Our Legacy of Truthfulness
Our story began in 2015 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
A town on the banks of Gomti river that was centre of activities during Nawabs in 17th CE. For centuries, artisans of the town have nurtured varied crafts have embroidered a long and distinguished reputation for excellence. Our legacy dates a 6 years, when shortly after India saw a change in legacy of power in Government, Dr Jaspal Kalra started as a project during his doctoral research. The organisation now has Dr Kalra, Susan Kolady, Rajni Kalra and Danish Siddiqui as Board of Directors and Samir Kher as mentor.
‘Sangraha’ in hindi means for group of people and also commitment to sustaining heritage (Sangrahalya or museum).
During the doctoral research between 2014 to 2017 worked towards developing a service prototype (design education programme) and tested it in two trials. The insights in the design empowerment of artisans was that role of the designer should not be as a leader, but as a provocator, facilitator and leveller in craft projects. The true empowerment of artisan is about regaining confidence in their effectiveness, creativity and outstanding skills by getting a chance to receive appreciation from buyers and designers.
Each moment makes made a world of difference. We got 6 years.
Sangraha was founded
India is a land of numerous crafts interspersed in its culture and identity. Crafts have originated as an expression for household use, courtly ornamentation, or for organised commerce. Working by hand was integral part of life and now we are in an age where it is either looked up as aspirational or considered as a poor man’s work. When we look at craft as latter, we fail to appreciate its excellence and workmanship. Uttar Pradesh has been a cradle of embroideries like chikankari, zardosi, kamdani, darazdari and other prominent crafts of weaving, printing, pottery, glassware, woodwork and masonry. The artisans are marginalised, lack dignified wages, have poor negotiating power and recognition owing to low socio-economic status, low education and lack of finances as well as education. Design has to an intrinsic part of any craft development initiative. It has the capacity to become a means to improve the state of artisans, if they co-work with designers and retailers.
Sangraha is not just a label on products, but an essence endeavours to think change. Our continuous and sustained effort to work with the indigenous embroideries of Lucknow, with authenticity to craft knowledge that resides in its practitioners.
Classic styling with using traditional patterns with new thinking is the brand identity, the clothing line highlights the versatility, intricacy, optimisation in its sombre silhouettes. Lifestyle product underscores a excellence and user experience.
We look to design and craft as extension of life.