Design Education

Design for Traditional Artisans, the core course of Somaiya Kala Vidya, practically introduces working traditional artisans to design process, and prepares them for the contemporary marketplace. The course assumes that artisan students begin with certain levels of knowledge and skills, and provides protected time and space for them to freely explore their traditions. In this course, each student uses his or her traditional medium to create a design collection for a chosen target client, and creates a brand identity and a portfolio.

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Course Structure

SKV's design course is eleven months in duration. It is structured as six sequential 2-week class sessions, between which students return to the home/work place. Homework is given after each session to insure that the students utilize course learnings in their ongoing work, and to create material to initiate the next class. Between sessions, SKV Faculty visit students individually to guide the application of course learning.

Faculty and Resources

Courses are taught by Visiting Faculty- professional design educators, supported by SKV Faculty - experienced teachers who are artisan graduates of the course. The course draws on resources including guest speakers, field trips, the SKV media lab and the SKV library, film archives and textile resource center.

Course Content and Objectives

In the eleven-month course, artisan students learn to:
» Recognize and appreciate unique aspects of their traditional
aesthetics, and to source visual concepts from heritage and nature
» Manipulate elements of design, using aesthetic principles
» Segment markets and vary their work for different markets
» Visually communicate through their work
» Work collaboratively and develop collections
» Visually and verbally present their work

The underlying objectives of the course are to develop:
» Critical judgment and the ability to assess one's work
» Critical thinking skills
» Communication skills
» Interpersonal skills
» Verbal and research literacy


At the conclusion of the course, all students present final collections to a professional jury, and participate in a fashion show and public convocation sale that draws visitors from all over India and abroad.

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