Design for Crafts

Craft, Handloom, Art, Entrepreneurship, Business Devt., ICH-Policy, Mgmt., Devt., Markets, Marketing, Trade

Design for Crafts: A Perspective for the 12th Plan Period

Chatterjee, Ashoke

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India's craft history and the contribution of this heritage to contemporary needs represent a unique contribution to world design. India's design history is unique in that it is an unbroken record of creativity and innovation going back thousands of years, perhaps the only design experience of its kind. Design in India has always been integrated within a larger concept of kala, a concept which ranges from engineering and architecture to the fine arts. While other societies struggle towards this integrated understanding of quality, in India it is a natural component of the wisdom artisans bring to their craft and to their status as India's strongest design resource. The contemporary understanding of design as a problem-solving process linked to enhancing the quality of the human-made environment underlines the importance of design --- and the design process of problem-solving ---- in serving artisans and crafts in the transition from tradition to modernity. Design can help ensure that this passage is a continuum in which tradition is recognized not as a static concept or product but as an attitude of creativity and innovation. It is this process that was the foundation of the Swadeshi movement which Gandhiji used to lead the Freedom movement, although he may never have consciously used the term 'design'. It is this process that was introduced into the early efforts by pioneering handicraft instit...
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