Master of Design Program in IIT, Kanpur in collaboration with Media Lab Asia.
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) in collaboration with Media Lab Asia has initiated a new program called the Master of Design (MDes).The inspiration is drawn from the fact that in Media Lab in MIT,USA continuing redefining of imparting education through various new and non conventional methodologies in tandem with new technology is taking place. It was felt that IIT, Kanpur in collaboration with Media Lab Asia could also do some research along the same line. To move in the direction of setting up a good design program in graduate level, a group of three faculty members completed a successful tour of design schools in Italy, Netherlands, France, USA and Japan.This team visited 12 schools and have studied in details the design and media education programs. Based on their experience and reports made by them to the Director, Prof.S.G.Dhande,IIT Kanpur a subsequent meeting took place with faculty members and peoples from Media Lab Asia to discuss the different issues related to the program in IIT,Kanpur. It was decided that there would be four components to the M.Des program These four areas are -
Also one institution in Bangalore, working in the areas of design, Srishti was involved in the discussion with a view to know their experience as an Indian institution working towards the design aspect but not as a degree providing institute.
Given below is an outline of the overarching goals for the MDes course titled "Communication for Change"
Whereas traditional methods of communication have tended to deliver "designed" messages from "the experts" to the "objects of change" in a hierarchical manner, communication for social change prefers to see the receivers of communication as agents not the objects of change - full partners in a horizontal development process. This approach attempts to energize and actively involve people and communities in creating long-term, sustainable, positive change. In shifting the balance of power, the goal is to give voice to the historically voiceless and marginalized communities and to cultivate an atmosphere in which people have the confidence to own both the process and content of communication.
It was felt that just allowing communication practitioners to collate and montage information through a variety of new and old media technologies would not enable stake-holders to know what they should do, think or act. If information were to translate itself into knowledge and understanding then it needed an experimental dimension to it-one where the flexible use of that understanding was made possible by deliberate design.
The issue selected was embedded within a model for the development of curricula themes around the generative topic of Communication for change.
Within the above framework of reference a continuing professional development workshops conducted successfully in Bangalore for evolving the details of M. Des. Program. These workshops were conducted in collaboration with Srishti.
Goals of the workshop
About 150 persons have been trained. These persons have been trained in ICT based design methodology. The high quality of these programs have been appreciated by all. The proposed program of M. Des. which has been adopted by IIT Kanpur and Media Lab Asia is based on the tour report of this team as well as the workshop reports.
Master of Design (MDes) Program offered at IIT Kanpur
Specializations: Product Design, Visual
Course Started in the month of August 2002 and first intake of ten students were inducted through GATE and subsequent interview process.
The duration of the course is 24 months along in the line of other graduate program.
Other institutions all around India are in close touch with this program. A national committee consists of eminent design professional and faculties have been formed in the institute to monitor the progress of the program.
It is hoped the successful completion of the first batch of design students would spread this type of program in other institutions in the country.