School of New Humanities and Design (SNHD)

"I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any"
- M. K. Gandhi

"A Field of Traces - Reimag(in)ing the Western Ghats as a collection of places described by multiple practices and their relationship to multiple grounds. A final year Diploma Project by Sanika Sahasrabuddhe, 2015."


The School of New Humanities and Design enables practitioners and scholars to see the world in new ways, and study human cultures through the practices and self-reflections that shape them. Our vision is to actively rethink and reimagine modes of our engagement in the world. This school will offer multiple  lenses to challenge dominant constructs and nurture emergent ideas, informed by  multiple disciplines and ecologies. The courses provide a rich learning experience that is both rooted and cosmopolitan.

Why New Humanities?

Although the humanities disciplines were made part of the Indian higher education, the inquiries that defined each of these disciplines were not always made relevant to an India that was seeking a new vision of itself and its past. The new humanities will actively rethink the traditional humanities disciplines to enable students to develop the skills to interpret, theorize and intervene.

While the institutional context of Srishti might appear unusual for such a disciplinary development, the School for New Humanities and Design was established to acknowledge that design, much like the humanities, needs to be self-reflexive and critical, and much of our work at Srishti reflects this interdisciplinary impulse.


Research and Collaboration

Nurturing Key Values

Curiosity and openness
Non-disciplinary thinking and playfulness
Encouraging critical, speculative and imaginative practices
Embracing complexity and multiplicity
Mindfulness and reflection
Collaboration and collective learning

Learning Approach

The School of New Humanities and Design at Srishti enables students to explore, critique, investigate and invent new ways of seeing, engaging, articulating and acting in the world, through a non-disciplinary practice-based approach. Students will learn to formulate research questions and reflect on different kinds of learning and knowledge.

The School of New Humanities & Design positions researchers and practitioners to imagine, investigate, represent and intervene in the world. Graduates may explore new opportunities in emerging areas of the creative industries: the embodied in art and design practices - as they pursue their investigations. The modes of learning and demonstration include the studio, seminar-studio and workshop spaces, offering a unique learning environment driven by the student, where humanities methodologies and art and design processes will inform and orient theorization of socio-cultural and political issues. With these capabilities students will be equipped to demonstrate rigor in thought and articulation through their practice-led capstone project or written dissertation.

The General Studies Program, which is an integral component of Srishti’s curriculum, is also housed in the School of New Humanities and Design.

Courses under SNHD

Postgraduate Level:
Aesthetics & Visual Cultures
Digital Humanities
Knowledge Systems & Practices
Public History & Heritage Interpretation
Screen Studies

The camera in the Sundargarh jungles of Orissa - The Voices Project (DEL Laboratory). Photo Credit: Bidisha Das.


Maker Space
Writing Centre
Audio-visual Suites
Screening Rooms

Events & News

The School of New Humanities and Design has a vibrant calendar of events through the year, to which researchers, scholars, practitioners and students actively contribute.

School Initiatives

New Ground - Design & the Humanities

Like thought & everyday practices, scholarly discourse too is boundless and open. Non-disciplinarity, the freedom from boundaries, opens possibilities for radical thought. This is a workshop, held three times a year, to highlight ideas and explore new grounds, practices and theories, collaboratively, in order to imagine new frameworks and possibilities. We see this as a space to reveal design in the humanities, and humanities in design.

In order to build a strong link between practice and publication Srishti has a regular Writing Seminar that functions as a forum for Srishti faculty and post-graduate students to systematically reflect on the insights that emerge in their practices and transform their experience into researchable themes and publications.arts, new media and technology, service sectors of experience design and curation, heritage tourism, gallery practices, museums and archives, art and literary festivals.

New Ground - Workshop, 27-28 March, 2015. Photo Credit: Ajith Samuel.

Colloquium Series

The Colloquium Series brings together Srishti students and faculty on a formal platform to share ideas, ongoing work and dialogue about key issues/themes in the art, design, technology and related subjects. The colloquium meets fortnightly, featuring practice-based contributions to diverse fields of interest.

Writing Seminars

Writing and publication is becoming increasingly important to Srishti’s academic life. However, in practice-driven design and art, there is little time and space — during the execution of project — for articulating critical findings and theoretically exploring the challenges or issues that projects reveal. Over a period of time, the challenges, questions and insights generated during practice persist and can be a rich source for theorizing art or design practices. The theoretical, practical and pedagogical insights of these accumulated experiences will be considerable and an important contribution to various fields.

In order to build a strong link between practice and publication Srishti has a regular Writing Seminar that functions as a forum for Srishti faculty and post-graduate students to systematically reflect on the problems and insights that emerge in their practices and transform their experience into researchable themes and publications.


Courses and Degrees awarded under SNHD


2 years

Aesthetics & Visual Cultures

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Digital Humanities

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Knowledge Systems & Practices

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Public History & Heritage Interpretation

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Screen Studies

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Apart from the awards, the General Studies program, which is an important component of the Srishti curriulum, is housed in the School of New Humanities and Design:

General Studies

General Studies is a program that cuts across each phase of the Srishti educational experience. These provide a broad view at issues in order to broaden students’ minds to become aware of contexts for design, as well as sharpen their critical thinking and communication skills. Topics are wide-ranging and might include Literature and Criticism, Environmental Studies, Research Methodologies, Philosophy, among many others according to current research interests of faculty.


The courses in this school equip graduating students with capabilities needed to mediate between discrepant worlds, organizations, communities and individuals (NGOs, government, social entrepreneurship, donor/funding agencies and other institutions).

Copyright 2015 © Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology.