft industry in the research area. The practice of traditional wood carving craft and the issues in the craft industry were investigated. There are two significant results discussed in this paper: (i) the diminishing awareness and popularity of traditional craft need to be addressed, and there is a potential to involve stakeholders such as designers in revitalising craft and (ii) the opportunity to explore the DFS approach, especially in regards to utilising the intrinsic value and personal meaning in craft revitalisation strategy. Traditional crafts such as Malay woodcarving rich with values that align with sustainability. The revitalisation strategy involving multidisciplinary stakeholders may contribute toward the positive development of the traditional craft industry.