Monday, March 23, 2009

Beyond Grassroots: CD ROM on Institution Building at BCDI

Bamboo & Cane Development Institute, Agartala (BCDI): CD ROM as a live documentation of intentions and actions of the design team from NID, Ahmedabad in partnership with the team from BCDI, Agartala. – “Beyond Grassroots: Bamboo as Seedlings of Wealth”.

This CD ROM was produced in 2003 - 2004 using reports, movies and pictures that were part of the very detailed visual documentation that was maintained by the NID and BCDI teams using digital tools that were constantly available as a project policy. The intention was to build an Institute that could address the very complex needs of the “Grassroots sector” in rural India through the creation of human resources, knowledge resources as well as market linkages with the use of a potential local material such as bamboo which could be used to support a whole spectrum of development activities that could lead to positive change in the lives of the people. This CD ROM is available for download from this link here as a 560 mb zip file that unpacks into hyper linked folders and files all connected through a series of navigation screens shown below. We believe that India needs many institutes like this one if we are to transform our rural economy with the use of local resources in a sustainable manner and in a politically stable eco-system that can survive well into the future with the use of design, decentralized local governance and local entrepreneurship.
Prof M P Ranjan

Image 00: Feasibility Report for the setting up of the Bamboo & Cane Development Institute on the left and the two stages of BCDI Curriculum Development are on the right.

This institute was proposed in 2001 and experimentally managed by the NID team till mid June 2004 during which the curriculum development and many product design projects were carried out at Agartala. The Development Commissioner of Handicrafts commissioned this project as part of the UNDP funded National Bamboo Mission project and the project was handled by a team from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad as well as a team of faculty and staff at the BCDI, Agartala. These three reports show the articulated intentions and the process of curriculum development and these three reports can be downloaded as pdf files from these links below:
1. BCDI Feasibility Report: December 2001 – pdf file 366 kb size
2. BCDI Curriculum Structure – pdf file 4.7 mb size
3. BCDI Curriculum Review – pdf file 3 mb size
4. Achievements of BCDI: Summary - 2001 to 2004 – pdf file 789 kb size
5. Complete interactive CD ROM: “Beyond Grassroots!: Bamboo as Seedlings of Wealth – zip file 560 MB size

Image 01: This CD ROM opens with an introduction, which provides an overview of the resources as well as the intentions of the design team at NID.

The reader is guided to an index page shown besides the CD face image above which directs the reader to seven sub-indexes that go to access the full content of the CD ROM, mostly pdf files and reports, movies in QuickTime and brochures and publications prepared by the BCDI project between 2000 to 2003. The Seedlings of Wealth model was first articulated in 1995 as part of a paper by the author for the World Bamboo Congress at Bali, Indonesia that called for concerted action to study the fast depleting resource of traditional wisdom in the bamboo culture of the Asian region. This living resource is rooted in the local culture of the populations of Asia, Latin America and Africa and it is a major asset that can be used by development initiatives as a resource for sustainable development. Previous work done at NID on bamboo is introduced here through pointers to the book on the Bamboo & Cane Crafts of Northeast India (which can now be downloaded from here as a 36 mb pdf file) and the Bamboo Boards & Beyond CD ROM (which can be downloaded from here as a 550 mb zip file)

Image 02: The Introduction screen, the Main Index screen, and two of the seven sub-index screens are shown here.

The seven sub-index sections lead to a variety of resources that were either created as part of this project or were used as background resources to inform the thoughts and actions on this very interesting design initiative in institution building for the growth of the bamboo sector with the specific objective of addressing poverty and development needs of the rural sector with the use of design and local crafts skills. The Development Commissioner of Handicrafts Government of India supported this project through the funds available from UNDP as part of the National Bamboo Mission initiatives at the turn of the century. The support for the project continued till mid 2004 and the work done during the project phase is documented in the CD ROM mentioned above.

Image 03: Four sub-index screens dealing with Craft and Product development reports, Design and Bamboo shows, Systems Thinking project reports and the index for movies that documented 12 days at BCDI in May 2002.

The Craft and Product development reports were created as part of the ongoing product design explorations in bamboo and craftsmanship that involved NID faculty, students as well as BCDI faculty, students and craftsmen. Each project had individual goals and focused on one type of product be it furniture or domestic and office accessories that could be crafted in bamboo. Besides these reports we have also included Systems Thinking course outcomes for the NID Furniture Design programme where several batches of students were assigned individual projects in the area of bamboo and rural development initiatives with the use of this local resource. These explorations and the prototypes created are discussed in these reports included in this section. All these visits to BCDI were extensively documented using digital images. On one such visit to the BCDI the author made 12 mini movies using these digital still pictures and these movies are included in this section of the CD ROM.

Image 04: View of the Bamboo Boards & Beyond exhibit on the UNDP lawn in 2001 and a note about the CD ROM about that project shown alongside the crafts and bamboo shows available in the Beyond Grassroots CD ROM.

The Bamboo Boards and Beyond was a major project that preceded the BCDI initiative and has been discussed on this blog earlier. This image of the final exhibit at the UNDP lawns in New Delhi was not included in the previous CD ROM but it is included in this offering as shown above. This project helped open minds in Delhi and several National initiatives sprang from this particular event, which makes it significant for design for India.

Image 05: CD ROM face graphics and view of CD Jacket for the Beyond Grassroots, a joint CD publication from NID and BCDI.

While the CD ROM is available from the links on this page the CD Jacket can be downloaded as an A4 size printable artwork from this link here as a pdf file of 1 mb size. The BCDI Feasibility report was redesigned for print in a compact A5 format and the artwork can be downloaded from this link as a pdf file 368 kb size.

Prof M P Ranjan

1 comment:

I reserve the right to edit comments. Please keep it simple and to the subject.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.