2011-02-01_indienresa_lindaThe Västra Götaland region has, since 2009, had a cultural exchange with the Indian state of Karnataka. On the 5th of February, Lina Worbin, researcher at the Swedish School of Textiles and Smart Textiles, went to the Shristi School of Design in Bangalore, the state capital, in order to gain new knowledge of the Indian crafts tradition. On her trip, she shared knowledge of her research in smart textiles.

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The idea of a knowledge exchange between Sweden and India has been around for some time. This month, it became a reality, as a conference on the theme of social design takes place in Bangalore.

“Social design can be about creating awareness around design and consumption. What does design do in terms of function? Is design there to create or to fill a need?” asks Linda Worbin and continues, “They have an amazing crafts tradition in India, and I think that will be important with regards to the development of Smart Textiles.”

Cultural Exchange that Invigorates

In March of 2009, the Västra Götaland region (VGR) signed a three-year deal with the Government of Karnaka, about an exchange in the field of culture. The exchange was created to invigorate free cultural groups, institutions and society at-large.

“If we, Västra Götaland, admire the artistic finesse and broad international contact the Indian group have, we in turn inspire our Indian friends with the Scandinavian organisation culture and our proneness to cooperate,” says the VGR on its website.

“India is the land of contrasts. I recently heard someone describe it as though it lives in the 17th century at the same time as the 21st. It is a modern country with a lot of new technology, but they retain their old craft traditions,” says Linda Worbin.

At the conference, she is in charge of presenting the Swedish School of Textiles and Smart Textiles, as well as lecturing on her research. She is also running a workshop for textile design students.

“I hope to be able to provide new perspectives on smart textiles, education and expression, while spreading information on our master’s and PhD programmes.”

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