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 2017: Integrating Technology

Technological advancements constantly create possibilities by catalysing interaction between people, objects and spaces in the immediate environment. In India, traditional crafts are a representation of our cultural identity and also a primary source of livelihood for many communities. While earlier technological developments were seen as threats to craft have given birth to multiple subcultures like the ‘Maker Movement’, ‘DIY Culture’ and ‘Open Source Movement’. Technology, over time has become easily accessible. It has helped people in exploring new ideas across many domains. Connecting the dots, this research-based design project was initiated to explore possibilities of complementing traditional craft practices using digital technology.

Project: Kalakosh

A digital archive ‘Kalakosh’, was created, an outcome of technology integration, where ‘Kala’, refers to skill involved with craft, ‘Kosh’, referring to an archive. It enables traditional craft communities to digitally archive designs of their hand-crafted artefacts. It empowers craftspeople to showcase and share digital representation of their artefacts across multiple mediums and contexts. The project was done by Bhargav Padhiyar as a part of his graduation project at National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar.

Stages of prototyping
While building the digital archiving system, the first step was to gauge the interest level of the community followed by a rapid prototyping journey to demonstrate the idea. The prototype plan was to create a digital hologram of any artefact placed on the turntable, which was executed using open source technologies, run on a windows system with a basic webcam.

The third prototype was designed, developed and tested for long hours, and it ran independently without any errors. With a few limitations like a limited size scan, 25 user limit and low camera resolution, the prototype simulated the Kala Kosh Digital Archive.

Event: Maker Fest

Stretching from every corner of India, Maker Fest is about developing a great maker community where people can learn and share about making. Creators, artists and hobbyists across the country were invited to present contemporary applications of their ideas in the vast ocean of art, science and technology to ideate, build and share. The community of Gundiyali as one entity came together to showcase their techniques and ideas – creating hands-on pottery explorations with the visitors. The fest was a 3 day event that brought together the making community of diverse fields.

With the guidance of the craftspeople, different kinds of pots of various sizes were made by the people themselves. The idea was to initiate interaction, sharing of ideas and to arrive at a final product. The craftspeople curated the exhibition, giving them a glimpse of an entire new set up. Essentially, with the help of a demonstration unit the interaction was elevated. 2 demonstration units were set up to cater to the multitude of people.

Event: Event X

Three craftspeople from the terracotta craft community of Gundiyali were a part of Event X for the Makerspace, Unsung Heroes. Event X is a design festival initiated by Unbind which brings together perspectives from diverse realms of Design.The craftspeople engaged in a dialogue with architecture students about clay and hands-on pottery.

Outputs

Booklets
KalaKosh: Digital Archive for Traditional Craft Communities
Panels
KalaKosh: Digital Archive for Traditional Craft Communities
Images
KalaKosh: Digital Archive for Traditional Craft Communities
Data Bank
KalaKosh: Digital Archive for Traditional Craft Communities- Maker Fest Poster
Data Bank
Tatva: Community driven Innovation Program- Maker Fest Poster

Collaborators

Organizers: Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC), CEPT University, Ahmedabad
Supporters: Manthan Educational Programme Society (MEPS), NSTEDB/Department of Science & Technology,Government of India
Sponsors: Ford Foundation, National Institute of Design, India

About 2017: Reconfiguring Habitat

“Reconfiguring habitat” assessed the existing infrastructure of the cluster’s built environment and suggested possible expansion and evolvement plans. This was an inclusive participatory process where the craft community co-created with design experts and identified the key physical resources to strategize a plan of action. Based on the initial mapping and assessment of the existing infrastructure available with the community, the stage ended with suggestive measures and plans for expansion.

Project: Spatial reconfiguration of workspaces

Spatial reconfiguration of the craft spaces was ideated to enhance the craft spaces and activities by facilitating better infrastructure to increase spatial efficiency. The activity started with an overarching frame to develop the village as Village Maker Space to add value at the macro and the micro level with various supportive activities in the identified pockets in the village. This was also done with consideration that it would further aid in inviting tourism and connecting craftspeople to the visitors.

Stages of implementation:

Outputs

Booklets
Spatial re-configuration of workplaces of terracotta craft cluster of Gundiyali
Presentation
Spatial re-configuration of workplaces of terracotta craft cluster of Gundiyali by Team DICRC
Images
Spatial re-configuration of workspaces of terracotta craftspeople of Gundiyali

Collaborators

Organisers: Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC), CEPT University, Ahmedabad
Supporters: Manthan Educational Programme Society (MEPS), NSTEDB/Department of Science & Technology,Government of India