The team documented and explored the region of Kutch to understand the influence of a community, occupational and contextually driven architecture. The study included understanding and unfolding the layers enveloping building practices in the region traditionally and in the 21st century. In collaboration with Hunnarshala and under the guidance of Mr. Kiran Vagela, Mr. Tejas Kotak and the experts at Hunnarshala, the team understood the roots of the materials used and had an hands-on experience with adobe as a building material.
The Rann of Kutch being a land of endless desert vistas with sand and seasonal grasslands, mesmerizing sunsets, de-saturated landscapes, rich and vibrant rural setting. The vastness of the desert proves as a hostile environment to live in. The sunset come as a relief from the scorching heat of the sun. The colours found are a reflection of the vibrant cultural presence in the region.
Crafts and arts became a way to express one’s social, cultural and religious beliefs giving another layer of value, significance and meaning to the building in the region. The crafts were a medium to express one's self in the hostile desert environment of the region. The objective of crafts is to propagate the idea of place-making in the existing surroundings. Origin of particular craft is depended on the availability and type of material, the need of the communities and environment.
Spending days with the craftsmen and their families; one sees deep rooted connections between the communities, co-dependence on the other for their personal and occupational needs. The study could trace the origins, the response of the spatial qualities of the built environment on the crafts and individual lives, human touch that is reflected in the product at every stage; and occupation being a family activity involving the extended members in the family. The changing landscapes from the desert to the coast one sees a shift in the architectural and cultural landscapes of the region. The crafts are driven by the availability of natural resources, daily occupations, origins of the communities etc.
Today one sees the shift from the commodities being made for personal use to being present in stores around the world. There is an evolution and adaptation of the crafts to keep up with the demand and changing trends of the 21st century.