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New MAACRAFT products | The △○□ bag collection

Blue and pink raffia, willow-bark with colorful leather straps. Circle, Cube and Triangle, also known as Cyli, Cubi and Tria. We present you the new spring handbag collection of MAACRAFT, entirely made of natural materials.

The same as the majority of design brands, the epidemic also had a significant impact on the operation of MAACRAFT, but in spite of all hardships, the workshop keeps going: in addition to experiments, they also work on the implementation of creative projects and renovating their workshop. Their new bag collections builds on basic forms, by also displaying the trademarks of the workshop – the wicker willow-bark, hand-dyed raffia and the arched plywood are now also complemented by new materials such as leather and brass.

The idea of the concept that has been under development for almost a year now was conceived based on the reinterpretation of a previous collaboration, which the young workers of the workshop wanted to continue in one way or another.

“We have already worked on bag design previously in collaboration with Tomcsányi fashion brand, but these were only prepared in limited quantities. The guys working in the workshop wanted to continue it, so we designed a smaller and more compact hand bag together that can be manufactured quicker, using the materials and techniques that are characteristic of the brand. This is how the idea of the △○□ collection came to life”  – told us Dani Szalkai, the leader of MAACRAFT.

In the case of MAACRAFT, the designer pieces are manufactured by the young people with autism working in the workshop, and it’s no different in the case of the new bags either. 

But how does this process take place? Once a concept of a product is all ready, the workers start modelling in the workshop, which process always defines the final form and design. In the case of the △○□ bags, the bark used as raw material is prepared by the community together, and then Anasztázia, Marika and Noémi sew the custom-dyed raffia threads in the workshop together. Then the guys fold the plywood prepared by a joiner into the given form, and paint it with colorful wood stain. Then they sew the wicker sheets to the plywood with the help of Anett, the head of the workshop. Dani Szalkai, the leader of MAACRAFT also contributes to the process: he fixes the leather strap on the bags with yellow brass studs. This way, the products of the workshop carry the mark of every team member, which makes the new handbags truly unique and special.

For me, the work done in the workshop is a very exciting reversed design process, as the abilities of our disabled employees and the qualities of the workshop can prevail in the final design. It’s important that this is a creative community so several people may work on a single product, because the people who work for us are not fit for independent work. This way, they usually perform partial tasks, which add up to the entirety of the work process” – Dani added.

MAACRAFT also created a storytelling and mystical video series to promote the bags, one of which you can view below.

Support the community of the workshop, and take a look around the website of MAACRAFT, where you can purchase other lovely items in addition to the joyful bags.

Photos: Máté Bartha 
Video: Máté Bartha, Márk Bartha, Zsófia Érdi
Model: Zsófia Érdi

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In MAARCRAFT’s employment program, mentally disabled young adults with autism create unique products with the help of designers. The therapeutic garden and handicraft techniques help them develop their skills. The aim of the workshop is to draw attention to autism, to people living with it as well as to the importance of their integration.

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