Narrative Design in Craft: The storytelling value of handmade object – 9-10 February 2017

Conference/workshop 9-10 February 2017
at Sayaji BhawanMSU Baroda

Many craft objects evolved over time as tools for the telling of stories. These traditionally used design elements such as windows or vertical scroll format to guide the unfolding narratives. The value of the “story behind the craft” is understood today as one of the key sources of value, particularly if the object is used as a souvenir, keepsake or gift. Today, e-commerce platforms are being created to build this narrative value. They do this primarily through click-throughs that reveal more details about the object and the person who made it. After more than five years of development, we can now take stock of this new forum for craft.

This conference asks the following questions:

  • What stories does craft tell?
  • How do these stories add value to craft?
  • Are there different stories for the home and foreign audiences?
  • What is the potential of e-commerce to further develop these stories?
  • How can objects be designed today to increase their value in telling stories?

Registration fee is Rs 5000/-, which includes three nights accommodation and food. For students, it is Rs 1000/- (without accommodation). For students coming only for the day, it is Rs 500/-. See Facebook event page. Hotels to consider include Ginger, Kalyan and Suba Elite at Fateh Gunj.

You can also find materials and a special subscription offer to Garland here: 


Thursday 9 February – Craft stories

The traditional role of storytelling in craft. This considers the broad spectrum including use of craft by bards, the story of the handmade (politics and biography), depiction of Hindu myths and idols in temples and biography in miniatures.

10:30am Inauguration

11:00am First session papers (20 minutes each)

  • Jayaram Poduval
  • Ifran Khatri
  • Rishav Jain

1pm Lunch break

2:00pm Second session papers

  • Ishan Khosla
  • LOkesh Ghai
  • Richar Kuma


  • Shamli Dasgupta
  • Varma Shrishti 

5pm Plenary session

6pm Film by LOkesh Ghai

Friday 10 February – Designing for Stories (workshop)

Conducted by Kevin Murray

The modern possibilities for adding story value to craft objects. This involves a review of e-commerce and social media platforms. 

10:30am – Overview of e-commerce platforms

11:30am – Overview of social media

1pm – Lunch

2pm – Exercise to design object to tell stories

4pm – Conclusion discussion


MIRD Baroda, conference venue

This conference is a partnership between Maharaja Ranjitsinh Gaekwad Institute Of Design at MSU Baroda and Garland magazine. For those interested to participate, please send an email to