Furniture design and sustainability- A design intervention with an approach for promoting and sustaining the craft of Pattamadai grass mats
Usage of mats as a product has faced a backlash and has reduced in recent years with the lifestyle changes of people, households and the shift to a contemporary setting. This paper aims to find out the necessity of design intervention in the traditional Pattamadai mats craft of Tamil Nadu, woven using Korai grass, to inculcate it in the current interior spaces. Based on field work, the research involves the study of the craft, mat as a material, its market, evolution of its products over the years. This serves as an attempt to study the technicalities of ‘load bearing’ capacity of a Korai grass mat and characteristic study through various trial and error methods of mechanism, to develop a range of furniture. Experiments involving giving load to the mats for a recorded period of time, giving reinforcements, without altering the working pattern of the artisans and finding a fitting mechanism that will give the Pattamadai mats a new scope of direction will serve the purpose of the research. This will open up a realm of possibilities of usage of Pattamadai mats in a contemporary setting. This design solution will show how the craft can be elevated to a new level, bringing the age-old grass mats back to the interior spaces in style, sustaining and promoting the craft, paving a way for economic benefits for the craft cluster by raising the demand.