"Building Is Crafting" May 2018 Session

Wed 2 May - Tue 15 May' 18

An academic session focusing on crafts and making; involving masters of crafts and craftsmen. With a mix of hands-on workshops, and a few lecture on the first two weeks of May, 2018.


Architecture, often a solemn indicator of a society and its understanding of the physical realities in a given environment. Through architecture, we express our abilities/inabilities of the mental maps onto the physical ones. The very essence of it tells us, how we really see the world around us. How much of what we see and how much of it we understand, is also get measured by the way in which we craft our architecture. In our progress as a race, we have picked up many new learnings, innovated countless tools, adapted new skills, and gave answers to matters that human minds cannot anticipate naturally. In many ways, we have come to a point of no return to the simple cave, from which we encounter the open sky for the very first time. With today’s advancements in technology, we can see far and beyond. We can claim grounds for human without the help of human. Our own innovative walks have set us apart, not only from one human mind to another but also created synthetic voids between our own body and mind, which is the core human ability to understand the human self in him. With discoveries of new human senses, we have lost touch with the basic ones. What we touch, often we do not feel them, what we see through our eyes, we do not understand them and our everyday conversations tells us no familiar stories. As if, we are living outside of our own skins, as if, our informed minds are divorced from our natural minds, the fundamental qualifier of being human.

The Studio, Building is Crafting, was an attempt to understand the phenomenological position of human minds, their ability, their duties and most importantly, their relationships between collective minds through making object/objects. Through participatory process, this studio focused on Look vs Gaze, Touch vs. Feel, Hear vs. Listen, Individual vs. Collective. They were also invited to push forward or re-direct the established ways in which modern minds approach matters. All that get lost in tracing the truth, The Human Touch, of matters and their creations, were brought forward through discussion, debate, dialogue, acceptance, rejection, faith and trust.

Crafting as a way of understanding matters, participants will be encouraged to elucidate the term material/materiality through object making/analyzing. The principal values of materials and their meaningful translations, bring fourth profound understanding of their positions among other matters. How human intervention plays a sublime role in this making, can open doors to see and understand the age-old matters in new ways and perhaps will redefine the strength of Natural mind in the vastness of modernity.

[Salauddin Ahmed]

During the first few days of the workshop the faculties brought some example artifacts to talk about them in detail: 

On 4th May, we went out to explore Dhamrai Metal Workshop of master-craftsman Sukanta Banik in Savar, near Dhaka; the specialises in the “lost wax” moulding technic. Here in this video Mr. Banik shows the breaking of the mould after casting:

On the way back from Dhamrai Metal Craft, we stopped over at artist, musician Kanak Adidya and artist, fashion designer Ishrat Jahan’s home to learn about the #craft of making musical instruments, fabric and fashion:


Back at the studio we invited some master-craftsmen to work with us, Md Shahjahan Mia and Mohammad Nurun Nobi helped us understand how bamboo works as a material:

And these are the objects our participants made in just a few hours:

Followed by bamboo, the task was to explore the possibilities with paper as a material:

Meanwhile, Yves Marre gave three lectures on the crafting of boats, in Bangladesh and beyond. It included some new ideas they are working on to increase the efficiency of boat design. One of the talks was streamed live on Facebook:

The final assignment was to create an object that plays with light in some way, using at least three materials, bamboo, paper and one other material of choice. Read the details of the assignment here. The preparation for the final exhibition of works:

A video from the day of the exhibition of the works at Bengal Institute:

Link to this page for easy sharing: http://bit.ly/BIMay2018


Participant's Works