With sharp focus on creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, IICD is different from other institutes in the country as here craft is not one subject, but the complete focus is on crafts. Its strength lies in imparting hands-on work experience and its focus on designing in the crafts sector, says Dr Toolika Gupta, Director, IICD, in conversation with Shivani Babbar of Elets News Network (ENN).
What is the vision of Indian Institute of Crafts and Design?
The Vision of the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design (IICD) is to continue to invigorate the craft sector and to become a centre of excellence in crafts and design, encouraging research and bringing new life to the languishing crafts of India.
While conducting the admission process, what kind of skills or talent you look for in the applicants as basic eligibility and selection criteria?
We focus on creativity and out-of-thebox thinking, which are the key factors required in the field of design. We look for qualities like: How observant is the student? How good is he/she is in expression? Does he/she have empathy? Do they have an understanding of Crafts? Thus we have a written and a drawing test, which is also a test of creativity. Once the students pass this test, then they are tested on their 3D skills by creating some object/installation with the given materials. This is followed by a personal interview. We really want only the most deserving and the most interested students to join our courses.
What are the factors that make IICD stand out from the other institutions offering programmes in design and crafts?
All the design institutes in India teach crafts. It is important, as our country can proudly boast of many handicrafts even in today’s age and time. But IICD is different from other institutes as here craft is not one subject, but the complete focus is on crafts. Its strength lies in imparting hands-on work experience and its focus on designing in the crafts sector. Our focus is on crafts, and we work with all handicrafts, be it textile, wood, metal, stone, terracotta or others. We are a materials based institute and our focus is on materials—designing with them, understanding them, selling them and carrying out research on sustainably producing them.
What is the total strength of the institute?
Currently, it is 384 students and 48 staff and faculty members.
What is the scope of pursuing programmes in crafts and design?
The scope is unlimited. We create job givers more than job seekers. Many of our students turn entrepreneurs. Many of them go to companies that value crafts and craftsmen, the salaries are good, and more than that the impact on the environment and the world is very large.
Does your institute conduct placements at the end of the course?
Which are the top recruiters? Yes, we conduct placements in November. Companies like Fab India, Anokhi, Tatas are among the top recruiters of students passing out every year.
What is your message for the readers?
Be empathetic towards the craftsmen, only buy what is needed, and buy sustainably. Low-cost items imported from across the world have huge negative impacts, buy local, buy less.