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Industrial Arts and Design Practices

“Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.” - Charles Eames


The future of ‘how things are made’ is rapidly changing with new technologies and possibilities emerging every day. What does this mean for the designer of the future?

Today there is a wide gap between design and manufacture and design is more about the user than the maker. World over there is in an increasing move towards the idea of engaging directly with materials, tools and emerging technologies like 3D printers is making this think-able and do-able, easier and simpler. We are probably on the brink of a material revolution, much like the ‘internet’ revolution. In the near future, production will come back to smaller and more local units and it will be possible to produce smaller numbers, cheaper. In India we already have the frameworks for these changes and it is up to us to use this to our collective benefit.

Design is about connecting all the dots – how things are made, who makes them, how things are used, who uses them and what happens to these things when they are thrown away. Design is a way of thinking of better futures while taking forward the best of our past.

The Industrial Arts and Design Practice course is based on the idea of “making” as a way of thinking. We believe that making is the connection between the head and the heart. Hands-on making leads to an enduring understanding of design and art processes, and allows us to learn with intuition and sensitivity.

As practitioners each of us can find our unique position in the maker space, be it amongst contemporary hand crafted artefacts or adding value to mass-produced objects of every day use.

Key Values

  • Open
  • Hands-on
  • Inclusive
  • Frugal
  • Playful

Course Structure

The curriculum comprises of different ways of learning as follows:

  1. Foundation introduces students to basic principles and tools of Art, Design and Technology as methods, tools and processes
  2. Disciplinary Studios are learning spaces where students develop core disciplinary capabilities, while navigating a trans-disciplinary environment
  3. 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 >>
  4. Interim: An introduction to practice in new and emerging areas of art and design
  5. Electives: Of three kinds- this program allows students to expand their skills, develop the interests as well as provide opportunities for travel exchange
  6. Internship/Apprenticeship: Compulsory work experience done over the summer-break between the 6th and 7th semester
  7. Project: involves the application, synthesis and demonstration of capabilities acquired, and is a qualifier to the thesis
  8. Thesis: is culmination of the 4-year program, which allows for demonstration of an integration of values, positions, capabilities and practice.

Learning Approach

  • First hand learning through making and managing materials, processes and technologies enabling industriousness as a virtue
  • Harnessing expertise and rich making skills available extensively at all levels in the Indian context through Locative Making
  • Explore, play and innovate, making connections between the old, the present and the future to discover new potential
  • Research, combine and collaborate craft and technology. Acquiring and using the skills of both the craft industry as well as the technologies and processes of the future with empathy and sensitivity
  • Synthesizing and realizing concepts by making and validating from a stakeholder’s perspective through various hands on visualization and translation methods, managing complex systems, developing autonomy

Capability Sets

Working with Material

Acquire a proficiency in working with specific materials and processes, as well as explore a wide range 
Understand and use technologies from the traditional, contemporary to futuristic, Play and innovate with new materials and technologies to make new connections

Develop curiosity and respect for material, processes and people

Learning through Making

Be proficient in using the design process and creative thinking skills and tools- research methods, tools for analysis, ideating, prototyping, testing and validating, Be proficient in expression through drawing and prototyping

Explore and experiment in a hands-on manner with materials, processes and techniques in order to develop understanding appropriate and sustainable uses,

Use Making as a conceptual thinking tool for envisioning and translating abstractions into tangible forms

Manage Complexity

Develop an ability to detail, plan and manage - materials and resources to arrive at a final finished outcome

Understand the Impact of one’s practice through different lens – Experimentation, Humanity, and Business leading to positioning of one’s practice in a larger framework

Develop an ability to create frameworks through Making and Reflective response with art, craft and design techniques, processes, and contemporary ways of perceiving art and design worlds.


These capability sets equip and prepare the student for a wide range of opportunities with:

  • Creative Manufacturing Sectors – Engaging with artisans and craft units at a small and medium scale and become part of the growing global phenomenon of the Maker movement
  • New Product Envisioning and Design studios, R&D departments - Disseminating creative energies as a team player in small & large industries, and multi-national corporations
  • Grass root development organizations, NGOs & Social Enterprises – Bringing in a breath of fresh air and a new perspective to the conventional, through a blend of creative, technical and business acumen
  • Start-ups, small and medium enterprises – Propositioning as a contemporary craft practitioner, entrepreneur, design consultant
  • Emerging and Trans-disciplinary Domains – Merchandising and Strategic Product Planning in Retail, UI & UX in e-commerce for the transactions of the future

Disciplinary Intersections

The program is informed by the following learning disciplines: