Indian Institute Of Arts & Design: Transforming How Design is Taught, Learned & Practiced in India

Dr. Jitin Chadha,  FounderDesign Education Programmes promote the concept of education as a lifelong creative practice. The Indian Institute of Art and Design (IIAD), an independent design school in New Delhi, was established in 2015 with the goal of bringing creative design education to India. Its collaboration with Kingston School of Art in London provides IIAD students with a world-class education and a globally recognised degree. Dr. Jitin Chadha founded IIAD with the mission of bridging gaps and building bridges between industry and academia by transforming how design is taught, learned, and practised in India.

Through its tailor-made, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in design, fashion and business, IIAD has created a revolutionary learning space that nurtures explorers, experimenters and innovators with a global outlook through a design programme emerging from India. IIAD has been awarded 'Excellence in Design Education' by Economic Times in 2021, 'Best Communication Design in India' by AsiaToday in 2021 and 'Design College of the Year'by SiliconIndia in 2020.

The project based learning methodology at IIAD, as well as shared studio experiences, industrylinked projects and internships create a synergistic environment for immersive learning. The 85,000 sq ft. campus is custom built to suit the pedagogical practices and curriculum at IIAD, and includes a Material Workshop, Garment Construction Lab, Photography Lab, Mac Labs, and Studio Spaces. The Career Services Division (CSD) at IIAD has placed 91 percent of the students in well-known companies such as IBM, Gartner, E& Y, Cognizant, Yatra, Fab India, House Of Masaba, Incubis, Design Plus Architects, Studio Lotus, H& M Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail and Burberry to name a few.

Offering a Spectrum of Degree Programmes
IIAD offers programmes in Communication Design, Interior Architecture & Design, Fashion Design, Fashion Communication, and Fashion Business Management, and students have the option to transfer to universities abroad to complete their studies thanks to their collaboration with Kingston University. The school offers faculty and students the opportunity to participate in industry forums, academic research, conferences, paper presentations and consultancy projects through strong alliances with leading institutions, associations, and industry forums such as FDCI, IFFTI, ADI, CII, and others.

The undergraduate design Programme starts with a 1-year foundation followed by three years in the chosen field to complete the Bachelor's Degree in Communication Design, Interior Architecture & Design, Fashion
Design and Fashion Communication. On the other hand, the undergraduate business programme is of three years duration leading to a Bachelor's Degree in Fashion Business Management. The postgraduate programme in Fashion Business Management is a two year course.

"A few key challenges that students face as they embark on their creative journey with IIAD is to unlearn the traditional methods of linear knowledge imparted at schools to the open ended, exploratory and experimental design environment at IIAD. Hence the journey of all undergraduate design students at IIAD begins with one year of Foundation, a bridging programme, aiding the transition from school to unschool", says Prof. Usha Patel, Director Academics, IIAD.

Redesigning the Creativity Path
The teaching pedagogy at IIAD is designed with strong conceptual and collaborative skills by encouraging students to bring in their own unique stories to shape their individual paths. Project based learnings, industry practitioners, live projects and onsite internships shape students into competent design professionals with leadership qualities to take on the challenges of our fast changing world.

The teaching pedagogy at IIAD is designed with strong conceptual & collaborative skills by encouraging students to bring in their own unique stories to shape their individual paths

IIAD provides a dynamic studio based environment that is both professional and practical, fluid and innovative. The project based learning and `thinking through making' approach builds graduates to be industry ready with a professional outlook. The faculty members are experienced educators and practitioners with strong industry affiliations. They bring their research and expertise to impact students' learning, both inside and outside the studio. IIAD brings Industry to the classroom to create an integrated experience filled with live projects. Internships of 8 and 16 weeks embedded within the course curriculum provide a wholesome 24 weeks of industry experience. This adds professional experience to the portfolio and ensures that students graduate not just with a degree but also with an impressive resume.

Masterclasses are conducted throughout the year where industry experts interact with the students sharing their experiences and industry practices. Some examples of the masterclasses conducted in 2022 are by Chandita Mukherjee (Documentary Filmmaker)on Fields of Vision, Shujoy Chakraborty (Ph.D, Design Degree Course Director - University of Madeira Students' Union) on Future Design, Nova Lorraine, MSc (Award-winning Fashion Designer) on Fashion and Metaverse, Dadi Pudumjee (Padma Shree awardee) on Art of Puppetry, Yogeshwar Sharma (CEO & Executive Director - Select City Walk) on Retail Management, Divya Mohan (Account Manager - South Asia WGSN) on An insight into Fashion Forecasting to name a few.

Over the years the IIAD alumni, a rapidly growing community of new age designers, have made their mark in all disciplines of design whether it is Interior Architecture, UX design, Design Research, Game Design, Fashion Design, Independent Design Studios and many more. IIAD alumni have become an integral part of the design industry contributing vastly to its growth and the future of design.

Talking about the next steps in the journey of IIAD, Dr.Jitin Chadha, Founder and CEO, IIAD, shared, "IIAD is planning to expand its offerings by setting up a new campus in the Delhi NCR region to cater to the increasing demand for quality Design Education".