Raja Mohanty

"As a professor at the IDC School of Design at IIT Bombay, I try to nurture the twinkle that I see in a student's eye; sow a few seeds of...

Marching Against the Currents


"Why would you outsource the joy of making?" asks Raja Mohanty, as he talks (dis)passionately about understanding the value of the handcrafted in this virtual / digital age. "The aberration of our times is the sole focus on the intellect as the site of understanding and knowledge. Am wary of mouths that are connected to the mind only and not to the hands and feet and the ground beneath the feet."

The IDC School of Design, IIT Bombay, where Raja is a Professor, seeks to bring this experience of the handcrafted to students. The young engineers can take pottery or handloom weaving classes. Here they experience ways of knowing through the body, and gain an appreciation of the knowledge, rigour, time and skill that it takes to craft something with your hands.

We are delighted to invite Raja Mohanty - potter-scamster-do-nothing-er - to Mumbai Local. He will talk about the coming together of art and engineering, at the Dandi Memorial Project that IIT Bombay was involved in and at the Anvi Artists Residency at Wighavali. There are many who initially regarded the Dandi March as a futile venture; to speak of the hand-crafted in the age of super-machines, also seems out-of-synch with the currents of our times. This memorial, envisioned as a tribute to the 80 marchers who accompanied Gandhi from Sabarmati to Dandi, is a collaborative project between various science, engineering and design arms of IIT Bombay and artists from India and abroad. Anvi Artist Residency at Wighavali, Indapur, Raigad district, Maharashtra is another collaborative project that seeks to extend classroom walls to spaces outside cities.

We invite you to an evening that explores and celebrates what happens when the seemingly distinct fields of arts and engineering come together to tell us stories that matter to us.

See you on Sunday. Remember, if you are unable to make it to the venue, we'd love to have you join us on live feed on our Facebook page.

Curated by Ramu Ramanathan.

RSVP for this session begins on Monday 4th March 2019.

"As a professor at the IDC School of Design at IIT Bombay, I try to nurture the twinkle that I see in a student's eye; sow a few seeds of enchantment and curiosity. On most mornings, I arise with some difficulty, do the dishes, brew some very nice tea before I let the day invade me. Greatly enjoy walking to work in the lovely campus at Powai - privileged existence, but the university does remind me of Uderzo's drawing of the Gaul village holding out valiantly against the Romans. Between classes, I find time to potter at the wheel; sit at the loom and share notes with colleagues over tea, coffee and the occasional samosa! I used to draw and write and make hand-crafted-books, but have not done that in a while. When I can, I escape to quieter spaces, where the night is black." says Raja Mohanty.

Raja Mohanty teaches in the Visual Communication programme at the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay. His research interests include an engagement with traditional art and knowledge; storytelling and narrative structures; spirituality and its relevance to present societies; pedagogical studies and practices that seek to reaffirm links between design methodologies and the approaches followed in arts, literature, theatre and music. He is also a painter, writer and poet and publishes books that are hand-crafted.

Venues Dates Time
12-99 yrs
Entry free, on a first-come-first basis. Pre-register now to save your seat.