Hand for Handmade

Shibani Jain, Founder, Baaya Design, follows a design practice that involves working with the country’s artisans and engages with them to explore new interpretations of their skills

Baaya Design - Hand for Handmade

What was the inspiration and concept behind Baaya Design?
Baaya Design gets its name from the Baya Weaver or Indian weaverbird, whose nest is a wonderful example of workmanship and functionality. Our journey began with the landmark Baaya retail store at Raghuvanshi Mills, Mumbai, that creates and curates a range of products inspired by cultural arts and crafts, to complement contemporary spaces. Baaya Design was found in December 2009 with a vision to conserve the heritage skills of India by making them relevant to contemporary lifestyles.

Baaya Design - Hand for Handmade

The Studio collaborates with architects to create custom products and installations for interiors. Today, Baaya’s capabilities extend beyond 70 different Indian styles and are constantly growing.

What are your creative areas of work?
Our repertoire of work over the last ten years includes interior styling for residential spaces, corporate offices, and hospitality projects, and bespoke arts such as wall art, murals, artefacts, lights, partitions, and art furniture. Apart from craft innovation, Baaya is a social enterprise providing rural artisans access to urban markets.

Our Art and Craft forms include Dhokra, Gond, Mother Of Pearl, Pichwai, Thangka, Kalighat, Thikri, Wrought Iron, Lippan, Copper Enamelling, Kalamkari, Bengal Pattachitra, Odisha Pattachitra, Madhubani, Warli, Phad, Rogan, Sanjhi, Leather Shadow Puppetry, Blue Pottery, Terracotta, Beaten Copper, Cheriyal Masks, Pink Stone Carving and Driftwood.

Baaya Design - Hand for Handmade

Please tell us about Rockvilla - Baaya’s experiential offering in the Hills of Mussoorie.
The first experiential offering by Baaya, Rockvilla is a quaint stone cottage nestled in the thicket of Jaberkhet Nature Reserve, Mussoorie. An idyllic property, it offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas and the Doon valley on either side. Rockvilla is an opportunity for lovers of Baaya to live the art in a tranquil setting.

Baaya Design - Hand for Handmade

The property has three bedrooms and a common living cum dining and kitchen space, a large terrace with a sundeck. Each bedroom is ambient and spacious with attached bathrooms. The Gond Room reflects the art of the tribals of Madhya Pradesh; the Blue Pottery Room showcases artisanal work from Western India; and the Mosaic Room features curated art from various parts of India. The cottage can accommodate between 6 - 10 people and is perfect for a family getaway or an adventurous escape with friends.

Baaya Design - Hand for Handmade

What are your initiatives to promote the crafts and artisans of India?
The Craft and Handmade Collective is an informal group of over 500 (and growing) professional individuals and organisations passionate about the craft and handmade industry in India. It includes artisans, master craftsmen, producer organisations, designers, design studios, retailers, e-commerce platforms, NGOs, craft institutes, design schools and colleges, media, and other stakeholders.

Baaya Design - Hand for Handmade

The HFH movement is working for the resurgence of the craft and handmade sector. We believe that the sector can be energised through research, education, design intervention and market stimulus. We are looking at how consumer behaviour and needs will be changed due to the Covid crisis. We are motivating designers to curate and create good quality and value for money products. We are going to run a campaign to sensitise the market to the crisis facing the sector and how buying craft and handmade products serves a dual purpose.
Shibani Jain, an alumna of NID, Ahmedabad
Shibani Jain, an alumna of NID, Ahmedabad, has been working in the grassroots craft space for over 18 years, following a successful career in the corporate sector. Her extensive experience in working with artisans, combined with her deep understanding of interior design, gives her valuable insights into the requirements of urban markets. She is the recipient of an award from IIGlobal for a leading Indian woman in arts and crafts.

Making craft a subject in education will enable the millennials and future generations to have an appreciation for craft. With this thought process, Hand for Handmade is proceeding with working groups around Education, Design Intervention, Market Campaigns and Repository.

Baaya Design - Hand for Handmade

The handicrafts sector is the second-largest employment sector in India. Design and creativity are the key factors in determining a sustainable future for our handicrafts. The aim of this project is to understand the contemporary needs of different sections of the society and design products that satisfy those needs, using the skill and techniques of Indian handicrafts. Our endeavour is to bring together on a single platform, the creativity of budding and young design professionals and offer them advice and mentoring to nurture their creative minds, for the benefit of all, including consumers and producers, which include craftspeople, and artisans who work in the craft sector. This will help to generate sustained livelihoods for the artisans and create a repertoire of designs for the future.
MGS Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture
NBM&CW

New Building Material & Construction World

New Building Material & Construction World
L&ST

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Lifting & Specialized Transport
II&TW

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week