Supported By
INDEXT-C
Government of Gujarat

Craft Innovation Workshop

The traditional craft practices in India are embedded with an inherent empirical knowledge. This knowledge encompasses not only the material understanding and skills of making but also holds a holistic and intuitive understanding of sustainability in the larger context. Such craft practices are the core of Craft Innovation Workshop (CIW). They comprises of series of workshops conducted by Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC) in field of Crafts related to Interior Architecture. There are two kinds of Craft Innovation Workshops: Space Making Craft (SMC) Workshops and Surface Narrative Craft (SNC) Workshops. Such workshops range from three to fifteen days depending on material and technique focus. These workshops are based on the Craft Innovation Workshop Model which was developed through various interactive sessions and discussions by the researchers of DICRC and experts from the field of Craft and Design. It was tried, tested and evolved through different experimental framework explored during SMC and SNC workshops.

The larger aims of this CIW Model are:

1. To bring diverse voices into curatorial and craft-design processes
2. To develop Innovative prototype through collective knowledge of craftspeople and design participants
3. To conduct exposure and interactive sessions bringing higher level of excellence to all

CIW Model initiated the concept of "Collaborative Innovation” to catalyse a deep social and cultural change. Collaboration has been always an integral part of Craft Innovation Workshops, where DICRC collaborates with Industries, organizations, small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs. In this CIW Model, design, craft and industrial processes within the field of craft engage with each other to create an understanding that leads to new synergies. This CIW Model not only instigates critical thinking but also sensitizes the workshop participants about various tangible and intangible core concepts related to Craft. Such a model also empowers the craftspeople to establish their position in the field of built environment.

This CIW Model can be replicated at various design institutes, organisations and practices. It creates the synergy for collaborative processes with an aim towards value building. It also creates new set of skills and brings traditional and new design thinking knowledge together. The strength of this model is that it is dynamic in nature and can be used to re-contextualize and facilitate craft rejuvenation with a long lasting impact.  DICRC team travels to various places to conduct and organise such workshops in collaboration with various organisations, institutes and individual bodies.

The process of conducting and organising these workshops is quite exhaustive and begins much before the actual commencement of the workshop. With a specific material and craft technique as a focus, the research team of DICRC identifies and locates master craftsperson, craftspeople and communities who will become the core of the entire workshop. This is followed by gathering all craftspeople and conducting an interactive session with them regarding the workshop. Along with this, an expert panel discussion comprising of master craftspeople, academicians, researchers, scholars, designers, industry experts discusses and evolves the design brief and other modules for the workshop. This is discussed and evolved along with craftspeople, experts and finalised by the core team members. Keeping in consideration the materials, its craft techniques and the framework for the workshop, the duration is fixed which ranges from three days to fifteen days. Each framework is specific to each workshop. The framework is planned to ensure maximum interactions and participations among craftspeople, designers, students, professionals.

After finalizing the basic framework, a detailed schedule for the entire workshop is made and a call for participants is declared through print and online media. The craft and design participants work in group for the process of co-creation. The traditional craft skills and knowledge of the craftspeople is the core of these workshops. Through these hands-on workshops the objective is to develop new sets of ideas through Craft-Design Process by bringing diverse people together which in turn will help in uplifting the value of crafts in society. These workshops cultivate within the younger generations the value of the hand skills. The embedded inheritance about the craft is transmitted which over a longer period of time will insure the evolution of craft. The innovative craft-design outputs that are generated during the workshop are fed into the craft and design practices lending new perspective to the craft field.

The entire workshop is thoroughly documented and catalogued with all detailed information. The data is further processed for dissemination. The information about craftspeople is categorically stored thus contributing as a resource for craftspeople directory. This becomes a basis for networking and connecting craftspeople with production units, professional organisations et al.

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