M.Des. in Earth Education and Communication

Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology

Program Description

M.Des. in Earth Education and Communication

Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology

M.Des. in Earth Education and Communication

dli-02 Environmental education traditionally swings between extremes of gloom and doom at the state of the earth to a joyous celebration of the wonder that is nature. The earth education course at Srishti is consciously centered in the magical majesty of the natural world in order to help students get inspired by a natural connection to everything, both living and nonliving. This course is constructed and delivered with a focus on experiential learning with chosen sites serving as labs. The students develop a contextual framework by extracting and extrapolating from real time engagement in a specific place with a specific context. In these sites, an exploration is about a hands-on engagement with people and their lives, local flora and fauna and the land itself. dli-02aArt inspired by animals in action (Ananya Singh. Zoo Project), Photo Courtesy: Anupama Arun Current academic-speak focuses on separating economics and ethics while debating environmental issues. In addition, there is a tendency to either look at a site in a people-centric manner or else in a nature-centric manner. This course is an attempt to explore how these polarised, `silo-ised’ views can be made to gradually come together and overlap, dissolving discipline based perceptions and preconceived ideas. The goal of this course is to inspire artists, designers from diverse disciplines, educators, filmmakers, architects, agriculturists, business graduates and makers who seek to build their practices in an ecological frame. It is for people who desire to inspire intrinsic action through their communication methods, using diverse media, educational interventions and lived experiences. The impact of this deepening awareness is finally seen in various forms: in films and textiles, in storybooks for children, educational toys, art installations and also in the development of unique design solutions to pressing urban ecological issues. It also reflects in fostering long-term relationships with people and organizations on the ground. dli-02b


The M.Des in Earth Education is informed by the following learning disciplines:

  • Language Arts
  • Sustainable Studies
  • Ecology and Environment
  • Policy Studies and Environmental law
  • Critical Geography
  • Urban Studies and Design
  • Environmental graphics
  • Film
  • Animation
  • Experimental Media Arts
  • Textile Arts
  • Mathematics and Physical Sciences
  • Photography
  • Systems Design
  • Information Technology
  • Visual Communication Design

Research and Collaboration

The program is closely linked with a wide range research and practice spaces:

  • UNESCO Chair
  • Srishti Films
  • Design+Environment+Law Laboratory (DEL Laboratory)
  • Design EARTH
  • Learning Network on Sustainability (LeNS)-India
  • Biomimcry Lab


Key Values

  • Embodied and Reflective practice
  • Compassion and Interdependence
  • Courage in Choice making
  • Humility in approach
  • Equity and Justice
  • Thoughtful Restraint

Course structure

  1. Studios encourage active, contextual learning where students develop core disciplinary skills and knowledge. Studios facilitate collaborative and creative design solutions to complex, open-ended problems
  2. Workshops provide intense learning experiences in making and doing, across the different disciplines.
  3. Internship with an industry or a design studio is compulsory for students at the end of 1st year for M.Des.
  4. Self Initiated Project is an end of the semester challenge that allows the student to engage in research / enquiry or design based projects. Students begin by writing their project proposal and defining the scope of their project and they are mentored by faculty / design professionals.
  5. Electives are liberal arts courses aimed to cultivate intellectual and reflective abilities in students and motivate them to probe deeper and approach their design process in a holistic manner.
  6. Capstone Project is the culmination of the research, capabilities and knowledge gained over the last three semesters. Students are required to submit their design output and a mandated thesis document. Students are mentored during this final project and go through seminars to get feedback from faculty and peer groups

dli-02dStorytelling with local school children in Bandipur, Photo Courtesy: Project, If I were Sky, If I were Story

Learning Approach

  • Designed as case studies. To foster a deep understanding of biogeography, state policies, local communities and livelihood practices, endemic and native species of flora and fauna by immersion in one or more sites.
  • Immersion at site and designed for action. To take the leanings from immersive field trips and expeditions; and extend, deepen and transform them into action at relevant Labs and Centers housed in Srishti.
  • Participatory approaches. To understand the diversity of a space and those who inhabit it in a deep and nuanced way, over a period of time, using well designed, sensitive and just tools/methods.

Capability Sets

  • Ability to reflect on interdependence and co-existence through reflective immersion and compassion
  • Ability to work with chosen media in an embodied practice towards awareness, communication, advocacy or a way of being.
  • Ability to build a guiding principle for life, a way of being and making which places the earth first.

dli-02eStudents shooting a film on FRA, Billing, Himachal Pradesh, Photo Courtesy: Srishti Films


The above mentioned capability sets could lead to opportunities such as:

  • You can work as curators in museums and galleries.
  • You can work with publishing houses, design studios, to create awareness campaigns, environmental films and documentaries.
  • You can design teaching and learning aids that foster environmental sensitivity.
  • You can work at NGOs/ organizations that work with social and ecological concerns.
  • You can continue your art/ design practice, be an entrepreneur or a design consultant with a strong environmental ethic.
  • You can work in zoological parks and aquaria.
  • You can pursue your research and continue to do a PhD.


Course Leader: Srivi Kalyan and Gururaja. For further information, kindly email Srivi at srivi.kalyan@srishti.ac.in OR Gururaja K V at gururaja.kv@srishti.ac.in

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated November 27, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
July 2018
2 years
Full time
India - Bangalore, Karnataka
Start date: July 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
July 2018
India - Bangalore, Karnataka
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info