Thanks, Delhi

Entrance to the India Habitat Centre

The first phase of the Australia India Design Platform concluded in October with a series of generative meetings and lively discussions.

Thanks to Vik Kanwar and academic staff at the Jindal Global Law School for providing important research into the comparative use of codes in Australia and India. The reception hosted by the Australian High Commission was much appreciated, especially to newly arrived Australian visitors. The roundtable at the India Habitat Centre proved particularly important in building standards for creative collaborations. Thanks to the local Indians for their forthright views, particularly the venerable Jasleen Dhamija who gave a wonderful oration to warm up the day. The willingness of the Development Commissioner of Handicrafts S.S. Gupta to inaugurate the day was much appreciated. Academic representatives from the National Institute for Fashion and Technology well and truly put themselves into the fray. And to provide an artisan’s point of view, we were very grateful that the Delhi potters gave up their time to be heard. And it was good to welcome fresh voices into the discussion, such as the Indian jeweller Sutopa Parrab, textile historian Swati Jain, designers Shipra Bose and Bakula Narak.

The Australians too made a great contribution, both at the Roundtable and the public forum at NIFT. These included the designer in residence, Trent Jansen, Zaishu creator Matthew Butler, weaver and academic Liz Williamson, textile designer Julie Lantry, ceramicist Sandra Bowkett and designers Lauren Bennett and Genevieve Fennel.

Along the way, we managed to extend the conversation to Jaipur, thanks to the faculty at the India Institute of Craft and Design, and Goa, facilitated by the inspiring Rahul Barua of the South Asia Foundation.

Special thanks to our team on the ground, Ishan Khosla Design, who showed how the spirit of Indian craft can find expression today in ways that are both attractive and meaningful. 

We’ll be posting reports on the Delhi discussions on the website in due course, and a digest in the newsletter. Of course, we now start planning for 2012, including the Sydney Design Festival and a conference at NID in Ahmedabad during October.

We have uncovered important issues in making pathways for collaboration, particularly ways to carry the story of how things are designed and made. Next, we turn to innovation, particularly in how traditions can be adapted to find a place in modern urban life. You are welcome to share the journey.

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