Standard | Custom | Bespoke

Community Regeneration: Addressing the Social and Infrastructural Needs of a Community

'This design thesis studies craft by means of interpreting standard, custom and bespoke. An initial standpoint was generated through theoretical appraisal of established authors within the field. Using David Pye’s interpretation of craft as ‘Workmanship of Risk’ and ‘Workmanship of Certainty’, he determined craft to be workmanship that is either predetermined (manufactured) or workmanship that is not (hand made). This interesting juxtaposition between two mediums of craft was further embellished by the allusion that ‘Good workmanship, whether free or regulated, produces and exploits the quality… ‘diversity’, and by means of it makes an extension of aesthetic experience’.  Drawing upon the idea that craft achieves diversity, my investigation began through an evaluation of diversity in terms of individuality. 


Richard Sennet suggests that ‘the craftsman became an emblem of human individuality’ and through such ‘value [is] placed on variations’. The influence of mass production has greatly impacted the opportunity for individuality, people are ‘not content with standardisation everywhere’.  Exploring this further, I first produced a trio of chairs, used as a means of interpretation of varying degrees of individuality. The challenge, however, was to appropriate my understanding of terms associated with standard, custom and bespoke within a social agenda. 


The upper reaches of the Rhondda Valley, South Wales, have been subject to a number of budget cuts and building closures. Connected by one main road and a principal rail line, these disparate communities rely upon the social infrastructure in place to encourage community interaction. Through consideration of standard, custom and bespoke, this design thesis suggests the convergence of community facilities within the town of Treorchy to provide unique spaces, tailored specifically to the individual needs of the community whilst overlapping of spatial requirements will encourage the space to work harder. Implementation of standard, custom and bespoke will be appropriate to space, building usage and means of engagement.'