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Information Arts and Information Design Practices

“Great stories happen to those who can tell them” - Ira Glass

Students make mandalas with charcoal to understand line and principles of design


We preserve and transmit culture, language and all historical record, whether myth or real, using the power of narrative. Narrative or stories that are not just the oral and the written, but in art, in dance, music and drama, embracing philosophy, history, politics, the environment and the social sciences.

The Information Arts and Information Design Practices Course at Srishti will explore the idea that all data is narrative. Information is narrative, but with purposefulness. Identity and information environments are intrinsically linked.

Stories craft our identity, they heal, inform, challenge and are the stuff of which our lives are made of. While visualization, interpretation and commuication of data have been largely the focus of the field of Information arts and design around the world, at Srishti we dig deeper to engage with ethics, conflicts, politics, hidden realities and debates around data and information. How can art, design and technology be used to push the boundaries of information and create points for action? What can traditional practices from different cultures offer to interpretation of contemporary data? Where can art and science meet to activate alternative research? How does one train at a reflective self in relation to the world to be a storyteller who mines diverse data to arrive at deeper truths? These and more questions serve as a guide map to engaging with and creating within this program. This course is an attempt to explore how to dissolve discipline based perceptions of data to engage with real life in its nuanced stories allowing for new discourses to emerge.

Traditional boundaries of the narrative are constantly broken in the interfaces of the global and the local, the traditional and the contemporary. Access to information is making the physical boundaries of the world we live in permeable. With multiple screens, constant connectivity, social and mass media has taken on a completely new form. The narrative has become all-pervasive, whether it be complex data that is to be effectively disseminated to diverse audiences, using diverse media, or it be used as a tool for research with communities in flux.

From a knowledge based society, the challenge is to move to a wisdom based society. To this end, we seek to find ways to seamlessly draw from the essence and spirit of the jester, the bard and the wandering minstrels in our modern guises. In that, the Information Arts and Information Design program is about crafting oneself as a storyteller, a behroopiya, whose stories are crafted through the fine lenses of time and space, cultures and contexts, information, knowledge and the extraction of wisdom.

Pen and ink explorations of characters and features.

Re-interpreting an illustration using dioramas and paper cutting. Exploring diverse methods and media.

Key Values

The implications of design lie not so much in their ability to communicate as in the values that inform their conception. At IAIDP, the purpose of building a narrative and using it for communication is embedded in ethics and empathy, responsibility, deep understanding and an essential rooting of oneself in the environment. At IAIDP our work will be defined and informed by the values of:

Empathetic Telling
Ethical Engagement
Responsible Dissemination
Embodied Narration
Ecological Awareness

Learning from visiting faculty and subject experts. A studio day with photographer Bunu Dhungana on basic photography techniques.

Students work with the artist A V Ilango at Puttenahalli lake on learning to see without preconceived notions.

Course Structure

  1. Studios encourage active, contextual learning where students develop core disciplinary skills and knowledge. Studios facilitate collaborative and creative design solutions to complex, open-ended problems
  2. Workshops provide intense learning experiences in making and doing, across the different disciplines.
  3. Internship with an industry or a design studio is compulsory for students at the end of 1st year
  4. Self Initiated Project is an end of the semester challenge that allows the student to engage in research / enquiry or design based projects. Students begin by writing their project proposal and defining the scope of their project and they are mentored by faculty / design professionals.
  5. Electives are liberal arts courses aimed to cultivate intellectual and reflective abilities in students and motivate them to probe deeper and approach their design process in a holistic manner.
  6. Capstone Project is the culmination of the research, capabilities and knowledge gained over the last three semesters. Students are required to submit their design output and a mandated thesis document. Students are mentored during this final project and go through seminars to get feedback from faculty and peer groups

Jonas Gluck’s final work for a unit on Immersive that focuses on representing birds through a free form painting technique. As a bird watcher, he was looking to create an experience of birds and bird watching for new audiences.

Matthias Ramsey brings together his long term inquiries into nature and self through blueprint of forms that emerge from Indian sculpture. These initial sketches are towards future paintings that Matthias hopes to build as a collection.

Learning Approaches

  • We participate in integrated multidisciplinary learning
  • We explore hands on ways of crafting, design and development for traditional and digital platforms
  • We strengthen our learning with critical perspectives and purposefulness
  • We research into communities and contexts using participatory approaches
  • We build multiple modes of expression for engagement in diverse disciplines
  • We use narrative structures and technologies to create communication
  • We look at more embodied approaches to investigate, interpret, engage with and translate narratives.
  • We thrive in lively debates, dialogue, sensitive and ethical questioning on a range of issues
  • We encourage independent and self motivated learning

Devangana Dash's colorful illustrations from her book 'Jungle Radio', which looks at birdcalls and the music of the Bandipur forest.

Students with Sunita Dhairyam of Mariamma Charitable Trust discussing ideas for designing products, store interiors and other supportive materials for Sunita's flagship store that supports conservation work in Bandipur.

Twan Geissberger shares her final work for the class on Immersive Practice. Twan experimented with natural dyes and organic forms to find new meanings in her inquiries into nature.

Capability Sets

This course will enable students in their:

  • Ability to inform and communicate through narrative
  • Ability to look at all data as narrative
  • Ability to interact and work with communities, contexts and limitations
  • Ability to influence and understand audiences leading to newer interpretations of what a story could be


The above mentioned capability sets could lead to opportunities such as:

  • You can continue your art/design practice, be an entrepreneur or a design consultant
  • You can work in the industries of Interactive Media, Television and Publishing
  • You can work at NGOs/organizations that work with social, ecological concerns
  • You can work with teaching and learning in diverse contexts
  • You can work for established design firms and production houses
  • You can pursue your research and continue to do a PhD.
  • You can develop your own projects and apply for grants.


For more information about this program, kindly email Srisrividhiya Kalyanasundaram at

From Namrata Sehgal's photostory - The Woven Lane that documents the lives of weavers in Yelahanka.

Studio visit and week-long printmaking workshop with Ramen Kastha at Studio Gravura, Kolkata.

Disciplinary Intersections

The program is informed by the following learning disciplines:

Research and Collaboration

The program is closely linked with a wide range research and practice spaces:


View Eligibility for Admission, Fee Schedule, Application Form & Other information for this Program >>