Part 1- Design Research

PARTICIPATORY DESIGN | MARKETING STRATEGY |  SYSTEM DESIGN

Marketing Strategy for

Idu Mishmi Textile

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The project tries to correlate the rich source of traditional knowledge of the community and the idea of co-creation. It is Based on the context of a community in Arunachal Pradesh. Idu Mishmi community has applied for Geographical indication certification for their indigenous knowledge of producing unique textile.

Through this project, various  stakeholders came together to co-create the ideal strategy to go to market with the resources that they possess.

Roing  town ( Arunachal Pradesh)
Location
Collaboration
Duration
My Role
4 months – (January – April)

Idu Mishmi Cultural and Literature society (IMCLS)

Research Institute of World Ancient Traditions, Culture and Heritage (RIWATCH)

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Design Researcher
Design Strategist

Background - About the Community

Situated in the Lower Dibang valley of Arunachal Pradesh, Idu Mishmi community is famous for its art of weaving. Women in the community weave.Recently the community had applied for the Geographical Indication tag for its unique pattern on the textile.

 

The inquiry was based on understanding the ecosystem build around the textile.  

Location

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Project Goal

Developing market opportunities for Idu mishmi textiles based on their aspirations, adaptability and capabilities

Design Framework

Process 

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Understanding

the community

In order to understand the importance of the textile, the first step was to understand the community, values traditional beliefs, houses, spaces, festivals  and practices of various communities in the area. An  ethnographic research was conducted by methods of observations and interactions.

Understanding

the textile

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Understanding

the stakeholders

Starting from the purchase of the raw material pre production process to final product when it reaches the market, pricing and the channels of reaching out within and outside the community. This includes a study of the variations of the textile available in the market

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Understanding

the stakeholders

Interaction with Weavers

People involved in the process of weaving: suppliers , vendors weavers and the consumers in the community. This phase majorly involved interaction with the weavers and their connect with weaving. It further dealt with digging deeper into their motivation and aspirations.

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Interaction with vendors and consumers

Collation and Synthesis

After the initial set of interactions, observations and an ethnographic study the information was put together in the form of different mappings. The intent was to understand the system from different lenses.     

System map : Community, drivers and influences 

Social System Map

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Participatory Design Research

This phase involved getting people together to discuss  their views, thoughts and ideas about the textile. The research methods involved participatory approach to get people into the conversation

Group Discussions

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The conversation started with the work they were doing currently and their thoughts about how they want to take things forward. This then led to the question of “how might we create market for the Idu Mishmi textile and do we need one?

Topics of discussion:

Livelihood, Emotional connect, Experience of outside market, Plans for future Future?,Problem with products, Challenges in weaving,Market Outside, Rejections

Participatory Activities

These set of activities were intended to make the group think about :

  • the current state of the weaving

  • their connection with weaving. 

  • future of the textile

  • designs and styles

  • the flow of material

  • branding and packaging

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Ideation with the community

The participatory sessions further resulted in organizing people into teams and people taking initiative to plan things for future. Collective ideation session took place with multiple stakeholders.

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Learning

Parallel/ cyclic  planning works at the community level

On field challenges to be kept in  mind while planning

Social structure is of utmost importance while designing with the community

Power distance within the members of the community

Discussions were more productive when done through activities

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Challenges 

Takeaway

Geographical Indication has a potential to bring economic growth to a community and it stands for protecting the Intellectual property of PEOPLE.

Hence designing a strategy for the growth of a community should keep people at the core, not only in terms of designing for them rather “designing with them”.