Our first podcast of 2021 features one of the most innovative forces in Indian craft, reflecting Ahmedabad’s status as a unique cultural centre.
We speak to Jay Thakkar on the eve of the legendary kite festival in Ahmedabad, and we begin by learning what the city is like during this spectacular event and how COVID has affected the themes of kite design. We discuss his ambitious project on vernacular furniture, which was told previously in our story by Mitraja Bais. We also hear about the five-year-long exchange with a Kutch village Guniyali which culminated recently in the launch of a virtual exhibition with the support of the British Council.
Jay shares with us his thoughts on craft education in India and proposes a “fourth wave” in which designers seek learning from the villagers themselves in location. Finally, we learn some of the deeper values that underpin is work, and a saying of his father’s that money is like wheat. Listen and learn why this is so.
Jay Thakkar is an Associate Professor, Head of Exhibition at CEPT University and Co-founder and Executive Director at Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC) at CRDF, Ahmedabad, India. You visit the virtual exhibition Celebrating Gundiyali here.
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