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IICD manifests India’s heritage of craftsmanship

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Dr Toolika Gupta Director, IICD Jaipur

Dr Toolika Gupta
Director, IICD Jaipur

The Indian Institute of Craft and Design is a unique institute as it focuses on the understanding, promotion, design development, design intervention, marketing intervention and sustainability of Indian crafts, writes Nivedita Narayan, Assistant Professor, IICD Jaipur for Elets News Network (ENN).

The imagination of India invokes in every heart, an unadulterated image of vibrancy. This colourful rainbow is painted by its dynamic geography, diverse people, distinct culture and a million sparkles of a thousand unique crafts, beaded in the threads of utility, aesthetics and emotions.

Crafts in all their manifestations constitute a greater part of the Indian heritage, and in the lack of proper preservation, promotion, research and integration a great many of them are facing the fear of oblivion. Here the role of design education becomes very vital in bridging the gap of understanding, connectivity, information and empathy existing between the craftsmen, consumer and contemporary generations, by bringing about the synthesis of the functional practicality of design and the efficient aesthetics of crafts.

“IICD offers courses which target various crafts practiced in the country, that include soft materials like textiles to hard materials like wood and metal along with fired materials like pottery and ceramics. IICD offers a holistic view to aspiring designers.”

The Indian Institute of Craft and Design is a unique institute as it focuses on the understanding, promotion, design development, design intervention, marketing intervention and sustainability of Indian crafts. In today’s world where globalisation and mass consumption are the buzz words, the craft sector faces a threat of extinction without proper support. India is rich in its handicraft traditions, IICD wishes to acknowledge the contributions made and issues faced by a huge number of its craftsmen. Many NGOs and institutes are working towards saving India’s languishing crafts. They have their challenges, as one needs to not only save the crafts but solutions should be sought to make the crafts self-sustainable.

“The role of design education is vital in bridging the gap of understanding, connectivity, information and empathy existing between the craftsmen, consumer and contemporary generations, by bringing about the synthesis of the functional practicality of design and the efficient aesthetics of crafts.”

IICD offers courses that target various crafts practiced in the country that include soft materials like textiles to hard materials like wood and metal along with fired materials like pottery and ceramics. IICD offers a holistic view to aspiring designers. The focus is on the aesthetic along with the functionality of the design. Like the 19th century ‘Art and craft movement’ which shunned the mediocrity of mass production and focused on the niche qualities of the handcrafted, the Indian Institute of Craft and Design inculcates the love for quality, design and craftsmanship in its students. In November 2017, IICD had organised its first international conference, with the view to increase the visibility of researchers in this area. Students benefit from the various platforms that IICD has to offer, international exchange for mutual benefit, exposure to talks by national and international craftsmen and an environment seeped in creativity! IICD invites all enthusiastic aspiring designers to be a part of IICD, to quench their thirst for knowledge and to explore their potential in a healthy environment.

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