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Our Teaching-Learning Philosophy

The Undergraduate Programme in Communication Design at IIAD has a unique curricular structure and pedagogy, which stems from its ideals to produce rigorous, ethical, and entrepreneurial Communication Designers in India today. The pedagogical principle of the Communication Design programme is based on the belief that learning happens best in a stimulating open-ended environment where students and faculty work as peers on an enquiry. To make this possible, education in the Communication Design programme at the IIAD is based on an Atelier/Studio system. Each atelier has studio-masters amongst whom a broad range of expertise is covered. This philosophy encourages students to learn about the various facets of design, ranging from history, theory and criticism, materiality, user experience and interface, etc. This is administered in an integrative immersive learning environment to remove distinctions between theory and practice.

In addition, students are strongly encouraged to develop their own informed and creative approach, taking into account contemporary research, current industry, communication design practices and future speculations. This is achieved through our teaching philosophy, which focuses on creating awareness of the forces and issues that influence society and industry while meeting the needs of present and future generations.

A wide range of learning and teaching strategies are used in the field. These include:

These strategies aim to help students learn the following:

Foundation Diploma in Design (Year 1)

During this year, students learn about different facets of design to aid their later understanding and work. They work with their peers and faculty to explore different concepts, techniques, and materials which are intimately related to design processes. They are encouraged to acknowledge and build upon their own leanings with respect to design while they prepare themselves for an interpretative, critical and innovative understanding of what it means to design and to be a designer.

Year 2

Students enter the Communication Design programme proper and begin the project-based studio work.

Within these studios, students learn about the principles of visual communication design, conveying ideas, information and messages to meet the needs of local and global societies, thereby rapidly expanding their outlook and perception.

Contextual understanding of the design process is introduced through engagement with practical design projects covering all stages of the design process. These projects explore and test the learning within the studio itself and the integration of what is learnt in supporting and contextual studies. The students also acquire sound communication and presentation skills and the skill to base their work on research and market surveys, both primary and secondary sources as well as from the arts and design industries and interactions with the end user.

During this time, students are also introduced to a range of essential key technical and creative skills / attributes that are developed throughout the Communication Design programme ultimately necessary to demonstrate their professional subject engagement.

Years 3 & 4

Here the students have to complete 4 projects in 2 years.

In year 3, they work on two ateliers (studios). The first atelier specializes on a mode of working where design is produced and executed through individuation, customization, and delivery. In the second atelier, design is approached more from an assemblage point of view, where designers are quasi-curators. Every apprentice/student must complete one project each in these two ateliers, however, they may choose the sequence of the ateliers.

Once the apprentice/student has commenced working on the second atelier, they may choose the third project from either of the above-mentioned ateliers. Therefore, by the time the apprentice/student enters the final semester of the Communication Design programme, they would have completed 2 projects in one atelier and 1 project in the other atelier.

These projects shall be decided upon by the studio-masters and can be of varying scales and nature, so as to facilitate for the apprentices/students an experience of working on different projects. Each apprentice/student will be working not only with their immediate peers, but also with those who have joined the project/s before them.

Subsequent to this, the advance-level apprentice/student has to suitably demonstrate their own ability to take on the role akin to that of a studio-master. As a final project to be carried out, the apprentice /student chooses a particular project and designs their own atelier (similar to a committee) which comprises various studio-masters and peers, whose role now shall be to assist and collaborate with the apprentice. After successful completion of the final project, students shall graduate from the Communication Design programme.

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