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Creative and Applied Computation

“It would appear that we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend to sound pretty silly in 5 years.”
- John von Neumann

“Computing is not about computers anymore. It is about living.”
- Nicholas Negroponte


Creative processes have always manipulated materials to make artefacts that are beautiful, useful and engaging. Extending the notion of material to include intangible things such as computation leads to very different types of objects – those that have behaviour and interact in new ways. While the underlying computational principles are invariant, the form that objects that are built using computation as an ingredient covers a wide spectrum including installations that interact, toys that intrigue and puzzle, apps that react based on the users situation, health products that talk to an expert system and narratives that evolve.

As machine learning and artificial intelligence appears in an increasing number of situations, in there is an urgent need to have professionals who understand both the human and the technological, and build digital and physical objects that satisfy human needs in ways that are both ethical and meaningful.

Building such objects requires both design as well as algorithmic thinking. It requires working with technologies that are still evolving, often experimental and which require tinkering to develop with. While frameworks and tools exist, they are not well-established and the landscape here is dynamic and changes fast.

Practitioners can seek to position themselves in spaces that range from functional and useful to whimsical or enlightened.

Key Values

Open Source

Course Structure

The curriculum comprises of different ways of learning as follows:

  • Foundation introduces students to basic principles and tools of Art, Design and Technology as methods, tools and processes
  • Disciplinary Studios are learning spaces where students develop core disciplinary capabilities, while navigating a trans-disciplinary environment
  • General Studies: A common and compulsory programme of study that integrates Humanities, Sciences, Development and Policy Studies and also offers Languages-English, Indian- Hindi and Kannada as well as Foreign (Spanish, French and German)
    Click here to read more about the General Studies Program >>
  • Interim: An introduction to practice in new and emerging areas of art and design
  • Electives: Of three kinds- this program allows students to expand their skills, develop the interests as well as provide opportunities for travel exchange
  • Internship/Apprenticeship: Compulsory work experience done over the summer-break between the 6th and 7th semester
  • Project involves the application, synthesis and demonstration of capabilities acquired, and is a qualifier to the thesis
  • Thesis is culmination of the 4-year program, which allows for demonstration of an integration of values, positions, capabilities and practice.

Learning Approach

In this course the approach, to learning will be

  • Hands-on and experiential learning through making and exploring.
  • Mathematical and algorithmic methods will be overtly engaged with.
  • Participative in to understand contexts where data arises and ways in which it can be used meaningfully.
  • Interdisciplinary both in terms of tools and applications.
  • Self-driven to learn new technologies, languages and libraries.

Interactive games at the Serendipity Art Festival

Capability Sets

  • Identify ways in which processes can be represented using parameters and manipulate these algorithmically using computational tools.
  • Learn emerging technologies and frameworks using online resources and documentation, and use them to build applications.
  • Manipulate and represent media and data to gain insights into their structure.
  • Build, customise or extend tools to execute specialised tasks.
  • Combine the physical and digital using hardware and code to make objects capable to communicating and behaving in new ways.
  • Apply computation in diverse contexts to add insight and value.
  • Verify by testing that applications work as intended and find cases that they may fail in.


The capabilities built over this course allow the student to

  • Build exhibits / installations which incorporate interactivity in the education / exhibition sector.
  • Integrate products with systems to build smart objects in companies working in IoT in various sectors.
  • Work in data-rich situations to make visualisations that could be real-time and interactive.
  • Work computationally with media of various kinds in gaming and entertainment based enterprises.

Disciplinary Intersections

The program is informed by the following learning disciplines:

Augmented and Virtual Reality (Digital Media Arts)
Creative Education
Experience Design
Game Design
Human-centered Design
Industrial Arts and Design Practices
Information Design
Interaction Design
Product Design
Visual Communication Design
Visual Effects