Teaching Traditional Artisans at Somaiya Kala Vidya

Craftspersons/ Artisanal, Education/Learning, Organisations, Institutions, Movements

Teaching Traditional Artisans at Somaiya Kala Vidya

Ghai, LOkesh, Shettar, Shwetha

Issue #006, Autumn, 2020                                                                       ISSN: 2581- 9410 INTRODUCTION                                           No one had ever come up with the concept of teaching design to artisans until 2005, when Judy Frater launched Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya. Hence, teaching artisans design was new for anyone who taught in the formative years. Furthermore, for each course we were presented with a curriculum and we had to create a syllabus.  Craft in the Indian context is passed on from one generation of artisans to the next. The making skills can be acquired in a conventional design school, but that would be incomplete knowledge. What about the cultural context? Hence, when teaching design to crafts people it came naturally for us to learn and draw from the local culture to make education meaningful. We customized classroom activities according to the group dynamics every year, emphasizing experiential learning. Both of us have taught various courses within the Design and Business and Management for Artisans (BMA) courses at Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya and Somaiya Kala Vidya. Here we reflect on our experiences of teaching traditional artisans.   Shwetha In 2008, when I was approached to teach the course Concept, Communication, Projects for artisans, I was intrigued but extremely nervous. Travelling from Bangalore to the middle of a desert itself was quite an adventure. Two flights and a long drive later, I found myself in a beautiful campus oasis. It was tru...
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