Curriculum for Design Education of Craftspersons

Craftspersons/ Artisanal, Design, Designers, Education/Learning

Curriculum for Design Education of Craftspersons

Agarawal, Megha

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Issue #002, Winter, 2019                                             ISSN: 2581- 9410                                                                                                                                                                                    Few centuries ago in India, ‘Design Education of Craftspersons’ would not hold much meaning as it holds today. For Craftspersons were already practicing as professional Designers! “Craft” as a creative expression was not so stringently defined to exclude so many other artistic activities which today we separate in names of ‘fine art’, ‘folk art’, ‘design’ and so on – depending either on the product utility or sadly most of the time on basis of the social class of the producer. (Kak, 2002) Apart from these handful fancy labels for creative professionals, there are millions more artisans who are excluded from being called a craftsperson by the narrow definition of ‘crafts’ stone-etched in our govt. policy documents.As we all know, Design Education is much recent phenomenon in India, which developed following the western model of design needs, subconsciously almost establishing in our minds that India never had a tradition for design, ignoring the fact that the same work was done by the craftspersons in India since the known beginning of Indian civilization. The question here is – how can we get back the respect to these million Indian illiterate craftspersons – bring back their status as that of a designer? The colonial rule and the modern education system has contributed to build a strong wall between a professionally qualified designer and a traditional illiterate poor, rural, ignorant craftsman, which makes it practically as well as rationally difficult for these two groups of people with similar creative professions to stand on the same platform.It is well established that India has the largest no. of tradit...
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