The future is destined to see Virtual as the new real in ways similar to how we associate physicality with reality. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has only but accelerated the inevitable future. The limitation of the lockdown and social distancing has made people in our close proximal surroundings/our neighbors much more distant than the ones living in distant locations. Our engagement through remote means of communications has become the norm. Who is close and who is far; ‘what is real and what is not’ have become relative terms in these times. All of this has happened with basic tools of virtuality, which may become archaic in the near future. With new and more advanced means of virtuality and interaction, the line between the so-called 'real' and 'virtual' will be blurry, giving birth to hybrid forms of reality operating simultaneously.
In the wake of COVID-19 we at the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts accepted the challenge of distance learning and continued with our role as teachers without any disruption except for the change in the mode of engagement. Our graduating class too adapted to the situation and continued working on their thesis projects. We believe their determination to achieve their goals they had set for themselves is commendable. We as faculty and administration acknowledge it and are committed to showcase their work as a degree show in a virtual format. For Pakistan, this is the first time an Art and Design educational institution is presenting a Degree Show virtually. I am also sure it’s not the last one.
At the Department of Fine Arts at the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts and Design, students work closely with faculty and visiting artists through electives, workshops, residencies and the Fine Art Major Studios. They progress through an exciting pool of diverse studio and theory electives, which also includes areas outside of art and design disciplines. Combining all this experience with the Major Studios, students develop their conceptual concerns.
This process helps them nurture a holistic vision and makes them resourceful problem-solvers. As a result of this, works produced have a solid conceptual and formal foundation. Relative to other Fine Arts programmes in Pakistan, the programme at SVAD is idea-led and encourages students to work fluidly, without forcing them to select one stream in the initial years of their study. Emphasis is given to helping students discover their individual concerns through observation and research while exposing them to a variety of media gradually narrowing down to the medium/s best suited for their practice.
The degree of Textile, Fashion and Accessory Design, offers specialisations in three distinct, but strongly connected streams:
Each of these specialisations leads to a wide array of career paths. The uniqueness of this degree programme at BNU-SVAD lies in the curricular strategy, whereby students get exposure to fields of art and design beyond their chosen specialisation. A mélange of courses from a shared pool not only enriches the educational experience, but also helps students carve out their unique path by making informed and responsible choices. Combined major studio and seminar courses across various stages of the degree programme ensure interdisciplinarity, while being augmented by diverse liberal arts modules that fertilise their thoughts for a solid output, hence promising a holistic degree, which when weaved in our ethos, enrich the future of academia & industry.
This preparation, while honing creativity in the world of textiles, fashion and accessories, enables students to comprehend and address the demands of the real world. The curriculum design equips students to not only meet local and global industrial demands, but also steers innovative practices as socially conscious thinker-designers who can pursue entrepreneurial ventures as well as historical, cultural and social research to Styling & Art Direction for Theatre/ Film/ AdFilm/ TV Productions to Fashion Journalism and many other, yet to be defined, avenues in the ever-evolving marketplace.
Visual Communication Design at SVAD focuses on the role of a designer as a thinker-designer with a deep understanding of the core principles of design, the integration of technology and the accumulative application in the form of images, interactions and objects. The Department of Visual Communication Design endeavors to generate a mindset that allows students to combine a critical understanding of context with acquired conceptual and technical skills, allowing them to enact design interventions in environments: real, virtual or imagined.
While acknowledging and maintaining contact with conventional skills like print, layout and typography, our students are trained to be proficient in animation, motion graphics, information graphics, game design, application design and interactive experiences.
Over the years the department has encouraged a process-oriented approach through collaborations with various local and international organizations in the environmental, educational, entrepreneurial and social welfare sectors. Our students have also gone on to win local and international recognition for their excellence in further academic pursuits, and have displayed professional achievements in the form of awards and nominations.