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Vietnamese graduate builds board game thesis showcasing traditional clothing

Wednesday, December 08, 2021, 13:48 GMT+7
Vietnamese graduate builds board game thesis showcasing traditional clothing
A supplied photo shows the Co Ao Viet board game made by Tran Thi Thanh Phuong.

A Ho Chi Minh University of Architecture alumna is drawing attention on social media for her board game project based on Vietnam's traditional clothes. 

On the heels of her interest in traditional costumes, Tran Thi Thanh Phuong, a former industrial design major at the Ho Chi Minh University of Architecture, built her thesis on the theme of traditional Vietnamese costumes to create the board game Co Ao Viet.

This supplied photo showcases the front designs of the five main chess pieces of the Co Ao Viet board game.

This supplied photo showcases the front designs of the five main chess pieces of the Co Ao Viet board game.

Phuong spent roughly two months gathering information before beginning the design.

She visited ao dai (long gown) museums and collected materials from books, newspapers, and artworks, as well as conducting extensive research online for the most recent updates.

This supplied photo showcases the back designs of the five main chess pieces of the Co Ao Viet board game.

This supplied photo showcases the back designs of the five main chess pieces of the Co Ao Viet board game.

"I'm also a big fan of board games," Phuong said of her idea for a graduation project.

"I wish to promote and honor the history of the ao dai, particularly by reaching out to young audiences and educating them about this garment.

"As a result, for my final project as a student, I want to try to build a board game that is both amusing and educational."

Co Ao Viet board game’s playing cards and chess pieces are seen in this supplied photo.

The Co Ao Viet board game’s playing cards and chess pieces are seen in this supplied photo.

Phuong scrutinized every element of each chess piece, including the materials, colors, textures, and hair braiding, in the hope that each chess piece would represent a key milestone in the ao dai's evolution.

The playing cards represent 'ao tu than' and 'ao ngu than' from the Co Ao Viet board game.

The playing cards representing 'ao tu than' and 'ao ngu than' from the Co Ao Viet board game

Ao tu than (four-piece dress), ao ngu than (five-piece dress), ao dai Lemur (a new style of ao dai inspired by ao ngu than and French fashion), ao dai Raglan (ao dai based on Western fashion techniques), and ao dai co thuyen (boat-collared ao dai) are the five chess pieces that make up Co Ao Viet.

The playing cards represent ‘ao dai co thuyen’ from the Co Ao Viet board game.

The playing cards representing ‘ao dai co thuyen’ from the Co Ao Viet board game

Famous landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City, such as Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, Nha Rong Wharf, Municipal Theater, Bitexco Financial Tower, and others, were included in Phuong's board game.

Youngsters play the Co Ao Viet board game.

Youngsters play the Co Ao Viet board game.

However, the process of turning ideas on paper into real items was lengthy, prompting Phuong to change and remove some features.

"Because some workshops didn't accept small quantities, I had to divide the chess set into several parts and find a variety of workshops to process them," Phuong explained.

"Fortunately, I completed it on time."

A supplied photo shows the spaces of Co Ao Viet game-board.

A supplied photo shows the spaces of the Co Ao Viet game board.

This project also placed in the Top 25+5 of the Design By Vietnam contest, which was held in conjunction with Vietnam Design Week 2021, with the theme of Awakening Traditions.

When the effort was spotted and enthusiastically accepted by the Internet community, Phuong expressed her joy and pride that her initial goal had been partially achieved.

The Co Ao Viet chess box with the engraved logo of the board game is seen in this supplied photo.

The Co Ao Viet box with the engraved logo of the board game is seen in this supplied photo.

In the future, Phuong wants to develop more versions of the chess set, such as ones featuring famous landmarks from Hue or Hanoi.

"I'm also fascinated by ancient Vietnamese costumes," Phuong said.

"I hope to create more interesting combinations of board games and Vietnamese culture in the coming time."

A set of ‘Co Ao Viet’ board game on display. Photo: Supplied

A set of the Co Ao Viet board game on display. Photo: Supplied

The ‘ao dai ngu than’ chessman of the Co Ao Viet board game is seen in the photo.

The ‘ao ngu than’ chessman of the Co Ao Viet board game is seen in this photo.

This supplied photo shows the polishing process of a chessman from the Co Ao Viet board game.

This supplied photo shows the polishing of a chessman from the Co Ao Viet board game.

A worker cuts and measures planks to make the chess box at a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Supplied

A worker cuts and measures planks to make the chess box at a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Supplied

A supplied photo shows the box of the ‘Co Ao Viet’ board game.

A supplied photo shows the box of the Co Ao Viet board game.

The playing cards represent ‘ao dai Lemur’ and ‘ao dai Raglan’ from the Co Ao Viet board game.

The playing cards representing ‘ao dai Lemur’ and ‘ao dai Raglan’ from the Co Ao Viet board game.

A set of ‘Co Ao Viet’ board game on display. Photo: Supplied

A set of the Co Ao Viet board game on display. Photo: Supplied

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