Supported By
Government of Gujarat


India has always had a varied range of traditional and vernacular building types. These buildings have always been defined by the traditional craft practices that are embedded with 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. The projects undertaken at DICRC with respect to crafts focuses towards building a huge repository of building crafts, that consist of Space Making Crafts (SMCs) and Surface Narrative Crafts (SNCs), by documenting crafts, techniques, craft persons, craft communities and clusters.

According to the research undertaken at Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC), Space Making Craft (SMC) is the craft that is directly or indirectly related to the making of buildings, elements, furniture and its details. These coupled with the Space Surface Crafts (SSC), the crafts that are applied to the buildings, elements, furniture and its details; from a large repository of building craft techniques.

In India, there are innumerable number of building crafts. Few of them to enlist are - stone carving, stone inlay, wood carving, marquetry work, stucco work, mosaic work, glass work, metal casting, etc. SMC encompass both hard material (stone, metal, terracotta) and soft materiel (fibers, paper, yarn) applications in buildings from their very making to their expressions, tools, construction techniques, explorations and innovations. It is a multifaceted field with its foundation underlying with varied core sectors like handicrafts, building and construction industry, small scale industries and various craft practices.

Building Crafts look at the essentials of space making in its very fundamentals, in which social structure, social patterns, social trends, geography and economy of space reflect upon each other, and play key role as factors influencing the interpretation of the need. The need for a space and subsequently its usage is defined by different skills and material objects (from making to expression, from built form to objects within space). The buildings crafts have always been the best mediums of expressing cultural beliefs within a built form, and the expressions are through the SMCs/SSCs that can be seen on the buildings, interior architecture elements, furniture and its details.

The SMCs and SSCs can be categorized into two sections respectively. There are two types of SMC, from-based and surface- integrated. From-based SMC are the one those that make the different elements of the space (like stone masonry wall or wood turned table) and surface-integrated are those that give character to the surface of the elements of space through process of addition or subtraction (like wood carving or inlay). Similarly SSCs are categorized into Surface-clad and surface-finish. Surface-clad SSC are those which are cladded to any surface of elements of space (like tiles, flooring, fretwork) and Surface-finish SSC are the various types of finishes that are applied to any surface of elements of space (like gilding, painting).

DICRC was established to function as an interface to understand and develop regional Space Making Crafts (SMCs) and Space Surface Crafts (SSCs) of traditional and vernacular buildings of India; and integrate them in the current Interior- Architecture education as well as practice. The centre provides a conductive platform where design thinking engages with a range of SMCs/SSCs and traditional knowledge. DICRC's main objective is to identify, research and re-engage traditional building crafts and integrate them in current Interior- Architecture education as well as practice through various initiatives. The underlying intention is to combine crafts related to built heritage to explore their possibilities in current milieu. It seeld to be a hub for innovative thoughts and craft-design practices to engage and interact. Its major activities are to conduct research, documentation, organize programs, workshops, projects related to SMCs and SSCs.

The projects under 'Crafts' include:
        Craft Mapping
        Craft Documentation
        Craft Analysis
        Craft Repository

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