An educator, researcher and textile designer, Aditi Ranjan has researched and written about the textile and craft traditions of northeast India, the jala weaving technique and chikankari embroidery, among others.
Ranjan taught textile design at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, for over three decades, from 1972 onwards. Between 2011 and 2016, she studied the textile traditions of northeast India as part of an outreach programme commissioned by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
Some of her notable works include Textile and Bamboo Crafts of the Northeastern Region (1983) and Chikankari Embroidery of Lucknow (1992), which she co-authored with Ashok Rai. Ranjan also co-edited the book Handmade in India: A Geographic Encyclopedia of Indian Handicrafts (2009) with her husband MP Ranjan. The book was produced over five years, from 2002-07, and offers a detailed documentation of India’s art and craft traditions. The couple conceptualised and spearheaded the project, which involved several collaborators and extensive fieldwork across the country. Ranjan and her husband received the Kamala Samman Award from the Crafts Council of India in 2014 for their work on the book.
She has also curated exhibitions, including Art of the Loom (2019) at the Ahmedabad Trunk, which showed handloom sarees from the private collections of Leena Sarabhai Mangaldas and Anjali Mangaldas.
As of writing, Ranjan lives and works in Ahmedabad.
Bagchi, Shrabonti. “The Sari Specialists.” Mint, January 14, 2019. https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/pdvB4RwBZ0sH8nAbxeoDAJ/The-sari-specialists.html.
Bangalore International Centre. “Design in India.” Accessed September 6, 2021. https://bangaloreinternationalcentre.org/event/design-in-india/#aditi-ranjan.
Kumar, Sujatha Shankar. “A Tribute to the Design Wizard.” The Hindu, August 14, 2015. https://www.thehindu.com/features/homes-and-gardens/a-tribute-to-mp-ranjan/article7539850.ece.
Kumar, Sujatha Shankar. “Bonds with Tradition.” The Hindu, April 11, 2014. https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/bonds-with-tradition/article5901741.ece.
Ranjan, Aditi, and M. P. Ranjan, eds. Handmade in India. Ahmedabad: National Institute of Design; New Delhi: Council of Handicraft Development Corporations; New Delhi: Development Commissioner (Handicrafts); Ahmedabad: Mapin Publishing. 2007.
Ranjan, M. P. “Handmade in India: The Team and The Mission.” Design for India, July 25, 2008. https://design-for-india.blogspot.com/2008/07/handmade-in-india-team-and-mission.html.