In the era of rapid industrialization, hyper competition and multinational dominance, traditional craftsmen usually find it difficult to compete and be discoverable. Numerous varieties of traditional arts, crafts and textiles are being lost in this chaos – their traditional practitioners unable to sustain both the practice and dissemination of knowledge to keep them alive.
It is vital that such intangible cultural heritage of traditional arts, crafts, and textiles is conserved for our future generations as it signifies the spirits of persistent human endeavor, ingenuity and innovation. In addition to their historical and cultural significance, some of these art forms have unparalleled demand in the international market.
Established in 1999, The Craft Revival Trust (CRT) is a registered non-profit organization that aims to mitigate the imminent peril of losing intangible cultural heritage of handicrafts, textiles, folk and tribal arts by providing avenues for knowledge transfer and market support.
CRT contributes to the conservation of intangible cultural heritage through the following ways:
- Asia InCH Encyclopedia and Archive (https://asiainch.org/) a comprehensive encyclopedia of intangible cultural heritage of traditional arts, crafts and textiles of India and seven South Asian countries
- India-InCH (https://indiainch.org/), a massive, categorized searchable database of traditional artisans, weavers and artists
- Advocacy, consultancy, field-research based policy recommendations, stakeholder networking and raising public awareness about the need to conserve intangible cultural heritage
- Online quarterly journal, Global InCH (https://globalinch.org/) that covers living traditions and issues related to their conservation
- Seminars, lectures and exhibitions on culture, heritage, development and artisan empowerment
It is supported in this noble cause by UNESCO, GoodEarth and Google.
Client Requirement/Business Problem
The Craft Revival Trust has been spear-heading intangible cultural heritage conservation efforts for more than two decades now. From its very genesis, it has been collecting and managing a massive repository of data pertaining to art forms, their characteristics, the artisans who carry on the legacy of these art forms etc. With the passage of time, the core team realized that they had to find ways of managing this data in a better way – there were physical hard drives full of data, there were online databases, there was a lot of unstructured data that had been collected, there were concerns related to managing the collection, organization, indexing and retrieval of data. In order to provide value to stakeholders at both ends of the supply chain, CRT was looking for experts who could build a data pipeline for them to pull data, organize it and make it searchable.
In addition to that, their legacy systems were highly susceptible to security compromises. They also wanted to improve the overall outlook and usability of their various websites. Being a non-profit organization, CRT had budgetary constraints attached to these IT requirements.
How OpenCubicles Helped CRT Achieve Their Objectives
OpenCubicles set up an experienced team for understanding their data sources, the structure of various databases and process flows. Each and every step was analyzed from cost and latency perspective. Data collection process was improvised. A cost-effective yet highly secure and scalable cloud based solution was implemented for data storage. Data was retrieved from various media, cleaned, organized and uploaded into a well-organized database that was fully searchable. An audit of their IT infrastructure was carried out to identify and plug security vulnerabilities. After an extensive exercise based on user personas and UI/UX best practices, certain sections of the website were redesigned for enhanced user experience. We started maintaining their websites, consistently identifying and mitigating risks related to security and scalability.
OpenCubicles is extremely proud to be associated with The Craft Revival Trust in the ever noble cause of conserving global living traditions!