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School of New Humanities and Design (SNHD)

"I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any" - M. K. Gandhi


Any envisioning of the future of our world is inadequate unless it considers the ever-changing dynamics between the environment, technology, accessibility, and social equality. The future is a delicate balance; it demands we pay attention to the interconnectedness of these elements. In such a scenario, it is imperative that the humanities extend beyond rigid structures and divisions; that creative explorations and critical thinking develop interdependency; that research and practice aren’t perceived as separate but as modes of one another.

The School of New Humanities and Design foresees humanities as a practice that isn’t restricted to any particular discipline but strives to transcend disciplinary boundaries and create new connections—impactful efforts towards a more creative, just, and sustainable world.

The School prides itself on its emphasis on interdisciplinary research and multiple forms of knowledge production and dissemination. This is achieved in an environment of symbiotic critical thinking and creative practice, where artists, theorists, writers, designers, curators, scientists, historians, and others can converge to push the limits of our thinking.

Through its many programs and projects, the school promotes the humanities as a practice that is engaged with their immediate environment and wider audience. Design, along with art and technology form an essential component of the symbiosis between critical thinking and creative practice, transforming on into the other.

Courses Offered

Undergraduate Program Courses offered by the School of New Humanities and Design

Specialisation Program

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A), an 8 Semester professional degree with following specialisations

Creative Writing Undergraduate Professional

Postgraduate Program Courses offered by the School of New Humanities and Design

Specialisation Program

Master of Arts (M.A) a 4 semester postgraduate program and specialisations

New Humanities and Design Postgraduate Professional

Other Courses offered by the School of New Humanities and Design

General Studies
General Studies is a an umbrella course that cuts across each phase of the Srishti educational experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Units under General Studies provide an introduction to a broad range of topics ranging from the arts to the sciences to philosophy, in order to sharpen critical thinking and writing skills. All undergraduate and postgraduate students registered at Srishti need to take one General Studies unit each semester.
Click here to read more about the General Studies Program >>


Research and Collaboration

Candidates on programmes in the School of New Humanities and Design can develop projects and undertake internships with any of the following research centers or labs in Srishti.

Nurturing Key Values

Curiosity and openness
Non-disciplinary thinking and playfulness
Encouraging critical, speculative and imaginative practices
Embracing complexity and multiplicity
Mindfulness and reflection
Collaboration and collective learning

Learning Approach

What makes the School of New Humanities and Design distinct from other humanities faculties and institutes in South Asia is its emphasis on practice as an integral element of critical thought. Therefore, the School follows a unique pedagogy which uses a combination of studios, seminars, workshops, labs, masterclasses, internships, and self-initiated practice/research to allow candidates to develop specialisation in one or more areas of their choice.

A significant aspect of the School’s pedagogy is that modules are developed in active collaboration with existing archives, research and technological institutes, as well arts and cultural organisations. We strive to locate our modules within public spaces or events in order to activate them, as well as to give candidates on our programmes an opportunity to ‘learn on the field’. In addition, the School is home to two of the most active research centres in Srishti, namely the Kabir Project and the Centre for Public History. The School also has active links with several universities and higher eductation institutions of repute in Europe, America, and Asia, and in the past our students have been beneficiaries of funded exchange programmes at the University of Helsinki.

The General Studies Program, which is an integral component of Srishti’s curriculum, is also housed in the School of New Humanities and Design.


Maker Space
Writing Centre
Audio-visual Suites
Screening Rooms

School Initiatives

New Ground - Design & the Humanities

Like thought & everyday practices, scholarly discourse too is boundless and open. Non-disciplinarity, the freedom from boundaries, opens possibilities for radical thought. This is a workshop, held three times a year, to highlight ideas and explore new grounds, practices and theories, collaboratively, in order to imagine new frameworks and possibilities. We see this as a space to reveal design in the humanities, and humanities in design.

In order to build a strong link between practice and publication Srishti has a regular Writing Seminar that functions as a forum for Srishti faculty and post-graduate students to systematically reflect on the insights that emerge in their practices and transform their experience into researchable themes and publications.arts, new media and technology, service sectors of experience design and curation, heritage tourism, gallery practices, museums and archives, art and literary festivals.

Colloquium Series

The Colloquium Series brings together Srishti students and faculty on a formal platform to share ideas, ongoing work and dialogue about key issues/themes in the art, design, technology and related subjects. The colloquium meets fortnightly, featuring practice-based contributions to diverse fields of interest.

Writing Seminars

Writing and publication is becoming increasingly important to Srishti’s academic life. However, in practice-driven design and art, there is little time and space — during the execution of project — for articulating critical findings and theoretically exploring the challenges or issues that projects reveal. Over a period of time, the challenges, questions and insights generated during practice persist and can be a rich source for theorizing art or design practices. The theoretical, practical and pedagogical insights of these accumulated experiences will be considerable and an important contribution to various fields.

In order to build a strong link between practice and publication Srishti has a regular Writing Seminar that functions as a forum for Srishti faculty and post-graduate students to systematically reflect on the problems and insights that emerge in their practices and transform their experience into researchable themes and publications.

Winter School

Winter School began in 2013 with a focus on the role played by oral history in documenting social change. The last three editions of WSOH were very successful with students from India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Czech Republic and faculty from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Italy, USA, Czech Republic and Australia. Apart from training students, the WSOH has organized public talks and brought the concerns in the field a larger public beyond the classroom.

Winter School class in progress, 2016.

Winter School will take place every year to cover a range a topics in Oral History and Public History. This year’s Winter School, “Community, Environment and Oral History: Individual and Collective Memory” will be held from February 11 to 22, 2019 in Bengaluru. It will explore the relationship between memory, community and environment through oral history. Oral history has been frequently used as a tool through which to gain insights about the environment from communities who have witnessed environmental change or experienced environmental disasters.


The courses in this school equip graduating students with capabilities needed to mediate between discrepant worlds, organizations, communities and individuals (NGOs, government, social entrepreneurship, donor/funding agencies and other institutions).

Events & News

The School of New Humanities and Design has a vibrant calendar of events through the year, to which researchers, scholars, practitioners and students actively contribute.

WorkShop, Projects, Performances and Exhibitions


Bioacoustics in Conservation

A workshop at Student Conference on Conservation Science, IISc, Bengaluru, 2018, 27-30 September 2018) facilitated by Gururaja KV, faculty from Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology; Vineeth Kumar from Mangalore University, Seshadri KS from Gubbi Labs and Priti Hebbar from IISc, Bengaluru.

This workshop was offered exclusively on anuran bioacoustics. At present, India has about 400 species of frogs and toads, among which acoustic records are available for 60 species (15% of the total anurans in India). Many of these acoustic records are neither recorded in a standard format nor analyzed using standard methods. The workshop aimed at providing hands-on training in standard methods for recording and analyzing anuran calls. The objective was to illustrate the use of bioacoustics as an important tool in the monitoring and conservation of anurans, as anurans are among the most threatened and fast disappearing group of vertebrates in the world.

The workshop covered topics on bioacoustics use in taxonomy, resolving cryptic species identification; canopy studies and behavioural studies. Raven Pro 1.5 was used to see the sound! We had a overwhelming response to our workshop. There were 30 registered participants and 6 gate crashers!

Multimodal communication in frogs: Gururaja presenting the importance of bioacoustics.

How to see sound! Use of Raven Pro 1.5 in sound analysis. 

Two Earth Labs (July 2018)

Collaborative project among Offenburg University, Germany, Freiburg University, Indian Institute of Science, India, Srishti Institute for Art Design and Technology, India, Indian Institute of Science

At IISc we particularly engaged with Indo French Cell for Water Science, Wind Tunnel Lab, Earth Science departments at IISc.

Daniel Fetzner, Professor for Design and Artistic Research and head of Media Ecology Lab at Hochschule Offenburg

Dr. Vasanthi Mariadass Srishti Institute for Art Design and Technology, India

Ephraim Wegner, Electronic musician and artistic staff member at Media Ecology Lab, Hochschule Offenburg

With Students from Srishti Institute of Art Design Technology and Offenburg University

The project was predominantly inspired by the critical and theoretical concerns by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Robert Smithson, Lyn Margulis and Bruno Latour for the brilliant perspectives they recreate to undo and overtake the adamant sedimentation of traditional and often conservative thoughts and frameworks.

Based on Latour’s engagement with the CZ in his “Some advantages of Critical Zone for Geopolitics” an interdisciplinary workshop was constituted by researchers from Science--Humanities—Design—Art—Social Sciences focusing on environmental question through the fundamental elements necessary for living: Air, Water and Earth. The partnership was among Freiburg University and Offenburg University Germany, Indian Institute of Science IISc and Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology, India. We engaged with Indo French Cell for water science, Wind Tunnel lab, Earth Science departments at IISc. The participation and performance was by plants and animals (including Human beings) along with questions concerning the Anthropocene; the exponential development in Technology and hence human activity is the primary concern for our projects “The Critical Zone” (March 2018) and “De/Globalization” (July 2018). In part it was an event to identify discourses and their politics, which has brought the planet to a crises and to discover perspectives and manufacture discourse.

Bruno Latour at the “Two Earth Labs” Exhibition

Two Earth Labs Exhibition

Partnerships of perspectives to understand, reflect and experience with cognitive and sensorial means was an immersive process at the intersection of many disciplines. Knowledge entangled with effects/affects and experiential states both during and lingering post the event was more fully explored in such partnerships.  To think the unthought-- to experience in other ways--to undo existing desires and construct other desires were some of the limits that we were testing during the workshop.

Postmodern theories suggest that since the enlightenment the vertical drive to look at the sky supersedes the horizontal and for sure not to pay attention to the earth below our feet.  Hierarchies, binaries continue with their schemes and advance those vertical concerns. What is below our feet is used and abused in order to reach the sky.  Robert Smithson, an artist who does land art among other forms, poetically expresses that the acceleration of technology moves such endeavours away from the earth to reach the sky. Technology itself is used to achieve this separation through the binary of Earth/Heaven which already implies the hierarchy.  Therefore, although the ore found in the dirt below our feet is used for technological advancement, that very ore which is of the earth is forgotten through extreme refinement. The refinement of the ore exceeds itself to the point where the purified form of the material is not of the world: an amnesia. The highly refined material are then used for making objects that reach the heaven ie rockets, planes and satellites so that they cannot be of the earth because they must be man made (not out of nature or God) in an absolute sense—like a god and beyond--The Uber Man. 

Critical Sciencing Zone (March 2018)

“…the great murders [destructions] have become the quiet game of the well behaved.” Michel Foucault

CRITICAL SCIENCING ZONE Workshop at IISc Bangalore in March 2018 Topological Folding 360° Video, Interviews Indo-French Cell, Stereographic Projection (Java-Applet) and illustration by Peter Paul Rubens (1613), Transmedial Meshwork as an interactive Web documentary (idoc) Critical Reflections: “Fragments”  by Dr. Vasanthi Mariadass, Srishti Institute for Art Design and Technology, India.

Collaborative project among Offenburg University, Germany, Freiburg University, Indian Institute of Science, India, Srishti Institute for Art Design and Technology, India, Indian Institute of Science

Topic: De/Globalize

Agential cuts through three Critical Zones Kabini River/India, Nile Delta/Egypt and Upper Rhine/Germany&France. [Conceptualized by Prof. Daniel Fetzner and Dr. Martin Dornberg]

Daniel Fetzner, Professor for Design and Artistic Research and head of Media Ecology Lab at Hochschule Offenburg

Dr. Martin Dornberg, M.D., PhD Center Psychosomatics/Psychotherapy, Freiburg. Philosopher at Freiburg University

Ephraim Wegner, Electronic musician and artistic staff member at Media Ecology Lab, Hochschule Offenburg

Dr. Raghavendra Gadagkar and his Team Indian Institute of Science (IISc)

Dr. Vasanthi Mariadass Srishti Institute for Art Design and Technology, India

Indo French Cell for Water Sciences, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), India

KEY QUESTIONS 1. How to think, medialize, fold and answer the earth in a de-globalized topology? 2. How to think meshworks, entanglements and relational references in the anthropocene? 3. How to narrate critical zonings in non-linear, improvisational, ptolemaic and parasitic cuts? KABINI RIVER 2018 INDIA UPPER RHINE 2019 GERMANY/FRANCE NILE DELTA 2019 EGYPT.  Flattening the globe Thinking critical fugues interactively.

The project and performance at IISc was inspired by the article “Some Advantages of Critical Zone in Geopolitics” by Bruno Latour.

Images From the Performance at IISc:  the audience performed and the so called performers facilitated. The protagonists on the stage included tree trunk, live streaming of the Wasp colony with books that inspired the project. 


“Without Instantiation of meaning by the sign, there remains only the fanaticism of language—that fanaticism Rafael Sanchez Ferlosia defines as ‘an absolutist inflammation of the signifier’’.  Jean Baudrillard (My self-reflexive response to ourselves the performing team)

Here montage is not about a narrative but non narrative and indeed the more the distance between images or syntax, the more it irritates the cognition and hence the more it’s potential and possibility.  Meaning is parsed, suspended and converted to indelible impression and memories.

Fragments--perhaps we may look upon this performance as a dream where objects in the visual and other sensory field remain unresolved—tension between the known and unknown—in dreams we take responsibility a postulation by Freud often forgotten by analysts and otherwise—not by instruction but by affects—to make sense and sense something repressed and unknown to ourselves—of or for the Other.


Yet why is Latour repeating the term “Critical Zone” or is this a repetition with difference (Gilles Deleuze) or differance (Jacques Derrida): A game played by critical theory since the 60’s particularly to perhaps refresh, cleanse, and expand terminologies and avoid cliché and finally limitations.  Perhaps Latour locates gaps in the way geopolitical analysis is carried out by the social sciences. Or is he alerting them to do further “parsing” (Latour) of the zone to get a fuller understanding of the location they are engaging with. The word parsing is specific to language and he uses the zone as a composite syntax zoning into the specific site.  To clarify further let me consider the 2 preliminary meanings of the word.  1. An act of or result obtained by parsing a string or a text. 2. Analyze (a sentence) into its parts and describe their syntactic roles. This infinitive slicing is encouraged to enhance the research on the Geo. Parcing the Zone.


Rectangularity—the wood from the forests have been sacrificed and now haunt our domestic and institutional spaces.  They are despite critical inquiry shaped into various rectangular objects--Cartesian in their form—Latour assembles the rectangularity by annotating the tables in the restaurant to the filing cabinets in the labs, archives, libraries, books to papers where we take notes and computers screens.  To bring objects from the forests and elsewhere to be analyzed on a rectangular table and computer screen.


Art too brings film, painting and photography to the Cartesian grid and locks them up with a framework with occasional scrambling here and there or partly here in this dream installation—breaking the frame. Literature and poetry exist in tombs—well bounded books.  They are dioptric arts and a result of our eyes a binocular vision (Roland Barthes). The story of the rectangularity continues further with Haroun Farocki—the brick as the fundamental design for architectures that predominantly divides space into rectangular space enshrined once again in his work within the screen space. How do the box we create to live and operate influence our work and the questions that we ask? Why do we give more relevance to the work done on the table and in a box? Why should the forest come to the lab/classrooms/halls? Why is the image within a frame?



Latour is addressing several critical sense and senses of the word “critical” and “zone”.  The scientists, among other things, described the well-known interdisciplinary method as a critical role in their work. Indeed, it was fantastic to hear the claim that the Algae was a stake holder (Laurent Ruiz). Geopolitics even if it is interdisciplinary is required here to intensify its own process with further inclusion of scientists to get a broader-deeper understanding of  the materiality of the earth crust, the zone for this context, and therefore politics as one of the several players in their engagements. The zone is not land, property or territory but deterritorialized into Zone. 



Music/sound is the art form that escapes the Cartesian grid. 

The  Birth of the Clinic by Michel Foucault addresses the radical shift for research questions.  Perspective art preceded or was simultaneous to singular subject/topic focus in research methods. Scientific objects such as the lens sharpened the perspective method during the enlightenment. The questions changed from the premise that diseases existed outside and attacked the body while around the enlightenment the body is itself the site of the disease. Therefore, seeing or the gaze took its precedence and the objects that multiplied therein: x-rays, stethoscopes, telescopes, binoculars, microscopes, periscope—scopophilia as a result. The change in discourse mobilized modern medicine. My short response to Pascal: An archeology of knowledge unearths the apriori and discourses or just simply assumptions that precede and preside silently behind questions and frameworks. (Foucault)

Srishti Institute of Art Design Technology in Collaboration with NCBS, Bangalore:

A foundation year general study:  Drawing across Arts and Sciences, led by Asmita Sarkar, from Srishti Institute of Art design Technology resulted in an interesting collaboration with the Biodiversity Lab, NCBS Bangalore. The principal investigator at the lab Dr. Krushnamegh Kunte invited us to put-up an exhibit for the Beauty of Butterfly exhibit:  a collateral of the International conference Biology of Butterfly 2018

Three of Asmita’s large-scale water- colour was featured in the show.

Artist’s impression of Dysphania palmyra,  Blue tiger moth, Asmita Sarkar 2018

Asmita’s exhibit along with display of specimen Rapuri Hall, NCBS Bangalore June  11-14, 2018

Part of the exhibition narrative ‘’…. These works are part of my larger enquiry into the area of overlap between Artistic and scientific visualization I was intrigued by the following features :

Texture: Some of their textures are so luscious and iridescent; these seem to rival feathers of beautiful birds and animal fur.

Camouflage: Many of the species of moths that feed on tree-sap have extraordinary ability to blend in with tree-bark and leaves.

Poison: Some of them are poisonous to their predators (birds.) Few of these are brightly blue coloured.’’

Moreover. a large-scale collaboration is expected in future with Dr Kunte and his lab.


Mamta Sagar from Srishti Institute of Art Design Technology, curated poetry events and workshops where students from the Creative Writing Programme presented their works along with other poets from varied linguistic backgrounds. This was an opportunity for the students to take part in many editions of Kaavya Sanje and interact with poets writing in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi and English languages.

Festival of Stories 8:


DEVA DEVAA… MAHAADEVAA… TRIVIKRAMA MAHAADEVAA… poetry performance by Rudradutt Ranade and Urvi Jacob

Young poets with Mr Trivikrama Mahadeva


2. MARKET MEMORIES: Poems from KR Market




TUMARI FESTIVAL: Our students Rudradutt Ranade & Urvi Jacob presenting their poems at the Tumari Festival of Literature and Culture curated by Mamta Sagar:

Poetry readings at the Karnataka Mohammadeeya Kannada Vedike:


KAAVYA SANJE - ‘Poetry for Peace’, in collaboration with prohelvetia at 1ShanthiRoad

MAMTA SAGAR, Faculty at the Creative Writing Programme, Srishti

Mamta has been a recipient of poetry residency and official projects of the India Wales Season and the UK India Year of Culture (2017-18)

Mamta Sagar performs 'Do Not Go Gentle' by Dylan Thomas in Kannada at Dylan's Birthplace

Some of her creative achievements include kShaNabindu a poetry-music collaboration with Vasu Dixit & Bindumalini (2018) performed at Hyderabad Literature Festival 2018

 Interversions a compilation of collaborative poetry activities into a book - Wales-India collaborative projects (2018), published by Poetrywala, Mumbai 2018.

Three poetry films produced with Srishti Films as part of the Wales-India collaborative projects (2018): INTERVERSIONS 1, INTERVERSIONS 2, INTERVERSIONS 3

Preetiya Nalavattu NiyamagaLu a translation of Elif Shafak’s novel into Kannada, published by Desi Pustaka, Bengaluru.

Mamta Sagar has translated 'The forty Rules of Love' by Turkish writer Elif Shafak into Kannada. This addictive narrative is a story of hatred and love, passion and politics, sympathy and empathy... religion and the sweet blasphemy... Rumi and Shams of Tabriz!

Poetry/Literature Festivals 2018:

  1. Curator at PAMPA LITERATURE FESTIVAL, SIWE 2018 (South India Writers Ensemble) - Chengannur Kerala
  2. Curator at the Literature and Cultural Festival in memory of Ha Ma Bhat at Halkere Village, Tumari, Holebaagilu 28, 29 & 30 Sept 2018.
  3. Public Poetry Installation and performance at the Festival of Stories 8.
  4. Poetry Curation at The Language Festival 2018 - Bengaluru.
  5. The Hindu Lit For Life - Chennai 2018.
  6. Tata Steel Bhubaneshwar Literary Meet 2018.

Srishti Institute of Art Design Technology


Vasanthi Mariadass. “Reverberation from the Waves: To See with your ears.” The Oxford  Art Journal. Vol 42, Issue 1, Oxford University Press: London, March 2019.

Ed. Aileen Blaney and Chinar Shah. Photography in India: from Archives to Contemporary Practice (London: Bloomsbury, 2018)

Books By Keshava Malagi, Srishti Institute of Art Design Technology

Onde Guri Bere Daari is a discourse, which explores Indian philosophical as well political dialogue traditions. The book has two sections. The first section deals with ancient dialogue initiatives in Upanishads and Buddhism texts. Second section inquires the nature of political debates between Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Tagore, Nehru, Bose and Ambedkar and their political outcomes.

Author: Keshava Malagi,
Publisher: Pallava Prakashana,
Language: Kannada
Publication date: October, 2018

Albert Camus: A young reader (Kannada)

It is a translation of selected writing of Albert Camus in Kannada for graduate and postgraduate students with an introduction.

Author/translator: Keshava Malagi,
Publisher: Sangaatha pustaka,
Publication date: October, 2018

African Literature Reader (Kannada)

The volume gives the comprehensive perspective on African literature of genre to Kannada academics as well young scholars, and students.

Editors: Keshava Malagi (et al)
Publisher: Kuvempu Bhasha Bharathi
Publication date: 2017

Conferences and Festivals

Conference on Research in Art, Design and Culture

December 21-22, 2018

Updating Memory: Public Heritage and the Digital Turn in India: a two-day conference held on 17th & 18th January, organised under the Digital Humanities programme.

Multilingual poetry with Mamta Sagar at Rangasthala, Rangoli Metro Art Centre, as part of the Cumulus conference, held from 20-24 Nov.

SET.RESET an exhibition on “cinema, archives and creative labour” curated and produced by postgraduate students of the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in collaboration with Aradhana Seth’s House of Inquiry, Saligao, Goa in September 2017. The exhibition was developed under the postgraduate course in Curatorial Practice.

Video Vortex XI: an international exhibition of video art and a 3-day conference organised as a collateral of the Kochi Muzeris Biennieal in February 2017, by The Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in collaboration with The Goethe Institute Bangalore, The University of Bilkent, Ankara; Goldsmiths, University of London and The Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam. Organised as part of the Curatorial Practice course. Download the conference report here.

The Future Orbits conference held at the Mill Hall, Mattancherry, as a collateral of the The Kochi Biennele in January 2017. Future Orbits was a collaboration between The Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, The University of Winchester, and The VisionMix network. Organised as part of the Curatorial Practice course.

Type Madi: an interactive student project repurposing a typewriter, exhibited as part of Art in Transit’s Festival of Stories at the Cubbon Park metro station.

Speaking, Listening, Interpreting: The Critical Engagements of Oral History - the XIXth Conference of the International Oral History Association hosted 27June-1July in association with the Oral History Association of India..

New Ground - Design & the Humanities - a workshop exploring new grounds, practices and theories, in order to imagine new frameworks and possibilities of collaboration across design and the humanities. Read an article on the relationship between design and the humanities by SNHD faculty Vivek Dhareshwar in Srishti’s open access e-publication Unbound Journal here