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Innovation Design Engineering (MA/MSC)

Disharee Mathur

Disharee Mathur is an interdisciplinary designer working across products, interactions, and interiors. She has a keen interest in the future, admiration for the past, and an enthusiasm for craft and materiality. 

She entered the field of design as a painter, with a fascination for bringing ideas from paper to reality.  Her work has spanned across industries from office design, workplace strategy, hospitality design to innovation strategy, exploring realms of sustainability, wellbeing, and cultural conversation.

Disharee received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and has worked at internationally renowned Interior Architecture firms - Studio O+A (San Francisco, USA) and Gensler (Bangalore, India).

Project Newblue builds on Indian crafts’ legacy of innovating with local abundance, to present material composites co-designed with the craft community. Each composite uses non-biodegradable ceramic waste to diversify Jaipur Blue Pottery, beyond pottery. 

India has the largest craft concentration in the world, yet only 2% of the global handicraft market share (Business Economics, 2020). I studied the Jaipur Blue Pottery craft to understand the scenario from the ground up. Less than 300 artisans are actively practicing the craft today. Research surfaced material deterioration and product development as major challenges to the craft's sustenance. Conversations with artisans inspired me to take a participatory design approach to innovate for a new craft future. 

I came to IDE to collaborate laterally with various disciplines and evolve my practice across scales and media. I learned how to navigate these channels as four institutions across two countries came together to make Project Newblue a reality. It developed as a conversation between an Indian craft community, material science, and design. It was stimulating to rethink the craft from the particle level of the material to the mass of form and function; that is relevant, receptive, and innovates as an act of preservation. 

Synonym & Antonym — Material Composites co-designed with the craft community using ceramic waste.
NewBlue Material Embodiments
Synonym Parts
Synonym End Table
Synonym Detail
Synonym Table Top

The Synonym is synonymous with the craft in surface and process but made with ceramic waste aggregate to double the fired material's compressive strength. It may be traditionally colored and glazed. It is embodied within the current craft framework using existing moulds, to create novel forms that reveal enhanced material strength & capability.

NewBlue x Industhan Ceramics Passive Cooling tiles
Antonym Tiles
Antonym Passive Cooling Tiles on Building Facade
Antonym Tiles - Variation

The Antonym material is embodied as Passive Cooling Facade tiles in collaboration with Industhan Ceramics. It uses the waste as an aggregate and remains unglazed to reveal high compressive strength and porosity to absorb moisture. This is a juxtaposition of two cultural technologies - passive cooling with ceramics (by Industhan) and using the NewBlue Pottery material to realize it.

Rejected Sanitary Ware — A locally abundant material resource.
What if ceramic waste was used as a strengthener in the traditional recipe?
Experiments with incremental waste addition, color and glaze.
Material Prototypes
Blue Pottery Process (1860s - 2021)
Collaborating Craft Units
Co-creative Workshop- What is your vision for Jaipur Blue Pottery?
Material Reviews on strength, color and craft compatibility.
Neerja Blue Pottery Workshop

Project NewBlue is the second technological intervention in Jaipur Blue Pottery since the 1860s. It is designed to be used parallelly with traditional Blue Pottery to pivot craft preservation with material innovation and co-design.

The research was aimed at co-creating sustainable alternate materials/techniques to increase the strength of the traditional recipe and diversify its applications. The final material composites are strengthened using locally abundant ceramic waste. The intervention becomes a catalyst in making craft units eligible to utilize new economic opportunities as contributors to local waste management.

Project Newblue strives to nurture traditions of the past while crafting out the waste of the present.

Special thanks to the collaborators on the project:

Experimentation - Dr. Himmat Singh Kushwaha at the Material Research Center, Malviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT, Jaipur)

Contextual Research & Co-Design- Artisans at Neerja Blue Pottery (Jaipur)

Antonym Prototyping - Industhan Ceramics (Mumbai)

For any further questions regarding this work or associated business, please do not hesitate to get in touch using the links above.