What is ISDI-LA?

The Art Design History & Theory (ADHT) program at ISDI-Parsons, Mumbai, is offered to students for the four years of the undergraduate program. During the course of the four years students are introduced to the workings of literature, literary thought, history, ideas, poetry, theatre and philosophy. The program allows for a wider understanding of the arts using examples from literary works through time and across countries.

What is the course about?

The course draws from a wide range of texts from different periods encouraging students to read critically from a broad range of texts, across genres and time; and more importantly analysing these texts in light of their historical and cultural contexts. The course has been structured to follow a journey from city to street, from the real to the imagined, from journeys as an outsider to journeys as an inhabitant, the journey of the body to the journey of the mind.

The students of the Liberal Arts program focus on reading, thinking and making. Through a series of readings the students are introduced to diverse ways of seeing and reading texts, unpacking the complexities within a single narrative, looking at ways in which we choose to tell our stories and explore ideas of philosophy, design and literature.

What are Learning Outcomes?

By the successful completion of this course pair, students will be able to:

  1. Read widely,acquiring knowledge of written texts in most or all periods of literary, philosophical, critical history and thus develop as independent learners and thinkers.
  2. To demonstrate an understanding and reflect on the interconnectedness of a Liberal Arts program and Design.
  3. Demonstrate reflection critical,analytical and comparative skills by engagement with a wide range of texts written in English; acquire knowledge and understanding of the expressive resources of the English language and the ways in which this relates to and impacts on the production of literary texts.
  4. Develop skills in the marshalling and deployment of evidence,and in the oral and written and an exposition of complex ideas through discursive analysis and argument
  5. Engage with art and design as a generator,embodiment and transmitter of cultural ideas. Demonstrate an understanding of value systems as social constructs.
  6. Continue acquiring information literacy through an overview of a variety of sources of online and print research material, including electronic catalogs and indices, books, periodicals, databases, websites, archives, and exhibition materials.
  7. Demonstrate an introductory capacity to collect,analyse,interpretand synthesise information through multiple research methods; discussion, writing, and making processes;
  8. Successfully attribute the use of other’s ideas/images by using Chicago Manual of Style citation, and thus avoid plagiarism.

9. Demonstrate critical reading skills by identifying the central arguments and supporting evidence in various types of texts, such as critical essays and other examples of thesis-driven writing.

What do we do?

Week 1 -3

The Sense of Sight: Now You See Me

Assigned Reading: Selected Essays from Nine Lives by William Dalrymple

To introduce students to the visual language of art through sculpture and painting. A close look at the representation as a study of sight.

Students respond to visual representations in art. Examples drawn from Japanese prints, religious iconography, temple iconography (the temples of the South)

Assignment:
Students maintain a journal that allows them to explore the visual nature of their everyday lives. The journal is used to draw, paint, collage, write their experiences of the visual.

Learning Outcomes Achieved:

Read widely, acquiring knowledge of written texts in most or all periods of literary, philospohical, critical history and thus develop as independent learners and thinkers.

To demonstrate an understanding and reflect on the interconnectedness of a Liberal Arts program and Design.

Week 4 -6

The Sense of Sound: Hear Me Out

To introduce the students to the language of music. How do Ragas, for example, look at creating the visual through the sense of sound

How does sound create the experience? Students look at the ways in which sound create the mood around a horror film, for example.

Assignment:
Students create musical instruments using waste material in groups.

Learning Outcomes Achieved:

Develop skills in the marshalling and deployment of evidence, and in the oral and written and an exposition of complex ideas through discursive analysis and argument

Week 7 –8

The Sense of Smell: The Story of Food

Assigned Reading Pasta the Story of Universal Food – Silvano Serventi

We introduce students to the ideas of food – how foods have traveled across cultures and taken on new meanings at every encounter

A close reading of assigned essays on the story of food. From global to local

Assignment:
Students are given their next project. To create, in groups, a tablueaux of memories of smell and taste

Learning Outcomes Achieved:

Demonstrate critical reading skills by identifying the central arguments and supporting evidence in various types of texts, such as critical essays and other examples of thesis-driven writing.

Week 9 – 10

The Sense of Taste: Like Water For Chocolate

Assigned Reading: Like Water for Chocolate

To introduce students to the ideas of taste and smell through both the written and the visual. Looking at taste and smell as memory and catharsis

Learning Outcomes Achieved:

Demonstrate reflection critical, analytical and comparative skills by engagement with a wide range of texts written in English; acquire knowledge and understanding of the expressive resources of the English language and the ways in which this relates to and impacts on the production of literary texts.

Week 11

Mid Term Assessment

Week 12 – 13

The Feeling of Touch: Seeing

We introduce students to the idea of our relationship with the ideas of the visual imagination. Students look at the works of artists and the use of texture as art.

Close readings of artists such as Vivan Sunderam, Dayanita Singh and others. Gallery visits and responses based on these

Learning Outcomes Achieved:

Engage with art and design as a generator, embodiment and transmitter of cultural ideas. Demonstrate an understanding of value systems as social constructs.

Week 14

Review & Reflection

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