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Information Arts and Information Design Practices


“Great stories happen to those who can tell them” - Ira Glass

“The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.” - Michael Crichton

“Cognitive justice recognises the right of different forms of knowledge to co-exist, but adds that this plurality needs to go beyond tolerance or liberalism to an active recognition of the need for diversity.” - Shiv Visvanathan

Navigating Srishti: Nikita Pathak creates an educational interactive app for incoming students of this course to engage in peer and independent learning


We preserve and transmit culture, language and all historical record, whether myth or real, using the power of narrative. Narrative or stories that are not just the oral and the written, but in art, in dance, music and drama, embracing philosophy, history, politics, the environment and the social sciences. Stories craft our identity, they heal, inform, challenge and are the stuff of which our lives are made of.

The Information Arts and Information Design Practices Course at Srishti will explore the idea that all data is narrative. Information is narrative, but with purposefulness. Identity and information environments are intrinsically linked.

Rediscovering Culture: Learning about Ajrakh in Bhuj from a master Craftsman. PC: Chatura Rao

While visualization, interpretation and communication of data have been largely the focus of the field of Information arts and design around the world, at Srishti we dig deeper to engage with ethics, conflicts, politics, hidden realities and debates around data and information.

  • How can art, design and technology be used to push the boundaries of information and create points for action?
  • What can traditional practices from different cultures offer to interpretation of contemporary data?
  • Where can art and science meet to activate alternative research?
  • How does one train at a reflective self in relation to the world to be a storyteller who mines diverse data to arrive at deeper truths?

These and more questions serve as a guide map to engaging with and creating within this program. This course is an attempt to explore how to dissolve discipline-based perceptions of data to engage with real life in its nuanced stories allowing for new discourses to emerge.

Community Engagement: Students talk to local community members around the Mati Eco Club and Community garden for a long term engagement in reclaiming the urban wasteland around the neighbourhood. PC: Srivi Kalyan

Traditional boundaries of the narrative are constantly broken in the interfaces of the global and the local, the traditional and the contemporary. Access to information is making the physical boundaries of the world we live in permeable. With multiple screens, constant connectivity, social and mass media has taken on a completely new form. The narrative has become all-pervasive, whether it be complex data that is to be effectively disseminated to diverse audiences, using diverse media, or it be used as a tool for research with communities in flux. The information artists and designers of today and the future have the particular challenge to create for a fragile world where politics, economics and ecosystem are placed at the tipping point of culture, ethics and the tradition of the artisan. Successful Information Artists and Designers have to emerge new gestalts of perceiving and understanding information before they respond through art and design for a human need entwined with the environment.

Reviving traditions and Storytelling: Students learn from Dhaatu Founder Anupama Hoskere about the history and revival of puppetry traditions in a hands-on workshop. PC: Prerna Joshi

From a knowledge-based society, the challenge is to move to a wisdom-based society. To this end, we seek to find ways to seamlessly draw from the essence and spirit of the jester, the bard and the wandering minstrels in our modern guises. In that, the Information Arts and Information Design program is about crafting oneself as a storyteller, a behroopiya, whose stories are crafted through the fine lenses of time and space, cultures and contexts, information, knowledge and the extraction of wisdom. The axis of the course revolves around Self & Contemplation, Context Sensitivity and Leadership.

Livelihoods and Untold Stories: Vikrant Raut works with farmers from Maharashtra to understand their lives and how ideas of organic farming, farm based tourism and new livelihood options can be generated.

Core Values

The implications of design lie not so much in their ability to communicate as in the values that inform their conception. At IAIDP, the purpose of building a narrative and using it for communication is embedded in ethics and empathy, responsibility, deep understanding and an essential rooting of oneself in the environment. At IAIDP our work will be defined and informed by the values of:

Empathetic Telling  - Listening through all the senses and being able to unravel other worldviews with reflection and respect, providing cognitive justice

Ethical Engagement    - Moving away from the paradigm of problem solving to engaged understanding of contexts and communities to provide collaborative platforms for unraveling narratives and actions

Responsible Dissemination - Understanding that dissemination must also be done with sensitivity and care

Embodied Narration – Being able to bring, mind and body into focused practice to be able to move from a frame of Cartesian duality to oneness and build capacity to experience the world in its multiple realities

Interconnected co-existence – Being able to reflect and bring awareness to our presence in the planet with awareness of all life and our relationships with them.

Social Design: Devika Saraogi’s toolkit seeks to uncover gender dynamics within the household and provide collaborative exercises and support for families to engage in gender issues within their own homes.

Course Structure

  • Disciplinary Studies
  • Trans-disciplinary Projects
  • Theory and Understanding Units
  • Practice
  • Self-Directed Inquiry/Research
  • Knowledge Enhancement (Ability or Skills)

Community Based Research: Our students work with a weaver at Khamir, Bhuj to understand livelihoods, craftsmanship and the personal journeys of the weaver.

Reflective & Contemplative Education: Gayatri Chudekar’s user interface and system design for archiving and sharing student projects to enable peer and independent learning.

Learning Approaches

  • We participate in integrated multidisciplinary learning
  • We explore hands on ways of crafting, design and development for traditional and digital platforms
  • We strengthen our learning with critical perspectives and purposefulness
  • We research into communities and contexts using participatory approaches
  • We build multiple modes of expression for engagement in diverse disciplines
  • We use narrative structures and technologies to create communication
  • We look at more embodied approaches to investigate, interpret, engage with and translate narratives.
  • We thrive in lively debates, dialogue, sensitive and ethical questioning on a range of issues
  • We encourage independent and self motivated learning

Finding ways to share the intangible through Participatory Research: Sreya Majumdar works with residents of Mumbai’s informal settlements to enable healthcare accessibility for the urban poor of Mumbai using Art and Design methods.

Social Design: Sonal Choudhury’s work on an awareness campaign to encourage people to understand the world through the eyes of Autistic Children.

Capability Sets

This course will enable students in their:

  • Capability to inform and communicate through narrative
  • Capability to interact and work with communities, contexts and limitations and sensitively negotiate boundaries
  • Capability to transact meaning with audiences and build context-sensitive practices
  • Capability to perceive gestalts, navigate complexity and negotiate intelligences  through transdisciplinary engagement.
  • Capability for leadership as action in art, design and/or technology praxis
  • Capability for responsible creativity that emerges from social, ecological, ethical and learning design
  • Capability to emerge transdisciplinary practice with reflections on interdependence and co-existence
  • Capability to strategically work with emergent systems and chaos

Listen to our students...

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The above mentioned capability sets could lead to opportunities such as:

  • You can work as curators in museums and galleries.
  • You can work with publishing houses, design studios, to create awareness campaigns, environmental films and documentaries.
  • You can design teaching and learning aids that foster environmental sensitivity.
  • You can work at NGOs/ organizations that work with social and ecological concerns.
  • You can continue your art/ design practice, be an entrepreneur or a design consultant with a strong environmental ethic.
  • You can work in zoological parks and aquaria.
  • You can pursue your research and continue to do a PhD.
  • Develop your own projects and apply for grants.
  • Some jobs profiles could be
    Design Strategist, Project Manager – Community Programme Services, Entrepreneur- Visual Designer. Artist. Arts Manager, Design consultant, Educator, Social justice Coordinator, Multicultural program coordinator, Cultural Design Practitioner, Creative Director, Program Manager, Creative and Cultural Researcher, Storyteller, Systems designer/ Consultant, Design Consultant, Educational designer, Eco-artist/ Eco –Designer


For more information about this program, kindly email Srisrividhiya Kalyanasundaram at

Creating new narratives: Hia captures the bond shared among women across generations in multiple cultures in the simple act of braiding.

Ethics of Engagement: Sunaina questions how designers should engage with community and focuses on three key principles – Recognize, Respect, Receive as she engages with a community of bamboo craftspeople from Magadi Village near Bangalore. PC: Sunaina Agarwal.

Disciplinary Intersections

The program is informed by the following learning disciplines:

Research and Collaboration

The program is closely linked with a wide range research and practice spaces:


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