Learning to know and learning to do has distinguished NID's experiment, providing a challenge to its students and faculty to constantly evaluate, adjust and reorient its focus in seeking a greater relevance in the Indian context. This has meant a broad-based training, drawing upon the knowledge base of many related disciplines in aiding the design student develop values and attitudes critical for providing effective service to the real needs of our society. In this pursuit of constantly redefining a designer's role, the Colloquium Paper serves as a vital link in the student's growth through a process of internalisation and articulation.
This volume, the first in a series, hopes to create a platform wherein design concerns and issues as experienced by student designers are expressed. These are shared here to enable a dialogue with other students, professionals and all those interested n the design activity.
NID's professional education programme commenced in the late
60's, laying the foundation of design education in India. A unique
contribution by NID has been the integration of real-life, professional situations within the design curriculum. Learning to know
and learning to do has distinguished NID's experiment, providing
a challenge to students and faculty to constantly evaluate, adjust,
reorient its focus in seeking a greater relevance in the Indian
context. This has meant a broad-based training, drawing upon the
knowledge base of many related disciplines in aiding the design
students develop values and attitudes critical for providing effective service to the real needs of our society. In this pursuit of
constantly redefining a designer's role, the Colloquium Paper
serves as a vital link in the student's growth through a process of
internalisation and articulation.
This volume, containing a selection of Colloquium Papers, is first
in the series to be published. Its immediate aim is to encourage
students of NID to achieve standards of excellence in their academic pursuits. The long term aim is to create a platform wherein
issues and concerns of this young profession as experienced and
viewed by student designers are shared with students of other
professional institutions. It would hopefully, also provide a fresh
viewpoint to professional designers.
The editors have done a herculean task of ploughing through
over 200 papers, evolving subject/theme categories and a selection process. In this task the editors were ably assisted by a group
of volunteers from amongst senior students, members of faculty
and staff. Over many cups of tea and heated discussions, a
selection for the first volume has now been completed. My
colleague, M P Ranjan, the driving force in this endeavour, along
with his team fully deserve our appreciation and sustained
The word 'Colloquium' suggests a discussion, a dialogue. From
NID's early days, students were encouraged to discuss and express their ideas, freely and openly. This idea was extended to the
Colloquium Paper which it was felt would "provide the student
with an opportunity to assess, evaluate and finally articulate as
designer, his or her own role in society". The guidelines for writing
the paper have made it clear from the beginning that the purpose
of the Colloquium Paper is to "articulate one's thoughts and
experience". The articulation is of one's own thinking process and
what has influenced one to think in a particular way. Each student
is required to submit a Colloquium Paper before being permitted
to undertake the Diploma Project.
Written examinations are routinely conducted in conventional
educational institutions, but at NID evaluation is through regular
assessments of their tangible work by the faculty offering the
course and by juries consisting of several faculty members at the
end of each semester. Students learn by doing, rather than by rote.
However in this process of creating and making things, written
communication often takes a back seat. Reading and writing are
therefore emphasised at every opportunity and it is through the
Institute's Science and Liberal Arts programme, previously called
the General Studies Programme, that they are exposed to numerous subjects apart from those in the curriculum directly related to
design. These courses require written submission from students. It
is not surprising therefore that these Colloquium Papers reflect the
students' wide-ranging interests, their analytical minds, and,
above all, their sensitive interest in the world around them.
In recent years, the Colloquium Paper has been upgraded to
introduce an element of critical reflection. It has now become a
mini-thesis or dissertation of undeniable importance, consisting of
about 3000 to 5000 words. Also emphasized is the importance of
originality and proper presentation based on formal research and
consultation with faculty in and outside NID.
Over the years, the guidelines for Colloquium Papers have
evolved through the participation of numerous faculty and others from outside. It would be appropriate to name some of the
major contributors in the first volume of published papers. The
early contributors, who encouraged and assisted the development
of General Studies at the Institute, included Prof. H K Vyas, Dr.
Leela Shah, Gautam Sarabhai and Prof. Christopher Conford.
Coordinators of the Science and Liberal Arts Programme - Dr.
Glendola Shanthappa, Prof. S. Sethuraman, Prof. N V K Murthy,
Sunita Vasudeva, Vinai Kumar and now Sudhanva Deshpande
have all left their indelible mark. We acknowledge Dr. Glendola
Shanthappa's pioneering work in formalising the writing of these
papers and for collecting a large number in the Resource Centre,
which has made this volume possible.
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