About the Organizers
Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC) is a research centre that aims to promote study and development of traditional and vernacular, building and craft, practices of India; by means of: mapping and documenting buildings and crafts; conducting educational programs and innovation workshops; and independent research alongside collaborative – national and international – research projects, to name a few. DICRC was established in 2010 and is now a part of CEPT Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), CEPT University.
Established in 2001, Manthan Educational Programme Society, India is a not for profit organization focused to ameliorate and instill fresh methods in science communication and entrepreneurship development amongst students and communities at large. The organisation achieves it by means of conducting researches, workshops and trainings in the field of science, design and innovation. The organisation has an expertise in developing low cost hands-on offshoot and awareness material. The organisation has also been working on the concept of adapting communities and uplifting them by providing them end to end support from training to technology to infrastructure, thus building sustainability.
Craft Design Innovation in terracotta Craft Cluster of Gundiyali
Phase 1: Craft Innovation Training Programme
The Craft Innovation Training Program was the first training program conducted in the village of Gundiyali. The intention of this program was to create design awareness amongst the artisans and to explore possibilities of creating products related to the new domain of interior architecture. The duration of the project was from April 2015 to July 2015. The program also aimed to encourage the craft community to do craft innovation in their products which could be displayed at their own houses. These contemporary craft design innovation products would be a starting point of engaging with tourists and getting large-scale orders.
Phase 2: Community Driven Innovation Project
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 the community and foster the idea of innovation within them. This entire process and approach are 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 Kala- Kosh.
Phase 3: Spatial reconfiguration of workspaces of terracotta craftspeople of Gundiyali
With such continued efforts being conducted over the period of last two years, the craft community has developed immense pride in the craft practice. After conducting various contextual programs there was a need to relook at the existing infrastructure facilities available with them. The project ‘Spatial reconfiguration of workspaces of terracotta craftspeople of Gundiyali’ aims to increase the work efficiency by reconfiguring the existing spaces in the craft community. In order to initiate a dialogue on infrastructural changes with the community, a thorough mapping of the existing infrastructure, craft process mapping, activity diagrams and informal discussions along with the presentations were conducted.
Phase 4: Craft Experience Tourism (On-going project)
After the rigorous and continuous work with the community, there is a growing interest and awareness in the craft related activities, but with massive impact of industrial production, the skill-based knowledge is reducing, indicating an enormous loss to the community, culture and life of craftspeople. In order to sustain, revive and explore the full potential of the terracotta crafts in Gundiyali, the gaps, overlaps and challenges in the value chain must be overcome. Hence, a new ecosystem of engagement with crafts is created. Craft Tourism is one such industry which can help to harness a new ecosystem in the community.
One of the key component of the craft tourism is to engage the tourist/consumer with the local craftspeople and production process. Allowing tourists to engage directly with the supply chain provides not only the opportunity to share knowledge and raise awareness of the creative process, but also help in deeper understanding and value-building of crafts.