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Student Experience at the Undergraduate Professional Program

Picture Credits: Srishti Institute, Ajith Samuel

Rising sun. The cool Bengaluru breeze in the morning wafting across the southern deccan plateau. Nandi hills looms invitingly on the horizon through the mist. Coffee “by-two” at the local kade or at the Paying Guest Kitchen. Quick breakfast, and then off for a cross country run in the undulating rocky scrub jungle landscape. You even get an academic credit for it.

Shower. Shampoo. Smile. Casual but smart and appropriate dressing. Forgot classroom and campus! Check mail to figure out which class. Walk or cycle down to one of the six campus buildings. Show student card to security – again! The foundation (first year) students waiting with their bags to board their bus. “Off for our environment exposure field trip to the Western Ghats!” The world is the classroom. People are libraries. The city, a place or a site which becomes the studio (the place) and the text (the content) for learning. The ‘campus’ is permeable, porous - providing for an immersive learning environments.

Explore. Observe. Analyse. Reflect.

Oh Yes, completed the review about an article that talks about bad design. Wonder what this diverse set of classmates will be up to today – aspiring product designers, graphic designers, contemporary artists, media artists all taking the same unit. A faculty with a law background today, and tomorrow a master class by a calligraphy expert. An interdisciplinary experience.

Material exploration or conceptual thinking? Pattern language, layout and composition, natural fibers, typographic hierarchy, creative coding. Collective brainstorming. Group activities. Interdisciplinary design. Class discussion – is the idea of the author as hero dead?

Back to making. Thumbnail sketches. Story boarding. Aaarghh! Can’t draw. It’s OK, change your perspective. Look upon it as ‘thinking with a pencil...’ ah!? Unlock. Unlearn.

Studios and workshops keep the head and hands busy. Hack, Make, Build, Fail. They are hands on and it’s amazing how much of learning comes from ideas and ways of thinking and doing by peers. General studies gives a wide exposure to politics, history, cultural studies, art history, ecology and much more. Majors and minors. Every student with a unique timetable. There is voice and choice here. Time to discover your true calling.

Imagine. Envision. Explore. Express. Stretch. Studio habits of the mind.

Hungry. Lunch box delivered by the PG or Rajma Rice at “Taste of India” in Yelahanka?

Afternoon. Heading to the bus to go to Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports and Excellence.  Bus journey…a break from all the making, thinking and conceptualizing. Earphones on. Badminton or Squash. An hour of field sports. Exhausted. Back to PG – a spectrum of work, fun, conversations, sleeping, washing, play and bonding. Next Semester, should choose a language class – French or Kannada.

Twenty first century literacy and sensibility. Use public transport. Taking the G9 bus to town. Need to catch that documentary film festival on ‘Water’ in the city by evening.

Picture Credits: Srishti Institute, Ajith Samuel