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Documentation of Indigenous Knowledge Systems of Ship Making in Mandvi, Kutch
Research & Documentation


January 2019

Mandvi, Kutch, Gujarat


Project initiated & led by / Ishita Jain

Conducted as Related Study Program at IDEA, Indus University


Role / Tutor, Researcher, Curator


Team involved /  Atreya Bhattacharyya, Naitik Vakharia, Priyanshi Pathak, 1st year students - IDEA, Indus University

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Are ships moving shelters, or are they inhabitable vehicles?


‘Setting Sail’ was a relative study program that sought to answer these questions and, in the process, learn to ask other questions to Architecture with reference to the 400 years old knowledge systems of building, recording and transmitting.

The RSP involved the students travelling to the 400 years old ship-building yard at Mandvi in the Kutch region of Gujarat. Through interactions with experts the students were exposed to the influence of Mandvi’s maritime location on the emergence of ship-building as the prime craft of the region. The students made architectural documentation of the ships and shared it with the craftsmen, while through ethnographic methods they understood the indigenous knowledge systems that go into the making of the ships – also known as Dhows.

The chief focus of this study program was to make co-relations of the transformation of spaces and their subsequent scales as they were de-contextualised and re-contextualized both regionally as well as economically.

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