Supported By
Government of Gujarat
Innovation Fellowship is an advance level program initiated by Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC) where emerging or experienced designers, artists, architects, researchers, scholars, entrepreneurs and also professionals (related to the field of Craft, Design, Architecture and Art) engage with various crafts related to the Interior Architecture. The core aim is to bring the experience and knowledge of fellow and craftsperson together to develop craft-design innovations and generate new directions in craft and interior-architecture sector. Collaboration is the key to the Innovation Fellowship Program and DICRC collaborates with various craft organisations, government bodies, and industries to develop a framework. The intention of this fellowship is to initiate not only the attitude of collaborative creation among the craft and design professionals but also to bring diverse expertise of various organisations, institutions and individuals to address the larger role of craft in today’s global perspective.
The fellowship mobilizes the creative partnership capabilities in order to open new action spaces and future directions within the field of Craft and Interior Architecture to empower the craftspeople as well as the fellows. The fellow works with the craftspeople on the specific project for the period of 4 weeks to 16 weeks (or more). Each project is developed collaboratively through discussions between the selected fellow, master craftsperson, researchers at DICRC, and representatives from partnering organisations or industry or government bodies. DICRC along with the partnering organisation provides fellow with stipend, production budget, and a dedicated creative and logistical staff to facilitate their project.

As each fellowship is specific, the methodology of operation differs with each of them. In general, it follows the following stages: development of framework of fellowship and collaborations, application and selection of fellows, preparation of detailed project in reference to selected craft, experimentation and development of output, documentation and report generation and finally linking the output to the craft, and craft community.

The fellowship is open to national and international professionals. Framework for the fellowship is developed on basis of the objectives of DICRC or need of partnering organisations or project proposal by a professional or any government program. The fellowship application are open throughout the year but selection of the fellow and project initiation takes place through discussions and dialogue between the fellows and staff of DICRC.

Application Process:

The Innovation Fellowship is open to experienced designers, artists, architects, researchers, scholars, entrepreneurs and professionals related to the field of Craft, Design, Architecture and Art. It requires simple and concise proposals from the fellow that clearly describe the working process and resulting output.

In addition to a current CV and sample images of past work, fellow should include the following information:
Project description
Timeline for the project
Technical assistance needed for the project
Projected budget
Contact of two professional references

The Innovation Fellowship schedules are planned six months in advance and consider proposals on a regular basis throughout the year. The application are accepted by email:

In this first Innovation Fellowship program titled Narrative Ceramics: DICRC-IIID (Ahmedabad)Fellowship, innovation happened at the merger of two distinctive craft practices - one being Contemporary Ceramics Practice from Scotland and other being Traditional Gond Art from Madhya Pradesh. The intention of this fellowship was to combine these two crafts to create a unique range of products that can be applicable in the Interior Architecture Sector. Highly experimental in nature, the project clubbed together the designer’s expertise in ceramic with the artisan’s indigenous knowledge of Gond tradition. The explorations aspire to set new directions for not only the craft sector but also try to establish new applications and pedagogy in the design discipline.
The fellowship was a collaborative initiative between 4 organisations (DICRC, IIID Ahmedabad, CraftCanvas and Clay Club), an international ceramist (David Gray), and three Indian craftspeople (Kaushal Prasad Tekam and Shambu Shyam and Kalabai Shyam who is a national award winner) skilled in Gond paintings.

Duration of the programme: March 1, 2014 to April 30, 2014


Main Organizer: DICRC

Supporter and Promoter: IIID Ahmedabad Chapter

Mediator body with traditional craft practices: CraftCanvas

Material and technical support: Clay Club

Individual Partners:  Ceramist - David Gray; Craftspeople - Kaushal Prasad Tekam, Sambhav Shyam and Kalabai Shyam

About the Collaborators

IIID, Ahmedabad Chapter
IIID Ahmedabad Chapter was founded on 27th July 2003.  The perspective of the chapter has been the word ‘Relevance’, with pertinent questions like - Have we been relevant all these years? Are we relevant today? And how do we continue to be relevant in years to come? Such focus prompts the chapter to conduct programs which are relevant to the interior design profession through series of technical workshops, interactive sessions, seminars and presentations which are in tune with IIID’s mission - "To consolidate & expand the contribution of the Interior Design Profession towards improving quality of life in contemporary and future societies by sharing of knowledge and experience and understanding responsibilities".  Continuing this paradigm focus of relevance, IIID Ahmedabad Chapter took the initiative to collaborate with Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC), CEPT University, Ahmedabad for "Narrative Ceramics: DICRC-IIID, Ahmedabad Fellowship 2014” by providing financial assistance to the Fellowship Program. As per the larger vision of IIID to collaborate with various institutions, IIID Ahmedabad Chapter recognizes this as a great opportunity not only to collaborate with prime institution of architecture and interior design in India but also with various other organisations and aspiring individuals. IIID Ahmedabad Chapter also looks forward to this collaboration to breathe life into traditional crafts of our country by promoting co-creations and giving new perspective to the field of design and craft while providing an ideal platform for such applied research and experimentation. The resulting innovative outcomes will ensure that traditional crafts are re-invented without diluting their essence, giving them a good chance for survival.

Craft Canvas
CraftCanvas is a link between artisan communities and the urban customer, translated an ages old craft into something contemporary. They believe that there is a place for India’s traditional crafts even in the most modern of spaces. To make this possible, they offer a range of handicraft products from across India, hand-painted wall mural services, custom hand-crafted furniture, soft furnishings, tribal/folk paintings & accessories and craft workshops for children and adults.

Set up by alumni from CEPT University, they aim to provide access to leading scientific research, skilled and creative product development, with focus on the quality and innovation in the field of ceramics. This organisation is involved in research, training and consultation. These three primary mandates support and rectify each other and contradicting capital market short-termism.  Their objective is to be able to benefit the society through their work. The idea revolves around the ‘logics’ of social innovation, a solution that addresses societal challenges in a way that is contextual, targeted and promotes common welfare, increasing the ‘adaptive efficiency’ of the society.

David Gray - Designer’s Profile
David Gray has completed a Masters course at The Princes School of Traditional Arts, London and has over 6 years of experience in making ceramic murals and sculptures. He has specialised in ceramic tiles and mould making. His recent work was inspired by nature and he focused on making ceramic screens, Islamic and geometric forms. He has expressed his interest in collaborating with traditional crafts in India. 

Craftspeople profile
Kaushal Prasad Tekam, Sambhav Shyam and Kalabai Shyam belong to Madhya Pradesh. They have been practicing their traditional craft from childhood and have participated in various State and National level exhibitions. Their subjects revolve around stories derived from their belief systems and are usually set in the natural surrounding that they come from. Owing to a lack of innovation in traditional craft practices, the artisans have seen a steady decline in demand for their paintings. This fellowship program is an attempt to infuse some innovation in an otherwise monotonous narrative. 
‘Crafts meet Technology’ is an exhibition of furniture by Professor Chris Martin, Fullbright-Nehru Fellow 2016. The furniture pieces were made in collaboration with several craftspeople across Gujarat and are an amalgamation of craft skills and contemporary technology. The exhibition is an outcome of the work done by Chris Martin as part of Fullbright-Nehru research in India and was supported by Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC), CEPT University as part of the Craft Innovation Fellowship Program.
Technological advancements are constantly opening up novel and exciting possibilities of interacting with people, objects and spaces of our environment. New technologies are changing the way we used to live and learn. In India, traditional handicrafts are primary livelihood source of many communities and representation of country’s cultural identity. Interestingly, the technological developments which were once seen as threat to handicrafts have given birth to sub-cultures like ‘Maker Movement’, ‘DIY Culture’ and ‘Open Source Movement’ which presents an optimistic and social perspective of making with new technologies. Connecting the dots the Kala Kosh - a research based design project explores possibilities of enhancing traditional craft practices using new technologies. This project was supported by grant from Ford Foundation & National Institute of Design (NID), India and was done in collaboration with Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC) at CEPT University. This project was done by Bhargav Padhiyar as a part of his graduation project while studying New Media Design at National Institute of Design, India. 
Project begins with an ethnographic study of a traditional craft cluster located in Gundiyali village, Kutchh, a region in Gujarat, India. Further looking at precedent research intersecting crafts and new technologies, research synthesis presents barriers of why traditional craft community was not able to utilize new technologies for adding value to their craft practice. An intermediate set of ideas were generated to be able create a prototype and receive response of artisans around the research inquiry. Later on another set of ideas were generated considering complete research synthesis and feedback of artisans from prototype testing. "Kala Kosh” a digital archiving system is an outcome of this design process. Kala referring to skill involved with arts & crafts, Kosh refers to storage or archive. Kala Kosh enables traditional craft communities to preserve a real like digital library of their hand crafted artifacts. It empowers artisans to also showcase and share the digital samples of their artifacts across multiple mediums and contexts which may help in adding value on individual and community level of craft practice and eventually contribute in improving livelihood.

The idea
The idea is about enabling artisans of Gundiyali to make a digital archive for their artefacts and explore all
possibilities to enhance their craft practices.

In order to develop the idea further it was essential to interact with the artisans regarding the prototype being a part of their daily life. Firstly, a basic prototype was set up at Gundiyali which was demonstrated to the artisans. The basic prototype was to make digital version of artefacts which translated into 3 dimensional holograms. Prototype was in its raw version so the artisans were exposed to the electronic components. Prototype was built using open source technologies like Arduino and Processing.

Prototype design
A detailed prototype design was developed and introduced to the community. Kala Kosh prototype design included multiple aspects from physical forms, electronics, programming, user interface design and other aspects like identification of artisan and hologram display.

A simple manual was designed for the ease of installation.
•This module contains a turntable, camera and card identification modules and a button.The artisans could store new objects by placing the object on the turntable and an identification card would be inserted at the slot provided and press the button to start the storage process.

•This module is the display unit. While storing new objects it works as a demo display While viewing objects it displays object in three sided hologram and with information of the respective artisan/maker.

Prototype Making
On completion of a detailed prototype, multiple iterations of design of forms and user interaction design was made available. As artisans were not familiar with computing technologies an extremely simple user interface design was attempted. Open source technologies and digital fabrications accelerated the making of prototype. The members contributed were diverse with their respective field expertise. Integration of modules and panels were composed into two boxes. Many rounds of testing took place to ensure all errors were resolved and the Kala Kosh project remains in a resolved state.

Kala Kosh is an ongoing research project and the Prototypes are installed at Gundiyali. Different identity cards are provided to the craftspeople and a workshop is organized for demonstration and the prototype is tested for different scenarios.
The Craft CoLABorative Fellowship is a platform open to designers and young professionals to develop a range of new products viable for the current market after understanding the craft of the region. The Craft CoLABorative Fellowship 2018-2019 was conducted in the terracotta craft community of Gundiyali, Kutch. The month long fellowship aimed to bring the designers and professionals to work hands-on with the artisans and their families in Gundiyali, Kutch, Gujarat.

The idea was to develop a range products using the traditional craft techniques and knowledge of the craftspeople of the Gundiyali cluster. The fellowship acted as a platform for exchanging knowledge, design discussions, experiencing culture and rigorous hands-on working with the craft community. This fellowship gave an opportunity to the artisans and their families to explore various design and technical challenges while developing products and understanding the market trends. Whereas, it gave an opportunity to the fellows to immerse into the craft environment and understand the practical aspects and real life challenges of the community. This understanding helped the fellows to co-create the products with the artisans and their families that can target the local, national and international market.

The Craft CoLABorative Fellowship is conducted by Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC), CEPT University and Manthan Educational Programme Society, Ahmedabad.
2013 © DICRC