Giving Design Back to Society

Craftspersons/ Artisanal, Design, Designers, Sustainability, Sustainable Devt.

Giving Design Back to Society: Towards a Post-mining Economy

Ranjan, M P

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Sounds pompous and unrealistic, but look at it this way. A few years ago the Supreme Court of India banned all harvesting of timber from the forests of the Eastern Himalayas and instantly 400 odd local timber and plywood based factories in Assam and the Northeast of India had to down shutters. Germany and many Western nations introduced stringent laws banning the import of textiles with Azo dyes and the Indian handloom industry was in a tizzy and had to seek Government help to re-train hundreds of thousands of weavers and dyers involved in the age old craft in India, big change in a hurry. More recently the state Government of Delhi had to ban all public transport busses, taxis and scooters using petrol and diesel due to environmental action by local NGO's and soon with Court intervention and community action, CNG or Compressed natural Gas was introduced as an alternate fuel for all public transport, the switch was not painless, but it was done with positive effect. I sense these and other transformations as fore-runners for a massive transformation when material interests will give way to social interests and technology and science will respond to community needs and in this process bring design in as a central capability that is used at many levels, far beyond the aesthetic and performance levels that we are used to today. My own work in bamboo was influenced by both environmental as well as social con...
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