YUKTI       V.           AGARWAL


designing for impact //
designing with purpose //



︎ I am a current honors student in the Brown /RISD Dual Degree Program.

I work in interdisciplinary spaces– combining rigorous research with a human-centered approach to reimagine societies, cultures, and futures.



︎ MORE ABOUT ME HERE
YUKTI       V.           AGARWAL

designing for impact //
designing with purpose //



︎ I am a current honors student in the Brown /RISD Dual Degree Program.

I work in interdisciplinary spaces– combining rigorous research with a human-centered approach to reimagine societies, cultures, and futures.

︎ READ MORE ABOUT ME HERE


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︎ UNE RUE de PONDICHERY 




Timeline 
8 weeks (March-May ‘21) 

Independent Project 

Tools 
︎ Various Yarns 
︎ 4 Harness Hand Loom 
︎ Adobe Photoshop 

Skills 
︎ Concept Development, Hand Weaving, Rug Design, Research, Sampling, Product Development, Photography 



︎ THE PROJECT


Capturing the essence of the Franse town in India through weaving on a four-harness loom to explore light, depth, texture and space through striping, materiality, perspective and tapestry weaving.  



︎ THE IMPACT


Funds, from the sale of the final novelty rug, were directed to revive and sustain the handloom sector in Pondicherry.

REVIVING HANDLOOM–– As one of the centers of the ‘Swadeshi’ Movement (Independence Movement) in India, handloom was integral to Pondicherry’s history. This project used hand-weaving techniques to revive and celebrate handloom.

︎ THE APPROACH


Phase 1– Research
Creating moodboards focusing on the scaping pastel houses and windings streets of Pondicherry: the quintessential ‘Franse’ town in India, that represents the beautiful parts of Western influence, while showcasing years of imperialist conquests and colonialism in the South Asian subcontinent.

Phase 2– Sampling
Woven swatches focused on the small details of the French town that have been preserved and continue to live in the secular fabric of the ethereal Pondicherry: the paint which scrapes off the turquoise doorways, the shadow of the first ray of sunlight on Anger’s minimalist staircase, the foliage which frames the nooks and crannies in the pastel houses.

Phase 3– Resolution
With time, I started prioritizing the complexity of certian spaces: how did act of slathering French ochre on top of Indian bhura (brown) represent the larger colonial history still prevelant in Pondicherry’s memories? What is my view of Pondicherry, as an Indian who is still enchanted by the whimsical Franse Town?




PHASE 1– RESEARCH


︎ MOODBOARD



I chose to begin my exploration with questions that prompted me to examine the cultural and physical architecture and topography of the space. For example, what lives in the saffron house behind those rusted wooden doors?



︎ REFERENCES



Inspired by Anni Albers’ weaving journals, these images were integral to my process.





PHASE 2– SAMPLING


︎ STRIPES


          Striping to discect and analyse landscapes, light, and shadow: 





︎ MATERIAL STUDIES


          Examining texture and material through continuous twill weaves and pile:  





︎ ARCHITECTURAL & PERSPECTIVE STUDIES


          Exploring space and perspective through woven tapestries:





︎ CONTRAST STUDIES


          Understanding the dicotomy between the French and Indian views of the Franse-Indian town:









︎ DOUBLE WEAVES


Explorations of space, depth & volume in a double weave.

The exploration of the colonial town of Pondicherry expands by trying to understand what stories, histories, and memories live in the spaces which are reservoirs of colonial life in the French-Indian town.

Exploration 1: What lies in that space behind the yellow doors of a Pondicherry home?



Exploration 2: What is the gesture of the string of flowers we adorn in our hair? 





PHASE 3– RESOLUTION


︎ CONCEPT & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT


The idyllic view of Pondicherry– the sweeping banyan trees, the long, flower-clad streets, and the canopied pastel houses

The commander-general who lead the successful conquest of Pondicherry, was from the same commandment as General Rochambeau: the general after who conquered Providence, RI– the city where this rug was woven. As the artist, I took this tapestry to Rochambeau House: home to one of my favorite gardens in Providence, and allowed myself to walk all over it, walk all over the French, Western view of my country.

Using this tapestry, which took my 60 hours to make, as a mere rug had a sense of liberation attached to it: the feeling of discarding years of colonial ideology and the Western gaze which has tainted the Indian mind.

Presenting this tapestry in the hands of the ‘white’ colonizer, discern the fact that this idyllic image was and always will be the view held by Westerners of their exotic, ‘other’ conquests.


Dimensions: 42 x 66 inches








︎ REFLECTION

Weaving is a physically and emotionally demanding craft   
Weaving on the 4-harness loom tested the limits of my patience, and physical strength. It taught me how to be more forgiving and kind with the process.    

Slow craft and creative output is healing for the hurting soul 
Weaving was a creative outlet to dealing with feelings of colonial trauma and even personal trauma.

Space and people are an important part of craft practices 
Space, place, and embodying race were part of the collaborative nature of weaving. They allowed me to get closer to my community and people. 



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︎︎︎ Fine Arts Portfolio
︎︎︎ Academic Research



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