- Disharee Mathur
- Innovation Design Engineering
- Creativity and craft
Project Newblue builds on Indian crafts’ legacy of innovating with local abundance, to present material composites co-designed with the craft community. Each composite uses non-biodegradable ceramic waste to diversify Jaipur Blue Pottery, beyond pottery.
India has the largest craft concentration in the world, yet only 2% of the global handicraft market share (Business Economics, 2020). I studied the Jaipur Blue Pottery craft to understand the scenario from the ground up. Less than 300 artisans are actively practicing the craft today. Research surfaced material deterioration and product development as major challenges to the craft's sustenance. Conversations with artisans inspired me to take a participatory design approach to innovate for a new craft future.
I came to IDE to collaborate laterally with various disciplines and evolve my practice across scales and media. I learned how to navigate these channels as four institutions across two countries came together to make Project Newblue a reality. It developed as a conversation between an Indian craft community, material science, and design. It was stimulating to rethink the craft from the particle level of the material to the mass of form and function; that is relevant, receptive, and innovates as an act of preservation.