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Kwan the mythical Chinese Lion is designed to inspire children to learn and appreciate the art of Chinese lion dancing.
Kwan the mythical Chinese Lion is designed to inspire children to learn and appreciate the art of Chinese lion dancing.
121 backers pledged AU$ 30,888 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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AU$ 30,888

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news article 19-02-2015
news article 19-02-2015
Swinburne University Media Centre
Swinburne University Media Centre
 

My name is Ching & I'm working on this project with my wife Linda. I have been a Chinese lion dancer for over 13 years. I've had a fascination with lion dancing since I was young. Whenever I perform I often find that kids are transfixed to the performance just as I was. Even though they love watching it, many of them don't know the meaning and the story behind this symbolic ritual.

I wanted to share my passion by designing a simple and fun way for them to develop a deeper understanding of this tradition. It's a lot more than just loud noises and cool acts.

Kwan the Chinese Lion

Kwan the Chinese Lion is a DIY cardboard kit designed to inspire and teach children about Chinese Lion Dancing. The kit contains:

  • A high quality cardboard lion head
  •  Introductory booklet 
  •  Access to our Online portal 
Types of lion heads
Types of lion heads
Each lion will come with these
Each lion will come with these

Teaching kids culture through play 

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC)

This means that in order to really understand something we have to experience it for ourselves. We have designed a range of activities around Kwan that are aimed at teaching children the art of Lion Dancing through play.These activities can be completed with the child themselves or accompanied with parent or sibling. With each cultural kit, participants will be able to: 

By doing these activities we hope children will have a better understanding of the cultural values behind this unique dance. Engaging with the activities provides benefits like:

  • Building Kwan develops visual reasoning and problem solving capability. It encourages children to focus and follow instructions. 
  • Coloring Kwan promotes creativity and self expression.
  • Reading the stories and history promotes literacy whilst learning about Chinese culture.
  • Practicing the dance develops their listening, coordination, spatial awareness and motor skills.

Our Process

We had created over 30+ lion head prototypes and conducted 4-5 user testing with children to make sure most children were able to assemble the lion head and follow instructions provided with minimal to no assistance.

A snapshot of the prototypes we made
A snapshot of the prototypes we made

Our latest test results had positive reviews and we feel confident that most kids will be able to build the head by themselves.

Prototyping success! They were able to make the Kwan by themselves
Prototyping success! They were able to make the Kwan by themselves

"I don't normally do these kind of things but I think it this is really cool" -Michael, age 8

We wrote an introductory booklet that describes the origins of the dance, how it is practised today and a basic performance. Kwan is the main character that shows you this performance. To create Kwan, we enlisted some creative assistance from our artistic friends who are familiar with lion dancing. Their illustrations of Kwan has managed to capture the spirit and expressions of the performance.

From sketches to final Kwan illustrations by Rosemary Fung
From sketches to final Kwan illustrations by Rosemary Fung

We need your help

So far we feel Kwan and our introductory booklets are almost ready for production. With your support we hope to be able to:

  • Create a short production run
  • Engage web developers to design and build our online portal
  • Record quality videos for online tutorials.

Rewards

The rewards shown do not include shipping costs. Shipping costs will be automatically allocated once you pledge and is dependent on delivery location. Rewards over $500 includes shipping costs.

Creatures: A fascinating insight into culture

You don’t often think about creatures when you want to know more about a culture. Creatures; in particularly mythical creatures; have a lot to tell us about customs, beliefs and people. Although many creatures have been depicted in films, books and video games, we’d like to have a deeper look at creatures that have a role in cultural celebrations. By working with communities, we hope to introduce more creatures of different cultures to share their story and understand their significance in a culture in fun ways for children.

Linda and Ching

Linda and I have been working on this project for the around 3 years. We both have Chinese backgrounds and have grown with both Chinese and Australian values. I have been a Lion dancer for over 13 years and help captain a lion dance team at Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne. Linda has an interest in crafts and DIY projects. I have a Masters in Design Anthropology and a keen interest in understanding and reinterpreting traditional stories for today. This project came about by combining both our passions and utilising our industrial design knowledge and skills to create a product that would be fun and educational.

Thank You!

This project has put to test everything we know about research, design, language and people. It is a culmination of skills and knowledge we have learnt in the early part of our lives.

A heart felt thank you to everyone who helped us get this far: My grandmother for buying me a lion head and connecting me to my heritage. The guidance and support from our families especially our parents.

For inspiring us about culture, dance and community- Uncle Bill, our lion dancing brothers and sisters from Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne, and Chinese Youth League Sydney, Chris Low and Professor Dori Tunstall (Swinburne Design Anthropology).  

To test and prototype our wild ideas- Kebet Corrugated Cartons, Swinburne Workshop

Our creative illustrators and graphic designers- Nani Pussapari, Rosemary Fung and Lokman Leung of LA Printing

Video footage sourced from past and present members of the Chinese Youth Society Melbourne and Hung Ga Yau Shu

Our film crew- Maikeru, Patrick, Dennis and Grace of Megapod Film.

All our enthusiastic product testers Carmen Lau, Jen Fong, Rebecca Lee, Rayan Thomas, Faye Thomas, Ley Peng Tan the Yomtov family, the Cox family, the Barlow family, the Chong family, the Rappell family, the Deville family, the Prowse family, the Lai family, Kontos family, Ross Privitelli and the families we guerrilla tested in the library.

Risks and challenges

Over the past three years, my wife and I are have been working on designing Kwan, preparing for the process and visiting factories to check quality standards. To ensure that we are able to follow through our Kickstarter campaign the team has:

1. Worked in the Australian cardboard industry for 2 years and has a general knowledge in the manufacturing process

2. Contacts and friends who have had experience in production and distributing products.

3. We will be working with an exceptional factory and plan to be working on the ground with them to refine our design, tooling and specifications.

No matter how prepared we are, there may be risk and challenges along the way. Here are some of the risks that we may encounter and how we hope to overcome them.

PRODUCTION OF KWAN
There are still lots of things to do after our campaign and we will be working closely with manufacturers to specify the correct quality of cardboard and ensuring production standards match our design specifications. We want to keep this process transparent by providing you with frequent updates of our progress.

SHIPPING KWAN
We are hoping to outsource shipping towards a third party fulfilment company. If there are delays in shipping, we will be keeping everyone up to date with status reports.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 10 or more About $8

    3X COOL STICKERS!
    You will get three different stickers of Kwan in a dance pose with Chinese characters representing the pose

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    6 backers
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    Pledge AU$ 15 or more About $12

    LION DANCE E-BOOK- 3 DIFFERENT STORIES!
    You will get a digital copy (pdf) of our introductory booklet that features 3 stories! The lion dancing origin story, lion dancing today and Kwan's dance.

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    3 backers
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    Pledge AU$ 20 or more About $16

    FLAT COLOUR-IN KWAN SET!
    Ideal for younger children who love to colour and get straight into the dance. You will receive Flat Blank Kwan + Introductory Booklet + Access to Online Portal

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    2 backers
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    Pledge AU$ 25 or more About $19

    FLAT COLOURED KWAN SET!
    Ideal for younger children, who just want to read stories and learned the dance. You will receive Flat Coloured Kwan + Booklet + Access to Online Portal

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    6 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 40 or more About $31

    3D COLOUR- IN KWAN SET!
    Create your very own Chinese Lion! You will receive Blank Kwan + Introductory Booklet + Access to Online Portal

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    16 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 50 or more About $39

    3D COLOURED KWAN SET!
    Just build Kwan and get straight into it! You will receive Coloured Kwan + Booklet + Access to Online Portal.

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    25 backers
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    Pledge AU$ 60 or more About $47

    SOMETHING EXTRA.
    For people who want the full package and a little something extra. You will receive 3 Banner + Blank Kwan Set. Each banner will have a different pose of Kwan with Chinese characters representing the pose.

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    7 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 100 or more About $78

    SHARE THE FUN- GET 2X 3D COLOUR-IN KWAN SET!
    For friends and siblings of similar age who love to play together. You will receive two Blank Kwan sets.

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    21 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 400 or more About $311

    EDUCATOR 10
    For teachers who are interested in holding a small workshop about lion dancing. You will receive 10 Blank Kwan sets + an introductory workshop guide designed for teachers.

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    1 backer
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    Pledge AU$ 500 or more About $389

    CHAT PACK- SKYPE CHAT & 3D KWAN SET!
    For backers who are interested in getting to know us and our journey. We will chat for one hour over Skype about Kwan, lion dancing, prototyping, teaching basics of lion dancing or just having a friendly chat. You will also get a Blank Kwan Set.

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    3 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1,000 or more About $778

    KWAN & YOU- PERSONALISED COMIC STRIP & 3D KWAN SET!
    For backers who want a personalised piece of this campaign. Send us your profile pic and we will create a highly personalised A3 comic panel of you and Kwan. You will also get a Blank Kwan Set.

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    4 backers
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    Pledge AU$ 2,000 or more About $1,555

    MEET & GREET!
    For backers who are interested in spending a day with us in person. We will take you through our design process, show you our city, the cultural hubs that inspire us and eat out at some of our favourite Asian cuisines. You will also get a Blank Kwan Set. (Travel to city and accommodation at backer's own expense. We will only cover food and transport on the day)

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Funding period

- (32 days)