Getting Started

May 22nd 2017

The exciting part of the day started around 3:00 pm, when we drove through the streets of Zuarinagar to meet with the people who would influence the direction and goals of the projects we were to spend the next 2 weeks completing. We’ve travelled through Zuarinagar many times since the program started, but today was the day serious work had to start.


We arrived at a place called Kiran & Niketan to meet the women who can make the bags we will be designing throughout the rest of our time in Goa. Kiran & Niketan provides spaces and programs for women to make extra money for them and their families by making products that can be sold in markets or during festivals.


We learnt a lot about the different techniques and materials used to make the bags, and the efforts and skills required to produce them. Some were made with dyed fabrics, which resulted in bags with bright colours, such as pink and green, or blue and yellow.


we were also introduced to the spaces within Kiran & Niketan that are used to make the bags, full of equipment and tools required to make them quickly and efficiently.  Although our project focuses on shopping bags, the women who spend their time there have the abilities to make many other things as well.


One of the women later brought us into her home to show us the space she works in during some of her spare time as well as a selection of things she makes, which were kept near her sewing machine. We discussed what she wished to see happen with the project while enjoying chai which she kindly made for us while we admired some of her finished products.


Having the opportunity to conduct interviews and discussions with the women who will use our project is one of the things we appreciate the most about spending time and working in India. Designing side by side with real people who will benefit from the finished product is something we aren’t used to doing, but it reminds us of who our work is impacting and why communication and understanding is important if you want your work to make differences.