“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
Olivia Chakraborty describes her research and design of a craft gallery as a part of her studio project. Credits: Divyarajsinh Rana.
The Information Arts and Information Design Practices (IAIDP) program blends art and design, focusing on a transdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches to this information age. We go beyond information communication to challenging, repositioning, and reframing information through the personal, cultural, contextual, and creative frames. We see design as a frame embedded in the acts of deep learning, meaning making, and reflective engagement with life to as the fundamental question - what does it take to be human?
In this light our program, locates successful Information Artists and Designers as those who can emerge new gestalts of perceiving and understanding information before they respond through art and design for a human need entwined with the environment. They also need to bring vision and leadership in their perception and attitude to information art and design. At its core, the program deepens storytelling and pushes our imagination to create narratives that matter.
The program emphasizes self-reflection and deep engagement with society, the environment, and oneself, viewing design as an immersive, visionary, and relationship-building process. By integrating arts and philosophy, IAIDP expands the field of design, addressing complex inquiries and reimagining the role of art and design in shaping our world. IAIDP encourages immersive experiences, artistic inquiry, self-reflection, leadership, environmental stewardship and worldmaking, positioning itself as an inquiry-based program at the intersection of art and design.
Our inquiries are located in the following questions.
- 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.
Workshop: Photography in Context - Exhibition of student works with more than 300 photographs contextualized on narrative exercises, color, and context. Workshop Faculty and Picture Credit: Dr Dyutiman Mukhopadhyay
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.
Field Visit to Indian Music Experience Museum towards developing ideas for an exhibition and information design on crafts. 2022. Photo credits: Divyarajsinh Rana.
Ojasvi Harish works with poetry and painting alongside Indian Rasa theory to look at ways of reconnecting with nature.
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.
Students explore Mekedatu Gorge in the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary to engage with the complex interdependence in riverine landscapes. Credits: Srivi Kalyan
Inspired by the challenges to ecosystems when dams are constructed, Shubham Shrivastava rethinks and reframes Civil Engineering curricula as part of his capstone project.
Sakshita works with calligraphy and text as a mode for expressing information in subtle and diverse ways in her final capstone project.
Learning in at the postgraduate level is driven by published lines of inquiries that is enacted through studio-based learning, workshops, theoretical reflections and field work. This approach cultivates a creative practice through engagement in diverse contexts, collaborative and participatory approaches leading to knowledge development.
Program learning approaches includes:
- Participation in integrated multidisciplinary learning
- Exploration of hands on ways of crafting, design and development for traditional and digital platforms
- Strengthening our learning with critical perspectives and purposefulness
- Research into communities and contexts using participatory approaches
- Building multiple modes of expression for engagement in diverse disciplines
- Use of narrative structures and technologies to create communication
- Embodied approaches to investigate, interpret, engage with and translate narratives
- Lively debates, dialogue, sensitive and ethical questioning on a range of issues
- Independent and self-motivated learning
Shubham Shrivatsava maps the stakeholders that hold power in governance in a studio on Leadership.
This course will enable students in their capability:
- to inform and communicate through narrative
- to interact and work with communities, contexts and limitations and sensitively negotiate boundaries
- to transact meaning with audiences and build context-sensitive practices
- to perceive gestalts, navigate complexity and negotiate intelligences through transdisciplinary engagement.
- for leadership as action in art, design and/or technology praxis
- for responsible creativity that emerges from social, ecological, ethical and learning design
- to emerge transdisciplinary practice with reflections on interdependence and co-existence
- to strategically work with emergent systems and chaos
The above mentioned capability sets could lead to opportunities such as:
- Employment in Design Studios, Advertising Agencies and the Publishing Industry
- Employment in New Media and Software industry
- Employment in Media and Television Industry
- Employment in startups, small and medium enterprises, NGOs, social and educational enterprises.
- You can become a contemporary art practitioner, entrepreneur, design consultant
- You can have an active involvement in emerging domains such as digital arts and new technology, storytelling in new formats.
- 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
The program is informed by the following learning disciplines:
Contemporary Art Practices
Experimental Media Arts
Game Art, Design and Development
Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Human Centered Design
Visual Communication Design
Aesthetics and Critical Studies
Heritage and Conservation
Research and Collaboration
The program is closely linked with a wide range research and practice spaces:
Centre for Reimagining Transitions (CRT)
Center for Education, Research, Training, and Development (CERTAD)
Center for Public History (CPH)
Information Arts and Information Design Practices is an exploration on how to present and communicate complex information in a meaningful manner to support discovery and communicate information across a range of socially relevant issues. IAIDP as a course allows students to grapple with diverse media and data that range from the artistic, informative to the technological; to find their own forms for communication and curating experiences. The core of this field lies in perception and interpretation of information in order to communicate. Communication can be personal, artistic and creative, it can also move into the space of a designer and expand into social communication and advocacy. Contemporary, exploratory and evocative, IAIDP offers space for crafting creativity and communication for a new era in human history.
People in this field are cross pollinators. They can seamlessly walk through media, arts and design. Driven by a desire to connect and evoke, they are willing explorers of simple and complex contexts alike. From environmental issues to human rights, from civic media to sonic art, from puppetry to web-design, their breadth and range of work are varied and experimental. They take communication to a new level in their ability to work across diverse fields through varied visualizations and technical explorations.
By opting for this course, students can evolve highly independent practice; ideate with far-reaching insights in whatever positions they choose to work in. From advertising to social communication, creative arts and design to technology based fields, graduates of this program have a wide and diverse playground to explore and find their niche.
Anyone who is willing to embrace diverse kinds of media, willing to engage with communities, analyze, evaluate and deepen their practice with relevant to contexts can become an IAIDP practitioner. If you are someone who is not completely satisfied with the idea of being an artist or a designer but feel that you want to bridge these two worlds, this could be very relevant course for you. Further if you are someone who is excited by technology and want to be at the cutting edge of contemporary approaches to art and communication, this course could help you build your practice.
At Srishti Manipal, we particularly focus on issues, contexts and communities that have social and environmental relevance. If you are someone who is looking to make a difference in these areas and have a strong passion to tackle wicked problems, this would be a good fit for you.
An IAIDP practitioner would benefit from the natural curiosity to explore different media and modes of representation. These could range from drawing and painting media to performing arts, technology and softwares, writing and graphic design. An IAIDP practitioner essentially plays with diverse forms of representation to create new ways to engage people. Their strength lies in this diversity. Storytelling is an essential skill that cuts across all the diversity in this program and becomes the core essence of communication. A willingness to traverse from science to arts, philosophy to literature are attitudes that will hold the IAIDP practitioner in good stead.
Leadership, Context-sensitivity and Self-Reflexivity form the axis of the course. Communication, interpretation of information, engaging with the politics of information and pushing the boundaries of how information is gathered, interpreted and communicated using diverse media, formats and methods is the essential focus of the course. We work with art, design and technology to deal with wicked problems, contexts, issues and communities on social, educational, environmental, economic and political issues.
Students graduating from the program will be able to:
1. Will be able to work with Information and Cultural Leadership
2. Will be able to work with systems thinking and strategy in diverse contexts and with appropriate media decisions
3. Will be a decision maker and a catalyst in social and environmental change
4. Will be able to build meaningful narratives that emerge from participatory, collaborative approaches and engagement with communities, and other life forms
5. Will be able to provide direction and design interventions by understanding systems and programmatic requirements
6. Will be able to bring integrity, ethics, empathy and compassion to social design and action
7. Will understand leadership from the frames of
a. Taking Initiative
b. Being Involved
c. Being inspired and providing inspiration
8. Will be able to begin emerging a position/ stance as an information thinker and practitioner from a perspective of emotional, cultural, ecological and business intelligence as a cohesive whole.