Please join the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s 4W Women and Wellbeing Initiative for a panel discussion and trunk sale with the participants and organizers of an extraordinary transcontinental co-design project. The panel discussion will be led by Judy Frater, director of the Somaiya Kala Vidya, a design school for traditional artisans in the Kutch district of Gujarat, India. Joining her from India are Zakiya Khatri, a bandhani (tie and dye) artist and Prakash Siju, a rug weaver. Additional speakers will include student designers and faculty from UW–Madison. A trunk sale of Khatri and Siju’s textiles will be held at the conclusion of the hour-long panel discussion.
The ubiquitous nature of smartphones and internet access provides new opportunities for artisans and designers to collaborate around the world. During the fall 2016 and fall 2017 semesters, students enrolled in Professor Jennifer Angus’ “Textile Design: Manual and Computer Generated Imagery” class were paired with artisan designers in Gujarat. With no opportunity to meet in person, design teams used the popular communication app WhatsApp to each develop a collection of scarves. The immediacy of digital communication facilitated a rapid back and forth rapport between the designers and the opportunity to build spectacular synergy. Great friendships were formed alongside amazing collections as participants discovered design is a universal language that crosses cultures.
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