Project duration: 2012 (1 Month)
National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India
Identity - Experimenting with The Future of Craft
Craft is core to India’s identity and has provided employment for millions of artisans and labourers across the country, yet many crafts have begun to disappear in an increasingly mechanized and global world. Crafts speak the untold tales of who we are and where we come from - Identity explores how we might raise the value of craft to keep these traditions alive and support those doing this work.
'Identity' examined how an individual's genetic code could be the starting point in the craft process, with the aim to add value by creating a truly unique and deep connection between the object and buyer.
Future Craft places the user at the starting point of the craft process, Using computer driven prototyping methods to create a physical embodiment for a biological sequence (Users DNA) that becomes a starting point to which a craftsman can apply his skill.
The proposed system creates objects by using the genetic code of the buyer for two purposes, Firstly, the code is run through algorithms that create virtual 3D forms that will be used to create physical objects through rapid prototyping. Secondly, the code is used to identify crafts people held on a data base from around the world that share your lineage. The buyer is required to select a crafts person based on this lineage and their personal preference to craft type. The crafts person is then sent the rapid prototyped object to which to apply their skills and technique, and then returning the completed form to the user.
The objects produced by the end of the three week project were of a sculptural nature. The process of using DNA to inform crafted objects could be used in many ways but may have the most value when combined within artefacts that represent us, such as worn objects, especially those that represent our connection with others such as wedding rings.
Research was conducted over 5 days in Gujarat State, India. The skills observed varied from boat builders working on 3 year projects to bell makers capable of making a bell from scratch within 5 minutes. The crafts applied to the objects where done by Prasanta Subudhi a Artisan specializing in Pattachitra based in Ahmedabad.