As seen on
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
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.
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.
Our latest test results had positive reviews and we feel confident that most kids will be able to build the head 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
- (32 days)