We were asked two questions at the beginning of the class.
- Being an Indian, what is design for you?
- How to design for India?
After this we were shown a video in the class. The video featured each of the 29 states of India and showcased the most famous crafts of that place. A surprising number of crafts we saw have disappeared from today’s India. Its sad. A rich age old legacy is soon gonna come to a halt. Indian Crafts are extremely endangered as of today. Many Couturiers like Ritu Kumar, Ritu Beri, Anita Dongre, Rina Dhaka, Krishna Mehta, Gaurav Gupta, and Varun Bahl, among others, have stepped in to identify and restore forgotten motifs, source exquisite handspun silk from the countryside, and establish a marketing chain that will put the Banarasi legacy on the fashion map of the world.
Now here’s my answer to the questions.
What is design for me?
Being an Indian, design is the way we creatively express stories of our past and cultures and use it in innovative ways to help/aid people.
How to design for India?
I don’t really have a long answer for this for few lines. “Focusing on bringing back the lost crafts of India and presenting them fresh and new without loosing its original essence.”
Chikankari, an embroidery work which initially had 7 types of “jaali” stitches, is now left with only one kind. Where have the other 6 gone? There are still here but there is no one left to practice it.
Is this intentional? I don’t think it would have been. In today’s world we have so many distractions which we didn’t have 100 years back. That’s one of the reason that current generation is not ready to take up studying the craft. Moreover, because of this, the price of such crafts have gone so high that people are unwilling to spend, and thanks to fast fashion brands like H&M, Zara, the trend changes with the blink of an eye (agile).