The Master of Design Degree programme at School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal offers a unique opportunity for learners to collaborate with the disciplines of Art, Architecture, Planning, Social Sciences and Technology with positioning themselves in the mutating field of Design. The programme is intended towards innovative and sustainable design explorations for complex scenarios of production and consumption.
It offers an opportunity to relook at the postgraduate design education framework and provide a pragmatic platform for learners to pursue the discipline of Design from a user-centric systemic approach.
The Master of Design programme in design at School of Architecture and Planning, Bhopal offers user-centred design learning approach through various possible streams of design. In this approach, opportunities will be provided to explore and understand complex socio-cultural-environmental problems and design products and process that respond to core elements for the well-being of individual and societies, like economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.
Design in the present society is a complex process and is no more just limited to the design of everyday objects. It is consistently breaking the boundaries of theoretical domains and combining different approaches to knowledge cultures to promote interdisciplinary studies, techniques and practices. In this perspective, subjects from different disciplines are structured along four semesters of this design programme with a part to the whole approach, where object-oriented design learning will come at the initial stages, and system-oriented design learning will come at the later stages. In this way, students can understand the essence of objects within a system and their relationships with others.
Structure of the Programme
The Master of Design Degree programme is offered for a duration of two years and consisting of four academic semesters with six to eight weeks of compulsory Industry internship between two years at School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal.
The interdisciplinary approach can be observed as one can progress semester wise. In every semester, subjects are distributed based on knowledge (art and science) domain, design domain and skill domain. The subjects offered in this curriculum are broadly from the field of Product Design and Visual Communication Design. They are divided into three categories across four semesters i) Compulsory Core subjects, ii) Specialization subjects and iii) Common Electives subjects.
i. Compulsory Core subjects, cover the common and necessary areas of all the design streams and approaches. Their credits must be earned by all the students to obtain the degree.
ii. Specialization subjects, are divided into two streams: Product Design and Visual Communication Design. Students have to earn all the credits from the subjects offered in any of one the two sets of subjects. The specialisation group will allow the learner to explore the subjectivity as the subjects help students to gain knowledge about the specific design streams in early semesters.
iii. Common Elective subjects, are the ones, where students have the option to choose any two/three/four subjects from the pool offered covering a wide area of interest and contemporary needs. Common elective subjects are flexible in nature and offers a bridge between the emerging needs and learner’s own limitations. Experts will be regularly invited to offer new common elective subjects as per availability under the scope of ‘Open Subjects’.
Further, in every semester students will work on a self-initiated design project guided by mentors based on the acquired knowledge until that stage. This design project will run parallel with the other subjects. The experience gathered from various design subjects will enrich student’s understanding of the design process, tools and techniques to work on the design project in every semester.
In the first semester, the core subjects are intended to provide an understanding of the scope and spread of design through its presence in scientific and historical paradigms. With further sharpening the basic knowledge and skills of design, the specialisation groups offer a thread of subjectivity to be pursued. Perception and visualization techniques of objects and human activities are to be pursued along through electives. The project, in this semester, will be evolved around these basic understanding of design subjects.
In the second semester, after revisiting and exploring the base, the learners will be exposed to subjects which deal with creativity, technicality and advancement of design domain. The subjects are evolved based on various aspects of human life, like, cognition, anthropometry, consumer culture, daily life activities, user experience and thinking etc. Different types of research methods to observe and understand user patterns are facilitated in this semester. A total process from understanding the user to design brief, ideation, conceptualization and detailing of design deliverables are done in the project, in this semester.
In the third semester, the idea is to collect all the knowledge, those were acquired in the previous two semesters, and to counter the complex nature of problem spaces at a macro and micro levels interlinked to one another at different levels and create solutions at every stratum of the problem space. In this semester, the approach of learning is more combined in nature, so that students can do the assignments in collaboration with each other to understand and realize the role of various types of stakeholders in the creation of solutions.
The fourth semester is mostly dedicated to self-initiated design project or taking the third-semester project to an advanced level. Comparatively, higher credits are allotted to this project and students are expected to showcase equivalent rigour and details in the design deliverables.
The performance of the students in every subject is evaluated either in the form of seminar, jury or written format. Every subject carries credit system, and the number of credits may vary from subject to subject according to the content and methodological approach of dealing that particular subject.
In each semester the student needs to earn a minimum of 26 credits and s/he can achieve a maximum of 30 credits through a combination of courses. Overall, a learner needs to earn a total of 104 credits to obtain the degree of Master of Design.
The project credits gradually increase every semester to restress the focus on the need to accommodate students’ choices. The complexity of the project will increase with the advancement of the semester. Each credit has an engagement of 15 periods or 12.5 hours. Hence, a week-long course would cover two credits through 30 periods of teaching-learning.