‘Crafts Integrated in Space Making’ of architecture – presentation by Smriti Saraswat

September 30, 2011 § 3 Comments

Miss. Smriti Saraswat,
(Architect & Interior Designer)
Research Associate,
Design Innovation and Crafts Resource Centre,
School of Interior Design,
CEPT University,
Ahmadabad, Gujarat, India.

We had one more new “artilative” (term used for relatives of art at ARTIST LOUNGE of STUDIO VERVE ), this time a young architect who is working with crafts integrated into space making of buildings.
The contemporary practise of crafts could be merged into urban contexts and appropriated to suit modern lifestyles.
 Crafts have always been a way of life for many communities or older times, still India is among the few fortunate countries where life co-exists with many crafts as a way of life well integrated into present times.
The work presented by Smriti reemphasizes the importance of crafts not just as traditions or products of decorative or functional use but also have passed on narratives retold to generations in many ways silently, maybe in stone, wood, murals, metal castings, scroll paintings, textiles etc. They are of great value. 


Smriti Saraswats work has been appreciated and published.
She has presented it in the following places ;

  • Institute of Indian Interior Designers in IXth National Convention 2011“Reflections”– Heritage ‘n’ Interiors.
  • Research Paper – “Radhasoami Samadh, Agra: Stone Crafts as medium of Narration”, published in CONTEXT – Journal of the Development and Research Organisation for Nature, Arts and Heritage, Vol.VIII, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2011.
  • Invitation by Association of Art Historians to present a paper on – “Telling Stories: making research accessible through display” in a conference in March 2011 at University of Warwick)

The presentation came for many young artists and designers as retrospection to look into their practices, furthering the discussions from serious to lighter modes as some experiences illustrated by senior professionals  contributed immensly to the discussion and shed light on the more practical side of it.

Click on the visual below for a detailed analytical study and research methodology of the project, as published in journals.
As said by the young architect herself;

Crafts need to be understood beyond the production of aesthetic objects. Crafts with an added dimension of space making, or the space making crafts is one such field which encompasses hard and soft material applications in the interior architecture of the buildings. The session especially emphasized on the relationship between Interior architecture (stone crafts) and narratives (as a communication system), thus discussing the story telling power of buildings, stone crafts being the medium.
The case presented was Radhasoami Samadh, Agra. It is the Holy Samadh of “Param Purush Puran Dhani” Huzur Soamiji Maharaj, the august founder of the Radhasoami faith.The model was proposed by Soamiji It is an exemplary illustration that builds up through narratives. It is a “spiritual renaissance”, which absorbs eclectic influences, and emerges as an assemblage of all. The images in this building are seen through the process of stone crafts (carving and inlay). There are multiple narrators and different stories. Stone Craft is a ‘sutradhar’, which with a tremendously powerful backdrop of Radhasoami belief system (‘sutra’), binds this story with multiple narrators.in1904, and the building is getting constructed ever since then
the building has been under construction since 1904 (not because of the curse, as the myth suggests, but simply because of the true craftsmanship and intricacy).
The case of Radhasoami Samadh reflects the storytelling power of a building, with narrative as its life sustaining force. Stone Crafts are used here as a narrative medium that negotiate between what is seen and what is experienced.The study lays emphasis on the layers of meaning that are communicated through stone crafts. The approach of understanding the multiple narratives and their manifestations in crafts can be the key to realising the potential and significance of craft traditions in historic and present context.

The work presented  raised many  topics for discussion, which did become exhaustive but managed to sensitize everyone towards crafts, seeking new dimensions of thinking and putting it to appropriate practices as well as places, hence enriching life in many ways.There is a need to continue the legacy of crafts that has been passed down to us by our ancestors.

Smriti Saraswat is a passionate professional, fascinated with crafts and traditional practices, she shared with us a few other projects also based on local crafts. Not only does she love to work with crafts but has great sensibilities towards practicality in sensibly integrating crafts into space modifiers, making a happy marriage between space and crafts suiting the purpose and making a space more appealing.
Intense in nature she’s an architect that seeks knowledge constantly and has a keen interest in other allied art forms. 


We’ve been busy with various activities but continue our regular inhouse events.
This gathering is evidence of frequent formal sharings and disscussions triggered by presentations that happen ever so often at ARTIST LOUNGE of STUDIO VERVE
by various creative people from diverse fields of study, practitioners and experts.
The Lounge is growing day by day, event by event into a good platform for many  professionals to come and share their work, 

Miss. Smriti Saraswat is,
Masters in Interior Architecture and Design,
School of Interior Design,
CEPT University,
Ahmadabad, India.

Please feel free to email us if u wish to contact  Miss. Smriti Saraswat. we would be oblighed to help you get in touch.
As for anyone who would like to share their work  …please do email to us.
Will be back soon friends, Thank You !

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