Design Elective – June 2018

Semester V & IX

Elective -1
Faculty Name Prof. Prashant Desai

The main thrust of the workshop will be “IMAGE AND MEANING IN FILMS”
As film-buffs we passionately love and fiercely criticize the movies we watch. What we don’t realize is that our taste in cinema is also limited by our understanding of it. A classical music concert is more enjoyable if you understand the nuances of the genre; a game of cricket is more fulfilling if one can read the field set-up and predict the next delivery.
Just as a psychologist’s reading of the human mind, or a chess-player’s strategy in competition are all acquired skills, so is the understanding and appreciation of films. In this four-day workshop, we will break down the language of cinema in a manner that is understandable to even the most unaware.
What are the different aspects of cinema that come together to form one movie? What are the different components that make cinema such a unique art form? WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THIS MEDIUM? WHAT KINDS OF POWERS THIS MEDIUM WEILDS?

Workshop Content:
- Film Language: Key Concepts
Semiotics in Cinema, Signs and Symbols
In addition we may also talk about why and how do movies affect us? How is a film different from other media like novels or plays?
Understanding how film affects our experience of seeing: How do films modify our sense of space?
Understanding how film affects our perception of time and space: How are time and space manipulated in Cinema?
As part of the workshop we will view and analyze in detail some short films (including animation films and documentaries) and at least one feature film.
Prof. Prashant Desai (Anchor Faculty) graduated from the Film & television Institute of India (FTII), Pune in Cinema with specialization in Cinematography in 1982. Since then he has worked in the industry in various capacities in Cinematography, screenplay writing, Production and Direction. He has taught at FTII, Pune and NID, Ahmedabad. He was the HOD (Film & Video) at MIT Institute of Design, Pune and Xavier Institute of Communication, Mumbai. He teaches at SNDT, Mumbai, regularly since 1996. He has also taught at FLAME and MRID (Maharaja Ranjit Singh Gaekwad Institute of Design, Baroda) His Filmmaking workshops are highly appreciated by the participants. He is also a partner at Living Bridge.

Elective -2
Topic :- Data, Diagrams and Fluid Thinking
Faculty Name : Akshay Anand

Diagrams or pictures probably rank among the oldest forms of human communication. They are not only used for representation but can also be used to carry out certain types of reasoning. However, sentential representation systems (e.g., first-order logic) have been dominant in the modern history of logic, while diagrams have largely been seen as only of marginal interest. Diagrams are usually adopted as a heuristic tool in exploring a proof, but not as part of a proof. It is a quite recent movement among philosophers, logicians, cognitive scientists and computer scientists to focus on different types of representation systems, and much research has been focussed on diagrammatic representation systems in particular.

Diagrams have inspired researchers who have recently drawn our attention to multi-modal representation. Logicians who participate in the project have explored the subject in two distinct ways. First, their interest has focused exclusively on externally-drawn representation systems, as opposed to internal mental representations. Second, their aim has been to establish the logical status of a system, rather than to explain its heuristic power, by testing the correctness and the expressive power of selective representation systems.

This electives outlines the overall directions of this research area and focuses on the logical status of diagrams in proofs, their representational function and adequacy, different kinds of diagrammatic systems, and the role of diagrams in human cognition.

Do our mental representations have diagram-like or picture-like entities as components? This question has a long history both in philosophy and in psychology, independently of each other. More recently, however, some philosophers have participated in this “imagery debate”, one of the most time-honoured controversies in psychology, and some cognitive psychologists find certain epistemological theories in philosophy useful to support their views on the issue.

The nature of mental representation has been one of the perennial topics which we can easily trace back discussions on images and mental representation to ancient times. Concerns with mental discourse, the meaning of words, mental images, particular ideas, abstract ideas, impressions, and so on. Descartes’ well-known distinction between imagining and conceiving something has generated much discussion about the unique role of visual images in mental representations. The development of cognitive science in the 20th century naturally has brought certain group of philosophers and psychologists closer and we find a number of authors whose works easily belong to both disciplines.
Little attention has been given to diagrammatic representations and that focus on a notion of “structural representation” more akin to diagrammatic representation can help to explicate the nature of representation itself.
Akshay Anand graduated in architecture, and is an IPSA alumnus, post-graduate in Geo Spatial Science from CEPT University and Urban Planning from ITC, The Netherlands.
My key area of interest are in spatial science and research, my body of work involves working with various geospatial tools and data to augment an integrated understanding through maps, diagrams, analytical systems and modelling for urban design and urban planning applications. In academia associated with School of Design, SSIU Gandhinagar and also have been taking workshops and seminars on Urban Cartography and Geospatial Science in developing new paradigms for understanding the new science of cities.

The topic focuses on motivation on philosophical interest of diagrams, by way of their role in human reasoning and their relation to the study of language in general, and multi-modal information processing. Workshop aims to examine the trade-off between expressive power and visual clarity of diagrammatic systems, by examining the historical development of diagram systems. Certain potential pitfalls of diagrammatic representation and reasoning, by examining spatial constraints on diagrammatic systems and how they can affect correctness and expressive power will also be discussed and explored.

General outline of contents in the elective.
1. Diagrams as Representational Systems
2. Diagrams and Cognition, Applications
3. Diagrams as Mental Representation
4. The Cognitive Role of Diagrams
5. Efficacy of diagrams and Fluid thinking

Elective -3
Topic :- Looking at Narrative structure in Indian and European Visual art forms
Faculty Name : Naishadh Jani

Session -1
Understanding Structure of visual art forms and their various aspects.
Looking at narrative structure in ancient Indian art forms
Understanding narratives of medieval Indian art forms

Session -2
Looking at European art forms and understanding narratives
Comparative study of subjects, style & narratives

Narrative of modern times with artist approach
Comparative study of modern Indian art & European arts
Discussion & Submissions

About Naishadh Jani
I am working as art historian and art Curator. Right now teaching art history and aesthetics in department of Fine arts, V.N.S.G. University, Surat , Gujarat.

Elective -4
Faculty Name : Lakshmi Nair

Diagrams contain abstract notions of a spatial definition or a built form. It is the seed that carries an idea. Everything that we create in architecture is through a process which contains several methods of abstraction of the actual built form. This abstraction starts with an idea that is interpreted initially through the process of diagramming that is then refined into several layers of drawings and models through which one can witness the outcome in parts. There is a definite relationship between the use and understanding of diagrams in architectural production (the abstract) and its result (the building).
Through history one can find systematic records of movements, schools of thought, master builders whose practices are rooted in exploration of diagrams as a primary tool that defines its practice. Systematic diagramming processes can be found in the sketchbooks of architects like Louis I Kahn, Peter Eisenman, Corbusier, Gaudi etc. One finds a clear emphasis on how the sketches and the subsequent diagramming process is as important as the design problem itself. One can see through examples how practices that are rooted in an understanding of this process tend to produce outcomes that tend to perfection in aesthetic and function. Diagrams, unlike design drawings are not used just as a mode of visual representation and communication. Its primary function is as a vehicle of exploration for thinking and solving problems.
Like how measured drawing is the most systematic approach to study a building, which is nothing but abstracting a more detailed physical form, vice versa diagraming is the abstract to the detailed built that we see around us. When used consciously, understanding how different tools affect different outcomes one has a better control over the design process.
In this elective module we will explore the evolution of diagrams in history, different ways in which it was interpreted through time by different schools of thought and understand how we use this tool of abstraction today. We will also explore how thinking with diagrams in architecture is different to thinking with diagrams in other disciplines like graphic art, pre-production art, product design, textile etc and also look at what they have in common and how one draws from the other

Lakshmi Nair graduated from IPSA, Rajkot in the year 2012. She received a Gold Medal for her thesis on “Understanding the Construction System of Wooden Architecture in Kerala”.
She was invited to present the same as the only student speaker at the International Symposium for Tropical Architecture and Urbanism at Trivandrum. After graduating she
interned at an art studio in Chennai to understand how artists approach form. During the term she also organised the South Indian Art Show (SIAS), the largest exhibit for young artists
in South India. In the year 2015 – 2016 she worked (in collaboration) on project Art For Nepal to create products that raised funds with which the team constructed low cost houses,
using local techniques in villages affected by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. She Currently works with Studio Motley in Bangalore.

Elective -5
Topic :- Fighting for gender equality through social media –
Faculty Name : Lipi Mehta

The elective will explore how social media can be a powerful tool to bridge the gap between genders, start movements and make voices reach far and wide. With videos, case studies and real-life stories, the elective will go into the power of using social media for good and raising our voice for issues we care about. It will also have a practical application where students will be asked to work on creating powerful phone-friendly content for social media using their smartphones. In 2018, this is a burning topic globally and leads to students becoming more compassionate, empathetic and considerate as users and as a people.

Lipi Mehta is the Head of Campaigns at Growth at Youth Ki Awaaz, India’s largest youth media platform. She has executed several social media advocacy campaigns on issues ranging from gender to voting to mental health. Previously, she worked as a writer and researcher on Aamir Khan’s blockbuster social awareness TV show, Satyamev Jayate. She is also a writer herself, and often writes about gender, current affairs and more.