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Bachelor Thesis
Bachelor of Design, Exhibition Design 2015-2020
National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India.

All Illustrations and photographs

in the document are Copyright of
respective owners.

Craft Future by Yatharth is licensed under

a Creative Commons Attribution- Non
Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

I hereby declare that this submission is my own work and it
contains no full or substantial copy of previously published
material, or it does not even contain substantial proportions
of material which have been accepted for the award of any
other degree or final graduation of any other educational
institution, except where due acknowledgement is made
in this graduation project. Moreover, I also declare that
none of the concepts are borrowed or copied without due
acknowledgement. I further declare that the intellectual
content of this graduation project is the product of my own
work, except to the extent that assistance from others in the
project’s design and conception or in style, presentation and
linguistic expression is acknowledged. This degree project (or
part of it) was not and will not be submitted as assessed work
in any other academic course.

Student Name in Full: Yatharth



I hereby grant the National Institute of Design the right to
archive and to make available my graduation project/thesis/
dissertation in whole or in part in the Institute’s Knowledge
Management Centre in all forms of media, now or hereafter
known, subject to the provisions of the Copyright Act. I have
either used no substantial portions of copyright material in
my document or I have obtained permission to use copyright

Student Name in Full: Yatharth


About the
In the following Document, I will be
describing my role in a Long term Research
& Open Inquiry. The document will outline
the journey of formulating an open brief,
approach towards theoretical research, The project refers to all the
structuring hypothesis and Identifying open source files as
opportunity areas of experiments,
prototyping and potential collaboration or 🌎 Links
The files can be accessed
I hope this project will be useful to someone
online with the given link
working with crafts and future based
number at
projects down the line.

I also hope this project will serve as a case

study for anyone planning to explore an strangerobot/
open ended Inquiry for their thesis. CraftFuture

Craft Future is an open-ended, Critical Inquiry. Through Creative
Practice it aims to understand the relationship between
Crafts as a practice, Technology as a medium and Future as

1. The Inquiry attempts to study the framework of how we look

at crafts and technology through literature review, and research
into their history, contemporary state and future possibilities.

2. Through hypothesis and experiments with generative Design,

Artificial Intelligence and 3D Printing, it seeks to expand the
definition of digital crafts and making. At the same time, the
Inquiry analyses the issues of ownership, power and accessibility
of technology through an effort at crafting an Amazon Alexa
device locally, and the challenges it entails.

3. Finally, it proposes a new framework of looking at crafts

through discourse with experts in the field, an emerging
manifesto for crafts and a Speculative Craft Exposition of
2035, with a macro outlook and situating crafts within the
conversations around the environment, sustainability, city,
market, democracy and Non-Alienation.

In its current stage the Inquiry is a collection of ideas in

formation, Which can be carried forward through various
proposals mentioned through the document and sharing the
learning in digital crafts to a broader creative audience of artists,
students and craftsmen. In that spirit all research, experiments
and tools in this Inquiry are shared under an open-source

About NID
About Exhibition Design

1. Background ..19
1.1. Authors Note
1.2. How it came to be?
1.3. Positions on Crafts, Technology and Future
1.4. What is this project
1.5. How to read this document
1.5.1. As a Toolkit and Resource
1.5.2. As a Critique and Provocation
1.5.3. As a Personal Journey

2. Project Framework ..29

2.1. About the Sponsor
2.2. Project Inspirations
2.2.1. Open Source
2.2.2. Makers Manifesto
2.2.3. Critical Design
2.2.4. Anti-Disciplinary Hypothesis
2.3. Initial Brief
2.3.1. Methodology
2.3.2. Journey
2.4. What is Craft / What is Future
2.5. Studying India Report
2.5.1. Background
2.5.2. Purpose
2.5.3. Conclusions
2.5.4. India Report Project


3. Crafts ..49
3.1. Understand Crafts
3.1.1. Origins
3.1.2. Design Review of Design on Craft
3.1.3. Romanticism
3.1.4. Politics
3.2. Lenses at Craft
3.2.1. Crafts as Process
3.2.2. Crafts as Action
3.2.3. Crafts as Philosophy
3.2.4. Crafts as Culture
3.3. Contexts of Crafts
3.4. What makes it Craft
3.5. Towards a Definition?

4. Technology ..65
4.1. Technology and Craft
4.1.1. Technology is the tool of Craft
4.1.2. A customised tool
4.1.3. Technological Utopias & Dystopias
4.1.4. Crafted Technologies
4.1.5. Digital Crafts
4.2. Digital Crafts
4.3. What can crafts be?

5. Research & Tools ..85

5.1. Craft Histories
5.2. Indian Handicrafts
5.3. Craft Timelines
5.4. Ethnographic Interview Tool
5.5. Craft and Value
5.6. Craft Statement
5.7. Lenses to Look at Crafts

6. Generative Crafts ..115

6.1. Crafting with Code
6.2. Pottery
6.2.1. Digital Pottery Tools
6.2.2. Experiments Auto Lota Lota Maker
6.3. Textiles
6.3.1. Weaving Simulations
6.3.2. Threading
6.4. Differential Growth
6.4.1. Background
6.4.2. Scope
6.4.3. Process
6.4.4. Experiments Local Planar Expansion Repulsive Expansion Edge Expansion on a sheet Edge Expansion a closed surface
6.4.5. Relation With Weaving

7. Physical to Digital to Physical ..147

7.1. Physical to Digital
7.1.1. Media to Content
7.1.2. Content & Craft
7.2. Digital to Physical
7.2.1. 3D printing as Craft
7.2.2. Learning 3D Printing- A Personal Guide
7.2.3. Things I made

8. Crafting with Artificial Intelligence ..163

8.1. AI+ Crafts
8.1.1. GAN
8.1.2. Dimensionality Reduction
8.1.3. Pix2Pix
8.1.4. Possibilities & Limitation
8.2. Crafting an AI
8.3. Artificial Intelligence in Creative Practice

9. Crafting Amazon Echo ..181

9.1. Buying an Echo, Who owns it after all?
9.1.1. Prologue
9.1.2. Ownership
9.1.3. Licenses – Agree to Continue
9.1.4. Privacy- What happens to my Data
9.1.5. Right to Open/ Right to Repair
9.2. Making my Own Amazon Echo
9.2.1. What is Inside?
9.2.2. DIY Echo
9.2.3. Hacking it to be my own
9.2.4. Prototyping with Potter


10. Craft Future Lab ..207

10.1. Premise
10.2. Report
10.3. Conclusions on Craft
10.4. Directions Forward

11. Value for Crafts ..217

11.1. A Manifesto for the Future
11.1.1. Sustainability
11.1.2. Community
11.1.3. Purpose
11.1.4. Collaboration
11.1.5. Accessibility
11.1.6. Non-Alienation

12. Crafts Expo 2035 ..227

12.1. Synopsis
12.2. Speculation as an Imagination Tool
12.3. The World
12.4. The Basics
12.5. The Journey
12.6. The Citizens
12.7. The Site
12.8. The Pavilion
12.9. The Crafts
12.10. Directions Forward

13. Afterthoughts ..263
13.1. Author as Craftsman
13.2. Conclusions
13.3. Critical Reflections
13.4. What is this Project
13.5. Acknowledgements
13.6. Bibliography

Mental Health

The project started with a question

around what is my position as a designer
is and what is a project in the first place.
This section describes my positions,
expectations, sponsors, the brief ‘Craft
Future’ and the framework in which the
Inquiry operates.

1 Background ...19
2 Project ..29
Internationally acclaimed as one of the foremost
multidisciplinary institutions in the field of Design
education and research, NID is an autonomous

Institute of
institution under the Ministry of Commerce and
Industry, Government of India.

The Institute is a relic of the post-Independence task
of Nation Building India faced in its early days. Based
on the India Report by Charles and Ray Eames the
Institute started in 1961 with a focus on improving living
standards across the young nation through problem
solving, easing the transition from a ‘traditional
society’ to a ‘communication society’, and the search
for the Indian Identity across all aspects of life. The
Education at NID is based on ‘Learning by doing’ and
Bauhausian pedagogy.

Today with its over 20 courses in IT Integrated,

Industrial, Communication, Textiles and
Interdisciplinary Design, the Institute sits an
Interesting juncture of Cultural Sensitivity and
Technological Expertise, Industrial training and
Socialist Philosophy. Practical approach and
Theoretical imagination of 21st Century design In
India. The Environment in NID facilitates observation,
contextualisation, sensitivity and self-motivated
learning through peers and environment itself.

Exhibition Design is a transdisciplinary department
with very broad scope of work which perhaps the
name doesn’t communicate in one glance.

Design The space in which the education happens can range

from retail, museums, set design, to communities,
from virtual reality to conceptual spaces which
Facultuy of trigger discussion and imaginations. The teaching
operates at the intersection of Art, Architecture,
Communication Design and Technology, with a focus on social design,
system thinking, storytelling, hands-on making,
Design teamwork and Anti-disciplinary thinking.

The three years in Exhibition design is marked with

boundless exploration across mediums, ideologies
and a search for agency as a designer not bound by
disciplinary boundaries but driven by curiosity and a
authºrs Nºte
I chose this degree project as an opportunity to be able to
identify my role as a designer/ researcher and to situate
my practice in understanding the relation between emerging
technology and social structures.

I was looking to expand my skills in emerging tech, especially

Artificial Intelligence, at the same time it felt essential to
involve myself into critique and discourse around it.

I wanted my project to be not

focus on the designed outcome
itself, but a process which
can contribute to making
technology accessible, futures
democratic & collectively
inform my future work in these
Personally, I saw my graduation thesis as an important testing
ground for my future academic interest, an opportunity to build
things without institutional constraints, and a time to seek
clarity of thoughts.


Hºw it
came tº be?
At the time of joining, we hadn’t decided the project brief but discussed the
common grounds around which the project was going to be framed, namely:
India, Future, Technology, Smart Cities, Locale, Heritage and Crafts. After
arrival in Goa, I was invited by Ayaz for a dinner. We discussed the interest
areas which we would frame the inquiry around,

over a glass of wine and my lowered

inhibitions, I ended up agreeing
on investigating the relationship
between something which I really
felt connected to: technology and
something which I considered my arch
nemesis during my time at NID, ‘crafts’.
And thus, the inquiry ‘Craft Future’ was born to investigate relationship
between emerging technology and crafts.


Positiºns on

Through my time at NID, I failed to connect with craft, although I

respected the idea of crafts and the practitioners working with it.
It failed to resonate with me. Perhaps it had to do with my personal
inhibitions in making things by ‘hand’ and thus a disconnect towards the
‘handicrafts’. Most Importantly, for me craft felt like a relic of the past,
something which was important and worth preserving but not something
to look into future with, I found no excitement in talking about the past.
I could not see crafts fit in a world directed by Machine Learning and
Media Environments.

I looked at technology as a two edged sword. With a practice and portfolio

built on using it, I was thrilled by the possibility it brought to the table
at the same time the often-difficult learning curve was worrying. Behind
every technological magic is a Blackbox, which facilitates manipulation
and exploitation. The inequality in understanding and control of
technology directly translates to socio-economic gap in 21st century.
Learning how to use technology was not enough, sharing and making it
accessible for the rest of us was something I looked forward to.

Future is 'boring'. The popular depictions of Future make us believe

it is made up of exciting possibilities and challenging problems, but I
see future as manifestations of already existing issues in the society
and the existing promises which are yet to be fulfilled. Future is situated
more in your local vegetable market than terraforming efforts on Mars.
Future seems like a space easily clouded by grand promises of technology
to either fix or break everything, often forgetting the seemingly
mundane things which are to happen in future. I see future built around
attempts to achieve access, justice and participation for all.
How can we become constant travelers within a border-free, and
lingo-legible ‘intellectual Pangea?' How can we traverse a cerebral
supercontinent, where the analog of world citizenship governs our
identity as thinking—and creating—beings? How can we navigate an
atlas that is charted not for four hats, but for one pair of shoes, and
with which we can—including some luck and a quantum leap-of-
faith—inhabit multiple places at once?

Can a scientist invent better solutions than an engineer? Is an artist’s

mindset really all that different from a scientist’s? Are they simply
two ways of operating in the world that are complementary and
intertwined? Or, when practicing art, is perhaps what truly counts
less the art form and more one’s (way of) being? Ultimately:

is there a way to understand the culture of making which transcends

a two-dimensional Euclidean geometry—four plots to match four
hats—to a more holistic, integrative and globe-like approach?

-Neri Oxman, Age Of Entanglement, JoDS


What is this
I am trying to figure out this question out as I write this
document. For over last 9 months I have been acting, not always
with a fixed goal or deliverable in mind but with a few questions
driven by curiosity and interests, all guided by an overarching
word, ‘Craft’.

I have been asked multiple times to explain this project's

purpose in one sentence, I have a different answer for every
person each time. Everytime someone asks me who my target
audience is, there is an inherit expectation of a design project
to 'Do things for someone or some purpose'. Maybe the target
audience of this project is everyone, afterall we all are heading
for the future and interact with technology.

In foundation year of NID, the establishment of difference

between Art and Design becomes an important institutional
discussion. Seniors, batchmates and even Faculties talk about
it extensively. There is a sort of comfort in drawing boundaries.
Through classroom design projects, we try to internalise the idea
of a ‘Design Process’ and the words it brings with it, prototyping,
'mind maps', 'brainstorming', 'stakeholder mapping', 'user testing,'
'secondary research', 'storyboarding', etc

The Idea of Design as creative problem solving, something which

can be proven with a set of numbers and tests takes the front
seat, As an individual involved in the project, you have to remain
as distant from the project as possible but at the same time be
able to prove your involvement through neutral metrics and the
process. Any sort of Indulgence of the ‘Designer’ and the ‘Design’
carries the risk of becoming too personal and perhaps ‘Artsy’.
The work I have done in last 9 months is neither about problem solving
or art. It is not a Design Project in traditional sense as it is not trying to
achieve an end goal or fulfill a brief, Its not a personal project either, Its
an academic project where I am personally invested. It an Inquiry and
discourse about design and technology through the lens of crafts and
digital making.

In the Essay Age of Entanglement, (Neri Oxman [1],JoDs)proposes “a

map for four domains of creative exploration—Science, Engineering,
Design and Art—in an attempt to represent the antidisciplinary
hypothesis: that knowledge can no longer be ascribed to, or produced
within, disciplinary boundaries, but is entirely entangled.”

As I have progressed along the Inquiry, I have constantly found it at

intersections of multiple disciplines and sometimes even outside all
of them. This Inquiry is entangled . I have acted as an Artist, Engineer,
Craftsman and Researcher in this project. There is not one design
which has happened through the project rather a series of Inquiries
with design approaches.

This Inquiry is research

through Creative Practice.
Here, Design is not the purpose
but a medium.

How to Read this
At the end of the day, this document is meant to be read. As
an object I feel this document and everything it contains in
the words of Paola Antonelli[2], maybe understood as a 'Knotty
Object'[3]. Yet I will try to suggest a few ways in which this
document can be read

As a Toolkit &
I have tried to outline all the tools I have used in this project
to the best of my ability. Each experiment is followed by a
section on the process, tools, learning resources and source
files I have used. In some sections I have tried to list the
considerations and proposals for projects I intended to take on
through research. I hope the open-source nature of this project
encourages the readers to pickup the tools and proposals on
their own, add things to it and share it with others.

1 Neri Oxman is an American–Israeli designer and professor at the MIT Media Lab, where
she leads the Mediated Matter research group.

2 Paola Antonelli is an Italian author, editor, and curator. She is currently Director
of R&D at The Museum of Modern Art, New York City

As a critique &
As the inquiry tries to analyse Crafts, Design and Technology
critically, I have tried to lay my arguments and understanding
of each subject as clear as I could. The inquiry also tends to
ask a lot more questions than giving an answer to them, and
that is on purpose. I feel the document will be successful in
its intent only if it could raise atleast a few eyebrows. The
project describes ideas in formation, often through a subjective
lens, the arguments in the Inquiry are supposed to act as
provocation for the readers. If you agree or disagree with
something, I request you to please share it with people around
you and drop a line Instagram@CraftFuture.
As a personal
And finally, this project is a personal journey of figuring out my
own design practice. In pieces throughout the project I have
tried to write what I have been feeling, the challenges and how
I tried to navigate around them. I hope this project can serve
as a meaningful resource for anyone taking up an Open Inquiry
for their thesis or anyone trying to figure out their own design


Knotty objects are bigger than the The creation of knotty objects is just
sum of their parts. Viewing them as knotty. In fact, the techniques to
fuses multiple perspectives, thereby create them, as well as their ultimate
generating an expanded, more physical expression, are intellectual
profound, vision of the world. Knotty mirror images of each other: the
objects are so knotty that one can process reflects the knottiness of
no longer disentangle the disciplines their related products. Bluntly, a
or the disciplinary knowledge that knotty creator must simultaneously
contributed to their creation. If in the occupy all four domains of the KCC,
Age of Entanglement, we understand and bring together insights that are
objects from a manifold of vantages, as profoundly scientific as they are
Knotty Objects force awareness of artistically insightful.
their condition through a multivalent
approach. -Age of Entanglement,JoDS
About the Sponsor
The Busride Labs
The Busride Labs is a research lab led by Ayaz Basrai and is
located in Aldona, Goa. The lab is based on the philosophy
of informing theoretical research through commercial and
social practice; and informing its practice through research.
On the practice side it primarily deals with Built Environments
and Hospitality with a touch of whimsical experimentalism.
On the theory side the lab focuses on Heritage, Conservation,
Crafts, Cities, Speculative futures of India and writings…lots of
writings. In between the two the it deals with collaborations,
wild imagination, difficult questions, confusing answers and a
humbling Goan backdrop.

Ayaz Basrai
Ayaz Graduated in Industrial Design, specialising in Product
Design from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
in 2003. With his brother Zameer, an Architect, he setup the
‘The Busride’ as an Independent Design Studio specialising in
the design and creation of built environments, ranging from
built environments to exhibition and temporary installations,
Institutional and architectural environments. Ayaz’s practice is
now heading towards asking some fundamental questions and
leaving everyone around him confused in the process, including
the Author.

Ayaz has acted as a constant guide and inspiration to the

author to take a leap of faith in his own ideas while carefully
feeding the much needed inputs for thoughts, reflection and
It is difficult to pinpoint what inspired this project because
the range of influences I feel I had on while taking this project
spanned across everything I have learned till now. Instead of
talking about the people or projects which Inspired me, I will try
to outline the schools of thought I subscribed to in this Inquiry

Project Inspirations
Open Source
I have always been awed by the nature and power of open
source culture, A bunch of people come together to work on
something without any particular monetary intent. The open
source movement has a sort of organic way of bringing people
together to build large pieces of software which a traditional
organization structure would not achieve

Open source has liberated knowledge from the trap of copyright

and intellectual property by bringing a lot of crucial technologies
and educational material in the public domain. In the essay the
Cathedral and The Bazaar, Eric Raymond outlines the Open
Source model to be something similar to “A great babbling
bazaar of differing agendas and approaches”.

In the bazaar model the roles of a person is not clearly defined.

Rather, it allows for a greater freedom to move between roles.

Makers Manifesto
Makers Movement Manifesto refers to a call to action in the
2013 book by Mark Hatch. The Manifesto calls for the readers
to start making , sharing and learning together using the new
tools and technologies like 3D printing, CNC, Arduino’s becoming
accessible. The idea of making things was at the center of
this project where I wanted to explore these new tools and
understand them better by working with them.

"Making is fundamental to what it means to be human. We

must make, create and express ourselves to feel whole. There is
something unique about making physical things. These things are
like little pieces of us and seem to embody portions of our souls"
-Mark Hatch, The Makers Manifesto

Critical Design
Through my time at NID I had grown more and more interested
in looking at design beyond functionality and aesthetics, I
often found myself questioning the role of design itself. Early
on in NID I was introduced to the approach of Critical Design
through exercises in Speculative Design and a group of friends
similarly interested in asking a lot of questions.

Dunne and Raby[1] define critical design as

“Critical Design uses speculative design proposals to challenge
narrow assumptions, preconceptions and givens about the
role projects play in everyday life. It is more of an attitude than
anything else, a position rather than a method. Its opposite is
affirmative design: design that reinforces the status quo.”

This project tries to employ multiple tools from the spectrum of

critical design, including speculative design, discursive design
and design critique.

At the core of MIT Media Labs, one of the organizations I really
look up to is the Anti Disciplinary hypothesis,
“Interdisciplinary work is when people from different disciplines
work together. But antidisciplinary is something very different;
it’s about working in spaces that simply do not fit into any
existing academic discipline–a specific field of study with its
own particular words, frameworks, and methods.“
-Joi Ito[2], Former Director, MIT Media Lab

Off lately I started seeing my work veer into territories of Art,

Engineering and Science making it difficult to put my work
as Design more and more challenging with time. This idea
of creating work and studying in a place which does not fall
into any academic discipline in particular was an Important
motivation for the project.


1 Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming. MIT Press, 2014.
2 Ito, Joichi. “Design and Science.” Journal of Design and Science, 2016, doi:10.21428/

Initial Brief
January 2019:
The research Inquiry aims to examine
traditional crafts with respect to
contemporary technologies and the futures
they would bring.

Can these technologies change the way

the crafts work ? At the same time it also
aims to take the larger craft practice
and craft process and see how a craft
approach can change how we develop
technology, how we make cities and how
we imagine the future, how can we develop
algorithms in small communities ?
The Inquiry is split and presented in three
interconnected parts which occurred concurrently
through the course of the research.
All parts can be read in a non-sequential manner.

It aims to analyse the framework of the
words ‘Craft’ and ‘Technology’. Through
secondary research and literature review
it establishes theoretical tools and ideas in
which the Inquiry operates. What do these
words mean and how to look at them.

By engaging creative practice, it explores the
relationship between crafts and technology.
The section opens with hypothesis and
what if questions and goes on to frame
experiments and arguments to test the
ideas out. It also outlines the methods and
techniques used in the experiments for the
reader to refer to and explore on their own.

Using discussions and provocations,
discourse attempts to form an expanded
understanding of crafts. The section proposes
a new framework to look at crafts, and
further uses introspective speculations to put
down critical imaginations of a city, people
and a crafted future.

The inquiry pursued 3 major

streams which simultaneously fed Directions
into and informed each other.
Physical to
Digital to

AI Workshop 10
8 Craft
AI in Future
Practice 5 Lab
Reasearch 6
Aldona Echo and Toolkits Crafts
3&4 12
Crafts and Craft
Technology Expo


Framework Practice Discourse

Jan July October

Reflecting and
Imagine Documenting
Read and Write

Expanding the Values

into a Speculative world
and forming macro
Exploration Reflection picture of what they
into Digital Crafts,
Programming, AI, 3D
printing, DIY culture.
Condensing all the
Forming a sense of what my theories and Ideas
skills and interests are and into 6 Values
Introduction to Inquiry, A lot of building on them
literature review and secondary
reasearch to Identify what these
Navigating Intersection with
words mean.
my Experimental work and
Theoretical ideas. Framing the
Introspection on meaning of
future possiblities as proposals
Design and Design Education

Identifying my agency in the Discussion with experts leading

project as an active practicioner to validation of some of my ideas
of technological crafts, thus in the project, also giving a wider
bringing a new perspective on perspective of Crafts discourse.
the subject of crafts.
What is Future

The future is a lot of things and it is very hyped these He draws some contrasts between craft and a
days in design. I am primarily interested in the new design approach:
upcoming technologies like 3D Manufacturing, •Settling in situation vs Problematizing
Artificial Intelligence(?), Blockchains and Tangible
interfaces and exploring their place in craft and •Building relationship vs Solving Issues
design processes, from the level of prototyping, •Making things fit vs Fixing things
concept iteration and all the way to brief. This is •Community vs Industry
all design Jargon here but what kind of preferable
future I am trying to explore is the one where
•Slow and Flexible vs Fast and Agile
technology is accessible to everyone, power is
In the context of Internet of Things he talks about
decentralized, and the status quo is constantly
how the current industrial production of technology
focuses on a Tens of Million approaches which
centralizes the data and power in the hands of a
A big part is to explore not just how crafts would
few people and companies. Whereas what a craft
change with time through new technologies and
based approach would focus on is Millions of tens
new markets which will emerge. But also, how can
model where these devices are in smaller clusters,
we use craft thinking , approach and put them
more customized and have more ownership. Much
into our Cities, Governments, The Internet, Artificial
like how a potter would make small batches of
Intelligence and so on.
pots which would work in the context of the village
sustaining its economy and culture, but through
The aim here is to look for a preferable future through
mass manufactured chinese plastic pots, the Lota
craft. That's one of the reasons the Inquiry keeps its
starts exercising economic and cultural control over
name as craft future and not future of craft or craft
the village.
of the future.
The control is especially visible in technology
Here In context of Craft and Tech, I would like to
business today where you are not allowed to repair
highlight a few things which came up during my
devices you own, much less talk about building your
reading of unbox field notes on Craft and Tech
between Jon Rogers and Andrew Prescott, according
to Jon a craft approach is about engagement
In my limited capacity I would also try to look at the
with material and its about the making. Not about
open source movement, maker culture and digital
aesthetics, efficiency or results.

From Blog

What is Craft?
The project started with an attempt to understand what craft is,
the hypothesis was that “Craft is handmade things” will be a rough
definition with traditional examples like pottery, weaving maybe
some carving. A quick google search lead to the first set of problems
of the Inquiry, I didn’t know what craft is.

The first few results depending on who you are from would range
from Wikipedia of “Artisanal” to Craft of Writing to Craft Beer. As
a word crafts are as heavily loaded and vast as Art and Design.
To complicate things even more, the words Art, Craft and Design
are often used in overlapping contexts. Coming up with a working
definition of ‘Craft’ was going to be a big challenge in this Inquiry

It was important to start the search from home, Design.

Studying India
In 1958 on an invitation from the Government, Charles and Ray
Eames visited India and travelled around for three months. The
purpose of the visit was to give “recommendations on a programme
of training in design that would serve as an aid to the small industries;
and that would resist the present rapid deterioration in design and
quality of consumer goods”. Through the visit, Charles and Ray Eames
visited several Indian villages, Production and Handicraft hubs and
drafted the India Report. India Report became the blueprint of
design Education of India with the National Institute of Design being
established on its recommendations.

The India report most famously talks about the Humble Lota
and transformation of India from a ‘Traditional Society’ to
‘Communication Society’. With the metaphor of a Lota the report sets
an example of what a small scale production is capable of achieving,
According to Eames the lota has adapted to the needs of users of
each region, and have become a Design object, which is so universal
and so functional which Industrial design can only aim to achieve.

“It is in this climate that handicrafts flourish – changes take

place by degrees – there are moments of violence, but the
security is in the status quo.”
about the risk of our transition into ‘Communication Society’ which
values ‘Change’ and ‘Evolution’ over the ‘Status quo’, and the risks
our traditional handicrafts face are apparent.

Today the Design Education in NID and Other colleges like NIFT,
takes a stance of being an intermediate between ‘Traditional’ and
‘Information’ society, With introduction to handicrafts in Foundation,
through extensive ‘Craft Documentation’ projects and several Craft
centric projects the Institute and its Students undertake.

The purpose of studying the Eames report was to understand what
the philosophy has been the Design Education I got at the NID and
how It might unconsciously influence my approach in this work.

Another aim was to relook at the report and try to analyse it in a

post communication society framework, what the report and its
approach to design education means in 21st Century, With Schools
around the world like the influential Royal College of Art, Harvard
GSD, Design Academy Eindhoven and MIT, taking a more inviting
and sometimes pioneering role in technology and future centric
education, what it means to be a designer in a country trying to
preserve and celebrate its valued tradition and culture, at the same
time trying to reach the forefront of the Information revolution?

Although India Report in its original state manages to lay down the
directions for Design Education in India, it feels Inadequate in dealing
with a more contemporary design discourse. The report is a relic from
the modernist project with all its merits and important insights, fails
to comply with new paths the nation is trying to take forward, where
food and shelter are still an important need for a huge portion of the
nation but at the same time we are trying to emerge as a thought and
industrial leader.

The India Report is a report about one ‘The India’, a Young nation
with immediate issue of feeding its hungry population & setting up
industries. Over last 70 years, the Nation has evolved into a complex
collection of India’s and Bharat’s, some versions of the nation still have
the same ‘Immediate problems’ while the ‘other versions’ of nation
dealing with complex global problems like climate crisis. Often these
‘versions’ of India are entangled, inter-related and often contradictory.

One India Report with its

straightforward goals does not
encompass all the challenges and
aspirations India has today.
figure: Charles &
Ray Eames, 1958,
India Report

India India Report Project is a series of
Reimagination of what India Report would
Report be if it was written at different junctions of
Project history, today and in future. And, what if a
diverse set of people wrote it.

Methodology Outreach
The India Report was The Amended iterations
distributed among the of the India Report were
peer group and they shared on a public forum on
were asked to read and Instagram through stories
make amendments to it and posts.
in their best capacity,
some amendments were @CraftFuture
situated in future. There
are no better/right/wrong
amendments but multiplicity
of them.


Excerpts From

Ammendment 1
by Yatharth


Limitations Conclusion & Scope

In the scope of this project, The project does not aim to write
the report just served to a new India Report but to allow
understand what design design practitioner to Identify
practice means to me their own value system and
personally. design practice.

The project was limited to This is a self-reflective exercise

a very small peer group which can be Introduced as a
of ‘thinking’ designers. part of Foundation programmes
The outreach can also be in design curriculum, allowing
limited due to the medium young design students to situate
of Instagram themselves in design practice and
start the journey of defining their
agency as a designer early on.

Read the full


🌎 Link 1

The amendments
were shared on

Harshali Paralikar
Critters Collective

3. Understanding Crafts ..49
4. Technology & Crafts ..65
5. Research & Tools ..85
Excerpt From Blog

Review of
Designs on
Craft, DeNicola
& Weber (D&W)

Modern Craft discourses by designers worker whose knowledge and

often describes the craft as ‘traditional’
and ‘handicraft’ or something to be
capacity of creativity is superior
preserved, often missing the ‘everyday and uncontroversial’ further
socio-economic interactions where muting the voice of crafts people
authorship,expertise,purpose and history
are negotiated’ but instead the way the in the forums design operates.
crafts are described often ends up ‘weigh
down the ideological conception of labor’. The Development Worker
The discourse also helps reinforce class
and power difference between craftsmen,
designer,NGOs and so on often downplaying They also talk about the shift in the way we
the complexity of craft production in which a talk about ‘knowledge,work and creativity’
single ‘craftsman’ can take multiple roles in a and ‘crafts and labor’ perhaps we have
single career moving between labor-producer- created a distinction between both. They
middleman-entrepreneur-institutional attribute it to post 1990(globalization)
teacher. shift from ‘the language of co-operatives
and grassroots mobilization’ to talks
about ‘marketing, business models and
This simplified way of talking entrepreneurship’. The change in priorities
about craft also tends to create has placed middlemen between the maker
a contrast between ‘a generic and there access market and that can
be observed as ‘growing assertion among
tradition-bound crafts worker’ designers to intervene in even more
and ‘designer or development fundamental ways in the process of making’.

Parallelly to the study of India Report, I started looking at the

Literature around crafts to get an Idea of how academia and
literature have tried to define crafts.

In his Book, The Invention of Craft, Glenn Adamson (Head of
Research at V&A) , Calls craft as a modern invention.

Which emerged out of the Industrial Revolution. According to

Adamson the concept of :
Industry and Crafts existing through
with there difference being primarily in the labour division and
management, Industry represents the erosion of Craftsman’s
Autonomy. He argues, crafts and making are the
“most effective means of materialising
beliefs, transforming the world around us
and controlling others”.

According to Adamson,
Design exercises control over crafts
through use of Technical drawings over
Conceptual ideas.
The designer and design process often plays the role of an
intermediate and middle man between the craftsman and the
user, and drawings can end up exercising control over the free
will of Craftsmen.
It’s almost seen a responsibility of the
Modern designer to be the benefactor
and protector of the ‘unmodern’
maker and the need is justified
through ‘statistical evidence such as
and access to travel’ the objective forms
of data help distinguish the ‘developed’
designers from the ‘underdeveloped maker’
and also necessitate projects to ‘assist’ them.

Later on, Dawn Nafus and Richard Beckwith

(DnS, Critical Craft, Bloomsburry) bring out
A Search Result for "Designer Stock Photo India" the oversimplified understanding of craft
in which we tend to put craft in either
‘timeless’ or low quality everyday things,
According to D&W often forgetting the complexity which arises
‘Designers are elite cosmopolitan in between. They point out this idea of Craft
getting closely associated to a patron, like
person who institutionally a ruler or businessman leading to thriving of
contribute to a ‘Global Hierarchy the highest quality of craft or in a way the
‘golden age’ but DnS say that there studies
of Value’ in which ‘Homogeneous of crafts in India shows that this may not
language of culture and ethics be always true. The narrative of the Golden
has become pervasive and Age is important as it provides a historical
benchmark to our construction of the pre-
commonsensical and claim colonial India and in multiple ways also
that sometimes the ‘expert’ constructs a national and regional identity,
inputs from the designers can which was authentic and now in decline.

limit the craft from becoming

contemporary through their own

The design discourse tries to establish the

Designer as a person who understands the
global market and modern needs and tastes
and thus acts as a mediator between the
tradition and modernity but instead of
“reproduces the presumed tension between
innovation and tradition”. The designers
which are primarily middle class often tend
to to see themselves as people who can
“uniquely span the divide between makers
and the consumer” and this is direct result
of the “evocative dualism of cosmopolitan vs A Search Result for "Craftsman Stock Photo India"
provincial” the middle class designers draw
from according to Fischer.

The ‘Traditional’ Worker

The discourse of Innovation
vs Tradition especially puts an They bring attention to the distinction
expectation on the crafts to be between mental and manual labor again in
which the brain conceived the grand plans
‘traditional’ to be authentic and and the manual labor just carries out the
marketable, which according to instructions, often erasing the problem
venkatesan is an “Idealized space solving, creative and management skill of the
craftsmen and often deskilling them. They put
in which crafts,defined by the the forward the argument that most of these
middle and upper middle class crafts have survived various socio-political
resides” upheavals in the past with ingenuity showing

Edward Said talks about ‘Orientalism’[1] which applies a lot in
the Craft Discourse also. For Said, The concept of Orient exists
as a way to contrast the west from the east, it’s the difference
of ours and theirs.

The Concept of Orient is a mirror of self-superiority, which is

Invented by the West, for the West, to project what it doesn’t
want to acknowledge about itself on the East.

Even modern Romanticism in the East, which portrays the east

as exotic, sunshine, pure, natural and innocent, becomes a
means of controlling the self-Image of the East.

The similarity with the relation of Crafts and Industry is

remarkable, In an Industrial world, we position crafts as an
exotic, anti of Industry, something outside the realms of
efficiency and functionality of Industrial produce.

Crafts becomes an Idea to be

romanticized but not normalised.

In ‘Traces of Craft’[2] Esther Leslie, characterizes the Hand
as a ‘political organ’. Craft’s political legacy can be seen in
the Arts and Crafts movement and in Gandhi’s philosophy of
Khadi. Modern movements like Craftivism use the idea of using
a craft as a tool of activism: "craftivism is a way of looking at
life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice
stronger, your compassion deeper & your quest for justice more
infinite". [3]

A story of craft activism can be seen in Arpillera, A patchwork

craft which became popular among women in Chile during
Dictator Pinochet’s regime, the Arpilleras represented and
documented human rights violation by the regime and
provided a source of income for the families.

As a political tool, Craft becomes the voice

of protest, expression and identity, socio-
economic freedom, worker rights and
control over means of production.

[1] Orientalism, Edward Said, 1978
[2] Walter Benjamin : Traces of Craft, Eshter Leslie
[3] Craftism Wikipedia
that perhaps our simplistic understanding designer and technician working
of craft is flawed. Also stepping out of the
urban cosmopolitan lens which puts the
in all three ways to serve his
artisan as the lower class in great despair users’ needs.He was a source
shows that often in rural context the same both of inspiration and problem
artisan can form the middle and upper
middle class, often controlling the means of solving, functioning always within
production and even driving the economy of the core of his society. With
whole geographical region. the advent of colonialism and
For example the Chikan Craft in Lucknow industrialism, the integral quality
is often labelled as a small scale craft of his role began to disintegrate.
industry, which in fact happens to be one
of the largest employers in the city, on a
sheer scale there is nothing non-industrious Efforts at craft regeneration
about it apart from the lack of machines during India’s freedom
and distributed production across various
households. In economic terms, it’s a full
movement and in the years after
blown industry. It is an industry in which the Independence have not yet been
entrepreneur and worker is not a distinction able to draw craft back into the
but actually dictated by the market, often
time the agents(primarily female) are center of national consciousness”
also craftsperson who take up smaller
commissions from patrons for finer work but On Tradition
other times source mass production to other
embroiders working under them.
They are particularly critical of the ‘revivalist’
approach to crafts which somehow keeps
They say that ‘fetishization’ of the craft as
reviving itself. Revival is a project which
tradition often assumes that the central
never stops and keeps coming back every
activity of a craftspersons daily life and thus
year,the media always use terms such as
discounting different roles and responsibilities
“ancient” “forgotten” “lost” “revived” etc
of business,education, management, design
while describing crafts.Revival is always just
and research the person takes. Design is
about to be done, resurrection is always
about the industrial division of labour,in
on the verge of being accomplished, and
which the creative work lies exclusively
thus the artisan is always in the need of a
with the designer , Craft is about the whole
design revivalist. They suggest either the
past efforts have not been enough or simply
ineffective and corrupt.
The craftsperson is not always concerned
with the ‘best quality’ of work they can
Finally on tradition, they say the word puts
produce, as there is no need to produce great
the working class at the periphery of middle
work for a low wage and even sometimes
class norm.Liechty and Ortner even suggest
just refuse. This is often seen as designer
that “The very act of construction tradition
as a resistance coming from the inertia and
undermines its political mobilization”.
solidity of a lower class but instead it is the
outcome of the confidence in there own
Going further Guss[2] says:
imagination and creativity which is sensitive
and responsive to the external determinant, “At the heart of all traditionalizing
which the design discourse completely processes is the desire to mask
over the real issues of power and
Designers rarely conceive of their significance domination.
only limited to ‘bringin artisans work’
instead they take a role of re-inventing
the craft where the craft is traditional and By classifying popular form as
the improvisation of the craftspeople is traditions they are effectively
disregarded, the designer dictates what must
be preserved and what must be innovated
neutralized and removed from
According to Ashok Chatterjee[1]:
“The indian craftsman was artist,

[1] Challenges of Transition: Design and Craft in India, Ashok Chatterjee, 1988
[2] The Festive Statr, Guss, 2000

Lenses at Crafts
When trying to understand what ‘Craft’ means it can be
useful to look at it through different lenses

Craft as Process
How ?
The process lens looks at the craft as the culmination of the
whole process of production of an object. From the sourcing
of the material, to how the object is made to who uses it. The
whole is larger than the sum of it parts. The nature of craft
can change with elements of the craft being changed. The
process can be broken down into Input-process-output, with
Input being the materials and knowledge involved, Process
being the tools and techniques involved and the output being
the object and user.

Craft as Action
What ?
If the practice of making has to be broken down into Art,
Design and Craft. Craft would be the execution of the Ideas,
it would be the action which manifests Ideas, concepts
and beliefs into the real world. The action lens looks at the
question of what is being done to materialise these ideas. This
lens of crafts operates in the moment of this manifestation,
it’s primarily concerned with the tacit knowledge and the
experience of the craft.
In Conclusion What did I learn from it ?

DnW suggest that we The essay highlights a few important pointers

for the project, the most importantly to stop
should detach craft and looking as the project as a conservation of
tradition,allowing us to look a craft or forcing ‘forcing innovation’ to the
craft as a Designer.
at crafts with other economic
activities. And they suggest I should be looking at the project
the culture of pirates, recyclers, as an urban craftsman and
makers and DIY enthusiasts as an collaborating with the artisans,
equivalent to craft practices.They my role in the project is not to
say perhaps the refusal of formal revive or open ‘global’ markets
industries, the resourcefulness for the crafts in the future but
and the strong understanding of to work in my capacity towards
effort and reward is where we can future and innovation together,
converge craft and contemporary sharing knowledge and skill with
maker culture. Instead of looking craftsmen.
at innovation and tradition as
separate buckets, look at mixture It’s very difficult to agree with everything DnS
are saying though, In criticizing the fetish of
of both, which the end result designers and industry they are themselves
often offers. diving into a fetish of ‘Craft doesn’t need
anything it’s already self sufficient’.

Their approach is still important for me to not

forget about the class and power structures
and be highly self aware of my role in this
imagination of craft future.

Craft as Philosophy
Why ?
The philosophy lens tends to delve into the questions of ‘Why’
do we make things. What is the driving purpose of the craft?
Is it self-expression? is it peace? is it a desire for excellence?
or an attempt to make an impact? This lens of craft allows
us to delve into more sociological, metaphysical and political
aspects of craft practice. The philosophies may not be isolation
and in most cases might be an overlap of a multitudes of why’s.

Craft as Culture
Who,When & Where ?
The culture lens asks us to look at the cultural and social
meaning of the craft, where they come from, what are the
rituals and social structures around them and who practices
them. The questions of class, heritage, tradition and identity
become important through this lens. This outlook steps back
from and situates crafts in a larger macro picture of society
and its role inside it.
of 'Crafts'

As a Profession/Livelihood
As an Approach
As Cleverness
As a Hobby
As an act of “making” something
As Small Scale
As Handmade/ Non Industrial
As something of value
As something unique

The word craft is often used in varying

contexts and meanings, this section
tries to visually breakdown the prominent
associations with the word.
makes it

Created by Dmitry Orlov

Materiality Local Economy

from the Noun Project

Created by Georgiana Ionescu

from the Noun Project

Can we change the material of Can money remain in local system

the craft while it still remains a in modern economy? And is it
craft ? What about converting even desirable? Does craft model
it into a digital form ? Don't prevent trade and thus exchange
material change over time with of ideas?
their availability ?

Created by corpus delicti

Created by riska ambiya mahfudin
from the Noun Project

from the Noun Project

Local Ecology Tangibility The care and love

Created by jokokerto
from the Noun Project

What meaning does local What is tangibility? Digital Can a piece of craft be created
ecology have when materials pieces of work still have value? with only algorithmic process
can be sourced from anywhere Digital pieces can be converted with no real love to it, just keep
in the world and worked with. back to physical, the designs generating. While being unique,
The future is in re-localisation? are still an intellectual property. Industrialised Uniqueness?
or decentralisation over the What about knowledge of craft? More Importantly can we train a
internet? Is it tangible? machine to feel care for the user?
What about in exploitative craft
clusters? A humane factor like
care and love can be explored in
automated production by involving
the human in the emotional
decision-making process and
machine systems taking over

Can we breakdown a This section takes a reductionist approach

to break down small chunks from the picture
craft practice into small of crafts and tries to question their validity
components and identify in defining a craft. The list by no means
what makes it craft and not is complete and serves a springboard for
an industrial practice? hypothesising new ways of looking at crafts.

History Non Industrial

Created by Tomi Triyana
from the Noun Project

Created by ahmad
from the Noun Project

With contemporary craft like 3D printing,
there is often no long-term history Industries keep involving the concept
involved. If crafts is bound by history of craft, like china’s production
then how do new crafts emerge? Can villages which specialize in just
we Imagine a craft with no culture and one form of production like a craft
history but something which leads to cluster. Decentralised but an industry,
the formation of one, again 3D printing nevertheless.
serves an example?

The Uniqueness
Created by Shiva
from the Noun Project

The risk factor

Created by Ralf Schmitzer
from the Noun Project

Industrialised uniqueness. Each Can digital craft have risks involved

handmade or crafted object is through some process
susceptible to a level of uniqueness
either by intent or the process which Algorithmic risk: Industrial methods are
introduces non-identicalness, providing created to minimise the risks involved in
character(?). The industrial objects don't the process and are also meant to go
have such pronounced divergence by through rigorous quality check to ensure
design but can easily incorporated an consistency but there still exists industries
algorithmic approach to uniqueness, like which are high risk and low yield like
the Hot Chip album cover. Perhaps with Chip manufacturing where each lot has
more sophisticated production method, a certain chance of failure, the failure
each piece can be uniquely made on a although not emerging through human
set of rules. error but through the material properties
and imperfections only.
Identical: Can craft objects be completely
identical and still be unique? What about A level of uncertainty can be programmed
moulds used in pottery? Are they crafted into existing systems to create more risky
or are they industrialised? industrial objects. Although hiking up the

The Whole
This exercise demonstrated that perhaps a
reductionist approach to a word as big as
crafts is problematic and incomplete, which
makes pinning down the exact definition
of crafts extremely difficult and perhaps a
futile exercise.
Towards a
To define the word crafts is difficult, Through the literature
review and interactions, the meaning of the word keeps
changing.Here is small collection of attempts at defining which
popped up during the reasearch

Craft is..
..Most effecting means of materializing
beliefs,transforming world around us and controlling
-Glenn Adamson, The Invention of Craft, 2013

1. Activity involving making things by hand. 2.Skill

used to deceive others.
-Google Search

..the engagement with material. About the making,

not about the aesthetic,efficiency and end result.
Extended engagement, responsive, complex+messy,
non reliant on industry, human centered,.
-Jon Rogers, Berlin Tapes, 2017

.. ot simply factors of production but receptacle and

conduits of knowledge.
-Clare M. Wilkinson-Weber, ‎Alicia Ory DeNicola, 2016

..intention and attention. Caring about the outcome

and the end user
-Guy Hurton for Arch Daily, 2013

..Care and risk,where the quality of result is not

predetermined. It involves judgement and dexterity,
with subjective and personal decisions. Object
becomes the documentation of the effort.
-David Pye, The Nature and Art of Workmanship, 2008

-Andrew Presscot, Berlin Tapes, 2017

..Is Storytelling
-Walter Benjamin

..Knowledge that empowers maker to take charge of

-Peter Dormer

..Distinctive set of knowledge,skills and aptitude centered

around a process of reflective engagement with the
material world and digital world.
- Swart and Yair, Craft Council UK, 2010

..Not only having technical skills but also an attitude and

social consciousness. A social obligation to work best for
the welfare of its people,An obligation both material and
-Japanese word Shokunin “Craftsman”

..As a kind of incremental feeling one’s way through the

world, stripped of grand plans.
-Nafus & Beckwith, Critical Craft, 2016

The challenge of coming with a definition of crafts is that it

leaves a lot more questions than answers. The word is perhaps
undefinable in traditional sense, the purpose of this project is not
to come up with a unifying definition of craft but to acknowledge
its multivalence and diversity. For the purpose of this Inquiry, the
word craft is understood more as a personal and political positions
driven by certain values and ethos. For the initial phase of research
a framework of ‘An activity of making done for someone” was used
to make sense of ‘Craft practitioners’ [Craft Statement Tool, 5.6 ]
&further on the project proposes a value driven outlook at defining
crafts [ Values for Crafts, 11.1]
Technology &
Results for Google image search for "Technology'

Technology &
A quick image search of the word technology returns a wall of
chips, brains and mobile phones in different shades of electric
blue. This popular imagination of technology is cold, distant and
abstract, its glass, robots, bits and bytes, which is quite puzzling
because technology is anything but a recent invention.

The word Technology is defined by google as “the application

of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially
in industry.” Which matches how we culturally imagine
technology in 21st century but digging a bit deeper into the
etymology of the word itself reveals a different meaning of the
word which is much closer to the subject of this inquiry, crafts.

The Crowded Relief Road
Electronics market in Ahmedabad,
India is situated in the old,
heritage district of the city

Ahmedavadi Consumer, Youtube

Minority Report, 2002 Blade Runner 1982


Technology is the
tool of craft
The word techno-logy in its Greek origin basically boils down
to the ‘Discourse and Treaty on Art and Craft’, the distinction
between the word technology and crafts is something emerged
out of rise of capitalism and industrialisation, Its not Inherit in the
word itself.

In the book, Culture of Technology (1983) Aronld Pacey uses a

triangular diagram to form an extended meaning of technology
which involves cultural and organisation aspect of a technology
practice. The popular definition of technology is restricted to this
technical meaning of what tools, software’s and techniques are
used in a process and how efficiently these processes can be

Technology Practice, The Culture of Technology (1996)

Moving away from the electric blue visuals and clean visual
palette of Silicon Valley and Schengen brand of technology,
we see the best example of technology practice in Indian
repair and electronic markets. These centres of technology are
often located in dingy shops in crowded marketplaces, full of
people, colours, smells and lights, In the local electronic market,
technology becomes a multi-sensory cultural experience.

This experience of technology is very different from how the

technology Industry sells the imagination of technology and
future, living with technology is more like the messy, cultural
hotpot of Bladerunner rather than pristine, uniform vision of
Minority Report.

At the end of day, Technology is nothing special but just a tool.

Traditional Fishermen
in Kochi, India

A Commercial
Fishing Vehicle,

A Customised Tool
Our relationship with technology is often defined in our
relationship with the tool. The tool or the means of production
is an alien entity enforced upon the subjects by external forces
like market and automation. The problem with technology
coming from external forces is that it can end up straining
the relationship between the Subject and Its work (Product of

Marx dialectical of Economy

In Craft traditions these tools and technologies come from the

tradition itself instead of being enforced, the technologies used
are thus highly evolved, context sensitive and customised.
An example can be seen in Artisanal fishing communities
( Hussain Indorewala, Craft Future Lab, 2019) where the fishing
practice and the tools used have evolved over generations and
are driven by the value “Catch only the fish you need to catch”,
Such a sensitivity to the environment and context an Ingrown
technology brings is often missing in Enforced technology,
For example modern fishing along the coast of Mumbai uses
scrapers and big motor boats to maximises the harvest, although
very high tech and efficient, the practice permanently damages
the ecology, greatly reducing the yield overtime.

The technique used in Artisanal fishing thus is not ‘Low Tech’ by

any means, It is in fact highly evolved technology for the context,
something which is contrasting with our expectations of a ‘High
Tech’ industrial technique.

This misunderstanding of nature and purpose of technology

leads to polarised outlook at it.
destroying looms,
Lithograph, 1812

Utopian vison of technology revolutionising education at

school by feeding knowledge directly to brain.

"At School.”
Jean Marc Côté, 1899.

Utopias & Dystopias
Much of the fear around technology and automation comes from
this idea of its imposition on the worker and the questions around its
ownership. David F Noble, open the essay ‘In Defense of Luddism’ (
Progress without people, 1993) with “There is a war on, but only one
side is armed: this is the essence of the technology question today”
, Luddite which is used as a ‘derogatory’ slang today for people who
oppose new technologies, refers to the members of a movement who
were worried about how machinery was being used in a ‘fraudulent and
deceitful’ to get around labour standards and practices at the peak of
Industrialisation of Textile production, the group took a radical approach
by burning down and destroying textile machinery, owing to their infamy.
There was a fear that the machines are going to disrupt the social
practice and accumulate power in the hands of a small group of people.

On the other side of the technology debate were the techno

determinists, The Industrialist, The Scientists and The Armies. The techno
determinist saw the promise of technology in improving lives, making
production efficient, making consumption fast. The Luddites in this vision
were the ignorant of the ‘Inevitable Technological Change’. One side saw
a socially frightening dystopia, the other saw a technological Utopia.

In over a century the debate around technology has not changed

greatly, with the advent of Industrial machines, then computers and now
machine learning. The environment of fear and promise still remains.
There is infect a term ‘Neo-Luddites’[1] which is thrown around to
discredit the critics of technology.

One may say that only one side is armed, with giant corporations like
Amazon, Google, Facebook consolidating the capital and power through
monopolistic control of technology. Often times the practices of the
new technology Industry can be called ‘Fraudulent and deceitful’ as
the majority of the population does not understand how they work
and how much of our life they can control. Its only natural to fear an
exploitation by something we don’t understand or control. On the other
side, its also true that technology have brought a lot of positive change,
with accessible learning, making it easier and faster to communicate,
providing alternate streams of income for families. There is no
technological Utopia or Dystopia.

The question around technology is not as much about If technology

is good or bad, but its about who has the ownership of the tools of
production. The question around technology is the same as Industry vs

The Technology Industry exists as a juxtaposition of crafted technology.

[1] Neo-Luddite is used to describe those who are considered to

be anti-technology, or those who dislike or have a difficult time
understanding and using modern science and technology.
Project Alias is a DIY project seeking
to control how mcuh a smart speaker
can listen in.

BjørnKarmann, 2019

In Berlin Tapes (2017), Jon Rogers talks about a craft approach to
technology in context of IOT devices. He outlines a framework of
‘Tens of Millions vs Millions of tens’ which aims to take back control
of technological mass production from Shenzhen and Silicon Valley.
This craft approach of IOT acknowledges and works in a human
centred messy way, It is decentralised in control and production, it
builds resilience in complex systems and creates relations with data
instead of ‘exploiting it’.

He also talks about the Big Five of Internet controlling the versions
of internet we experience vs an Internet which has evolved over
time through contribution of millions of people, a community not an

In ‘Number in Craft’ (Critical Craft, 2016) Nafus talks about

communities of home energy enthusiasts who create their own
power measurement and optimisation system. In this enthusiast
community, each Individual has identified their own needs and has
built their system around them. The same data from the sensors
is interpreted in a different way and used differently, often these
members are driven by the irrelevance of commercially available
sensors for their use cases. The people have started crafting the
technology and thus taking ownership over it.

This seeking of ownership on technology can be seen in a new form

of Craft, Digital Crafts.
Shine is a 3D scan of reflective objects ,
printed and casted with all the defects in
3D scanning process

Geoffery Man, 2010


In words of Peter Dormer[1] :
“Crafts not as handicraft defines
contemporary craftsmanship but craft as
knowledge that empowers maker to take
charge of technology”
The term digital crafts can mean a spectrum of things from using a
software like photoshop to visualise or all the way to using state of
the Art 4D printing for creating functional synthetic organs. What is
essentially at the core of Digital crafts is the use of technology, which
is often Industrial in its nature for the creation of crafted objects.

In the 2010 Report for UK Craft Council, Swartz and Yair describe
crafts as “Distinctive set of knowledge, skills and aptitudes centred
around a process of reflective engagement of material and digital

A desire to seek control of the digital and Industrial tools can be

seen in the maker communities, where the community is using
contemporary tools for purpose of expression, customisation and

Often the community develops its own tools overtime hacking things
together or borrowing code and source files from each other, much
like Artisanal fishing in Bombay, the tool of craft is developed over
time in the community instead of being imposed.

[1] Peter Dormer is a writer and critic specializing in 20th-

century design and applied art

Michael Eden Michael Hansmeyer

Michael Eden a traditional An architect by training,
potter by training experiments Hansmeyer works with
with Rapid Prototyping computational design to design
techniques and Iconic and print highly intricate
eighteenth-century porcelains architectural columns which
to create digital-classical draw inspirations from gothic
pottery architecture

Also Look
Digital Handmade, Lucy Jhonston

Unfold Aki Inomata

Unfold works with Ceramic printing Aki Inomata creates 3D
exploring the relations between printed accommodation for
traditional pottery, gestures hermit crabs, the structures
and contemporary opensource create a relation between
technology. human civilisation and
natural world
What can
crafts be ?

Craft+Consumer Tech Craft+3D Printing

Can your next Gadget be made by a What can craftsmen do with new technologies?
3D printers have gone accessible in last few
With the huge amount of open-source tools years, A cheap printer costs 15,000 online with
available and easy to access educational material costing 1000 rupee per KG. 3D files can
resources. Can craftsmen start creating be downloaded and shared online for free, designs
modern technological gadgets with their can flow between nations.The only barrier stopping
traditional expertise. this interaction is technical education on the
Ancient traditions meets modern needs. Who
will be these craftsman? What resources do With some introduction to techniques like 3D
we need? How to prepare our craftsman for a printing, what can a traditional craftsman do ?
future like this? What would he make ? How to prepare them for
such a future?

Project Jacquard is an interactive textile which English potter uses 3D printed vases as
weaves copper wires and sensors with fabric. moulds for his intricate pottery
Allowing the whole cloth to become a touchscreen.

This ceramic speaker by nendo is made in Emerging objects is using local mud and
collaboration with a master ceramic craftsman. straws to print architectural sculptures.
The speaker exposes all its electronic Perhaps one day it can be used as
components and celebrates them with affordable housing
traditional Japanese Kutani-ware technique

Craft+Consumer Tech Craft+Science

Can crafts solve Big problems like Climate Can Craftsmen work with Scientist on biggest
Change? questions of today?

Climate Change and Global warming is bringing Craft has intricate mathematics intertwined
its set of difficult problems like water shortage, with its processes, often ignored. All through
increasing pollution to our cities and countries. history, craftsmen have been pushing scientific
Can we use traditional knowledge and boundaries by using new materials. Developing
material availability of crafts to tackle these new tools and even developing new materials.
monumental challenges placing crafts utility Can we put our craft tacit knowledge with
back? a modern scientist and see how they can

Warka water tower convert atmospheric Scientist wanted to print a functioning heart.
humidity into drinking water using fishing nets They didn't know how to, so they turned to
and cane structure a America based digital craft studio to help
manufacture and design it

This is a passive Air Conditioner by Studio Ant. This pavillion is made by silkworms on
It uses terracotta and principles of Airflow to a robot made frame. Silk Pavilion, MIT
cool down the air Media Labs
Craft+Architecture Craft+Automation
Can Architecture deploy Crafts on Scale? Is Crafts the Answer to AI and Automations ?

Through history, Architecture has been an With more and more productions and services
important center of the craft economy, as getting Automated, the rise of AI and Machine
temples, intricate carvings on house windows, Learning is termed as the 4th Industrial Revolution.
even brick masonry. Can contemporary And just like the first ones, Its leading to strong
architecture work with craft techniques to reactions across the board. With worries about job
deploy it on a scale? Whether it be a building displacement, income inequality and the ethics of
which cools itself, a living plant facade or it. Can we look at crafts as a way to tackle some of
geometrical complex structure? these challenges? As arts and crafts movement did
in early 20th century?

Janet Echelman uses her inspiration and techniques Bored with standard products, people have
from Indian Fishing net making to create huge started making and selling handmade items
installation in Nets online on etsy like platforms

Zaha Hadid Studio used Knitted fabric to Maker Movement is a broad movement around
construct geometry this structure and poured making things and sharing techniques in open
concrete over to give its strength communities and maker faires.

Craft+Entertainment Craft+Mental Wellbeing

Can crafts be consumed?
Can craft be practiced as a stress buster
Entertainment Industry is the most powerful and therapy?
cultural sector and is only getting stronger
with people spending more time on the screen. People are looking for new ways to deal
Through history Crafts used to take this with increasingly stressful times and
position in theaters and shows. But can crafts environment. Digital media has been
adapt to these modern forms of entertainment shown to increase, instead of reducing the
and sustain through digital creations? stress. People are looking for new ways to
disconnect,destress and detox. There has
been a growing interest in crafts for the
same. Can crafts and craftsmen take up
the role of therapists?

There are multiple games which allow you to be

a craftsman. Paired with real craftsman on the
other side helping the player, the market for edu-
tainment will be big

Modern Games and Virtual Environments have a

thriving market of virtual clothing and articles in (
Billions of Dollars) which craft can fill with its unique
identity and affordable 3D scanning techniques
Research &
5.1 Craft
A quick study of
five different 'craft'
movements through
20th-21st Century.

Arts & Crafts


Arts and Crafts was a 19th century which they would engage directly with
movement which was born out of the creative process from beginning
concerns over the impact of industrial to end.”
production. The movement wanted
to put decorative crafts in forefront The movement placed importance on
again by developing products with the quality of craftsmanship and its
more integrity and produced in less importance in economy. The movement
dehumanising ways. emerged around the same period as
Marxism, although not directly related
“a desire to break down the hierarchy but both were a response to effects of
of the arts (which elevated fine Industrialisation, one was ‘on workers’
art like painting and sculpture, but other was ‘on products and art’.
looked down on applied art), to revive
and restore dignity to traditional One of the key drivers for this
handicrafts and to make art that movement was also to resist the
could be affordable for all.” division of labour and separation
of ‘design and making’. Critics like
“Morris believed passionately in the John Ruskin also linked a nation’s
importance of creating beautiful, well- social health and the way objects
made objects that could be used in are produced. The movement helped
everyday life, and that were produced in revival of craft traditions in
in a way that allowed their makers rural communities and generated
to remain connected both with their employment for both men and women.
product and with other people”
Many leaders of Arts and Crafts
“ He wanted to free the working movement were trained as Architects.
classes from the frustration of The movement also inspired the
a working day focused solely on establishment of Bauhaus, which was
repetitive tasks, and allow them the a response to the ‘soul-lessness of
pleasure of craft-based production in Industrial production’.

Time period Reaction

Late 19th- Early 20th Century Move to simple,functional and
beautiful handcrafted products by
Trigger Artisans affordable by everyone.
Industrialisation and Mass
production’s impact on the quality of Impact
products and livelihood of the workers Revival of rural crafts, Influence on
Design schools like Bauhaus and

Top: Chair,William Morris

Middle: Grandfather Clock
Bottom: Wallpaper,William Morris


Khadi and Swadeshi is a deep rooted of khadi for rural self-employment and
socio-political philosophy which led self-reliance (instead of using cloth
India through its Independence manufactured industrially in Britain) in
struggle and even further into first the 1920s in India, thus making khadi
few decades of independence till an integral part and an icon of the
liberalisation in the 1990s. Swadeshi movement”

“The British Raj was selling very high As a movement, it encourages the idea
cost cloths to the Indians. The Indian of production in villages across India,
mill owners wanted to monopolise the idea of a tightly knit local economy
the Indian market themselves. Ever which is resilient and independent
since the American Civil War had of foreign control is at its core. THe
caused a shortage of American philosophy still guides contemporary
cotton, Britain would buy cotton from crafts discourse in India and also
India at cheap prices and use the modern Industrial discourse like ‘Make
cotton to manufacture cloth. The in India’.
khadi movement by Gandhi aimed at
boycotting foreign cloth.[7] Mahatma The Charkha has come to represent
Gandhi began promoting the spinning the Indian idenity in the Indian Flag.

Time period Catalysts

Early 20th Century Cheap Industrial textile production by
British, Growing resentment in Indian
Trigger working and Industrial class
British Control over textile production,
Decline in Indian Artisans condition Impact
A movement to boycott Foreign goods,
move towards self dependence and
village economy

Top: Gandhi With Charkha

Bottom: Khadi Fabric
Maker Movement/DIY/
Repair Culture
Maker/DIY culture is a broad printers, laser cutters, CAD software
spectrum of practices which emerged and computer numerical control (CNC)
through 20th Century primarily in milling machines.”
urban spaces, the movement has been
attributed to the ‘growing disconnect The subject of maker culture creations
with the physical world’ in modern can be pretty varied but normally is
cities with an emphasis on ‘learning- around the idea of novel play, problem
by-doing’ . solving and upcycling.

The marker culture primarily deals with Maker movement, along with hacker
DIY electronics with its ethos in open- culture and open-source culture
source, sharing of knowledge and has become part of Corporate,
learning to manifest technology. Institutional and Education culture to
foster community development and
“Many products produced by the innovation.
maker communities have a focus
on health (food), sustainable Open Source hardware like Arduino,
development, environmentalism and thingiverse, 3D printers provide
local culture, and can from that point affordable resources, Platforms
of view also be seen as a negative like Instructables and Makerspace
response to disposables, globalised provides a community to learn and
mass, the power of chain stores, share, and Crowdfunding platforms
multinationals and consumerism.” like Kickstarter are providing a road to
market for the maker community.
The marker culture primarily deals
with DIY electronics with its ethos in Some of the initial seeds of the
open-source, sharing of knowledge, maker culture can be seen in early
learning to manifest technology and technology research labs like Centre
anti-disciplinary approach. for Bits and Atoms, MIT Media Labs
and Magazine like Popular Mechanics.
“The growth of the maker movement
is often attributed to the rise of The movement in technology has
makerspaces -- community centres become important in late 1990s and
where makers can go to access tools beyond as a reaction to proprietary
that would otherwise be inaccessible software, black boxing of technology
or unaffordable. Peer education and and “the imaginations of consumers
opportunities for collaboration are numbed by generic, mass-produced,
important maker tools, as are access made-in–China merchandise.”
to digital fabrication tools such as 3D

Time period Reaction

Late Late 20th Century - Today A culture & ecosystem of creators, who
make,share & learn by working with
Trigger their hands in community spaces. Often
Mass Production-generic products, for personal interests, problem solving
Lack of engagement of hands in .Mixing of Industrial production tools
consumeristic world, Proprietary with artisanal values.
technologies [Open Source]
Re-imagination of education in urban
Top: Project Alias Catalysts environment, Major shift in Corporate
Middle: Hackerspace, Makezine
Bottom: Hackerspace, Makezine Affordable digital technologies, Internet institutions work culture. Debate/Move
,Social networks and Rapid prototyping. towards democratization of technology
allowing for new crop of entrepreneurial

If maker culture is more inclined helped scientists in developing a
towards technology, this broad 3D printed heart, Mediated matter
loosely connected movement talks group which is producing Brick laying
about entanglement of disciplines like machines, Crochet artists working with
science, engineering, design and art Mathematicians. Works happening
for tackling large issues like Biotech, in fashion Industry with 3D printed
Climate Change, Artificial intelligence. garment etc are also part of this
artistic research advancing science.
It involves practitioner involved
in traditionally humanities fields On a more local scale the rise of
collaborating with scientists. Terracotta as healthy utensils,
This approach is in its nascent stages refrigerators and passive cooling
and is primarily centered around facade point towards an interest in
arts courses in top institutions functional crafts and arts.
and coincides with rise in alternate
approaches of design and spread of This movement has a long way to
maker culture. go and Might just be an extension
of maker movement, or may not
At the forefront are highly skilled materialise into popular crafts.
Artists like Nervous Systems, who

Time period Reaction

Late 20th- Today Artists, Designers working in Scientific
and Technology fields as researchers.
Environmental and Technology Impact
concerns emerging in 21st century Broad Interest - Yet to Materialize

Entanglement of traditional fields,
rise of open research culture and
easily accessible scientific resources, Top: Neri Oxman
Middle: Nervous Systems
affordable digital fabrication Bottom: Ant Studio
Craft E-Commerce India
India is seeing a rise in craft-centered emporiums and some businesses
ecommerce start-ups and big players like Fabindia have been working on
working to build their craft stores. providing these linkages for better half
Approaches, Scale or Position in the of the 20th century.
supply chain may change but the
central promise is around 1. Removing This current rise is fuelled by
middlemen from supply chain and proliferation of Internet and
simplify payments 2. Providing crafts Smartphones across India, several
access to national and global market craftsmen are already using platforms
3. Upskilling craftsmen in design and like WhatsApp to communicate and
technology. Some E-commerce start- process orders. Increasing quality
ups are also providing design inputs, of cameras on smartphones also
big players like Amazon are providing allow for easier documentation and
support in training the craftsmen to presentation of work. Increased focus
use phones to list their products and of the government on opening of
handle the logistics of shipping. Some bank accounts also helped with the
platforms are also run by self-help payments.
groups and NGOs.
The rise can be seen parallel to the
For a significant period, especially rise of independent craft practitioner
after Indian globalisation, collapsing platforms like Etsy and even
on Indian crafts market has been Instagram although they are limited to
echoed. The traditional markets urban-educated group.
have disappeared, and consumer
expectations have changed, and The underlying belief of the boom
proliferation of cheap manufactured seems to be highly market driven,
goods are hard to compete with. “Easy and direct access to market can
Craft exhibitions, Haats, Government help craftsmen increase their income.”

Time period Reaction

Early 21st century Emergence of Ecommerce platforms
and Startups, linking market and
Trigger organising craftsmen through mobile
Diminishing market for crafts in India technology.
due to poor market linkages.
In progress, Too Early to say, Revival of
Catalysts some declining handicrafts, Increased
Top: Dharavi Market High Internet and Smartphone income of some craftsmen.
Bottom: Amazon Craft Store Penetration, Mobile banking,
Investments in ecommerce

5.2 Indian
A study into the current
position of Indian crafts.

Excerpts from

Most facts and figures are sourced from Dasra’s 2013 report “Creating
a Livelihood”

Figures around E-Commerce and Startups are sourced from articles in

Your Story, Better India, Economic Times.

Some Stats are taken from Niti Ayog’s 11th Five Year Plan
5.3 Timelines

A quick Visual timeline

study of Pottery and


5.4 Ethnographic
Interview Tool
An Ethnographic
questionnaire to be used
along with the Craft
statement to understand a
Crafts practice.

Usage Similar Tool

It is to guide through the DIY Toolkit, Persona
interview but not actually to Nesta
be used as a questionnaire
in the interview. The 🌎 Link 2
interview is conducted, and
the questionnaire can act
as a tool to organise the
The following shows usage
of this tool with a potter in
Bicholim Goa.

Annexure 1
5.5 Craft &
A study of relation of monetary,
functional and cultural values
of a traditionally crafted object
(the Lota) in a contemporary

Methodology Dataset
A survey and listing Google Sheets
of Lota’s available on 🌎 Link 3
Amazon India’s website
was done, and each item
was subjectively assigned
a value of 1-5 on the
The values do not represent
parameters of Functionality,
a wide demographic but are
Beauty, Ritual Function,
subjective to the author.
Age and ‘Handmade’-ness.
The subjective scores were
mapped against the price of
the object.


Price Ritual Function

How much it costs. How ritually functional the
Lota is. A special Lota for the
purpose of pooja will be a 5,
Functionality A plastic Lota will be 1 and
How useful is the Lota in
an average brass Lota would
everyday life for functional
be a 3.
use, like as a container will
be a 3. A purely decoration
object would be 1 and a Age
Lota which also acts as a How traditional the object is,
cooking utensil, would be A 300-Year-old handmade
a 5. traditional Lota is a 5, A clay
Lota would be a 3, and an
industrial Lota would be a 1.
How visually compelling or
well made the object is. Handmade
A plastic Lota would be a How handmade the object
1, A standard Industrial is, A handcrafted clay Lota
Lota would be a 3, and a would be a 5, an industrial
beautifully hand carved Lota with hand carving would
silverware is a 5. be a 3, A purely Industrial
Lota would be a 1.

Functionality Handmade

Price Price

Beauty Age

Price Price



1.Lota’s at lower end of spectrum are
primarily functional with some feature rich
products appearing in the middle of the price
range, as the price increases the objects tend
to become more of show pieces.

2.Form follows function at the lower end of

the spectrum, at higher prices form becomes
more important

3.The ritual function of the Lota’s peak at the

middle of the price range, with semi-precious
metals like brass used for pujas.

4.You pay more for handmade things,

Industrial objects are cheaper.

5.Very traditional Lota’s sell for higher.

5.6 Craft
Craft Statement is a
tool to summarise and
understand a craft
or making practice in
one phrase.

The research needed a The tool broke down any
way to make sense of very making/craft process into
varied and different sort of series of questions:
making and craft practices.
Since the project was not 1.Who, is the maker.
looking at any particular Craftsperson.
kind of crafts, the tool
had to be general purpose 2.What, is getting made.
enough to accommodate Produce, Object and Knowledge.
most practices and at the
same time allow to gather 3.Who are the collaborators.
essential information about Collaborators.
a practice.
4.How, it is getting made.
The tool was initially based Materials, Process and Tools.
on a working definition of
craft in which, 5.Whom, it is made for. Users
and Stakeholders.
“Craft is an act of making
done by a craftsman for 6.Why, It is made. Function,
someone, serving a purpose” Purpose and Aspirations.

The tools is to be used to

broaden the definition of
crafts instead of being
used as blinders to limit the
meaning of craft.
Thinking Design Fabrication
tools and tools and tools and
Experiment & resources techniques techniques
Craft Classification
Ex: Clay and Ex: Ex: Wheel/kilin
Tool 1 Big Data Hands/Paper and 3D printing
and Processing
This tool will be used to
summarise any existing
making/craft and experiments

x is making y with A using z for a because b

Who What How Whom Why

Is the maker Is the Is the Is the making Is the maker doing it.
or craftsman? concept/idea thinking, being done Think livelihood,
or object designing and for ? emotions, environment,
Human/AI? getting made making Clients/Self science etc
happening etc

Copy pastable

x is making y using zi | zp | zo for a because b

The following is an
In progress listing 5.6.1
for anyone to add to As a Examples of usage
and use.
Documentation Sandeep Sangaru is a furniture designer
Tool making furniture with local craftsmen
using technical drawings and local
The tool was used to
techniques for High-end customers and
document the practices
encountered and Museums, for the purpose of pushing
interacted with during the crafts to excellence with new design
duration of this project. techniques.
In its documentation
implementation, the KD Pandit is Master Craftsman making
question on where was also
added to add context to the
Terracotta decorations with employed
practice. craftsmen using traditional techniques
for hotels and resorts, for the purpose of
🌎 Link 4 maintaining traditional pottery traditions.

Neri Oxamn is a Scientist and Designer

making Brick Laying robots with
Scientists using Programming, CNC and
3D printing for scientific research, for
the purpose of making construction
cheaper and faster.

As with any simplification the The tool is useful to only
tool misses’ nuances of real understand one aspect of
world. any makers making process,
at times multiple sentences
Any craftsman or maker are needed.
cannot be limited to one
sentence or phrase, every On the other hand, this
individual involves in a simplicity makes the phrase
variety of making activity a powerful imagination
with different or even tools for thinking about new
contradicting purpose driving making practices.

As an
Examples of usage
Rima Devi is a housewife making
As an imagination tool, the
sentence doesn’t act as
handmade radiation heating
a telescope to look into sweaters with a Recycle and
the future but rather as Engineer using Recycled fast fashion
a peephole into what’s and Knitted coils for local kids
possible, showing you a and old people to create beautiful
small portion of this future
clothing for her kids and people in
but at the same time hiding
the world around it for open the neighbourhood.the purpose of
imagination. making construction cheaper and
The tool was used to
imagine provocative
personas for world building
in the final phase of the


The tool can be implemented

as an automated sentence
generator, which frames new
ways of imagining crafts.

[Chapter 12]
Lenses to Look
at Crafts

Created by Arthur Shlain

from the Noun Project

Cultural Function Utilitarian

Geographical Localness Cultural

Maker Engagement Thinker

Organised Labour Independent

Local Resources Global

Traditional Culture Cultural

Maker Ownership User

Shared Knowledge Individual


6. Generative Crafts ..115
7. Physical to Digital to Physical ..147
8. Crafting Artificial Intelligence ..163
9. Crafting Amazone Echo ..181
How might we
inspire digital
making with
physical making
& vice versa ?

6.1 Crafting
with Code

The experiments in Drawing as a tool to reach weaving at its basic level is
Generative crafts started an End goal but to create computational and algorithmic
with an attempt to simulate a pipeline which allows (The concept of computers
Crafts process digitally to serendipitous exploration comes from Jacquard Looms) ,
understand the relation of forms, at the same time A weaver plays around with the
between digital creation develop and achieve in mastery algorithm to create new forms,
and physical making and of tools developed by the user Pottery is more parametric,
then use new possibilities (Author) themselves. where the basic rules are set
provided by generative by the tool (The wheel) and
process to explore new The two crafts looked at the craftsman plays around
expressions. The core rule were weaving and pottery with the parameters (radii) to
behind all the experiments for their completely different control the form.
was to avoid using Design approaches in making, whereas

Can algorithms and generative practices complement or

completely replace the hand form handicrafts?

What does it mean when an abstract entity like code

can be used to manipulate parameters of craft instead
of direct interaction with the materials?

And what would these modes of interaction look like?

6.2 Pottery

On a conceptual level, Wheel In CAD software this The shape of the outline
based pottery is like the technique is commonly determines the profile
process of lathe. The crafts referred to as sweep/loft, and the radius of rotation
person primarily plays with where you can create and determines the volume.
the cross section, the form outline and rotate the outline
emerges out of rotation of on an axis to arrive at the
the cross section. form.

Digital Pottery
Pottery being one of the In the following section
oldest and prevalent global we will be looking at two
craft has also been explored distinct tools which use the
digitally extensively, concept of lathe to create
Primarily the workflow pottery.
involves a modelling tool and
a fabrication process like
3D printing either a mould or
directly printing in ceramic
Lets Create
Sort of a game and a zen to life through a 3D printing
experience LCP allows partnership within the APP.
players to create pots on
a wheel through simple The app emulates the real
gestures and even fire it in craft into a digital realm
a virtual furnace. User can through an Skeuomorphic
buy new brushes, colors, Interface and then through
decorations and ornaments 3D printing brings the digital
like handles and caps as into physical. All without a
you progress. potter or a potters wheel.

The game portion plays out It can be argued that in

in forms of email orders some form it does give
you receive from people. that zen feel to the digital
It treats you like a virtual craftsmen sitting on a couch
hobbyist who goes on to in a city but
establish a craft practice
out of it. Can it be still called
pottery without the
The game also features a
virtual marketplace where material, process,
digital craftsmen can context & the person
share their creations.The involved ?
creations can even come
Potter Ware is a 3D printing why it uses a more abstract
pottery tool designed by wireframe representation (the
the ceramic printing studio lines actually show the path
Emerging Objects. Unlike 3D printer would follow).
the ‘Let's create pottery’
the tool is meant more The tool allows
for designer, artist and pottery to become
creatives and that reflects
in its premium pricing also. independent of any
reference to the
The tool provides more process, materials &
technical control over the
parameters of the pot being
the experience.
made; interface wise it
represents more abstract
CAD modelling tools more
than a potter’s wheel.
Actually, it does not refer to
the wheel at all.

The interface provides

fine control over how a 3D
printer would process this
model perhaps the reason
How Might We
Create new Lotas
of our Time ?

“Of all the objects we have seen and admired
during our visit to India, the Lota, that simple
vessel of everyday use, stands out as perhaps
the greatest, the most beautiful. The village
women have a process which, with the use
of tamarind and ash, each day turns this
brass into gold. But how would one go about
designing a Lota? First one would have to shut
out all preconceived ideas on the subject and
then begin to consider factor after factor”

In the India Report Charles and Ray Eames talk about all the
consideration one might have to go through while making a Lota.
They conclude that not one person would have sat and made
decisions about all these factors but these are a result of centuries of
evolution, One of the hope and reason for an Institution of Design was
to “hasten the production of the “Lota’s” of our time”.

The following experiments are an attempt to create ‘Lota’s of our

time’ through digital creation and fabrication tools.

The Auto Lota uses generative The first experiment uses

process to create nearly infinite Processing to create a Lota
Generator. The Silhouette of a Lota
versions of Lota without the need is constructed with a Bezier curve
of a designer or craftsman. with 5 points, each of these points
can move overtime through noise,
creating a unique silhouette at any
Achieving and probably exceeding
given moment. The program rotates
Charles and Ray Eames vision of the curve on an axis to create a
hastening the creation of Lota’s of 3D Lota which keeps evolving over
our time by a great margin. time, generating new forms.

How I did it
Source Files 🌎 Link 5
Tool: Processing
Concepts I am using:
Processing is a programming
Bezier Curve 🌎 []
language for creatives and
Loops 🌎 []
designers, primarily aimed
3D camera 🌎 [
at teaching the concept of
programming to first time
How to get started:
programmers coming from visual
🌎 ,
design, new media art and
electronic art communities. If
you want to learn how to use
programming in your design, or
Readings: Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual
you want to make something
Designers, Second Edition
which no other program offers,
Processing is the easiest and
License : OpenSource
fastest entry point with greatly
accessible learning resources
Learner Level : No/Basic understanding of programming

The Lota_Maker is a tool which Lota Maker uses a parametric design

allows you to create your own software to make a tool which allows
you to create a pot/lota by changing
custom Lota as per your needs and the parameters. The software
go about your everyday morning generates a 3D model which can be
routine, all without leaving the 3D printed at a desired scale. The
tool when combined with ceramic 3D
comfort of your home. printing or relevant moulding process
can print ceramic artefacts.

The experiment disconnects the wheel

from the process of pottery while still
creating a tangible artefact.

Later on, in the project I took
the Pot printed through this
process to a traditional potter
and explained how it was done.
He was pleasantly surprised
and noted that If only he could
understand how to work with
these new technologies, he
could do so much more

How I did it
Source Files 🌎 Link 6
Tool: Grasshopper
Grasshopper is a Parametric
Concepts I am using:
design plugin for the 3D CAD
Lofting 🌎 []
Software Rhino. It uses the
, Basics, Baking and Exporting 3D model
concept of visual programming
to allow users to create designs
How to get started:
in Rhino Generatively. Since it’s a
1. Start by getting used to Rhino and its Interface
full programming language inside
🌎 [] ,
a CAD software, it can allow you
to control almost any aspect of
2. Learn the basics of Grasshopper
the things one can already do in
🌎 []
3. Play around as you go
It can be thought of as a tool
🌎 [
which allows one to create
UCjLDKM9EzNdASaNdjBhTqug] ,
own tools and features in a
3D software. Grasshopper is
Keywords: Generative Design, Parametric Design
primarily used for generative art,
Learner Level : Comfortable Understanding of 3D CAD
generative design, parametric
modelling and can even be used
License : Paid
in audio visual, simulation and
Open Source Alternative : VVVV
other contexts.
6.3 Textiles

Textiles and Computing & already has quite for quite some time, and it
have a very long history. sophisticated production is indeed very challenging
Textile was the first craft tools. This section has been for the purpose of this
to be automated and infact particularly challenging. Graduation Project.
the starting point from
where modern analytical The constant question has This section describes
engines were developed. been, what to explore ? The very early attempts to do
Its only Natural that underlying mathematics something with a fabric/
Textile has been heavily and physics behind a fabric thread like material. A lot of
studied by mathematicians has been the forefront of failed attempts are behind
and computer scientists scientific research community these two experiments.

Inspirations to
look at

3D Printed Fabrics
The YouTube channel Make Anything explores
different 3D print designs which behave like fabrics


3D Printing Loom
Using a modified 3D printer as a CNC Loom to
create new materials with fabrics


Crochet Simulator
A program which allows you to visualise a crochet
pattern digitally

Simulation of a Cane Physics simulation of an interwoven
weave structure circle fabric for 3D printing
Weave Simulations

The project attempts 3D printed fashion is in its The material is built out
to create a drapable early stages where makers of circle interwoven into
are exploring new forms, and each other and tessellated
material using 3D expressions in clothing and around. The simulations are
printing. some even exploring the idea run to get an Idea of the
of being able to print your own final material Might behave.
apparels at home. It can often
take shape of either of printing The 3D Printing solution
pieces of materials joined available at disposal was
together by articulate hinges incapable of Printing the
giving the whole piece a fabric Forms.
like quality, sometimes it is used
on top of existing fabric to add
new intricate formal expressions,
Kinematic Dress 6, It can also refer to use of
Nervous Systems CNC knitting process or any
combination of all of the above.

Interlocking Loops tesslated make a

structure which can drape like a fabric

How I did it
Tool: Cinema 4D
Cinema4D is a 3D Animation Suite
with Primary focus on Parametric
Motion Graphics. Cinema 4D is
not the best tool for a project
like this.

Alternative : Fusion360

Failure: The approach failed

due to the limitation of 3D
printing technique at disposal.
FDM Printers are not the best Source Files 🌎 Link 7
for creating a woven structure,
A technique like SLS is better Successful Approach
suited. 🌎
Pentagons : one
point connected at
center and another
at the circumference
of circle
The experiment emerged to
Visualising Threading algorithmically generate and
Patterns through visualise weave patterns
Parametric Modelling and eventually prototype
them using simple rules with

The tool was developed on

Grasshopper and it allows
to play around with creating
new weave patterns in closed
shapes. There is a collection
of algorithms but they all are
based on the idea of one point
on the shape being connected
on other points, the parameters
of which can be controlled
through sliders.

Iterations made on Grasshoppers

by changing tha paramters of
which point on the circle connect
to each other and what shapes
connect them

How I did it Source Files 🌎 Link 8

Tool: Grasshopper Concept Used

🌎 Line Segmentation
How might we
learn to make
from Nature?

6.4 Differential

Experiments to simulate
growth patterns in
natural world

Natural systems form According to Nervous Systems: Very direct form of
complex and functional differential growth can
formation from repeated To put it simply, some be seen in plant tropism,
division of a single cell. areas grow more than where the areas facing
The rules governing these sunlight grow at faster
processes are often very
others, and this leads
rate than the areas away
simple and are governed by to the formation of from the sunlight, allowing
environmental factors but macroscopic shape. creepers to climb a tree,
can lead very sophisticated These shapes result from or allow plants to expand
formation which can Inform the interplay between their surface area to
our making process. receive maximum amount
the underlying cellular
of sunlight or nutrients.
In this section a growth growth processes and
called ‘Differential Growth’ the mechanics of the
was simulated. materials themselves.

Source: Nervous Systems

A growth approach like Marine biologists around the
this allows for creation of globe are already starting
notoriously difficult to make to use 3D printed coral reef
structures like the corals, to restore marine health by
which could be previously providing support to the
accurately modelled through growth of corals. Further
only crochet. applications can be in design
of more efficient structures
of solar power collection or
air filtering systems.

Staghorn Crocheted 3D printed 3D printed Sculptures

Corals Corlas Coral Reef ,Nervous Systems

Designer/Scientists like
Neri Oxman are using these
simulated forms to imagine
a future where wearable
contain living matter,
which can help the wearer
sustain by providing oxygen,
generating nutrients in
harsh environments.

Mushtari, Neri Oxman,

MIT Media Lab


The basic steps of setting a

differential growth simulation is:

1. Define a Base Shape.

2. Define the Areas affected by
3. Define the Parameters of
4. Grow the shape
5. Simulate the physics to
check for shape overlaps
6. Repeat Step 4-5

Changing the any of

parameters of growth can
lead to different forms. Floraform, Nervous Systems

The first step of the

research was to Identify
a tool for the simulation.
Four tools were tried

1 Processing 3 Grasshopper

Nervous Systems uses processing for Grasshopper would stand at an

Differential Growth, They use custom intermediate, where it has a powerful
physics simulation to achieve it. An 3D engine and Simulation toolkit.
approach like this although provides
more control in the process, can be It allows the flexibility of processing
technically extremely challenging to and ease of use of Cinema 4D, but
implement, My attempts at it failed the physics simulation toolkit in
early on owing the complexities Grasshopper has a severe learning
of implementing all the parts on curve and thus could not be used for
my own, which include the physics this purpose.
engine, the 3D renderer and
simulation algorithm. 4.Houdini

A custom tool like this needs subject Houdini is a 3D simulation software,

specialists working on it. with very powerful physics, 3D
rendering and simulation toolkits.
2 Cinema 4D The tool is aimed at intermediate
to advanced users familiar with
It stands at another end of the 3D software’s, programming and
spectrum, with a powerful 3D simulation. Houdini hits the sweet
rendered & physics engine. It has spot of a tool perfectly fit for my
fairly powerful tools to parametrise skillset, Although Houdini has a pretty
and grow the shapes, but it severely sharp learning curve,
lacks in the ability to iterate the
results in its core toolset (ie, I was able to follow the tutorials
repeating the steps over time). and able to develop a rudimentary
understanding of how to develop a
Cinema 4D can be used to an extent basic simulation.
to create a rough simulation but falls
Local Planar
to maximise the Surface Area
recieving Sunlight.

Similar Growth can be seen in

Conks which grow on the side
of trees and certain corals.

3D printing the form was

challenging as upto 95% of
surface was horizontal
Repulsive Expansion
to maximise the Surface Area in contact
with Air in Minimum volume

Similar Growth can be seen in Structures like

brain corals and also Growth in tight spaces
like braind and Walnuts
Edge Expansion
on Sheet
To Maximise the availble
surface area in contact with
Air on a thin surface

Growth like this can be seen

in Sea Weed and other sheet
liking living forms, Including

A 3D Printed
model of the Form
Edge Expansion on
a Closed Surface
To Maximise the Availble
surface area with no volume

Growth like this can be seen in

Staghorn Corals

How I did it
Tool: Houdini Source Files 🌎 Link 9
Houdini is a 3D computer
graphics tool with primary focus Concepts I am using :
on procedural creation. Houdini Solvers 🌎 [
can be used to create visual watch?v=jyOa5Azp5F4]
effects, environmental assets and Point Relax 🌎 [
simulated animation among other nodes/sop/relax.html]
3D graphics. It mixes 3D Design
tools with a powerful node-based How to get started
programming system, allowing the 1. Learn the Interface of Houdini 🌎 [ https://www.
users to design custom scripts for]
generating visuals. The toolsets 2. Follow Entagma for their tutorial series 🌎 [ https://
differ from a CAD program like rhino]
and grasshopper as it focuses
on iterative creation over precise Keywords: Generative Design, Parametric Design
measurements. Learner Level : Intermediate to Advanced in 3D
Animation, Rudimentary understanding of Node based
Alternative : Blender programming
License : Paid/Free for learners
Relation with
In course of our interactions
with craftsmen, we wanted
to pilot a process of
generative crafts to test out
the feasibility of building
these nature inspired forms
at a scale. Although the
prototype could not happen
due to unavailability of
craftsmen, field research
revealed similarities between
differential growth and
cane weaving which can be
explored in future.

The form in Question is

this Light cone

The form starts from a

point/circle and expands
overtime. Looked from the
bottom, It has an L-Tree[1]
distribution. Which is
remarkably similar to linear
differential growth.

[1] LTree : LTree in Generative design refers to a fractal

formation, where each branch keep splitting into two or
more branches, overtime leading to formation of a tree like

If the process is repeated

overtime, the irregularities in
the distribution of each layer
will act as an organic noise
leading to differential growth
and formation of faceted

A Similar approach is
used in crochet

Further Possibilities
Further experiments are needed The existing simulated forms can
to test out the feasibility of be casted or printed in terracota or
such forms using forms of concrete to experiments with its a
weaving but from the existing viability as an aquatic biome.
examples in crochet, Edge
based growth can be explored in
handicrafts for the time being.
Physical to
Digital to
How might We
involve physical
making in digital

“The "content" of any medium is always

another medium. The content of writing
is speech, just as the written word is the
content of print, and print is the content of the
telegraph. If it is asked, "What is the content
of speech?," it is necessary to say, "It is an
actual process of thought, which is in itself
nonverbal." An abstract painting represents
direct manifestation of creative thought
processes as they might appear in computer

-Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media

Physical to
The Teapot
The computer history museum in mountain view California has
a peculiar Item in its collection, a teapot. The teapot is instantly
familiar, mostly because it looks like what one would imagine a
white ceramic teapot to look like, also because how famous this
teapot is. The teapot has appeared in popular media like Simpsons,
Toy Story and The Sims. The teapot would be even more familiar to
a 3D artist, in 3D Modelling community the teapot is often referred
jokingly as the 6th platonic solid because how ubiquitous it is across
all 3D applications.
The teapot is referred to as the Utah Teapot, the lore goes that Martin
Newell, a computer graphics researcher wanted to run some tests
and wanted a model of a familiar object for that, at the moment
he was having tea, so he quickly hand sketched the teapot in front
of him, later on he modelled the teapot by hand on a computer
and made the files freely available for other researchers to use, the
teapot caught on in the research community and over time became
a staple of tech demos and 3D programs.

What Newell did was to convert the material form of the teapots
into 1s and 0s, computer coordinates. In effect, the Material teapot
became the content of the Digital teapot. The conversion was not
perfect, Newell squished the height of the teapot to look visually
more pleasing to him. Newell didn’t only convert the media of the
teapot, he also added content to it, he added value to the teapot, he
crafted the Utah teapot in the process.

The original teapot Newell used is still manufactured by a German

retailer, in 2017 the retailer renamed the teapot to ‘Utah Teapot’ from
a generic name ‘Household Teapot’.

The following experiments are an exploration

of how an object of craft, like a humble
terracotta matka manifest itself with a digital
maker and thus find new expressions, value
and context.

Can we involve existing

physical craft in the digital
making process by converting
the materiality to 0s & 1s?

What does it mean for a craft

object to become free of its
material form?

Does its value still remain?

Can it take up new functions ?
Can we bring back it into
the physical world through
rapid prototyping mixing the
digital & handicraft?
Photograph of the A Processed 3D pointcloud
Matka with Markers generated from Photographs

Media to
The first step was to convert The 3D scanning introduced
In words of David Pye the physical object into a digital some artefacts, the Artefacts
artefact. This was achieved were not cleaned up as they
by 3D scanning a Terracotta represented the conversion,
“The object becomes matka using photogrammetry the imperfections embedded
the documentation of technique, and then further the history of the object,
the effort” on cleaning up the 3D model the process and the tools
thus generated. At the end of involved, the 3D model
the process a 3D model was already became a unique
achieved, although not perfect. craft piece in itself.

Simplified 3D model
generated through

How I did it
Tool: Phone Camera, Agisoft Metascan
for Photogrammetry
Source Files 🌎 Link 10
Photogrammetry which roughly means,
Keywords: 3D Scan, Photogrammetry, Targets, Mesh
‘measurements through photographs’
is a technique to extract high quality
3D models from photographs and
Learner Level: Early to Intermediate with 3D tools
videos. The technique can be used
to cheaply create 3D scans of real-
How to get Started
world objects, spaces or architecture
1.Learn how to create 3D Scans
using digital cameras, It is currently
🌎 []
primarily used in 3D Games, VFX
2.Learn how to clean up models
industry, Heritage conservation and GIS
🌎 []
mapping. Photogrammetry can be done
3.Learn how to use in your particular use case:
quite accessibly in last few years with
Google “Photogrammetry for ” (VR/3D Printing/
computers getting faster and phone
Games etc)
cameras getting better.
7.1.2 Now since the object was
now free of its material form,
The experiments in Cinema
4D played around with
Content it became available to digital visual expressions the base
& Craft craftsmanship. The Matka form afforded.
became the central visual
identity for the Craft Future Lab
[Chapter 10]

In 2009, Unfold Studio from Belgium 3D

printed the Utah teapot in ceramic, complete
the full circle of materialisation, digitisation
and re-materialisation.

Digital to
3D Printing as Craft
3D printing collectively refers to technologies which allow
materialisation through computer instructions. Although there are
different techniques of 3D printing[1], we will be primarily talking
about a category of 3D printers called Desktop FDM Printers.
Desktop FDM printers are the most popular and affordable type
of consumer 3D printers. In principle, it consists of 1. A part which
extrudes material 2. A mechanism which controls where the material
is extruded.

How might We
materialise our
digital crafts?

Its effectively like coiling technique in pottery. The 3D shape is

formed by the computer coiling layers of material on top of previous

Despite the apparent simplicity of the process,

3D printing is anything
but an automated process.
Unlike a Paper Printer, the act of using a 3D printer takes a lot more
involvement, every 3D printer acts different, every material behaves
in its own way, depending on factors like humidity and temperature
the results in 3D printing for the same model can change completely.

Modelling for 3D printing requires its own sensibilities and

understanding of the constraints of the machines being used.
Configuring the 3D print file for a perfectly made model can be a
sophisticated task in itself with infinite ways of going about it, the
fact that most affordable 3D printers are DIY makes every printer
an extremely personal and unique device. The DIY 3D printer is not
a product but a highly customisable tool, the 3D printing enthusiast
community is highly involved in customisation, hacking and
experimenting with the tool. It represents a piece of technology on
the other end of spectrum of an Amazon echo.

The relation between a 3D printer and the

User, is much more personal and subjective
compared to say, A laser printer. The relation
is more similar to a potter and his wheel, The
act of 3D printing is an act of craft, involving
“Care and risk, where the quality of result is
not predetermined. It involves judgement
and dexterity, with subjective and personal
decisions” in words of David Pye.
Excerpt From Blog

Learning the
Craft –
A personal

My journey into 3D printing started in the The final question was to understand what
middle of the project from a need of being kind of FDM printer, I wanted to buy a
able to print the 3D models I was creating Delta printer which is really great for radial
and a curiosity to understand how additive prints like vases as I primarily imagined
manufacturing works. The process of getting printing Lotas but I settled for a standard
into 3D printing ended up being something XY cartesian printer as it was more general
which needed more attention and time than I purpose in the long run.
initially Imagined.
This section hopes to act as a
guide for anyone planning to get
Now I knew what I was looking
into 3D printing while reading this
for: “Cheap Cartesian FDM Printer”

Buying The process of choosing the right one out of

different options and websites available can
Buying a 3D printer can be a challenging task be extremely challenging too, I had to spend
for a newcomer, Its often difficult to know considerable time reading about different
what type of printer you need and how much printers, watching reviews and most crucially
you should spend on it. looking what other people are making with
the printer I was planning to buy. I used the
The starting point for me was to understand official Instagram hashtag of the printer
my budget, which was something very entry to find all variety of things community was
level. making with my shortlisted printers to identify
which one suits my need better.
The second question I had to look at was
what technology I should be getting, FDM Resource :,
is cheaper, faster but less precise, Resin YouTube , Instagram, ThingiVerse
provides better results but is more expensive
and messier. I wanted to buy something After all the research I finally settled on
which could be customised with different the Any Cubic i3 Mega for its Easy Setup,
materials and can be modded as per need, relatively big print volume and Easy operation,
An FDM printer made the most sense as it which was essential as the printer was
allowed me to play around with different to be used by the office after I leave, low
materials like food, clay or chocolate, and maintenance was important. I ordered the
even potentially convert it into a laser cutter. printer from a certified seller off AliExpress.

Using, Making & Mistakes

Assemble Research/ Ask for help

With a DIY 3D printer, you don’t just buy it, Although its very difficult to exactly outline
but you have to build it, The experience is a how to get started with 3D printing, as the
lot like building your own furniture. The printer journey is very different for everyone and the
I got came with all the tools needed and only way to learn is as you go. It is normally
very well documented instructions on how to a good idea to spend a lot of time trying
assemble the pieces together, it took a full and researching and also joining a dedicated
afternoon to get it in a place to switch on. forum for your 3D printer (on Facebook,
reddit, etc) is a good idea. Your printer will
Calibrate break down and behave erratically every once
in a while, its very important to ask for help
when that happens.
A new 3D Printer cannot be used straight
away after assembling, the first few days
go into calibrating the device, ensuring the Repeat
plate is at right height, understanding what
right height is, figuring what’s the right At the time of writing of this Doc, I am still
temperature. Normally the printer should trying to figure out what works best with my
come with a sample print file, which is a good printer. Although the results are better than
place to start. they ever have been, occasionally new issues
keep coming up, which are equal parts fun
Calibration guide : and frustrating to deal with. It’s very useful
to-calibrate-a-3d-printer-simply-explained/ to subscribe to interesting blogs and YouTube
channels who are experimenting with 3D
Test printing.

YouTube Channels: RCLifeOn , Make Anything.

For me it took a few weeks to make sense
that my prints were not as good as they
could be, A significant amount of time Share
also goes in learning, and configuring the
software(called a Slicer). Identifying the right The 3D printing community is built on
software and the right settings is very crucial, knowledge shared and open-sourced by the
it normally takes a lot of failed attempts, members of the community over the years.
iterations and mixed results to identify what Share your results, ask for feedback and help
works for your particular setup. others.

Some prints to calibrate : https://all3dp.

I Made
A lot of the failed prints and
things in general done over
time have gone lost as I
didn’t document them well at
that point but here are some
things I made and printed,
which I have documented,
all files are available in
respective section

7.2.4 Another goal would be to change

Way forward the materials and try something
starch/wheat based and
3D printing especially in plastic potentially clay, to explore the
accumulates a lot of waste idea of 3D printing and being able
plastic, although in theory it to print ceramics straight off the
can be replaced, in practice printer and perhaps introducing it
the process can end up being to a few area potters.
difficult and expensive. For now
we have collected all the failed
prints till we come across a
viable way to use them.

For Recycling
For Ceramic Printing Kit:
with Artificial
How might we
use Artificial
in our creative

8.1 AI +
Series of experiments trying to understand where does
the modern promise of Artificial Intelligence fit in crafts
processes? Can we use the AI as a tool to imagine new
motifs and forms? Or can we displace a human worker
completely from the crafts process? What is the role of
human in a craft process after all ?

About Machine
Learning/AI Art
Machine Learning as a exactly constitutes Artificial The work with Machine
field has been around for Intelligence as it’s a broad Learning Art involves finding
over two decades and field of study with lots of a dataset you want to create
Artists and Researchers overlaps with other fields of something with, finding new
have been exploring its computation. ways to generate results and
creative uses for as long. make sense of it.
Machine Learning Art As any other computational
can be traced back to tool, Machine Learning allows
early days of Generative us to
and Computational Art, 1. Make sense of some data
although it might be difficult 2. Generate new data and
to exactly pinpoint what 3.Any combination of the other

The set of experiments
were done on a Sample
of Classical Chairs,
Typographic works,
Mughal Paintings and
Collection of Rugs.
Input: Images of Mughal
painting from Pinterest

The GAN generated

Images with reminisence
of recognizable forms.

Input: Images form


Forms generated through

feeding 36 Days of type
created an almost surreal-
grim horror version of

Input: Images of 'Classical

Chairs' from Pinterest

The first set of Experiments form but with a layer of at the traditional motifs.
tried using Generative abstraction introduced by Instead of developing
Adversarial Networks[refer], the limits of dataset, training finished visual work, the
trained on the image time and simply the ability of GANs created a springboard
samples scraped from Current GANs. for inspiration. The outcome
internet through Pinterest could be interpreted into new
and Instagram hashtags. forms of expression with
In all 4 cases the GAN The new visuals created almost a dream like quality
produced images which although by no measure which a traditional mood
were reminiscent of the could replace work by a board or visual library may
original photographs with a human craftsperson, but not achieve.
vaguely to easily identifiable It did allow for a new look

Code Source
🌎 Link 11
Mapping of Typographic
Exploration by their visual

The second set of Inspiration. The following
experiment explored program takes data from
Dimensionality Reduction 1000s of images from
[1] on typographic data #36_Days_of_type and maps
to see how they can be them according to there
used to make sense of , visual similarity.
organise and analyse Visual

Code Source
🌎 Link 12

[1]Dimensionality Reduction:
Refers to a class of Algorithms which simplify complex Inter-relation of
Data into simple 2D or 3D maps

The Algorithm trained on a 3D

render and its wireframe takes a
hand drawn sketch and converts
it into a 3D render style

The final experiments were out of 3D wireframes, even
done using pix2pix to see with a rudimentary ability to
how a Machine learning tool place shadows and reflection
can aid in the production according to lighting, with a
process for Animation and potential of greatly speeding
Rendering. The data set up a rendering process.
was a set of Line and Full
renders of a typographic The tool was also able
Animation. to render a hand drawn
animation in the given style,
The final program was able with a possibility of aiding
to Generate rendered visuals Traditional Animators.

Code Source
🌎 Link 13
Possiblities &
At the time of writing, user- In the next section we look at our
friendly tools like Runway App have attempt to introduce the tools we
emerged which weren’t available used above to Designers through
at the time of the experiments, Workshops.
opening up machine learning to a
larger number of creatives.
Although the technological barrier
is still quite high, opening up the
tools to a broader audience has
great possibilities.

How to get

RunwayML App simplifies

ML algorithms Into easily
understandable UI.

Further Readings

Machine Learning For Artists, Gene Kogan

Artists and Machine Intelligence, Google

Excerpt From Blog

Crafting an
Intelligence Extracting Geometry
data from Images

Drawing Parallels between Craft

process and Machine learning
through engagement with the
data as material.
For the last week and past few months I
have been Increasingly working with Artificial
Section A : Gesture
Intelligence or more specifically Machine Recognition
Learning. I have trained a system which
can classify gestures, an object recognition We had to train a gesture recognition system
system, a few generative algorithms and to detect gestures of Traditional Indian
algorithms to visualize datasets. With more instruments like sitar,tabla etc. Standard
and more experience I have started to see gesture recognition are highly stable in simple
machine learning less as an objective way gestures like waving hands and clap etc. We
of computing rather a very personalised and were dealing with a system which was able to
subjective way of dealing with algorithms. differentiate between very similar gestures of
Almost always you have to feel your way playing table,harmonium and sitting still.
around with the datasets and parameters
and even the best approach doesn’t give a
result which is objectively correct. It’s more
organic than computational, same trained
model can give different results every time its Sourcing the Data
To collect data, we would go sit in turns and
I will breaking down the process for three try record all the gestures for different people
experiments I have worked on and try to draw in varying poses and train it on a classifier.
parallels to the exploratory nature of crafts. The challenge was after initial success, we
started realising, if people were of different but how do you train a system on all the
height than we have trained for, the algorithm other actions you could be doing when not
would not work. So we started modifying the playing tabla, one approach could be to try
dataset to make it height agonistic, that is all permutation and combinations but that
we took the spinal cord’s length of a person can quickly lead to the program to start all
and divides by the length of all the limbs. gestures as not playing tabla, including the
The data stopped taking absolute lengths gesture of playing tabla. Too much data can
of limbs but rather just the proportions and result in noise.
angles between them, which would remain
more or less equal among most age groups
and cultures. Our experimentations lead us
to realize also that we can not build a robust
system through just training a lot of data to
algorithm, since every person would interpret
the action and gesture differently, more
data would actually confuse the system. For
example some people play tabla too close
to their sitting positions which can start
confusing the system between both actions.

Processing model which emerged for final system

The problem needed a way of cross

checking the validity of our detection.
After experimenting with different ways of
processing the data, we settled on using the
motion data, i.e the speed of each limb to
identify the gestures and the position data
which identified the arrangement of limbs and
We needed better data. We determined the a mixed data, which through machine learning
easiest way to do so would be direct people magic would account for the relation between
to make certain gestures rather than letting two. We ran all these data through three
people interpret the actions. We used icons different classifiers and then cross checked
to tell people what can be recognized and UI there validity, only letting a detection filter
feedback to let people know what action the through if 2 or more classifier matched.
machine thought they were doing. This gave
us more control over the kind of data were The approach was not most accurate but
getting from people. worked for our use cases.

We sourced the material for our need and The solution came out of playing
filtered out what would be useful for us.
with the system and figuring as
we went instead of an elaborate
Processing the Data scientific planning.
Just having the data run through is not
enough. You need a way to make sense of it
too. A classification system can only tell from Section B : Visualising
the categories it knows. It’s easy to detect Datasets
true positives, i.e. if a particular gesture out
of 5 was enacted, but it’s far difficult to Recently I have been trying to visualize
detect a case of that none of the gestures a dataset collected from 36DaysOfType
were detected. For the classifier, the action through instagram, the goal was to group
of not doing anything is also a gesture, and ‘visually similar’ type together to understand
you need to give example of all the gestures. what kind of work people are producing using
It’s easy to show this is how one plays tabla t SNE Dimensionality reduction algorithm

Mapping of
images by

Interpreting the
Mapping done
through tSNE

Sourcing the Data Intuition

Collection of data was fairly simple through The important point about working with
a script which downloaded all the posts on tSNE is that the mapping of data points
an instagram hashtag. The difficult part was it generates is not necessarily accurate in
to understand what does ‘Visually Similar’ statistical sense. And the mapping can vary
actually mean, a simple run of the images greatly between different runs and the results
lead to images getting grouped through depend heavily on a few parameters called
there colors and ‘style’ but since here we are hyperparameters like perplexity and learning
dealing with typography, just the colors of an rate. There is no general rule about if more
image doesn’t tell much about the typefaces of this number would give better result or
used. The challenged was to extract font less,and there is no way to evaluate if the
information from the images and then map results are good or not, if you don’t know
them, with my knowledge and timeframe I what the result should actually look like,
could not train another system altogether to
identify the fonts for each image, so I tried
to strip the images of all colors, and only
the results are subjective both on
preserve the geometrical information,ie the algorithm level and at your level.
outlines of the characters, Running a visual
similarity algorithm on a pure black and white The only way to go around tSNE parameters is
image dataset lead to mapping of similar to ‘feel your way through it’ and try all sorts
typefaces and treatments closer to each of values and using your ‘intuition’ to judge
other. what result you consider good enough for
your purpose for there is lack of an absolutely
accurate result.
Stock Photos for Artificial Intelligence tend to show something magical and scientific. data driven.

Algorithmic Craft
The above two incidences and other This brings me to the danger of
experiments I have been doing has made me
rely more and more on my ‘intuition’ and ‘gut
calling Machine Learning the 4th
feeling’ about how to process and evaluate Industrial Revolution, Machine
a certain dataset. It always has been a learning lacks the ‘finish’ and
process of playing around with the algorithm
and data till I am satisfied with results, ‘objectivity’ of Industrial Nature.
which echoes more with the craft approach We risk ignoring the subjectivity
of ‘engaging playfully with the materiality and error prone results machine
rather than pure mathematical reasoning
and logic the word algorithm invokes. learning can lead to, perhaps
as illustrated by various
The machine learning algorithms ethical voices raising in the AI
and data are more like a lump of community,
clay and a potters tool, which can
take form through engaging with A scientific-industrial trust in
them as you go and developing a machine learning can result in
relation with the material. pseudo-scientific results full
of bias and subjectivity under
Overtime one starts developing a feel for
what may or may not work and also very the blanket term of ‘algorithmic
essentially start accepting the roughness objectivity.
and artifacts left through the process,
the mistakes and roughness becomes a
character of the work you are producing
rather than being a defect and can perhaps
provide value in future.

Source: XKCD
How might
we introduce
Machine Learning
to creatives?

8.3 Artificial
in Creative
A Handson Workshop introducing
creatives to Artificial Intelligence
and Machine Learning.

The Inquiry aimed at looking The Ideal goal of the exercise
how use of machine learning was to be able to facilitate
can augment a creative a collaboration between a
practice, In particular Machine Learning Algorithm
design practice. and a Craftsman but that was
A big question was how to difficult in the scope of the
introduce machine learning project.
to non-technical creatives
at the same time exploring
the new possibilities it can
bring for me as a technically
equipped designer.

The Inquiry finally took Second part of the collaborate with two
form of a workshop at workshops aims to different machine learning
International Design demystify the word ‘Artificial algorithms. Teaming
for Social Development Intelligence’ and introduces up in groups of three,
Conference, Gandhinagar various Machine Learning participants playfully
(2019) and was attended methods through activities negotiate with the AI
by an audience of design in which the participants to imagine and tangibly
students, professors & learn how to identify and prototype an AI+Human
professionals. draw a subject they never designed Chair.
encountered before. This
The workshop sets allows the participants to The workshop concludes
the context by inviting draw parallels between with participants
participants to put human learning and machine contextualising the new
down what they think or intelligence. The next few chairs they create with
know about the terms activities use contextual the AI, presenting them
‘Artificial Intelligence’ puzzles and games to draw in an exhibit followed by
and’ Intelligence the limitations of similarity a roundtable discussion
Augmentation’. This between Machine and on data, creativity, ethics
paves a way for an Human intelligence in the and future use of such
interactive presentation current state of technology algorithms in design
on the history of tools and as of 2019. processes.
how they can augment
intelligence by allowing The next segment of
human and machine skills the workshop gives the
to complement each other. participants a chance to
One of the workflows
of AI and Paricipant

Toilet Chair by one of the Groups

where the AI mistook a toilet for a
chair and gave that as a breif

Limitation & Scope

The workshop at its current The workshop is a work in
scale and format was limited progress with opportunities to
to a design audience and reach a larger set of creative
could not be introduced to practices, through collaboration
traditional craftsmen. Also, and sharing what we tried to
the limited time available achieve in this workshop.
with the workshop doesn’t
allow the participants to have
sufficient hands on to take
up the exploration on their

Zine Collaborators
🌎 Link 14 Harshali Paralikar

Paper 🔍 Tags
🌎 Link 15 Artificial Intelligence
Further Readings Accessiblity
🌎 Link 16
Schematics of an Amazon Echo Dot

“When a human engages with an Echo,

or another voice-enabled AI device, they
are acting as much more than just an end-
product consumer. It is difficult to place
the human user of an AI system into a
single category: rather, they deserve to be
considered as a hybrid case. Just as the Greek
chimera was a mythological animal that was
part lion, goat, snake and monster, the Echo
user is simultaneously a consumer, a resource,
a worker, and a product.”

-Kate Crawford & Vladan Joler,

Anatomy of an AI

Anatomy of An AI System | Anatomyof.AI

In the essay ‘Anatomy of An AI System’ Kate Crawford and Vladan

Joler describe what goes behind one request a user makes to
Amazon’s Alexa. An innocent query “Alexa, Turn on the lights” goes
through a system riddled with issues of data, labour and resources.
The extent of interlinked chain is impossible to humanly imagine,
They tried to map every single step in the chain to understand an
Amazon Echo in 3 steps : birth, life and death.

The following section looks at the Amazon

Echo and describes an attempt by the author
to seek its ownership and make it his own.
How might we
take control of
Technology ?

Buying an Echo,
Who owns it
after all ?
I have a 2nd Generation Amazon Echo Dot.
I don’t own it, I have it.

In the book Sapiens (2011), Yuval Noah Harari talks about entities and
ideas, like nation, religion and companies, which although cannot be
proved to be real, have a life of their own. Alexa has a life of it own,
technically it may not be an Artificial Intelligence which can pass a
Turing test[2] yet, but on a system level it does act as an intelligence
of its own. ( or Maybe one controlled by Amazon).

In this ecosystem I am a user[3]. A user is a single cell in the giant

technological body of Amazon and Alexa. I have roles to perform,
I get oxygen from the system [services] , I convert it into food
for the system [data]. It is true that in social and technological
constructs an Individual has a very small role, after all the concept
of Individualism is a social construct itself rooted in 19th century but
that all is beyond the point.

All definitions from Google Search

[1] a product is an object or system made available for consumer use;

it is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy the desire
or need of a customer

[2] The Turing test, developed by Alan Turing in 1950, is a test of a

machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or
indistinguishable from, that of a human.

[3] A user is a person who utilizes a computer or network service.

Users of computer systems and software products generally lack the
technical expertise required to fully understand how they work.
This section is not about the philosophy ,nature of being or the social
constructs around them. This section asks a very simple question,

“I paid Amazon 3000 Rupees for this Echo dot,

How much of it do I own ?” - What does the
3000 Rupee buy me ?
I know the answer to this question for most everyday things although
they are still part of larger ecosystems,

I buy an apple, I can eat it, make jam out of it, plant a new apple tree,
let it rot, give to someone hungry. It is still part of a larger food supply
chain but my interaction with the chain is limited to creating a demand
and paying money for it. I am not a user of the apple, I own it. This is not
true for your Apple iPhone or Amazon Alexa, perhaps almost anything
produced by modern technology Industry.

The opening chapter of ‘Free as in Freedom’by Sam Williams (2002,

Orielly) describes a story of Richard Stallman trying to fix a printer. The
story goes like this, Richard Stallman, a Young programmer working at
MIT’s AI Lab, had a broken printer. Being an engineer, he tries to fix it,
It was normal back then, You would buy a device it would come with
a manual, you read the manual, you play around and fix it, maybe you
explore enough, you can even make it better by adding new features.
More or less like how I would treat my bicycle, I can oil it, fix a puncture
or completely change the frame and tyres, Its my bike after all. This
printer was different, for it didn’t come with an operator manual
describing how it works, the only way to fix it was to ask the company
which made it (XEROX) to fix it.
In simple terms,

The printer was still owned by XEROX,

Stallman was just ‘a user'
Fast forward it The story goes on to describe the birth of Opensource,
Linux, Free Software, DIY, Maker movement and Hacker culture but I
want to pause here and think what it means.

The relation between the Machine and the Operator changed.

The operator is now a user, of the machine
owned by the creators of the machine on their
The reasons for such a shift in ownership structure is a complex story of
our ongoing struggles to understand and frame IP Laws and Copyright
Protections for software and code which is inseparable from the
hardware at times.

Licenses –
Agree to continue
An analogy could be, You can own a book physically but not the
words inside. And just like the first few pages of the book normally
mention about the limitation of ownership of a reader, “Not to be
reproduced without permission of copyright holders”, we Agree
countless terms and conditions by choosing to use a device like
Echo. A legal agreement is reached, perhaps a license. But not all
licenses are made equally, Buying a book may not allow you to make
photocopies and sell it to your friends but It doesn’t stop you from
taking notes or passing it on to friends or donating it to a library.

With the Amazon Echo, the situation is not so straight forward. Even
discounting the software (words) Amazon Echo’s hardware(printed
book) is not limited to the Device I have at home, Most of the
hardware is what one would call ‘is in the cloud’, i.e. The computing
Infrastructure setup by Amazon is where the Alexa AI assistant runs,
the device at my home is just an entry point into the system. Without
logging onto the cloud, the device is just slightly more useful than a

When you buy an Amazon Echo dot, you must download the Alexa
App to use the device, which needs you to sign up for an Amazon
account. By signing up you agree to Amazon’s conditions of use and
all the terms, a total of 13 mandatory terms[1].
that all is beyond the point.

Privacy, What
happens to my Data?
We not only agree to terms of us using services provided by Amazon,
we also accept the terms of Amazon using our data. Earlier this
year, Bloomberg wrote about the possibility of workers at Amazon
being able to listen to your conversations with Alexa. Not only these
conversations are potentially used to improve the Alexa system,
thus leading to issues of unpaid immaterial labour, there is a lack of
clarity on how much data is stored, where it is stored and how it is
used. Legal cases and reporting have constantly found the language
used by Amazon to be vague and often conflicting.

According to Privacy International Org [1] :

“We are largely ignorant of the full range of data that connected
devices generate about users, what is collected by servers and what
persists on the device itself and thus could be extracted by those
with the technical means. Unless we have the requisite skills, it is
extremely difficult to gain insight and mechanisms such as subject
access requests, where data protection laws exist, are unlikely to
give the full picture.

1. We do not know what data connected devices in the home may

collect, including accidentally;
2. We do not know what they store on the device;
3. We do not know how long the data on the device remains and
whether it is ever fully erased;
4. There is a risk of unequal access to data, whereby the police
believe they can access data that the owner of the device
cannot or does not know exists.

In conclusion, When we purchase an Echo Dot, We don’t know the

answer to:

“I paid 3000 Rupees for Amazon Echo, How

much of it do I own? and How much of my
data it owns?”


Right to Open
Right to Repair
What is it made of, how much can I control?

The issue of ownership extends to the hardware itself, If I don’t agree with
the terms of software provided by Amazon Echo, Can I Install a software I
agree to? The Answer is complicated.

Prior to the October 2018 ruling of DMCA (US) the act of Jailbreaking
(Installing unofficial software) an Amazon Alexa device would void the
warranty, Today the software and hardware of technological produce is
so tightly knit that making modifications or even completely changing the
software itself counts as breach of vague “Improper use of the device”.
What is proper use of the device and who dictates that?

Amazon would make a fair point that I am not allowed to make changes
to the software as it can compromise the device and its for my safety only
but at the same time by limiting user access to device configuration takes
away the users right to discover defects, repair issues or take control of
how the device functions. [1]

Amazon and other manufacturers retain full control of what is

‘Authorized’ on a device a user has paid a full price for.

“I paid 3000 Rupees for Amazon Echo, How much

of it do I own? and How much of my data it owns?
How much changes can I make for my needs?”
The discussion around these user rights often get colloquially referred to as
Right to Repair:

“The right to repair electronics refers to government legislation that is

intended to allow consumers the ability to repair and modify their own
consumer electronic devices, where otherwise the manufacturer of such
devices require the consumer to use only their offered services”[2]

Even though the Right to Repair debate is primarily centred around US and
EU, The products and services are used across the globe particularly with a
focus on the global south, where the conversations around data, privacy[3]
and right to repair are still in its early stages.

What can explain the state of consumer rights in global south better than
the fact that Amazon Echo can be used in Hindi[5] and other regional
languages but the ‘Terms and Conditions’ are only available in English [4]

[4] As of 29/10/2019
How can we
Craft our own

9.2 Making my own

Amazon Echo

IFixit Amazon Echo Dot Teardown

To explore the 3 emergent questions of ownership, I set out

on a mission to create my own Echo speaker and Potentially
be able to create the speakers locally in the village. Therefore
taking the ownership from Amazon and bringing it back to the
users. From an Industrial Produce to a Crafted Creation.

What is Inside ?
The project started internet and an amazon together in its design and
account to perform its maybe even craft. Produced
by opening up a 2nd actions. Starting at around collectively by multiple
generation Echo Dot 4K the echo dot provides stakeholders including
to understand what a budget option in the miners in Africa, coders in
smart speaker space. The Seattle and the consumers
it is made of. motivation to open up the in India.
device comes from the
Amazon Echo is a voice ‘Anatomy of an AI’ project I will be referring to Ifixit[1]
assistant + speaker by by Vladen Joler to guide me through
Amazon. It features a voice opening an 2017 Amazon
assistant Alexa and is In the current teardown, Echo Dot.
primarily placed for home the idea is just to note the
usage in kitchen and living components and looking
rooms. The device needs at how all of it is put

Inside an
Echo Dot
what makes an AI
smart speaker tick ? An
investigative Inquiry


Annexure 2
🌎 Link 17

An Important Note
this inquiry is mostly Deconstructing the Hardware
around the physical build Amazon Echo Dot
of the device but like all
device is a small step 2nd Gen
technologies it has an in a long process to
abstract level of software fully understand the Medium
built and operated by Instagram Stories
amazon running on it which
whole ecosystem of
is perhaps not visible or technology which is Tools
tangible to us apart from the highly centralized. Standard Screwdriver
interaction design but has Kit
some manifestation as the
infrastructure running the
software in the cloud.

Conclusions of opening Echo Dot,
As expected, a dot is a tightly packed device
but with a surprising level of access to its
internals. The full report of the opening can
be found on the Instagram stories but the
overall most important parts in the device

1.Speaker, Echo dot has a really small

speaker with quite small fidelity
2.The motherboard, Which also houses the
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules
3.Heatsink to cool the components
4.The far field microphones, which might be a
challenge in building our own system
5.The LED rings and controls do add an extra
layer of user interaction but can be certainly

All of this needs to be done around the price

of 3-4K.
The Aim was to build a
version of Echo using off the
shelf hardware. It did not
turn out to be really that
challenging. In Amazon’s
vision, Alexa is not about the
hardware but the platform.
It's not about how many
speakers are sold but much
data is routed through
Amazon servers.

On Using AWS
( Amazon Web
Servers) : Data,
and Decentralized
To facilitate this Amazon and In other words, Open Source
so has Google opened up its
software development kit
Amazon retains full Alternatives
(through their AWS service) control and ownership
for everyone to create their Mycroft
of the software and Volareo
own Alexa devices, a device
can be setup free of cost in only leasing it out to Jasper
less than an hour of work. us in return of the
data payment we
Although it does allow people
to create the smart assistant bring to Amazon. A Note:
according to their needs, The difficulty with Open Source
it's important to note that This does not seem to fulfil alternatives in ‘Smart’ speaker space
the software is anything but our mission of decentralizing is not the software code but the
open source, A quick read the AI technology, to really data. Today a lot of applications
of the Terms and Conditions localize the technology, the in our life use machine learning
while setting up the system data flows also need to be for tasks like voice recognition or
bring out these points: retained and process locally. making sense of what we say, and
One way to achieve this is to this needs data, often proprietary
1.You are not allowed to use open-source alternatives making it difficult for everyone to
which allow local processing have access to tools needed for
modify, reverse-engineer or
of the requests and only building alternatives to offerings
repurpose the software.
communicate with ‘cloud’ from corporation like Amazon.
2.Amazon does not provide when permission is granted Open-Source Initiatives like Mozilla
any warranty or responsibility but in practice, these Common Voice are trying to bridge
of the software’s function or systems tend to be highly this gap by crowdsourcing voice
use. inefficient and inaccurate recognition data and make it
3.Amazon has no obligations compared to a centralized available to everyone. I urge the
to provide support server and expertise provided readers to take a moment off their
4.In case of a legal dispute, by servers at Amazon. day and contribute their voice. :)
You are expected to support
amazon and pay legal fees

Ek Prayog is an ongoing journey
in making by Sahil Thappa. Sahil
handmakes bluetooth speakers
with off the shelf parts and
shares the instructions and
designs on Instructables.
His project and work is an
experiment is design democracy,
open source and making.


At the current stage of continue to be more efficient to deploy for a project like
computing having local and faster as the systems this. Centralized computing
processing of data on local are much larger scale and system still tend to be the
servers is extremely slow purpose built. way to go.
and difficult, not to say that
these hurdles cannot be Another way could be to Perhaps a strategy for now
overcome, one solution can decentralize the processing could be a compromise
come through faster and into local network of between local and
more efficient processing, processing devices available centralized. As presented by
in last decade or so mobile in the village to form a sort project Alias. Which uses a
processing has been getting of cluster servers. The idea local computer to determine
more and more efficient of peer-peer decentralized when thw Alexa should be
allowing AI applications computing has been a holy listening or not.[1]
to run directly on devices, grail of technology for the
current mobile phones can longest time, existing in Continuing on the setup, the
process simple AI tasks at forms of Torrent networks, basic parts needed are
decent enough rates but at TOR and now Blockchains. 1.A Linux based computer, I
the same time with cheaper In practice these systems used a Raspberry Pi [ A small
and faster data transfer, It tend to be highly resilient affordable Computer ]
is just cheaper to process the and private but suffer 2.Microphone
data remotely on a server, in speed and efficiency, 3.Speaker
which continue and would making it extremely difficult 4.Internet connection

An Illustration of a Raspberry Pi

The device is built in 5 Parts I followed the steps
mentioned at 🌎
1.The Processor amazon-alexa-assistant-on-
Raspberry Pi 3b raspberry-pi-3b-plus/

2.The Software and Managed to get a basic

Amazon Alexa SDK setup working although the
microphones were an issue
3.The Microphone as a simple off the shelf
Off the Shelf microphone is not great at
a room scale with possibility
4.The Speaker of background noise in the
Off the Shelf detected audio. But this
seems to be a problem to be
5.Casing solved through either custom
Open cluster of mic sensors or
through a far field array[1].

[1] A collection of microphones designed to pickup sound from distance


A setup by DigiKey.Hu

No Documentation of My Setup


Although making my own In conversation with Vladen Another level of the problem
smart speaker was not are learning data sets - You
exactly an extremely Vladen: will need to get thousands
challenging exercise (still “Locally crafted AI system of hours of labelled voice
mildly challenging), it did is much harder quest that material in order to properly
not seem to add much more You are probably imagining. train one machine learning
advantage and control over Its just a question how deep system by Yourself. If you
Amazon’s offering. You want to go into it. The want to go into production of
most easy task is to produce the hardware in Goa - good
As long as we continue to design for the device cover luck in trying to find 2/3 of
use the software provided by locally. Anything else will be the periodic table of elements
Amazon, there can be very much harder. First of all in and excavating them locally
limited ownership over how case of Amazon AVS, device :)”
the device functions, perhaps is not what You are having in
making your own would only Your hand. The real device is Yatharth:
struggle with issues of DIY somewhere else in some data Oh No!
Hardware. centre. Its the same situation
also if You are using Pi with
Hacking it to
be my own:
Covering it up
Creating a whole Alexa from
scratch even without the
software is a challenging
exercise with minimal benefits.
After putting the filter of
“producing it locally in the
village” it becomes even more
challenging when training and
material resources are factored
in. An alternative could be to try
to gain ownership of the Echo
dot, by ‘Designing a cover for it’.

Typologies of ‘Covers’

Cosmetics Augmentation Hacks

Covers or Modifications which Additions to the existing Additions to the device
change the visual nature product which enhance or add which greatly change the
of the product, It can be on to the ability of the device function and working of
seen at a level of cosmetic without changing the core the device. Hacks can allow
customization. Visual covers working much. Augmentations users to take ownership of
allow the ‘users’ to take allow for users to take some how the device works.
ownership of the aesthetic ownership of functional
context of the device. context of the device. Example
Examples of this could range can be battery banks and
from laptop stickers to phone laptop coolers.

This section describes
proposals for three such
covers to be built with

Concept Note

Amazon has designed the Echo Dots in its Seattle

Office, the material and aesthetic choices made in
the production of an Echo reflects more to the values
of its designers sitting at Seattle, trying to design
it for the global market. A blue plastic or a fabric
case, like our glass and metal phones have become
the new normal for how technology is marketed to
us. A standardised, generic imagination of a global
consumer. These objects take a very important
part in our everyday life, an Echo literally sits in our
bedrooms. Over the years as a counter of Silicon
Valley’s brand of standardisation (looking at you
apple), people have started expressing themselves
through cases, stickers and accessories. A cutting-
edge technological gadget at the end of the day is
still a part of our homes,

How much agency do we have on how the

Echo fits in our house? Can we hack its
Industrial Design into a Homely Craft?
Can it reflect the tastes and personality
of the household it belongs to?
Sound Lota
Sound Lota is a case which
enhances the acoustics
of your Alexa through
reverberations through the
terracotta body.

Battery Lota
Free your Echo dot from
home, take it around with
you with the Battery Lota
which converts Echo dot into
a versatile Bluetooth speaker
just like a real lota.

Alexa Devi
Alexa is like a goddess who
knows all the answers and
can help solve your problems.
Alexa Devi provides a proper
shrine for her in a brass coated
lota perfect fit for your home

Suraksha Kavach
Surakcha kavach protects
your privacy by creating a
barrier between your data and
Echo dot. The project uses a
raspberry pi embedded with
speakers to drown the echo
dot in noise when you don’t
want it to listen.
Prototyping with
We worked with a potter to prototype
a case for the echo. The case was
based on one of the designs of
household container the potter had at
his disposal. The design was modified
to accommodate space for microphone
reception and speaker output.

Working with Craftsman

During the project I worked with a master potter
in North Goa, The Initial first interactions went
into building a relation with him and interviewing
Annexure 1 [KD Pandit]

Post Interview, we started collaboration

on the Alexa Case, I wanted to establish a
nonhierarchical relation in this project so
Instead of trying to go with a sketch, I started
trying work with what was already available
at his workshop, the idea was to slowly move
into the realm of experimentation. What quickly
became apparent was that this non-hierarchical
relation was easier said than done as the potter
expected me to have some clarity of what I
wanted, which I didn’t know, Working with his
own samples limited the imagination severely,
the desire to experiment was not necessarily
high in the first few phases, which can be
attributed to the age of potter and the fact that
it’s a livelihood which is supposed to be stable.
Despite all the initial promises, working with
sketches seemed to be the easiest and most
efficient way of moving in the project.

Similar problems emerged during the work with

Weavers. Although I still avoided using sketches
for the duration of the project, it ended up being
extremely challenging.

[Design and Crafts, 3.1.2.a]


Base Design
KD Pandit started with
Working on The customised for the
prototype Echo Dot

Basic First Prototype with

outlets for audio and Inlets
for USB and sound.

Alongside the theoretical and

experimental inquiry, the project
involved in Craft discourse through Labs,
Interaction with Craftsmen,experts and
through a speculative inquiry into the
future of craft

10. Craft Future Lab ..207
11. Values for Crafts ..217
12. Craft Expo 2035 ..227
Craft Future Lab is first in the series of Inquiries
we are conducting at The Busride Labs.

The Lab in the July of 2019 Aimed to bring

together experts and practitioners of Crafts to
discuss and understand what the state of crafts
in India is, what kind of practices are already
existing, What are the stories and Where does the
future of Craft lie.

The following section summarises the discussion
which happened at the Lab. Each Discussion was
led by one of the participants and touched upon
the topics of Future of Crafts, Craft and Stories,
Crafts and Design, Crafts and Heritage, Craft
Commons and Finally an Open Discussion.

Crafts have been an ingrained part of our cultural, economic and political
heritage. With over 7 million directly involved artisans (up to 200million
involved indirectly), the Handicraft industry is India’s second largest
sector, contributing to over 13% of Indian Exports. The handicrafts and its
highly skilled artisans have been taking roles of worker, artists, designers,
entrepreneurs and political leaders, often all of them simultaneously.
With a country wide shift of focus on Urbanisation and Industrialisation,
Indian crafts have changed from the Gandhian dream of swaraj, khadi
and the village economy. Making, Designing and Marketing have become
disembodied. A 3rd of the national population has urbanised, lifestyles
have changed and so have the needs. Indian crafts is feeling the pressure
of change and it’s also reacting, with reskilling, new design inputs,
reorganisation and adapting to modern markets.

Craft-Centric brands and ecommerce websites have come up. Non-

Government Organisations, Craft communities and Corporate Social
Responsibility programs are trying to assist and sometimes leverage
from the crafts, each with its own pros and cons. With difficult questions
around heritage, culture, authenticity, equity and empowerment of the
crafts and the craftsmen

The lab wanted to explore what Indian crafts can

be in 2035.
How to negotiate between cultural heritage and modern needs? Can
craft break beyond the object it manifests? What does Craft mean in the
globalised world with its technological promises? In the world of Instant
access to information, E-commerce, 3D printing, Open-Source, Maker
culture and Entanglement of Traditional fields of education, What does
being a 21st century craftsman entail ?

Can a craftsman become a problem solver, a

storyteller and a community leader? Does craft
have answer to the big economic, environmental
and political problems of our times ? What
does craft tell us about equity, accessibility and
creativity? What are the preferable futures for
Indian crafts and Craftsmen?
And how do we get there?

Annexure 3
🌎 Link 18
on Crafts

Craft is a Crafts can be Craft and

Multivalent utilitarian and Institutions are
Practice Problem Solving closely related
Craft as a practice can Crafts emerged out of need of Crafts in India flourished
range from working on utility solving problems in everyday around Institutions like
products for the masses to life, serving a functional or Temples and Royal Courts,
highly intricate artefacts for ritualistic utility. We can start These Institutes would be
collections and museums. imagining contemporary the centre of rituals and
Often a practitioner has crafts less as purely cultural practices of which different
to deal with seemingly items and start finding utility crafts and craftsmen would
contradictory engagement in modern life and rituals, and serve, making them an
with craft. All approaches are even going as far as taking Indispensable part of the
equally valid and are often a central role in solving big ecosystem. Even today
closely interlinked in the problems around affordability Temples and Religious rituals
ecosystem. There is no one and sustainability. help several craft sustain
right answer. and thrive. In Contemporary
Institutions like Corporations
and Government, There is an
Technology and opportunity to involve Craft
Environment will Craft are not ecosystem.
be an important exclusive
Avenue for Crafts
Craft does not need to Craft is a
Craft products and Approach be primitive and old, Both
can provide Environmentally contemporary and traditional
sensitive Alternatives to crafts have developed their ecosystem
products and services we own technologies over the
use today. From bamboo years pushing the boundaries Crafts form a part of larger
straws to passive cooling of the crafts, Modern ecosystem of workers
systems for skyscrapers, Digital ‘Technology’ has and craftsmen involved at
using local crafts can provide been following similar ethos different levels, At its simplest
solutions to our environmental to craft in terms of open A Weaver and Farmer had a
problems, using local source and DIY movements. very strong relations, with
materials, skills, sustainable Craftsmen across both digital Farmer providing the weaver
techniques and cutting down and traditional crafts adapt with the Grass and the
on transportation among and customise technology Weaver providing storage for
other things. according to there needs. We the farmer, The relations had
can start looking at making been collaborative. A modern
the modern technology more designer-craftsman relation
crafted/people centric and is less collaborative and more
craft more technological. hierarchical. We can Imagine
new Collaborative relationship
of craftsmen with Scientists,
Makers, Doctors etc.

Storytelling and Meaningful Market

the Latent Value Linkages and
in craft can be a Training
driving force
For crafts to be economically
Crafts contain the stories of sustainable, It needs to link
its making, history and the to markets eventually. Today
people often hidden in plain one of the biggest challenges
sight, These stories provide with craft is its often weak
value to crafted objects over or middlemen ridden market
Industrial mass produce. In linkage, not allowing the
modern consumerist economy, craftsmen to engage directly
the stories and origin of the with market. The barriers can
objects are ignored in favour be logistical, or product being
of Faster, Better and Cheaper, not high on demand or just
we often either tend to look lack of touch of craftsmen
at crafts through exotic with modern trends. New
lens or through consumerist institutions like Delhi Haat,
lens, trying to compare with which can link Craftsmen to
industrial objects. The stories, Market while training them
journey and value chain in using new technologies
through which any crafted and Also providing platform
object goes can be a powerful for skill exchange and
tool to add value to crafts. international showcase will be
Craft can be non-
alienated labour Craft as a school
of thought and
At the end of day, Craft community
is any labour which is not
exploitative, respects the Crafts have been traditionally
worker and the worker linked to birth and place in
connects. Crafts is a non- Caste and Class system,
alienating labour. It can Often propagating the
happen in an industrial social issues in name of
setting, or a rural household tradition. With communication
or a corporate cubicle. If technology, Crafts can have
a craft setting replicates potential to free itself from
Industrial exploitation , traditional boundaries and
and an Industry allows its rather become a school
worker sufficient freedom, our thought. A modern craft like
definitions of craft collapse. programming and 3D art
Craft is about People, not is not bound by traditional
culture. People form culture. classes but is propagated
through tutorials and online
forums, allowing anyone
to become part of the
community and practice it.
Directions 00
Problem Solving
The conclusions from Crafts Carry culture. The social, Craft practice is polyvalent with Crafts can be deployed to tackle
the Lab and Earlier political and economic threats multiple roles and positions to the problems of environment and
and changes will lead to loss take. ecology
research were condensed of the culture. Accessible
and proposals and way documentation of crafts can Expected Outcomes Expected Outcomes
forward from the labs provide repository of culture in 1. Mapping Major buckets and 1. Proposal and prototypes for an
future, whatever shape it takes system of practice installation to tackle a climate
were put on axis of 2. A toolkit to situate and crisis in future
threats vs opportunity Expected Outcomes Analyse the practices 2. Narratives of Rituals and life
and future vs today. To 1. Documentation of a local craft. 3. Publication around such an installation
2. Putting it out through public
identify the urgency and engagement Time Period: 1-2 Weeks Time Period: 4-5 Weeks
timelines of the proposal Theory/Toolkit Built Form/Proposal
Time Period: A few months
03 04 05 06
Portraits of Crafts as Customised Craftcommons Value Chains - IP -
Craftsmen Technology Credit
Crafts are not about individual
The future craftsmen are people ‘Not Anti but Custom technology’ ownership and should not be Crafts dont have a concept
with diverse professions and Customization and openness limited to a community by virtue of IP or Credits, Lack of such
practices relevant to there time can provide important directions of birth. Craft-Common allows a frameworks can lead to
but share the core values of for deployment of technology knowledge, resources and ideas designer/trader exploitation,
crafts. to flow between craft and non misjudgement of the value on
Expected Outcomes craft practices. the materials and work put into
Expected Outcomes 1. Study of customization of a piece
1. Persona and World of varied tools in craft Expected Outcomes
craft practitioners 2. Manifesto for Technology 1. Study of craft institutions, skill Expected Outcomes
2. Comics/Cards/Web Narratives A product/Tool deployed with a sharing and exchange models. 1. Prototype/Suggestion of a
around these personas craftsman 2. Proposal of a craft common system
platform Preliminary Implication analysis
Time Period: 2-3 Weeks Time Period: 3-4 Weeks Testing the Idea with a Lab/
Communication/Outreach Theory/Built form Workshop Time Period: Longterm
Time Period: Few Months
for Crafts
A manifesto for
the future.
When we think about Crafts, we either have an image of
an object, a person or maybe an activity in our imagination.
Discourses on Craft often spend a lot of time in defining the
form of the craft: is it the process or a person or a thing?

An interesting question we can try asking is, What is not crafts

? Is something Industrial not Crafts? What about Crafts
done on an Industrial scale? Or Industrial objects made on a
small scale? The relation between Crafts and Industry is very
convoluted, Crafts-Industry and Industrial Crafts are two
terms which are oxymoronic in themselves but represent the
complexity of modern Crafts quite aptly. To understand and
define craft, It is more important to not look at what is being
made or how it is being made but Why it is being made.

A Form (What) or Process (How) centric lens favours the

workmanship, the labour put in and the exquisite materials
used in the process over who the worker is, how is the labour
treated and if the materials are sourced sustainably. A value
(Why) centric lens allows us to identify crafts in activities
which are traditionally excluded from the craft discourse,
Like Industrial Crafts, Open Source Programming, Recycling,
Jugaad etc.

The idea is to not create hard boundaries between crafts and

industry but to identify what our positions are in the discourse
through using values as tools, The boundaries can be fluid.

We propose six lenses to look at a craft

activity and six accompanying values which
would be important for craft in future.

Resources – Sustainable
People - Community based
Purpose - Problem Framing
Interaction - Collaborative
Knowledge - Accessible
Labour - Unalienated

These values are not a destination or a

checklist to be ticked off by a practice
to be qualified as a future craft practice.
These values are suggestive in their
nature, aiming to aid our imagination
of what roles craft could take in our
future rather than a singular prescriptive
definition of crafts.
Created by Made by Made
from the Noun Project

Crafts would need to be environmentally sustainable in how
and where the material is sourced from and how they are
used. Sustainable may mean, to only use locally sourced
materials or it can also mean to change the way the traditional
crafts is practiced by using new materials or techniques. The
produce and the scale of craft should not end up repeating the
industrial exploitation of resources.

For example. Despite being more sustainable We cannot

expect all houses to be constructed of Wood as we cannot
support that amount of deforestation. Similarly a large scale
deployment of baked terracotta can add up to huge carbon

Crafts should work for lowering the

environmental impact, not increasing it for
What: Material Resources

Created by Maxim Kulikov

from the Noun Project

Crafts should take a role in building the community and
culture around it. The community may be geographical,
cultural or interest based, but for the craft to thrive and make
an impact it must involve a number of similarly inclined
stakeholders. Giving everyone a voice and role in the process.
Craft builds community, community builds crafts.

For example, In traditional religious institutions like temples

and cathedrals, the rituals sustain the craft economy
around the temples. The culture, the craft and economy are
interconnected through rituals. In a more contemporary
example, Open-Source culture like GitHub, Thing verse show
individuals across classes and cultures sharing values forming
a community of contributors helping along in development,
testing and reaching to new users.

What: Work community

Limitations: Will keep out artistic/scientific making.

Created by bezier master
from the Noun Project

Crafts cannot afford to take a purely non-functional, luxury
and aesthetic space. Future crafts will actively participate in
solving contemporary problems, whether it be on a global scale
around construction techniques and pollution, or personal
scale in helping us combat stress. From hacking technology to
shaping it, crafts will adapt to the issues of the times.

For instance,A product like MittiCool uses terracotta to provide

low cost, affordable refrigeration to rural population. And
Warka water towers are using traditional weaving techniques
to collect water from the air.

What : Wicked Problems

Limitations : Excludes crafts and making activity with cultural

or ritualistic function. Challenge of defining what is problem is
already big.

Crafts should not be a silo-ed activity. Future craft practice
will involve different fields of knowledge, not just designers
and artist but economists, data-scientists, material
researcher, AI engineers to take up big contemporary
problems and push the making forward. Everyone involved in
the process will be equal parts a maker and craftsman.
For Instance, in a traditional village community, the craftsmen
and the farmers were co-dependent on each other for tools
and materials. In a contemporary society, the relation extends
to modern professions and fields of education, a new co-

It can be seen as Entanglement of create fields as Neri

Oxman puts it or collaborations, like the work of Nervous
Systems in 3D printing a heart. The idea is to imagine crafts in
this landscape.

Constraints: Direct Collaborators

Limitations : Very fine line between collaboration and worker-

employer relations.
Created by Yu luck
from the Noun Project

Crafts practices will be accessible in its knowledge and in who
can practice it. A practice need not be tied to a class or caste,
allowing craftsmen to move along the crafts as they need, The
knowledge and training will be available on open platforms to
learn and move forward together. The tools and technology
will follow a similar trend and make itself open to tinkering and

Crafts have a class and caste problem, especially in India.

Socio-Economic identity and position is defined by the
profession. An accessible craft means that given someone has
an interest in it, they can pursue it with the knowledge easily
available to them without discrimination.

A limited example of this can be seen in the form of YouTube

tutorials, MOOC courses and Makerspaces.

Constraint : Training and Knowledge transfer + Technology

Limitations: Works against the traditional structure of crafts

and disregards individualistic craftsmen.

Created by Nithinan Tatah

from the Noun Project

The practice will be about the people and community first
and foremost. The labour is respected and the craftsmen will
take ownership of their craft. The Un-Alienation can happen
at the level of economy, purpose or aspiration. Perhaps the
most difficult and vague value to achieve, It should at its
simplest thrive to make the craftsmen proud in there craft,
while providing a respectable sustenance. Giving an Example
of Unalienated labour is tricky because every task has varying
level of alienation/alienation perhaps it depends on time also.

The characters of non-alienation can be :

1. Fair pay
2. Interest in work
3. Sense of Pride
4. Ownership of the work

Limitations: Alienation is difficult to define, also at what scale

to define it? Social ? Individual ?
At the end of the research, the values were
tested out in a speculative framework of a
Craft Expo in year of 2035.

The speculations are a series of sketches of

the city, labour, environment and position of
crafts and craftsmen in our futures.
The Continuous Monument – Superstudio

Radical Design
& Speculative
To Imagine this Speculative Framework 2035, "The Radical Design movement exhibited a
the Inquiry takes heavy Inspirations from the similar desire to that of Speculative Design as
work of Radical Design Studios like Archigram they presented visions of possible futures as
and Superstudio at the same time It tries a means of critique and provocation. Where
to merge it with critcality of contemporary perhaps they differed was in terms of their
speculative design practice to talk about a motivation. Radical Design wanted to break
future of crafts. from the past, whereas Speculative Design
exhibits a greater degree of criticality of our
journeys to, and visions of, such futures."

The Radical Design Movement
Plugin City, Moving City, 231
Archigram Archigram

Instant City, A Speculative Archipellago, City Dreams

Archigram David Verbeek Bodys Isek Kingelez

Other Expos

Great Exhibition, 1851 Dubai World Expo, 2020

Public, Participatory
How might We & Community based

Creativity, Agency
& Unalienated
Craft our Urban
and Technological
Environments? Decentralised,
Humanised &

Built &

as an
The Speculative Inquiry The Inquiry acted as
looks at the future of imagination tool for a future
crafts through two central with expanded look at crafts
provocations set in the year accounting for its socio-
of 2035 in the City of Delhi. political, technological and
The Hypothetical India Crafts environmental dimensions.
Expo, the world around it, The sketches shaped the
the events leading to it, theoretical conclusions of the
and its aftermath, serve as project by grounding them
the premise for an attempt into a tangible future.
to explore what new roles
and meanings craft might
take and what values will be
driving it.

Production of service, products,

culture or knowledge.

How might Crafts

manifest itself
in the Age of
Anti-disciplinary and
Interlinked, where knowledge is
not produced within traditional
silos of disciplines.

Driving Values A Note

Sustainability The exercise is Introspective in its
Community nature, the drawings and writings are
Problem Solving
used as personal tools to make sense of
Accessibility the world.
The World


Craft for Ecological Needs

Cultural Exchanges
Technological Craft Products
3D Printing/CNC in Crafts

Next big things

Promising ideas gaining momentum Speed

Craft as Entertainment
Crafts for therapy
Craft Tourism

Hot right now

Fast and agile experiments, just a few will stick

Ethically organically sourced Products Ecommerce

VR/AR Documentation Etsy
WhatsApp Amazon Model
Direct 2 Consumers Health Consious Products

The already recognized ideas and players

Design Documentaion Design Brands SHGs

Craft Museums Fab India NGOs
Delhi Haat Fashion Designers Dastkari Haat Samiti
Training Institutes

The one’s that “have always been there”.
Traditional Local Utilitarian
Markets Haats Products

An exercise to define the

basic framework of the world.
Based on Actionable Futures
Toolkit by Nordkapp

System Actors


Tech Comapnies Money

Ministries Big Corporates Buisnesses


Woman/ Children
Master Craftsmen Traditional Skills
Educated Craftsmen Historians
Rural Local Small Scale
Educational Institutions
Training Centers Consumers

Changemarkers Stakeholders
Designers Community
Guilds Cultures

Creative Professionals Platforms Heritage Environment

The external forces affecting the future
world we are building. What are the trends and
forces driving the change in for example the
politics and what are the incentives driving
technology? What about ethics?

Environmental Political
Polluted cities, Revivalist Governments,
Resource Congestions, Presenting India as a Global
Increasing Temperature Leader, Increasing political
,Undoing damage & upgrading participation
environmental infrastructure as
big priority,

Economic Sociocultural
Increased focus on Increasing migration to Urban
Creative Industries, Rising Environment,
GDPs, Increased Foreign Digital subculture and communities
Investments emerging, Increasing focus on
preserving cultural loss

Technological Legal
Accessible Digital Creation Severe restriction on
tools, Increased efficiency of construction and mining
recycling across the board, Industries, Nationwide Job
A Mature digital content Security, Limitations on
industry, Tracking supply Automation.
chain possible through
blockchains Increasing

Repairable device/
Recycle, Accessible
tech, Opensource
The Basics

What is the Event Why is it happening

•India is organising its first Craft expo •Since 2025, Indian Crafts has overcome a lot of
•The expo is being held at Delhi difficulties and now has a leading Industry
•There is a craft show at expo •India is becoming a craft-led country
•The craft show was launched with a keynote/ •The event is showcasing the achievements and work
address/performance by the Craft Minister of India done by Indian craftsmen
with participation from leading Craftsmen •The event is adapting a new motto for crafts in the

What is the world around it What led to the event in last 15

years (2020)
•India has emerged as a global superpower
•Big problems/ Big Solutions •India focusing on its creative industries
•Global economy is led by sustainability rather than •India faced with problems which need sustainable
tech solutions
•African countries as emergent powers •Opening of vocational and co-learning institutions
•Move towards healthier lifestyles •Introduction of making/hands-on-work and lifelong
•Interactive Entertainment as one of the most learning in the curricula
profitable Industries •Penetration of accessible technology, makerspaces and
•Tech Industry as the status quo like retail and new tools in rural ares
real-state •Megalopolises becoming unwieldy, emergence of multiple
feeder cities

A Sketch of the world

in which the Expo is
happening and the
Stakeholders involved

Active Paricipants Organiser

•Makers Craft Ministry
•Design/Architect/Planners/Policy Makers
•Tool makers


•Small Artist and Craftsmen
Formation of Unified Ministry of Crafts to put
India at forefront of creative Industry

Increased focus by Architects/Designers/

Makers on using local resources and tracking
the supply chain and people involved.

Collaborative haat/maker/ lifelong educational

spaces popping all over nation bringing
different groups of people into crafts and
leading to new crafts in first place.

The Journey

The Timeline Which What is ‘Beyond Sustainability’ ?

Lead to the Expo
in 2035
If sustainability is catching up creating a
balance with Natural Ecosystem. The Expo is
mandating an active effort to first catchup
and then restore the damage done.
United Nation Sustainable Development India Craft Expo gets approved
Goals Timeline Ends in 2030, The world by the Citizens of Delhi. With the
needs new development goals. mandate of “Beyond Sustainability”

2030 JAN 2030

The City mandates the pavilion to
be built as an environmental public
infrastructure for the city.


What is ‘Beyond Sustainability’ ?

If sustainability is catching up creating a

balance with Natural Ecosystem. The Expo is
mandating an active effort to first catchup
and then restore the damage done.
The Citizens

Every citizen is a craftsman in their

capacities, the craft produced is not always
tangible or traditionally defined and driven
by financial or market functions.

The distinction between the work, life and

crafts is blurred, the activity of craft is an
integral part of everyday. The interaction
between these craft citizens is networked
in a multidimensional rhizome. In this
urban environment, there is no hierarchy
of high crafts and low crafts, the act
of making is not linked to the classes,
castes and community. The crafts and
the knowledge of craft exists in the public
domain, allowing craftsmen to pickup new
crafts and share their knowledge with
potential craftsmen.

The Citizen Rima Devi Ramesh Mahto

Radiation Knitter, Houswife eGold Recycler, Technologist

What They Make Handmade Radiation Heating Sweaters Extracts gold off old electronics +
repairs instructions/teaching online

Who they work With Fashion Designer, Recycler, Engineer Jwellers,Recyclers, Educators

What tools & Techniques Stitching, Wireless Radition Energy, Gold Extracter, MR Videos
they use Recycled Fast Fashion clothes

For whom they make Local Kids & Old People Jwellers, People who want to learn
more about tech

Driving Purpose To create beautiful clothing for her To teach people about how to work
kids and people in the neighbour hood with whatever technology they have

Story Rima Devi moved from Bihar in the Ramesh studied engineering online
early 2020 with her husband who was and comes from a family of recyclers,
working at the airport in Dwarka. he is working in Gurgaon