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Typecraft Initiative Craft-Design Methodology Workshop – Ishan Khosla

The Typecraft Inititative Craft-Design Methodology Workshop provides an exciting and challenging opportunity for design students to think and work creatively and collaboratively with an emphasis on understanding the craft communities and material culture. It is a way for the students to engage with their own culture as well as those of others.

Students are encouraged to leave digital tools behind and only make things by hand. They begin by deconstructing and decoding a craft given to them. They unpack the craft in terms of its lexicon — how it is constructed and what forms are possible with the craft. Then, they repack that understanding to construct shapes possible and “allowed” by the craft back into letterforms in both Latin and Indic scripts.

Launched in 2012, The Typecraft Initiative develops a range of display typefaces based on the rich crafts and tribal arts of South Asia. The primary aim is to inspire craftspeople to engage with design and use the typefaces as a way to engage with new audiences and to make them aware of these crafts and the people behind them. 

Founder Ishan Khosla is a Dehradoon-based visual artist, designer, and researcher with an MFA in Design from the School of Visual Arts, New York. While Ishan runs his own studio Ishan Khosla Design, he also started The Typrecraft Initiative in 2012, initially as a self-funded initiative to be able to work with rural craftspeople across India. Over time, Typecraft has received international acclaim and aims to not just develop fonts but also stand for various socio-political beliefs such as working to end patriarchy and supporting religious, and ethnic minorities and people from so-called lower castes. 

The Typecraft Intiative Craft-Design Methodology Workshop is open to SVA students on Tuesday, February 20 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm EST

In the workshop, we will:

  1. Gain an understanding of craft communities and the impact of colonization and capitalism on these communities and their material culture
  2. Engage with your own culture as well as those of others.
  3. Explore hand-on making of shapes, forms, and letters based on the visual language of a craft while learning design fundamentals so crucial in the world today 
  4. Explore non-western design-thinking methodologies that support collaboration and co-creation

Ishan Khosla will also be lecturing in our Global Guest Lecture course on Wednesday, February 21. Please email for more information. 

Watch the Global Guest video of Ishan Khosla speaking at MFA DSI in Dec 2020. 



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