; Indian Crafts Interiors by the Indian Institute of Interior Design

Design

The ingenious of indigenous—an inspirational lookbook of Indian materials and traditional craftsmanship brought to life by the Indian Institute of Interior Designers

JAN 23, 2023 | By Tanvee Abhyankar
Indian Crafts Interiors P. 20: Stone wall panels at RAAS, located at the base of the Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur that can each be folded away to reveal uninterrupted views of the fort or can be closed for privacy and to keep the harsh Jodhpur sun out; Image credits: Noughts & Crosses LLP, Andre J Fanthome. [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]
Indian Crafts Interiors P. 29: Local basalt stone worked on using traditional Maharashtrian stone-working techniques for the interiors as well as the built environment; Image credit: PMA Madhushala. [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]
Indian Crafts Interiors P. 91: Wall cladding made of woven cane for an interior; Image credit: The Wicker Story [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]
Indian Crafts Interiors PP. 106-107: Ceiling installation created using Channapatna woodworking technique for a restaurant interior; Image credit: MAIA Design Studio in collaboration with Atul Johri [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]
Indian Crafts Interiors PP. 156-157: Hand-painted interior wall using Gond painting style from Madhya Pradesh with acrylic colours; Image credit: Pankaj Vaid Architects [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]
Indian Crafts Interiors P. 184 below: Products for interiors made using woven metal. Image credit: Rachaita Creative Solutions [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]
Indian Crafts Interiors PP. 214-215: Mardana Durbar at the Tijara Fort heritage hotel features a floor made of especially designed and manufactured tiles mimicking the effect of a large durrie spread; Image credit: Neemrana/Aman Nath [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]

It is to India’s massive craft heritage that we owe our pride to; to the richness it adds visually, to the value it adds to lives, to the livelihood it adds to and to the nature that it gives back to. Untarnished by the modern inventions in mechanising craftsmanship and the lure of consumerism, Indian crafts have perhaps survived because of the love artisans have for it; the pride that they hold. 

The reception area for a Delhi-based office with a vivid backdrop of paper cutouts of Delhi’s architectural landmarks and fauna in the traditional sanjhi technique of Uttar Pradesh; Image credit: Studio Lotus in partnership with Dastkari Haat Samiti, New Delhi [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]

The book Indian Crafts Interiors stars Indian materials in and as they are used traditionally and paves way to using them in a contemporary way as well. This indispensable volume, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, has been published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with the Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID).

Indian Crafts Interiors _ Back cover: A lamp made of hand-folded parchment leather and knitted wool using Indian and Japanese craft techniques; Image credit: Oritecture/Ankon Mitra [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]

Cherishing the past

Since the inception of Indian civilization, the pinnacle of crafts had started—superior techniques, natural materials, impeccable craftsmanship and unmissable applications. The crafts were way ahead of their time, and the artists were zesty and proud of their skills, but soon came industrialisation and it washed away many artisans of their livelihoods. There was a steady fall in practitioners of crafts after that and unfortunately for India it never picked up the same pace ever again. The book aims at revival of these crafts, their materials and techniques to start a torrent of  limitless possibilities for innovation, inspiration, research and experimentation.

Indian Crafts Interiors P. 169: Plastering of interior using traditional Maharashtrian ghutai and kattai techniques; Image credit: PMA Madhushala [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]

Strengthening the present

The core ability of the book lies in the fact that it develops a ground for innovation. Unlike probably other sources in literature, this piece encourages further experimentation with a lavish showcase of the possibilities of Indian crafts being used in expressive, practical and contemporary ways within the interior spaces. Additionally, the scope is not limited to one particular era, style or function—with examples from within India, created by notable practices, the book is organised by material and has a variety of examples, design solutions and materials used in modern capacities.

Indian Crafts Interiors P. 55: Building in exposed terracotta brick walls, inlaid with ceramic blocks and custom-made paints; Image credit: Abin Design Studio [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]

Solidifying the future

Contemporary discourses on design have been slow to recognize the potential of this heritage, with only a handful of artisans still keeping it alive. The future this book sees is where there is focus on sustainability, upliftment and progress of the artisans and well as their skills, preservation of the beauty in Indian crafts and making it strong enough to sustain and foster over time. With two eighty-eight photographs and a map, the collation of the book is an interesting journey in totality. The future, not only for crafts, but also for design should not be an afterthought, but a part of its DNA.

Indian Crafts Interiors P. 141 below: Installation made of parchment leather / goatskin leather and knitted wool using Japanese origami and kirigami and tholu bommalata technique of Adhra Pradesh; Image credit: Oritecture/Ankon Mitra [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]
Indian Crafts Interiors P. 24: Black granite stone cut on site as per the design and cast in a grey cement base, while others are used to form textured patterns; Image credit: Studio Sangath. [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]
Indian Crafts Interiors P. 42: Structural walls built with ramming clay by hand and metal rammers.
Image credit: SferaBlu, Naman Shah Architects [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]
Indian Crafts Interiors P. 53: Kinetic screen made of metal framing with pivot and bricks, mimicking the effect of traditional stone jalis; Image credit: Dipen Gada and Associates [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]
Indian Crafts Interiors P. 77: Reception area for a Delhi-based office with a vivid backdrop of paper cutouts of Delhi’s architectural landmarks and fauna in the traditional sanjhi technique; Image credit: Studio Lotus in partnership with Dastkari Haat Samiti, New Delhi [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]
Indian Crafts Interiors PP. 92-93: Lamps made of bamboo and banana-leaf paper created using tazia-making technique; Image credit: AnanTaya, AKFD [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]
Indian Crafts Interiors P. 94: Products for interiors made using bamboo poles and splits; Image credit: Sangaru Design Studio [Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]
Indian Crafts Interiors P. 188: Scrap metal installation on the wall of boardroom in an office featuring Chhattisgarh’s famed Bastar metal craft; Image credit: Studio Lotus, in collaboration with Dastkari Haat Samiti
[Indian Crafts Interiors, edited by Jaya Jaitly and Aman Nath, published by Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad (www.mapinpub.com) in association with Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID)]

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