Students of Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur , Ritika Singh won the award for research work of Katha-Exploration of narrative approach in furniture design. She carried her project work under guidance of Dr. Koumudi Patil.
Katha aims to foster creative problem solving, causal thinking and articulate communication skills in children through a narrative playlearning aid. This play-aid is a responsible and sustainable product, designed for manufacturing by craftspeople (Banarasi wooden toymakers) in an additional effort to integrate the neglected craft sector with a contemporary educational need for creative pedagogies. Katha attempts to link the lacunae in our education system with the needs of our craft sector. Therefore, the board game has been designed for manufacturability in the craft sector and not through a machine. The turned characters as well as the wooden board and painted motifs can be made best by hand. The size of the pegs, threading, and form of characters have been decided based on the turning device used by the Banarasi wooden toymakers. Thus, this is design for craft manufacturability. The idea is not to mass produce but create limited editions of high value. Katha consists of multiple narrative trajectories that can be constructed into myriad stories that encourage the child’s critical abilities to juxtapose the causal connections into a coherent whole. It encourages the lateral thinking hat of the child and emboldens him to create his own path rather than follow a prefixed trajectory. It also playfully introduces the child to our cultural heritage hidden deep in our ethics.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science and Technology, awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Appreciation to Ritika Singh , Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur at the GYTI 2018 Awards function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan on March 19, 2018.