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Different shapes combine to create one form in Thukral & Tagra’s piece.
Different shapes combine to create one form in Thukral & Tagra’s piece.

Made in…India: Samskara | Crafting a revival

A multi-country project hopes to encourage designers to use traditional crafts for contemporary products

Just by looking at it, you’d never be able to guess that designers Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra’s latest creation is a Bluetooth dock and iPod speaker case. Conical and bright orange, it rather resembles Papa Smurf’s hat. But the simple-looking terracotta “device" combines four shapes—triangle, square, pillar and circle—to create one form.

Thukral & Tagra’s piece is part of the Made in…India: Samskara exhibition organized by Be Open, which describes itself as a “creative think tank". Be Open’s multi-country Made in… project to showcase handmade designer products is starting with India, from Tuesday. Centred on the North/South and East/West theme, it will invite product and clothes designers to create objects using local traditional skills that focus on the handmade. The project will culminate in an auction at the Expo Milano 2015 in Milan, Italy.

Sunil Sethi, president of the Delhi-based Fashion Design Council of India and co-curator of the India chapter of the project, says, “The central idea is to show how Indian craft can be contemporized and be relevant for today’s consumer."

Made in…India Samskara will feature works by 23 designers. Design competitions are also being organized as part of the India show. The “India Through My Eyes" contest, for example, invites people to submit, on Twitter or Instagram (hashtag #IndiaThroughMyEyes), photographs, videos or graphics that represent what India means to them. The prize: a fully paid trip to the next chapter of the worldwide Made in… project. After India, the project travels to Japan.

Made in…India: Samskara will be on, 10.30am-7pm, from 11-28 February at the Twin Art Gallery, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, 1, CV Mess, Janpath, Delhi (23383590). The “India Through My Eyes" competition is open till 25 March.

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