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OSU: India: Design, Tradition, Survival, Inspiration
Kala Raksha, a registered Society and Trust (NGO) based in Sumrasar Sheikh village in Kutch, has worked with many artisans of the region since 1993. With a mission to preserveand protect traditional arts, Kala Raksha’s strengths are a deep understanding of culture and arts, and its focus on the artisan. Kala Raksha’s work includes income generation, preventive health care, micro-credit, design education for artisans, and teaching about rural traditions.
Kala Raksha established Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya (KRV), the world’s first design school for traditional artisans, in 2005. KRV has developed a new approach to design education based on existing traditions. Its Advisory Board comprises master artisans of Kutch, and the faculty includes both local and international teachers. KRV’s effectiveness is in the relevance of the education provided. Approaching education through a vital subject, the institute enables direct access to higher education and ultimately raises the capacity of artisans and the value of traditional arts. KRV graduates have increased their market reach and incomes through good design. They have been honoured with awards for excellence and invitations to participate in international programs.
Kutch is one of the richest regions for textiles in India. World renowned extra weft wool weaving, intricate natural dyed hand block printed ajrakh, the finest bandhani (shibori), distinctive batik, and a dazzling range of mirrored embroideries and appliqué are all practiced in this small, historic desert land, circumscribed by the great salt marsh Rann of Kutch and the Arabian Sea. In addition to textiles, Kutch is also home to wood, leather, pottery, and metal crafts. The pristine sea coast is home to legendary hand building of wooden dhows that sail to Africa and the Middle East. Migratory birds of many species winter in the region. And one of the most important Indus Valley sites, Dholavira, is located in Kutch, making this an ideal land for additional sightseeing.
Class Format:Classes with US and Host-Country Students
To apply for this program, a student must:
- Have at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Have Junior or Senior class standing.
- Be a student in the School of Design
Mandatory Application Checklist:
This is an immersive 6 credit design-focused winter study abroad program in western INDIA — a diverse region of color, pattern, contrast and hierarchy. In this 3 week study abroad program (September 6 - September 23) students will explore traditional Kutch culture through visiting villages and learning design and craft from the regions masters. This program culminates in a chosen collaborative project with a design graduate of Kala Raksha.
Participants will earn 6 credits of 400 level studio art credits.
(6 credits charge at COB rate of $202/credit)$1212
(approx)$1600 Flight round trip PDX to Mumbai
$250 Flight round trip from Mumbai to Bhuj
$100 Additional costs, food, souvenirs
$75 Tourist visa
$400 Vaccinations, anti-malarial
TOTAL (tuition, outside expenses)