Supported By
INDEXT-C
Government of Gujarat
Collaborative projects form an integral part of the focus areas within the research purview at DICRC. It is one of the objectives of DICRC is to take up or support research projects in various fields related to architecture and craft in collaboration with organisations of various nature. The research undertaken by the centre is collaborative of two or more scholars, or with different university or professional or organisation, for period of 6 months to three years. 

Cross-fertilization is also encouraged between more experienced scholars and junior researchers working together on the same project to generate outstanding research. The research carried out in these collaborative projects has been disseminated through various means. The projects have led to a number of publications, presentations and exhibitions, and also international recognition by way of an award.

Collaborative projects play a strong role in development of research element of DICRC, both at programmatic and institutional level. Projects that we undertake are not bound by geographic borders, rather benefit from a diversity of opinion and cultural influences. DICRC is open for new opportunities to collaborate on research areas of common interest. 

Till now collaborative research projects within DICRC have focused on various distinctive traditional building techniques such as the kath-khuni construction prevalent in Himachal Pradesh, India. These indigenous traditions of construction reflect excellent sustainable and earthquake-resistant building techniques using local materials and human resources. 

The research projects largely try to study the traditional and vernacular building craft traditions that now face gradual erosion due to the increasing loss of local building skills and knowledge, and displacement of local natural building materials with a growing influx of non-indigenous ones that may be cheaper initially but turn out more expensive in the long run.
These projects aim to help preserve and sustain local building techniques and local skills by undertaking collaborative research on existing and emerging building practices. The projects are part of a planned series of research and documentation activities to disseminate knowledge about traditional and vernacular building practices and heritage of India. 

This is a research project on a distinctive traditional building technique called the kath-khuni construction prevalent in Himachal Pradesh, India. This indigenous tradition of construction reflects excellent sustainable and earthquake-resistant building techniques using local materials and human resources.


The indigenous building traditions such as kath-khuni construction now face gradual erosion due to the increasing loss of local building skills and knowledge, and displacement of local natural building materials with a growing influx of non-indigenous ones that may be cheaper initially but turn out more expensive in the long run. This project aims to help preserve and sustain kath-khuni building techniques and local skills by undertaking collaborative research on existing and emerging building practices.


This project is part of a planned series of research and documentation activities to disseminate knowledge about indigenous building practices and heritage of India. The project builds upon the foundational work already carried out by SID Research Cell at Faculty of Design, CEPT University, India by project partner A/Prof. Jay Thakkar, with Dr. Skye Morrison and design students which is published as a book ‘Matra: Ways of Measuring Vernacular Built Forms of Himachal Pradesh’ (2008).

Team Members

Prof. Bharat Dave

Jay Thakkar

Mansi Shah


Collaborations

The research is a collaborative project and was initiated in 2011 between researchers based in DICRC (Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre) in the Faculty of Design, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India and in CRIDA (Critical Research in Digital Architecture) in the Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning, The University of Melbourne, Australia. The project is supported in part by the Australia India Institute based at the University of Melbourne.


Preparations

To collect data in the field within a limited time, we undertook several preparatory tasks prior to embarking on the actual fieldwork.


Itinerary: Tentative itinerary based on locations of interest were identified in our background research. The itinerary, in turn, helped identify specific information about topography and landscape including distances that were expected to be travelled and sites to be visited.


Maps: We carried several different maps at various scales of Himachal Pradesh sourced from books, travel shops and government agencies. However, detailed and reliable village level maps of many parts of this mountainous landscape are not yet available. Quite often during our fieldwork, the way to reach a destination was identified or sketched out with the help of local people as we travelled on the road.


Fieldwork equipment: A kit of tools was assembled to carry out the documentation process. Key tools and gadgets included different sizes of measure tapes, graph papers, stationary, still and video cameras with accessories, dictaphone, distance laser meter, panoramic tripod, flashlight, and digital media for daily data backup.


Field-work planning Diary: To familiarize and prepare ourselves for fieldwork data collection, the following scrapbook diary was compiled. It contains information drawn from sources at hand. Inevitably, some of the information turned out to be not so accurate. Even our travel route changed closer to the fieldwork.


Fieldwork route

In order to understand and document the multifaceted aspects of indigenous building practices in Himachal Pradesh, the research was carried in a number of sites in an arc from Shimla to Chitkul in Kinnaur district, in the south-east corner of Himachal Pradesh. Fieldwork route and the places visited.


On-site Investigation

During research fieldwork, diverse data were collected which included images, video and audio recordings, sketches, panoramic images, and recorded conversations with master carpenters and craftsmen, temple priests, inhabitants, academic scholars and others.


Dissemination

 

The research carried out in this project has led to a number of publications, presentations and exhibitions, and also international recognition by way of an award. More details are available via individual links below
This is a research project on a distinctive traditional building technique called the koti-banal construction prevalent in Kumaon- Uttarakhand, India. 

This project was intended towards documentation of the indigenous architecture in Kumaon, Champawat region, and to disseminate the treasure of knowledge that lies within. The study was divided in two parts. The first trip to Kumaon was in 2009, to conduct preliminary research and identify houses for documentation. The second visit was done with researchers (interior design and architecture students and sociologist) for the actual documentation of three buildings that were identified. Various methods were adopted from photography, audio-video recordings with the people and complete measure drawing of three selected houses, which were studied in terms of their construction system. 

This research was funded by Ms. Annemarie Pestalozzi aka Ammaji from Zurich, Switzerland and was initiated in 2009. 

Team Members 

First Visit- Uttarakhand 2009

A/Prof. Jay Thakkar
Project Coordinator

Ms. Annemarie Pestalozzi 
aka Ammaji from Zurich, Switzerland 
Project Sponsor

Boharji
Driver, philosopher, guide, entertainer, story teller
Resident of Gallagaon upper, Uttarakhand

Second Visit- Uttarakhand (10-25 May) 2010
Documentation Team 


Jay Thakkar, Preeti Das, Boharji, Chinmay Patel, Smita Agrawal, Farhaz Ahmed Admani, Tarang Sagara, Chandra Prabha Ramkrishnan, Meenal Jain, Aakash Verma

Fieldwork Route

In order to understand and document the multifaceted aspects of indigenous building practices in Kumaon, Champawat region, the research was carried in a number of villages that are

First Visit- Uttarakhand 2009

Almora district 
Dasola
Jageshwar
Champawat district 
Barakot
Devdi Mafi
Devgadha 
Galchada
Gallagaon Middle
Gallagaon Upper
Lohagat
Sheri
Bageshwar District 
Bhanar
Nainital District 
Sui villages

Second Visit- Uttarakhand 2010


Champawat district
Gallagoan Middle
Gallagoan Upper
Sheri 





Initiated in December 2015, the project aims to identify, map and document vernacular furniture of North West India, with focus on types, usage, material and techniques, crafts and ornamentation, socio-cultural influences, and so on. 

Vernacular furniture, as we term it is predominantly utilitarian furniture, made by the local craftspeople, using indigenous resources, for the people of a particular region. In a country like India, where the vernacular fabric changes every few hundred kilometers, a region’s architecture, interior architecture and furniture are excellent examples that reflect several social and cultural aspects of that particular region. Collectively these elements provide a unique identity to a community or a region as a whole. It is a recognized fact that whilst there exists high quality documentation and research in progress of the wood-carved architecture, there is not much to match it in terms of documentation of vernacular furniture. Academic material regarding the traditional and vernacular furniture of India is scarce, if any, and none that would trace the relationship between traditional furniture and architecture.

The research project aims at studying and documenting vernacular furniture that has traditionally been, and continues to be an inherent part of the day to day life in an Indian household. It will be conducted in various phases. Phase one focuses on Gujarat. This will act as a prototype to develop a framework based on which, subsequent phases will focus on other regions of North West India – like Rajasthan and Punjab. 

This project has escalated from Jay Thakkar’s research project - "Wooden Architecture Collection of Gujarat at South Asian Decorative Arts and Crafts Collection (SADACC) Trust, United Kingdom” – at SADACC, funded by the Simon Digby Memorial Charity in June 2015. 
Collaborators
Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC), CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India.
South Asian Decorative Arts and Crafts Collection (SADACC) Trust, Norwich, UK.

DICRC Team
Jay Thakkar (Head of Research), Mitraja Vyas (Research Associate), Samrudha Dixit (Research Assistant), Mansi Sathyanarayan (Research Manager), Piyush Shah (Data Manager), Rishav Jain (Research Associate), Radha Devpura, Upasana Jain, Chinmay Gheware & Aatish G (Research Interns).

SADACC Team
Philip Millward & Jeannie Millward (Lead Trustees), Ben Cartwright (Collection Curator), Hannah Bentley (Collection Assistant), Jake Mann, Zac Massey & Charlotte Reeve (Research Photography Assistants)


Heart:Beat proposes a multi-disciplinary collaboration of music, digital media, clay-work, painting, land art, film and storytelling. It examines the tensions around India’s rapid urbanization from the diverse perspectives of ‘post- industrial’ Northern England and ‘pre- industrial’ rural Maharashtra. Heart:Beat seeks to assert the value of located traditional arts/crafts work by re imagining the making process as a force within contemporary visual arts practice developed through international/intercultural creative dialogue and celebrated on local/ international platforms. The project aims to draw critical attention to the potentially detrimental effects of rapid urbanization on traditional lifestyles and cultural practices in India, using the particular example of the Warli tribal lands in rural Maharashtra as both location and inspiration.

Heart:Beat is a partnership between artists, arts organisations, agencies and academic institutions from India and the UK. The British Ceramics Biennial is the lead organisation. Its Director has over ten years of experience in cultural exchange between England and India in the visual arts and crafts. The Warli Project Heart:Beat is funded by Arts Council England as part of the Reimagine India programme 2017.

Partner Organisations:
Heart:Beat is a partnership between artists, arts organisations, agencies and academic institutions from India and the UK. The British Ceramics Biennial is the lead organisation. Its Director has over ten years of experience in cultural exchange between England and India in the visual arts and crafts. The Warli Project Heart:Beat is funded by Arts Council England as part of the Reimagine India programme 2017. 

The Clay Foundation/ British Ceramics Biennial (UK)
The British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) launched in 2009 with a festival celebrating and showcasing contemporary ceramics from across the world. Set in Stoke-on-Trent - the heart of the UK ceramics industry, the festival took place in established venues and non-traditional spaces across the city.

Manchester School of Art (UK)
Based in the heart of Manchester, a vibrant and multicultural city, they are a pioneer of art and design education in the UK, celebrating their 175th Anniversary in 2013. As the second oldest design school in Britain, established to provide design training to the manufacturing industry.

Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC), CEPT University (India)
DICRC functions as an research centre for the development and understanding of Indian Crafts (SMC – Space Making Crafts and Surface Narrative Crafts) of Traditional and Vernacular Buildings of India.

A Fine Line (UK)
A FINE LINE cultural practice is a partnership between Jeremy Theophilus and Barney Hare Duke who manage a programme of work as creative producers and consultants.

Paramparik Karigar (India)
Paramparik Karigar an association of craftsmen was founded in 1996 with the assistance of Roshan Kalapesi. The idea was rooted by Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay when she was approached by a group of master craftsmen who wanted to form an organisation of their own.

The Craft Revival Trust (India)
The Craft Revival Trust is a not-for-profit, non-government organisation which works with artisans and features the information of making, the techniques, the processes and vocabulary of the intangible cultural heritage of Asia by creating an Encyclopedia.

Heartbeat Project Artists:
Acclaimed Warli artist Ramesh Hengadi, supported by a Warli team comprised of fellow painters, brickmakers, village artisans and musicians, will act as both facilitator and project artist, hosting an intensive two week residency in Palghar district with a multidisciplinary team of UK and Indian artists. Following is the list of all the artists who were the part of the Heartbeat Project. 

Anita Sadashiv Mashe, Warli artist, India
Balu Jivya Mashe, Warli artist, India
Balu Ladakaya Dumade
Barney Hare Duke, Artistic Director, UK
Jasleen Kaur, Artist, UK
Jason Singh, Sound artist, UK
Jay Thakkar, Interior Designer, India
Jayshri, Warli artist, India
Joanne Ayre, Ceramic artist, UK
Padma Shri Jivya Soma Mashe, Warli artist, India
Johnny Magee, Film and Photography artist, UK
Kalpesh, Warli artist, India
Kishor S. Mashe, Warli Artist, India
Lokesh Ghai, Textile artist, India
Praveen, Warli artist, India
Rahul Bhushan, Architect, India
Rajesh Hengadi, Warli artist, India
Ramesh Hengadi, Warli artist, India
Rasika Hengadi, Warli artist, India
Rishav Jain, Craft researcher, India
Sadashiv Jivya Mashe, Warli artist, India
Baiji Laxmiman Kaule, Warli artist, Ahmedabad
Santi Vanga, Warli artist, India
Saumya Sharma, Architect, India
Shantaram R. Gorkhana, Warli artist, India
Stephen Dixon, Ceramic artist, UK
Vijay Sadashiv Mashe, Warli artist, India

Community Driven Innovation Project is an attempt to initiate an all inclusive and participatory process, bringing together the fields of craft and design. The idea was to engage with community and foster the idea of innovation within them. This entire process and approach is not planned as a series or sequence of events, rather they are like a web of activities which may repeat, overlap and coincide with others.

In its initial phase, the idea of community driven innovation became the basis of the first pilot project with the terracotta craft cluster of Gundiyali, Mandvi Taluka, Kutch, Gujarat. During the 1st phase of the project, two major activities were conducted: Self Initiated Project and KalaKosh.


Collaborators:

This project is supported by NSTEDB, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India under i-STED project and is carried out by Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC) and Manthan Educational Programme Society, India in collaboration with Swadesi Suitcase

The Craft Innovation Training Program was conducted as part of the Education and Training activities at Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC), CEPT University, Ahmedabad. The training program was based on the Craft Innovation Training Model which is a part of the Craft Innovation Training Toolkit developed by DICRC. 

The Training Program was conducted with the terracotta artisans at Gundiyali village in Kutch district of Gujarat. The intention of this program was to create design awareness amongst the artisans and to explore possibilities of creating Interior Architecture Elements. The duration of the project was from April 2015 to July 2015.

Manthan Educational Programme Society and Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID), Ahmedabad Chapter were the supporters and project partners. This project was promoted under: i-STED Project, NSTEDB, DST, Government of India.
Based on the IDE2AS Model, the Craft Innovation Training Program was carried out in four stages:
1. Identify : The current scenario of terracotta crafts in Gujarat was studied. A survey was carried out to identify the possible clusters to conduct the program.
2. Develop : Based on the observations at the identification stage, the program brief was developed. The identified cluster of Gundiyali was studied in depth. The craftspeople were mapped and the craft was documented thoroughly. An analysis of the research and documentation resulted in intervention ideas that could be delivered.
3.Deliver : Craft-Design Innovation was carried out at Gundiyali village with collaboration of craftspeople and designers. Tarkash-a cladding system and Aadh-a partition system were developed through the process. An exposure session was carried out for the artisans in the fields of design, marketing and e-commerce.  
4. Assess : To harness the learning of the entire program; assessment was conducted through observations & feedback of the craftspeople and the others involved in the Program.

Project Details

Team
 : Jay Thakkar, Rishav Jain, Mansi Sathyanarayan, Rajdeep Routh, Radha Devpura, Aarohee Nagecha,          Priyanka Shah, Abhay Kothari, Kathan Kothari, Prabhat Desai


Craftspeople : Abdulla Daud Kumbhar, Ali Mamad Daud Kumbhar, Sherbanu Ali Mamad, Jallubai Kumbhar, Suleman Daud Kumbhar, Yakub Hussein Kumbhar, Sidhik Yakub Kumbhar, Fatmaben Yakub, Kasim Harun Kumbhar, Salim Kasim Kumbhar, Susmaben Abbas, Abbas Daud Kumbhar, Abdul Sattar Kumbhar, Khorsamben Siddik, Ibrahim Ismail Kumbhar, Salim Ismail Kumbhar, Jamilaben Husen, Husen Yakub Kumbhar, Usman hussain Kumbhar, Ibrahim Kumbhar,  Amad Mamad Kumbhar, Amad Daud Kumbhar, Hasam Amad Kumbhar, Yusuf Suleman Kumbhar, Usman Daud Kumbhar, Anwar Ali Mamad Kumbhar, Abdul Karim Kumbhar, Razak Ilias Kumbhar, Daud Issa Kumbhar, Salim Kasim Kumbhar 

Schedule 


April 2015                  Cluster Visit: Ahmedabad                                       
                                    Cluster Visit: Botad                                      
                                    Cluster Visit: Gundiyali 


May 2015                  Preliminary Survey and Mapping        
                                   Craft and Craft Cluster Documentation       
                                   Craft Analysis                                     
                                   Craft Design Innovation: Design explorations
                                   Craft Design Innovation: Design discussions 


June 2015                  Craft Design Innovation: Installation of prototypes                                       
                                    Exposure: Research activity   
                                    Exposure:Design, Marketing and Hands on exposure, Site visits                                                                                         Exposure: E-commerce 
                                    Craft Connect: Interaction with architects, interior designers, professionals and academicians


2013 © DICRC
CEPT WEBSITE | SITEMAP | DISCLAIMER