The terracotta craft community of Gundiyali is an enterprising community open to collaboration and growth. Over the journey of six years, various collaborative engagements through diverse projects, activities and events have taken place with the community starting in 2014. These include introducing innovation through design and technology, and the approach of experiential tourism among others.

About 2016: Encouraging Community Participation

“Encouraging community participation” introduced a participatory and inclusive process to foster innovation by a deeper engagement with the community. This being an individual-centric approach, the activities were like a web which repeated, overlapped and coincided to empower the community with craft design innovation skills. In its initial phase, the idea of community driven innovation attempted to harness the skills and aesthetic abilities of the craft community. The idea of this program was to create a repository of product typology and associated narratives in the community using the ‘Self Initiated Challenge’ model.

Project: Tatva – 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. 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.

Self Initiated Community Challenge model (SIC Model):
The Self Initiated community Challenge model is a web-like model which starts with establishing a link between designers and craftspeople, followed by initiating different opportunities, catalyzing ideas, concepts, and thoughts through workshops, exploring, making models, and recording outcomes leading to disseminating the learnings.

Self Initiated Community Challenge Model

Project Activities: The introductory project presentation

The project was initiated with a pre-project presentation gathering around 80 craftspeople from the community for the introducing the project. Previous engagements with the craft community were discussed, further initiating a dialogue about the future set of activities.

Project Activities: The self-initiated challenge

looked at harnessing the craft skills and aesthetic abilities that already is inherent to the craftspeople and creating a repository of product typology and the associated narratives that exist in the community. This was delivered using interactive cards, at two levels- theme cards, and action cards. The Theme cards describe the ‘themes’ to be discussed for eg: history, craftsmanship, community and imagination. These cards describe what the theme means and what are the two most crucial questions/queries related to it. The action cards describe the actions to be taken in order to answer any of the queries listed in the theme cards. The basic idea of the theme cards says, History: This theme is about the history of your region, craft and family. Imagination: This theme is about imagination, fantasies and originality. Community: This theme is about your community’s rituals, belief systems and narratives. Craftsmanship: This theme is about your skills, strengths and craftsmanship. With cues for ideation that started with cards, further ideation and development was done by craftspeople to make innovative prototypes and test them for utility, to later be presented.

Event: Prarambh (National Craft Fair 2016)

The National Craft Fair 2016 was organised by INDEXT-C, Government of Gujarat, India and Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre(DICRC), CEPT University was a partner institute. “Prarambh: co-crafting journeys” was part of a seven day long National Craft Fair 2016. There were 1000+ visitors which gave craftspeople the opportunity to share the values imbibed in their respective crafts and interact with audiences and buyers directly, enhancing their business potential.

Prarambh seminar
The National craft seminar, theme pavilion and craft demonstrations were conducted and organised by DICRC at the National Craft Fair 2016. The craft processes play a critical role in development and understanding of a craft; hence the demonstration of techniques is taken as a first step in understanding the tactile aspects of craft. DICRC arranged for the terracotta craftspeople to show their craft skills through the live demonstration and display of their products at the theme pavilion. The craft demonstration was an attempt to create a mutual awareness platform where the craftspeople were exposed to the activities at the Fair and the visitors benefitted by understanding the craft.

Outputs

Data Bank
Action & Theme Cards
Panels
Community Driven Innovation Program
Data Bank
Tatva: Community driven Innovation Program- Poster
Booklets
Tatva: Community driven innovation project with the craft community of Gundiyali
Presentation
Tatva: Community driven innovation project with the craft community of Gundiyali by Team DICRC

Collaborators

Organizers: Design Innovation and Craft Resource Center, CEPT University, Manthan Education Program Society India, Ahmedabad
Partner: Swadesi Suitcase
Supporter: NSTEDB / Department of Science & Technology Government of India