From the Dean

From the Dean

Dear parents and students, I welcome you to the ACADES website. This is my third venture as a Dean. I am happy to step into the academic space once again, where I can rejoice being with young and aspiring minds. I understand that whoever is reading this is definitely an aspiring soul, in search of a place that will benefit him or her.

I am reminded of a story when I mention the word search. An old man was searching for something under a street lamp. When a passerby enquired about what he was searching for, the old man said ‘I am looking for a ring.” The passerby asked, “Where did you lose the ring?”. The old man said, “At my home.”. With a bit of shock, the passerby asked, ”Then why are you looking for it here?”.

To this the old man replied, ”Because there is no light in my house, that’s why.” The passerby was dumbstruck.

Though the story is not fully relevant here, some parts of It are. One should be clear about what one wants in a given context. One should be confident in one’s own strengths and not be dependent on recognitions from outside. For example, a painter should first be confident that his work is wonderful, and not be worried about what others have to say about his work. So what are you looking for in a design school? Is it the learning experience and the quality of learning, or is it the degrees and awards?.

People who've been in engineering and come to design say, “I wish I could do engineering once again.” It is because we have been made to believe that there are many questions and only one answer. This is against creativity. Design is the opposite of that. In design, there are many answers to one question. Children are the most creative, because they tend to try and explore. They find joy in doing so, and that is what we at Aram, want to give back. Education system now-a-days, is like a slap on the wrist, for trying to explore and be creative. Present evaluation systems and high number of student intake are majorly responsible for this. Exams and marks are convenient for testing the students. Ease of evaluation is given more importance than learning. Marks are given, instead of feedback, which are of no use. Wanting feedback is in human nature. If I cook something, I ask the person who’s eating, how did I cook this? I want feedback because I want to improve. It shows me where I can improve. A large intake of students leaves no scope for personal evaluation or feedback. During my days at NID, we have had discussions and came to an understanding that a student-teacher ratio of 1:15 is ideal for design learning. Evaluating by understanding more number of students is not humanly possible. If feedback isn't given, the whole point of education, learning and growing is missed out. Education should make you want to learn and admire the subject. It can happen if you explore and find your passion and go ahead with it. You can fail at doing something you don’t want to do. There are more chances of success and growth, if you do something you like. Love for the subject is what makes you grow. In our institution, we will have personal contact with the students. Foundation is a period where you will understand where your real liking is, and we will guide you. It’s a holistic approach. We want to give a generalized education. This education is rare. Inter-disciplinary and cross disciplinary activities are encouraged.

Design is not ‘mugging up’. Design is ‘doing’. Learning by doing and learning by knowing. Knowledge is when we understand the ‘why’ of things. A fact is generally useless. Asking “what” is important, but asking “why” is more important. That is when a fact can be used and we gain knowledge. That is when change and growth happen. If I have an idea in mind, unless I realize it, I cannot evaluate it. Concertizing requires skill. Skill is important to make the idea take shape. There is an interconnection between idea and skill. Learning the skill, by doing, is encouraged in design learning. Understanding what you are working with, gives more ideas to the mind.