The city of Love, The city of Kings. A city – Pink.
An oasis of the desert, a place so calm and kingly, that would shy away even the most prolific kingdoms mankind has ever seen. Jaipur, a heart, a design manifesto, and now a world heritage site, is a city that would be hard-pressed to find.
In the heart of the city dwells heritage and history so deep that it echos through each frame in some manner or the other. Often, heritage and history take over the show from Design while the city is being referred to. But on deep understanding one would realize that a prolific design sense has always been at the very core of this city’s each aspect. Outlined by the mountain ranges of Aravali, Jaipur has been the proliferating hive of craft traditions, limiting which just to block printing and jewelry making would be an understatement.
Engraved leaves made of Jaipur stones such as rubies, emeralds and sapphires, were used in the early 20th century by Cartier and the compositions came to be known as tutti frutti style. A truly fleeting incarnation of a dream of the orient.
Almost a century later, homegrown brands like “Trunks Company” and “Jaipur Rugs” are now the torch bearers in taking ahead the local crafts, nurturing them and making them adaptable to the changing times. What outsiders fail to understand is that its not about the skill that Jaipur inherits, but the gene of it. Design is in the DNA. So exploiting the skill is a short sighted approach. But making it a community initiative is what carries it along generations.
Often it happens in a trip to Jaipur that one gets soaked in plushness and royalty. An overloaded dose of aesthetics and the cultural vibe camouflages the beautifully designed vernacular spaces, landscapes, city planning, security mechanisms, climatic adaptability and yet keeping in account all the customs and traditions of the place. Jaipur’s design language is not just tradition based, but also communication based. It speaks for itself, in the present and in the past.
Be it the palace of wind (Hawa Mahal), or the one of mirrors (Sheesh Mahal); be it the sanganeri Block Print or the beautifully handcrafted blue pottery objects; be it the Folk music that shakes your soul or the miniatures of Jaipur school; Jaipur amalgamates each aspect of design with art, culture, tradition, heritage, demography, physiography and whatever one could think of.
It is a masterstroke of design manifested as a city, carried on as a way of life…