Raindrops and Footprints: Crafts Ecology in the Making at the IICD Jaipur
M P Ranjan
Image 1: Micro view of the poverty alleviation strategy called “Raindrops Strategy” to use crafts as a vehicle for local empowerment and occupation building with design strategies and innovation as drivers of a new economy.
IICD students and faculty would scour the country looking for pockets and clusters of crafts activities that are part of their field research and study programmes. Durning these forays into the field they would naturally come into contact with individuals and groups that are attempting to use crafts in a development situation. Some of these would be pre-existing NGO’s or crafts entrepreneurs wjhile others may be children of local craftsmen looking for life employment opportunituies for themselves going forward. This model is based on a previous post on Design for India on 2 April 2008 called “Poverty and Design Explored: Context India.”
IICD’s new incubatee programme coiuld adopt these groups and individuals for a sustained programme of contact and faciloitation in the field as well at the back end at the Institute as part of the Crafts Incubatee programme that may be funded and supported by a consortium of supporters, venture capital funds as well as Government Grants in Aid programmes. Learning from the field and giving back to the field is the proposed model for sensitive action using design sensibilities and innovation strategoies which will help build credible models for action and tested strategies for going forward with larger investments from the support basket. At each stage of this proposed ten stage model the IICD teams and their partners in the field would create intermediate products such as feasibility reports, crafts documentations, resource maps, opportunity maps and new prototypes and strategies for future action. These would be evaluated and rolled out under various schemes for support in the field as well as crafts and entrepreneurship training programmes. This programme will work in tandem with the existing Crafts Design, Technology and Management education programmes of the Institute. These individual forays are here called the “Raindrops” since the intention is to drop these into existing crafts clusters and allow these to grow as ripplies in the fertile ponds of our land.
Image 2: Macro view of the empowerment strategy that could be used by the IICD to reach its growing knowledge and the human resources called the Agents of Change to various crafts clusters across India through a strategy called “Footprints in Time” as shown in the model above.
The micro model called “Raindrops” can be replicated through an active support programme of incubation by the replication of the strategy across multiple locations and crafts clusters across India. This would be based on a growing resource that would leverage the crrent and future programmes of the institute as well as support the proposed programme for crafts incubation which would have a field front end as well as an institute based back-end programme of a specific duration. Using Web 2.0 strategies the IICD could build a community of designers, experts, partners and wellwishers with the crafts incubates to make an interactive support platform that willl grow and divesrisy over time. This process of maturation and growth is what I would call the “Feetprints in Time” model for the IICD action in the field support for the crafts incubatee. This concept has been expaned in a previous post on this blog on 3 November 2008 called “Footprints in Time: A Crafts Ecology for India" and another post on 18 October called “Mission and Vision: Crafts Ecology for IICD Jaipur”. These would set the stage to herald the arrival of the Creative Economy across the villages of India and help them face the intense influences of globalisation with the use of sustained local creative action.
M P Ranjan