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MA - Design Practice


Pathway: Design Education

People with a high level of personal mastery live in a continual learning mode. They never ‘arrive’….
Personal mastery is not something you possess. It is a process. It is a lifelong discipline. People with a high level of personal mastery are acutely aware of their ignorance, their incompetence, and their growth areas. And they are deeply self-confident. Paradoxical? Only for those who do not see that ‘the journey is the reward..
- Peter Senge

Future learning spaces -‘A Pattern Language’ (Inspired by Christopher Alexander’s): Visual Thinking.


Design practices are increasingly coming under scrutiny for the most pressing concerns of the 21st century world, that of ecological crisis, socio-political ideologies, cultural shifts and power relations. This places demands and expectations on design education of how it enables practitioners and researchers in the field: to navigate complex realities, interrogate established notions, revitalizing and reconfiguring their own practice to spearhead both transformation for themselves and within the world.

Srishti Manipal envisages Design Education as an integrated and synergistic practice of research, creativity and education. India's unique ecosystem of creative industries, craft traditions, living heritages and plural cultures of living, making and being offers invaluable opportunities to nurture reflective, ecologically conscious and creative professional practitioners and researchers in art and design fields.

This pathway is led by the questions:

How can a design disposition enable ecological ethics and imaginative inquiry into educational practices?

How do we go beyond personal and professional schisms, discourses of scale, efficiency and outcomes in formal and informal settings of education?

How do we nurture within ourselves a consciousness to adapt, embrace uncertainties, become facilitators, and leaders of transformation?

We envision the pathway in Design Education as a learning opportunity for those who seek to meet the dynamic and changing needs of learning societies and a vehicle for supporting their critical and reflective practice. Therefore, the vision is to develop and enhance professionals, researchers and practitioners in education and allied fields of learning who are:

  • lifelong inquirers about their self and practice
  • designers of new learning worlds
  • creative innovators within emerging design research and educational paradigms and frameworks
  • active and networked members in communities of critical and reflective practitioners and,
  • seekers of personal mastery

This course conceives of a future of learning that is foregrounded in ideas of complexity & systems thinking, slowness and contemplative practices. The course is relevant to anyone currently working in areas concerned with communities of learning be it government and civil services, education providers, policy makers, foundations working with CSR, edupreneurs both in formal and non-formal sectors, teachers and heads of department in schools and colleges, educational start-ups and NGOs. It includes practitioners in allied educational fields such as museums, interpretation centres, galleries, zoos, publishing houses and content and creative designers for textbooks and other educational materials.

Capstone: Practice as Mastery Masks in Education- Art to transfer Experience, mediate Meaning

Core Values

Life will not be a pyramid with the apex sustained by the bottom. But it will be an oceanic circle whose center will be the individual always ready to perish for the village, the latter ready to perish for the circle of villages, till at last the whole becomes one life composed of individuals, never aggressive but ever humble, sharing the majesty of the oceanic circle of which they are integral units.- M. K. Gandhi

The specialisation in Design Education course is rooted in the following core values:

  • Openness and Unlearning
  • Slowness and Wholeness
  • Empathy and Resilience
  • Participation and Collaboration
  • Mindfulness and Introspection
  • Equality and Diversity

Contemplative practices include introduction to different forms of meditation, art therapy and journaling to unfold inquiry and slow thought

Course Structure

Learning opportunities in the specialisation in Design Education course are embedded in the following structures:

  1. Tutorials: Master classes, workshops, seminars and study units including MOOCs, Think Quests, Webinars etc.
  2. Studios, Labs and Circles: Immersive spaces and forums that foster making, experimenting, conversations, thinking and a sense of being.
  3. Peer Circles: Participative opportunities for dialogue and reviews that can be facilitated and independent, face-to-face or via blogs, discussion board conversations, wiki creation.
  4. Practice: Experiential, embodied, field-based research which could include that in the workplace.
  5. Electives: Engagement outside the disciplinary framework, that allows for extension and building connections. It can include visits to exhibitions, plays, places, talks, walks, participation in workshops, studios, conferences and residencies.
  6. Portfolio: Development of a reflective and curated body of work, which represents evidence of growth, development and application of research in professional practice over the duration of the course.
  7. Practice as Mastery: Practice based research and its documentation; academic exegesis and viva voce.

Capstone: Practice as mastery-Conversation with Self, Riyaz as practice of Drawing to slow down, pause and deliberate

Learning Approach

The specialisation in Design Education foregrounds pedagogies such as Slow Design, Play and Story, Mindfulness and Making. It is designed to cater to diverse learning styles and draws upon principles of Universal Design for Learning both in its core components and learning experiences for students. The course is designed for students to experience the potential and power of:

  • Making, Mindfulness and Reflective Practice
  • Compassionate, Critical and Collaborative Learning Communities
  • Interdisciplinary and Trans-disciplinary Approaches
  • Personal and Professional Mastery

This course will provide opportunities for educators to be facilitators, designers, DIYers (do-it-yourself) and DIWOers (do-it-with-others), curators, hackers, gamers, artists, digital natives, storytellers, travellers and critical and creative thinkers.

Capstone: Practice as Mastery, Critical Making & Conversations

Capability Sets

Upon successful completion of this course graduates will have developed the following capabilities:

  • Generative learning (e.g. conceptual sketches, prototypes, journals, discussion forums, digital platforms, portfolios, podcasts, videocasts, construction of proto-theory etc) through questions, drawings, play, dialogues, reason, imagination, beauty and aesthetics.
  • Adapt and self- revitalise by seeking new experiences, engaging with diverse traditions of thought, experiment and reconfigure own practice
  • Go beyond vulnerabilities by setting & sustaining personal purpose, goals & vision pertinent to own reality, in formal and informal settings
  • Practice inclusive and humanising pedagogies through participative approaches (facilitation, co-design, co-create & DIWO) and emergent and wholeness disposition versus end driven

Framing Practice- Hoshin Kanri (Setting directions/compass) process to develop portfolio of practice and capstone proposal


Graduates of the specialisation in Design Education course will be equipped to work:

Within the Higher Education Sector as

  • Design & Art Educators in Design Schools
  • Lectures/ Professors/Institutional Leaders
  • Curriculum Designers/ Instructional Designers

Within the Non-formal Education Sector (in formal and informal learning centres, art & craft collectives, environmental organizations, publishing houses etc) as

  • Content Developers
  • Program Developers
  • Facilitators

Corporate/for-profit education sector (publishing houses, training units, entrepreneurial ventures in the fields of digital platforms & applications) as

  • Content Developers
  • Institutional Designers
  • Instructional Designers
  • Trainers

Within the K-12 Sector (in national and international schools) as

  • Teachers/Institutional Leaders
  • Curriculum Designers/ Instructional Designers
  • Specialist/ Advisors/ Educational Consultants
  • Innovators/ Entrepreneurs

Disciplinary Intersections

This specialisation is informed by the following learning disciplines:

Research and Collaboration

The focus area in Design Education course offers its students opportunities to connect with artists and designers from a range of research and practice labs and centres based at Srishti Manipal. These include:

Students will also have opportunities to intersect with partner organizations working in areas such as environmental conservation, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, stories and place as pedagogies, oral histories and more.


For further information, kindly email Padmini Nagaraja at


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