Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology: Veteran in Building Vibrant Communities of Practice
Srishti Manipal Institute of Art | Design and Technology

Edevelopment facilities, impressive infrastructure, constant focus on the development of

the students – these are some of the factors that make a college a worthy contender for the moniker of ‘College of the Year’.

An institute which has stepped up to everyone’s expectations in terms of achieving brilliance in education is Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology. Established in 1996, it welcomes aspiring creative practitioners to break old boundaries and create new possibilities.

Using art, design and technology as a pivot, learners enter multi-disciplinary worlds and engage with the most critical and important social and environmental challenges of our times. Srishti Manipal Institute (previously Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology) provides creative freedom to the students so that they can craft their own identity and realize their true potential.

In a world increasingly driven by the impact of climate change, the pandemic and the sixth largest mass extinction, the institute’s key focus is to bring art and design education to

challenge the status quo and to reinterpret and reimagine the world we live in. To meet this challenging vision, it upholds the mantra – “To build creative competencies ahead of the curve” so that the world outside also becomes the classroom.

Passion, enchantment and a wild love for the world – these are the special ingredients of planning courses, expeditions, projects and research inquiries at Srishti Manipal Institute through all its programs – UG, PG, Integrated Ph.D. and Ph.D.

Meet the Team

The institute marches ahead towards attaining better academic and career development outcomes under the focused leadership of personalities such as Dr. Srivi Kalyan, Dr. Gururaja KV, Rustam Vania and Sanjay Barnela.

 Dr. Srivi is an artist, designer, educator, writer and researcher. She works at the fluid and exciting intersection of arts, media, education, design, environment and self-reflection. An award-winning writer and illustrator, she is one of the Deans of the interdisciplinary Practices of Law, Environment and Planning at Srishti Manipal Institute.

She has conceptualized and heads the B.Des and M.Des programs in Information Arts and Information Design Practices, The M.Des Program in Earth Education and Communication and the five-year Integrated doctoral program in Reimagining Transitions.

Dr. Gururaja is an Associate Academic Dean for the Undergraduate Professional Programme, Year 2. He heads the MA in Environment and Society as well as Odde Research Center along with Dr. Deepta Sateesh. He is an amphibian ecologist, works on the theories of complexity and soundscape ecology in understanding human induced as well as climate change impacts. He is credited with describing three novel breeding behaviours in amphibians, 21 new species of frogs and two new fish species from the Western Ghats. He is awarded with State Biodiversity Award for Excellence, Govt. of Karnataka State, India in 2016 and the Geospatial Excellence Award for the Frog Find Android App developed in 2014.

Mr. Rustam Vania besides being an Academic Dean for undergraduate students at Srishti Manipal Institute, is also engaged with projects that produce popular science and environment education material. He brings his experience of working as an information and communication designer for agencies involved in environment and development issues including UNDP, IUCN, Centre for Science and Environment and Down To Earth Magazine.

Mr. Sanjay is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with over four decades of experience in chronicling stories of people, livelihoods and landscapes. His camera has brought up close to audiences the lives of camel herders in Kutchh, hunter-gatherers in Nagaland and herb collectors in the Himalayas.

Enhancing Learning with Immersive Projects

Srishti Manipal Institute offers a plethora of live projects to the students, which broaden their knowledge horizon and scope of learning. Some of the various projects include trekking up snowcapped mountains to understand the elusive snow leopard, walking through the rainforests to discover frogs, talking to and spending time with tribal communities, reimagining technology that will support climate change adaptation and much more. The institute also offers options of studying human-animal conflict zones, crafting new products, programs, systems, bringing in the power of theatre, creating urban gardens, working with natural materials, creating new economies and so on.

Noteworthy Projects Conducted

Srishti Manipal Institute has successfully carried out many prominent projects which have earned applauds and appreciation. These projects have also enhanced the learning of the students, while preparing them for the challenges of the real world.

A team of interdisciplinary students led by Sanjay Barnela and Rustam Vania, are presently engaged in creating popular multimedia communication for the ‘SECURE Himalaya’ project. The aim is to unpack a landscape-based conservation approach to local communities and government departments in the trans-Himalayan snow leopard habitats of Himachal Pradesh.

In one of its projects, ‘Becoming River, Wing, Tree, Tail’ led by Dr. Srivi Kalyan, students delved into ecological consciousness asking deeply reflective questions about their own relationship with nature. Along with Dr. Gururaja, photographer Mahesh Bhat and artist Neeraja Durga, the students explored sites in Bengaluru, Assam and Meghalaya, learning from tribes and experiencing shifts in their own body, mind and consciousness.

Dr. Gururaja with game designer Murali Krishna Menon led a project on ‘Conserving the lesser known’ in which the aspiring practitioners brought new dimensions of engagement and learning about non-charismatic and lesser-known species like ants, spiders, microscopic diatoms, house geckos and root fungi. They worked on indigenous knowledge systems, tribal rights, and conservation through game designs, infographics, animation and illustrated story books.

At the master’s level, students have worked with Srivi and Guru, exploring the western ghats, working with frogs, understanding diverse terrains, conservation challenges, issues of displacement, conflicts at corridors and many other issues.

Focused on Conserving the Environment

Srishti Manipal Institute strongly emphasizes on training and making students aware about the threats the environment is facing, while preparing them to protect the environment. Its undergraduate programs offer courses and projects in environmental contexts that range from conservation communication and education to environmental art, new product design, sustainability and ecological consciousness.

At the postgraduate level, several programs specifically focus on environmental issues through the lens of art and design. This article focuses explicitly on three programs: the M.Des program in Earth Education and communication, the MA Program in Environment and Society and the 5-Year Integrated PhD program in Reimagining Transitions.

The M.Des in Earth Education and Communication program encourages students to get inspired by the relationships they personally form with the natural world as a complex system of interdependence and co-existence. The institute critically pays attention to ‘being human’ and whether we can achieve a symbiotic relationship with the evolving natural world around us.

The MA in Environment and Society is a practice-based research program that is oriented towards engaging, imagining, conceiving and designing for healthy societies and ecosystems that are inclusive, responsive, adaptive and sustainable. The program embraces multiple worldviews by creatively and critically examining the interrelationships between species, humans and their environment.

The five year Integrated Postgraduate Doctoral program in Reimagining Transitions pays attention to what transition means at a time of ecological, social, economic and cultural crises. Students probe into how we reimagine a world that is rediscovering itself in its tumultuous, dynamic and powerful present through transdisciplinary creative practices and research.

Research centres and labs at Srishti Manipal Institute

Srishti Films, Odde, Lila, Lens Lab, The UNESCO Chair and Design Earth are some centres/labs that provide varied live projects across a range of environmental contexts.

Srishti Films headed by Sanjay Barnela trains students in the technique of non-fiction filmmaking, exposing them to various genres of documentary storytelling in an age where the documentary practice is changing rapidly. The institute exposes students to the contemporary debates and issues in environment and development, broadening their horizon beyond fiction and empowering them with additional skills besides the nuts-and-bolts skills of the camera, sound and editing, nurturing students into excellent filmmakers.

 Lila- the atelier headed by Srivi, is a new studio space for research that will be focusing on art practice, aesthetics, Indian thought traditions and ecological consciousness, creating new directions for research for masters and doctoral students.

The institute intends to see more and more young people coming together to create work that rejuvenates and replenishes the world with resilience and creativity. “The future, we believe, lies in the NOW, and the journey to the future starts HERE,” expresses the management.

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