Cognitive bearing of techno-advances in Kashmiri carpet designing

Publication Type:

Journal Article


AI & SOCIETY, p.1-16 (2016)



The design process in Kashmiri carpet weaving is a distributed process encompassing a number of actors and artifacts. These include a designer called naqash who creates the design on graphs, and a coder called talim-guru who encodes that design in a specific notation called talim which is deciphered and interpreted by the weavers to weave the design. The technological interventions over the years have influenced these artifacts considerably and triggered major changes in the practice, from heralding profound cognitive accomplishments in manually driven design process causing major alterations in the overall structure of the practice. The recent intervention is by the digital technology: on the one hand, it has brought precision and speedy processing in the design process, and on the other, it has eliminated some of the crucial actors from the practice. This paper, which forms part of a larger study on the situated and distributed cognitive process in Kashmiri carpet-weaving practice, describes the technological makeover of the design artifacts involved in this practice over the years and their resultant cognitive impact on the design process as well as on the practice.