Our Theory of Change:
to inspire craftspeople about the possibilities of their own craft, and
to teach others the value of making and the local
One of the craftswomen, Nirmala making her own design for the letter B
Charu Lata and Amisha ben working with paper to construct Soof letters as part of the Typecraft Design Methodology Workshops that are conducted to inspire craftspeople to think about their own work in new ways.
Our Design Methodology Workshops provide an exciting and challenging opportunity for craftspeople to think creatively, in materials they are not used to working with, while inculcating design fundamentals so crucial in the world today.
Design Methodologies are introduced at the very start of our workshops — and are meant to be an ice-breaker and for us to learn more about the craftspeople, their community as well as the craft itself and its inherent building blocks. In exchange, we introduce the craftspersons to fundamental design concepts such as form, contrast, juxtaposition, balance, harmony etc.
We use letters in our workshops as it is something that's out of context to what the craftspeople are used too working with — as this helps to spark new ideas. At the same time, using type/letters is a way for us designers to use forms we already know to learn about the intricacies of a craft we may not be familiar with.
Since design methodologies still tend to be biased towards western aesthetic sensibilities, we are careful to strike a balance where possible, between our sensibilities and those of the craftspeople.
Our mission is to work with crafts to create tools for change. Rather than focus on decorative “static” objects that have been made ad nauseam, we believe in creating a “dynamic digital product” from India’s rich living craft traditions.
This initiative began as a means to help promote, innovate, archive and celebrate the traditions of our country’s intangible heritage. We also hope to keep these traditions alive by promoting their usage as typefaces to be used for communication and learning aids. The typefaces are meant to inspire, create awareness and generate further interest in the art, history, context, and life of the people and the communities we work with.
To date, all the Typecraft projects have been conducted in collaboration with craftswomen. Women are the gatekeepers of the home in villages and small towns across India. Women more than men, are benefactors of their children, their family and their community.