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Written and Contributed by
Chhail Khalsa, Anuvad
‘Anuvad’ means translation. This project looks at creating a symbiotic relationship between traditional crafts and E-textile technology.
What is the project about?
Anuvad is a collaboration between the craftsmen, a technical expert and the author of this project, Chhail, the principal conceptualizer, facilitator, designer and researcher. Through an ethical design and technology intervention, it intends to provide the traditional crafts with a way to evolve and grow in the ‘digital era’. The key aim of this project was to design and develop products that are already a part of the repertoire of traditional craft practices while amplifying their functionality. Through this, we were able to create products that are not only sustainable environmentally but also assure economic stability to craft practices by broadening their market scope.
E-textiles are essentially a subsection of smart textiles that have electronics embedded into them. In this project, we have worked with creating simple circuits and embedding them in the products seamlessly. There are three products designed yet. Heated cushions and heated rugs use an innovative woven circuit (patent pending) that provide heat in places where conventional heating solutions are scarce. Stoles with LEDs embedded in the weave structure provides security in dark places by making the wearer more visible.
The vision of the studio is to bring together experts, manufacturers, and suppliers to create path-breaking new technological e-textile innovations. It aims to bridge technological excellence with the hand skill and cultural expertise in India to create innovative e-textile products. The added benefit of working with handwork allows us to explore, ideate and even customize ideas for specific needs and uses making it a perfect fit for the market. Most e-textile technology cannot be produced using conventional textile production techniques today. Crafts in India allow us to not only create seamlessly integrated e-textile products with a high level of quality and aesthetics but also allows us to experiment and innovate products that wouldn’t otherwise be possible in a conventional textile production facility.
Project Funded by
The project is self-funded by the studio.
The beginning stages of the project were also funded by the IKEA Foundation, Switzerland twice apart from being supported by the likes of Creative hub Switzerland for business development activities.
Community of weavers of Kutch, Shamjibhai Vankar, Babubhai, Umarsinhbhai, Ramjibhai; Pranshu Chaudhary, tech experts.
What is the impact?
The economic objective of this project is to develop a research studio/ platform that focuses on design-led technological innovation with a specific inclination towards traditional crafts. On the other hand, this project enables craftspeople to value their craft and do more. It encourages them to think out of the box. It empowers them to widen their market potential through innovation. A wider range of products makes them globally more relevant and therefore visible.
Anuvad shows real potential when the concept is scaled up. The desired impact of the project can be reached when the concept is extrapolated to reach more communities.
Product photos by Natalia Kandula Maria and on-field photos by Vivek Chondagar | © all rights reserved
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Chhail Khalsa, the conceptualizer and creator of this project is a textile designer who is equally passionate about futuristic e-textiles as she is about retaining traditional craft skills.
This project gained its momentum as a part of her master thesis at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and arts has been recognized with a ‘Förderpreis Master Design’ an award for the best Master Design project apart from being supported by IKEA Foundation Switzerland and Creative hub Switzerland for the Master thesis and a follow-up grant for Product development.
ANUVAD has received immense support and recognition in India through Awards such as the Lexus Design India Award and India’s Best Design project.