Vasudhaiva Kutumbham


A present for and with Archie, my youngest sibling’s 15th birthday; I designed and produced a garment. It is a stole that depicts my journey of understanding my identity and role as a designer who travels around the world. It is a data vizualization of the places I have lived and the friends I made, together portraying my story of finding my family across the globe.

This was one of the most important works for my thesis inquiry’s visual exploration. 


Physical borders cannot restrain the evolution of our interwoven and codependent civilizations, now more than ever. The only way forward is not only accepting but celebrating these differences. While my journey as a designer and a human cultured me to embrace the diversity, it also invigorated the connection to my roots. I desired to bequeath this treasured piece of wisdom to my youngest sibling Archie, who was approaching her fifteenth birthday at the time.

In my culture, it is customary to pass something onto one’s younger sibling, a tradition I find very fascinating and endearing. When I began contemplating over the best possibilities of the essence of this ‘piece of wisdom’ that I wanted to share with Archie, this archaic Sanskrit phrase seemed most befitting — Vasudhaiva Kutumbhakm. First recorded between 500-1000BC in the Upanishad Vedic texts, the phrase translates to ‘one world family’ or ‘the entire world is our family’. The phrase embodied the spirit of my work and beliefs, and became the crux of project.

The stole depicts a data visualization of the places I have lived and the friends I made, together portraying my story of finding my family around the world. My typeface Raxis was the obvious choice for this project as it fit the intent and content.

User testing was a crucial part of the process. Sessions with my sister helped me understand the visual literacy of a teenager. 

The stick figures on either sides were a direct inspiration from traditional patterns of indigenous Kosa garment of Chhattisgarh. Each figure represents a singular very important person in my life and is a result of four defining features. While the top of each figure represents the flag of the country where I met the person, the bottom flag is their nationality.

Sourcing Kosa fabric from Champa.

Dyeing the coloured stripes on the fabric using traditional methods in collaboration with Ratan ji and his artisans. 

Select color options. These upon the dyes available with the artisans.