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 a series of workshops conducted by Design Innovation and Craft Resource Center (DICRC) in field of Crafts related to traditional and vernacular built environments. 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.
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
The workshops are often planned keeping in mind four major phases: Framework, Collaborative Craft-Design process, Output and Connection. The Framework consists of exercises, modules, and design briefs. The Collaborative Craft-Design process constitutes the act of co-creation by the craft participants (master craftsperson, craftspeople, craft students) and design participants (designers, architects, professionals, students) who work together as a group for a specific craft. The Output is the phase where prototype development happens through the process of hands-on explorations.
The craft workshops conducted by DICRC till present is listed below:
1. Wood turning lacquer workshop
2. Bamboo Craft Workshop
3. Stone Craft Workshop
4. Wood Craft Workshop
5. Earth Craft Workshop
6. Metal Craft Workshop
7. Glass Craft Workshop
8. Conversation with Crafts Workshop
9. Madhubani Painting Workshop
10. Gond Painting Workshop
11. Madhubani Painting Workshop II
12. Mata ni Pachedi Workshop
13. Craft DesignThinking Workshop at Gundiyali
Partners & Collaborators:
1. Industrial Extension Cottage (iNDEXT-C), Government of Gujarat
2. School of Design, CEPT University
3. Eklavya Foundation
4. Tapini Bamboo Development Centre
5. TU Delft, Netherlands
6. Indian Institute of Craft and Design (IICD), Jaipur
7. Stone Technics and Trivedi Corp. Pvt. Ltd
8. Uniply, Greenply Industries Ltd.
9. Pidilite Industries Ltd.
10. TDW Furniture Pvt. Ltd.
11. City Heritage Centre
12. Hunnarshala Foundation
13. Craftroots, Ahmedabad
14. International Copper Promotion Council (India), Mumbai
15. Rachaita Creative Solutions, Baroda
16. Institute of Design Expression Art & Learning (IDEAL)
17. Craft Canvas
18. William De Kooning Academy, The Netherlands
19. Manthan Educational Programme Society, India
Impact of the Project:
Through the craft innovation workshops, there have been more than 500 design and craft participants who have collaborated to co-create innovative prototypes. Together with craft-design participants, design professionals, industry experts, these workshops have produced more than 80 prototypes. And as part of the more than 13 exhibitions conducted for disseminating the outcomes of the workshops, there were more than 25000 visitors appreciating the outcomes. These workshops begin a starting point of various long term relationships with the craftspeople, communities, organisations, professionals etc. The shared method of different people (master craftspeople, craft students, designers etc.) working in one group initiates new discussions and fresh ideas. It initiates a dialogue on innovation in craft through collaboration and co-creation. Through these workshops, there have been more collaborations between design and craft participants. There is learning both at tangible and intangible levels and there are a fresh range of craft-design prototypes, which have wider market reach and diverse economic and social impacts.