Have you ever stopped to ponder that every object around you right from your car to your nail file has a particular design! What if the shape of your shoe was rounded instead of tapered? Would that make a difference to the purpose they serve?
The truth is design and need are closely intertwined. The term “design” has gained tremendous currency in the recent years and has been appropriated by all kinds of professionals. Interior decorators have become interior designers and hairdressers are being called hair designers. A good design can solve your problem while a bad one creates many.
That is why it is important to inculcate a sense of good and bad design in our design students and make them understand that a good design is not just aesthetically appealing but it is useful too. To this end Vishwakarma University organized a four day, all-expense covered study tour for the first year Bachelors in Design students to Sawantwadi from 6th to 9th December 2017. Sawantwadi is a picturesque village nestled in the Konkan region of Maharashtra and has a long legacy and history of wooden crafts and traditional art forms. The aim of the study tour was to make the students identify and understand the problems in design. Accompanied by three faculty members, students covered five destinations during the tour.
At Sawantwadi toy factory, the students were given the task to choose any toy, study its design and identify the problem in its design. Students got an opportunity to interact with the artisans and got a hands on experience of the numerous aspects of toy manufacturing which includes cutting, polishing, painting and assembling.
The students were also taken to the Sawantwadi palace and Raghunath market to study the dying art form - “Ganjifa”, depicting the mythological stories from Mahabharata and Ramayana and other epics. Their next destination was the cane workshop in Kudal village which helped them gauge the concept of “ergonomics” and manufacturing of furniture using bamboo. Kudal is also home to Thakar Adivasi Kala Angan, where students learned about the ancient art form of puppetry.
In the last leg of their study tour students visited the sculpture studio where clay modelling and fiber glass casting work were explored. The fiber casts are used for making masks, decorations for stage and for the Ganpati festival etc. The students sketched and submitted their assignments during the trip. Having added a new understanding of design and practical knowledge of its execution, students returned feeling enlightened and enthusiastic.