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Navigating Disruption and Fostering Sustainable Development: Systemic design approaches for the handicraft sector in India

Format: Papers, RSD12, Topic: Policy & Governance

Navigating Disruption and Fostering Sustainable Development: Systemic design approaches for the handicraft sector in India  

Saurabh Kumar and Gayatri Menon 

 Indigenous craft—the traditional craft practised by indigenous communities are an integral part of Indian society. These crafts are deeply rooted in the cultural heritage and reflect their unique knowledge, expressions and a fine sense of craftsmanship.  Many of these craft practices are repositories of cultural knowledge. There is a deep connection between nature- the local environment and the craft. This often results in an inherent respect for nature and an in-depth knowledge of the local environment and resources.

Crafts are good examples of culturally rich, environmentally friendly designs. However, the industrial era and its aftermath have adversely affected the craft sector. The research study uses a multiple case study method to analyse three indigenous craft practices from India to highlight the various challenges faced by them and to draw upon them to look at patterns of disruption in the craft ecosystem. While putting forth possible design interventions at the level of a craft cluster, it is recognised that a multi-cluster design intervention approach encompassing many crafts would be required to make a significant difference.

The paper argues for a need to develop a systemic multi-cultural intervention for craft rejuvenation, encompassing systemic macro interventions across clusters such as creating awareness, promoting cultural significance of the crafts, common market platforms, financial support systems, policy interventions etc. These interventions are essential for the survival, sustainability, and growth of the sector. The findings elaborated here may serve as a basis for coming up with effective strategies and intervention models for policymakers and design innovation practitioners.

KEYWORDS: Handmade in India, Policy design, Disruptive forces, Sustainability, Equity and Inclusive growth

RSD TOPIC(S): Entanglements of Policy and Power

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Citation Data

Author(s): Saurabh Kumar and Gayatri Menon
Year: 2023
Title: Navigating Disruption and Fostering Sustainable Development: Systemic design approaches for the handicraft sector in India
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/systemic-design-handicraft-in-india
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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