Design Technology

You only have to look in any Museum to appreciate that Product design and manufacture is historically a defining activity for any culture. Modern consumerism and manufacturing methods have created the throwaway society; however we all have possessions that are dear to us for a wide variety of reasons. Imagine what it would be like to have all of these things taken away from us. Many items provide specific personal references, like photographs or jewellery (a wedding ring for instance) others help to define who we are, like a club badge or a musical instrument. All of these types of possessions give us a sense of personal and cultural identity; they help us to look back to remember and to look forwards to the future.

One of the first things that happened to these prisoners of the Japanese was a systematic de-personalisation, firstly by the removal of all personal items and possessions. Ownership of anything implies a certain status; this was not to be encouraged or permitted. The prisoners were given no status and due to the Japanese culture were looked on as less than Men. Survival in these circumstances depended on many things but most of all it depended on each other. Anything that brought you together made you stronger.

Activity: Making a bamboo picture frame

First of all you need to get four lengths of bamboo cut to size using a small hack saw, be careful doing this as the bamboo can split.

We used 2 x 20cm and 2 x 25cm (or you could chose your own size).

Approximately 1cm from each end of the bamboo, (both on the same side) file or cut a notch in the shape of a "U" or "V".

Carefully file or cut the notches until they easily fit together making a square/rectangle shape.

When the frame fits together as you would wish, cut four lengths of twine or string and wrap around and then fasten each of the four joints.

If you want to hang your picture on the wall you could cut another length of twine and fasten it to the top two joints of your frame to make a hanging loop.