Design Education for Traditional Craftspeople Vandh, Kutch, Feb ‘06

Design, Designers, Education/Learning, Policy, Skilling, Training, Professional Devt.

Design Education for Traditional Craftspeople Vandh, Kutch, Feb ‘06

Prakash, Aditi

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MY EXPERIENCE AT THE KALA RAKHSHA VIDYALA Traditional crafts in India are having to redefine themselves due to the need to find new markets. A pioneering move in this direction has been the setting up of Kala Raksha Vidyalaya at Vandh in Kutch. There have been institutes to promote and uplift crafts before but a formal design school specifically for traditional craftspeople has been set up for the first time in India. When I was invited to teach there for a month I was excited, as I wanted to be part of this promising experiment. Having worked in the handicraft sector and conducted numerous design workshops before, one felt that although workshops are exciting and the results are fruitful in developing contemporary products, the percentage of new products actually being put into production are very small.

There are numerous reasons for this
  1. The workshops are normally conducted for a period of two weeks, which is a short time for both the designer and the craftsperson to understand each other’s skills and resources.

  2. Having to produce a fixed number of prototypes at the end of the workshop makes the designer focus a lot more on the products rather than the process

  3. After the workshop is over the designer is not able to maintain sufficient contact with the craftsp...

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