Globalising Local Craft : enhancing collaboration between Indian rural artisans and Swedish IKEA designers

University essay from Konstfack/Industridesign

Abstract: The aim of this project is to further enable emancipation of Indian craftswomen through the use of an alternative co-design process. As a designer working with textiles and fashion I was interested to explore how I could positively impact the production process of textiles. I spent five weeks in India, with the intent to understand the stakeholders and the project, but mainly focused on the Indian craftswomen’s involvement. The design research has been an iterative process based on qualitative research consisting of interactive partner visits, observations, conversations and workshops. Starting in 2012, IKEA have formed partnerships with social entrepreneurs around the world with the aim to create social change rather than economic wealth, mainly focusing on giving employment to women. In this partnership, IKEA haven’t yet found the ultimate level of artisan’s involvement in the design process that is convenient for both parties. I propose a design process, comprised of tools, that aims to support rural artisans and urban designers when co-creating textile products aimed at a western market.

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