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Basic Design Course

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DEFENCE COLONY, Delhi

Course ID: 34702

DEFENCE COLONY, Delhi

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About the Course

A foundation course that introduces school children to the components of design.

For students interested in exploring product & craft design, architecture and graphic design.

Course content includes creating a portfolio for design school admissions, visual, structural and  creativity exercises, design research project and basic design concepts. 

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Ritu Varuni

Architect and Craft Designer

For many hundred years the very special art of sanjhi or paper cutting of stencils flourished in the Vaishnav Hindu community of north western India. The masters (ustads) used small handmade scissors creating amazing art-work to decorate temples, nat-mandirs and kirtan sabhas at the time of Hindu Vaishnav Festivals such as Rasa, Holi, Janmashtami and Jhulan.

Sanjhi is an extremely fine skill using only a pair of small iron handmade scissors. Paper stencils were used to make rangoli or decorative patterns on walls and floors with coloured powders based on the Hindu Raasleela tradition. Radha-Krishna themes and motifs dominated the earlier traditional patterns which later were enriched by other influences to include a number of Mughal motifs like jali or lattice work, animals and flowers. According to Hindu mythology, Krishna’s consort Radha used to decorate walls and floors with patterns made with natural materials like powdered and dried coloured stones and finely cut flower petals. Other gopis of Vrindavan took up the practice and made these intricate sanjhi patterns in the evening, to attract the attention of Krishna while he was on his way home. Hence the name ‘sanjhi’, derived from the Sanskrit word ‘sanjh’ meaning ‘evening’. Later, people started making stencils of these designs based on the life of Radha-Krishna to express their love, respect and devotion. In this sense sanjhi craft had a ritualistic and sacred backdrop and context which has disappeared in the present context.

Sanjhi as an art finds many takers nowadays and is patronized and used to make varied products and also in interiors by some designers. These pieces of paper that come alive when light finds its way through the paper cut have unending possibilities in design development. The intricacy of this craft and the skill involved make it a perfect craft tradition and one that can never lose its charm.

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