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School of Advanced Studies and Research (SASR)

"The encounter between two disciplines doesn’t take place when one begins to reflect on another, but when one discipline realises that it has to resolve, for itself and by its own means, a problem similar to one confronted by the other." - Gilles Deleuze


The School of Advanced Studies and Research at Srishti aims to undertake, promote and disseminate trans-disciplinary scholarship and research in art, design and other creative expressions. The research agenda promoted by the school includes the study of vernacular and traditional imaginative forms of production as well as contemporary and experimental artistic expressions. Our goal is to become a driving force for the advanced study of creative practices in South Asia.

To achieve its vision the School focuses on the following activities:

  • Unify and promote research activities undertaken in other schools at Srishti
  • Provide specialized research training at the Master’s and Doctoral levels
  • Offer the school as a base and platform for national and international scholars to undertake research
  • Facilitate dialogue among researchers and scholars at regional, national and international levels
  • Build networks with other institutions of advanced study and research in the areas of interest to the school
  • Publish and disseminate scholarly work, research findings and documentation related to art, design and creative practices

Research Programs

The School offers three advanced research study programs leading to Masters and Doctoral degrees.

Master of Arts by Research is a Master’s program wherein the students undertake courses and a project grounded in research, which culminates in substantial and original production of works of art, design and/or discourse. The MA by Research program is offered from the academic year 2017-18 and the details of the program will be published here soon.

PhD is a 3-6 year program, that inculcates competency in high-quality and rigorous research in the fields of art and design and nurtures results in knowledge products, both in the form of a dissertation or a combination of orginal works of art/design and dissertation. Know more about PhD at Srishti, click here >>

Integrated MA by Research and PhD is a combination of two research training programs. A student after completing the courses and fulfilling all the requirements of MA by Research may decide to terminate their study and be awarded a MA by Research degree or continue on to PhD. Integrated MA by Research and PhD program is offered from the academic year 2017-18 and the details of the program will be published here soon.

Fellows Program

The School hosts and provides support to researchers and scholars who are undertaking research or engaged in salient creative practices that align with the School’s mission. There are two types of Fellows supported by the School:

Visiting Fellows are those researchers who are funded by their home institutions or other sources and wish to make Srishti a research base. The School offers its facilities and provides access to the community of scholars at Srishti and in its network. The Visiting Fellows normally stay for a short duration of time ranging from 2-12 weeks.

Fellows receive funding from Srishti for a duration of 3-12 months and a residency depending upon their research project. Additionally, the School provides facilities to undertake their research as well as facilitate access to the community of scholars at Srishti and in its network. These fellowships are offered by invitation or through application.


Critical dialogue, discussions and debates are crucial for advancing research and scholarship. Therefore, the School organizes various events and forums that bring together artists, designers and scholars to engage in a dialogue to generate new ideas, concepts and approaches. The ongoing forums include:

Srishti Colloquium, a fortnightly forum, mainly for Srishti faculty to share their work, ongoing research and work in progress. From time to time Srishti Colloquium also hosts educators, artists, designers and researchers from outside Srishti.

Symposiums are held 2-3 times in a year to focus on emergent themes and new topics of trans-disciplinary research. The goal is to bring together researchers and scholars to promote new areas of inquiry.

Conferences that align with the vision of the School are organized in collaboration with other schools at Srishti or other institutions of advanced study to exchange ideas and forge networks among art and design researchers.

  • Looking Beyond - Confluence of Art and Design Click here >>
    National Seminar on Art and Design at the Department of Fine Arts, Stella Maris College.


Dissemination of scholarly work in the fields of art, design and creative expressions is one of the main objectives of the school. In order to further this goal, the School has undertaken an ambitious publication program that includes:

Unbound: A Journal of Discourse and Creative Practices is published through the electronic medium, 3 times a year. Unbound aims to break out of traditional disciplinary territories and boundaries considered self-evident markers of knowledge, by giving expression to ideas and everyday practices that operate simultaneously on contiguous, and often, overlapping domains. The journal can be accessed here.

‘Srishti -Documents’: Art, Design and Creative Practices in South Asia
is a project for critical and comprehensive documentation of art, design and creative practices in South Asia. It covers inherited, contemporary and experimental art practices to serve the larger community of artists, designers, practitioners and institutions dedicated to education, production, promotion, preservation, publication and dissemination of contemporary art, design and other creative practices in South Asia. It uses both online and print medium to publish the materials.

Three series identified under this documentation project are:

1. Histories of the Immediate Present series covers biennales, art fairs, design exhibitions, literary festivals and performance art events of seminal importance in South Asia. The goal of this series is to capture an event in all its diversity and richness, in order to extend its reach beyond space and time boundaries.

2. The Vernacular Design series captures traditional and contemporary artistic and design practices that are embedded in the rich cultural and historical contexts of South Asia. The goal here is to highlight thinking and a deep understanding that guided the makers in bringing together function, form and aesthetics.

3. One Artist series focuses on individual contemporary artists and designers, and their practice, in engaging with unprecedented changes and visible transformations South Asian societies are undergoing today. The goal is to analyze artists’ work and practices as a way of understanding the contemporary.


Pithamber R. Polsani, Dean, School of Advanced Studies and Research