Director's message

Director’s Message Part 2 :

Greetings from NID Andhra Pradesh!

Let me begin by thanking you all for having tremendous faith in the NID Design Education way. I took over as the Director not in a very remote past but in 2018, December 24, as an immediate SOS to pilot the design-craft from the east coast.  It was an in-transit moment for me, getting unsettled from my mothership aka alma mater NID Ahmedabad and resettle here in this beautiful, warm, lush green place (indeed warm as there is no winter here in Vijayawada!!!) in Krishna district to steer the NID AP towards a better future.

 

Time flew, even though we never saw a clock with wings but the picturesque word we coined with our talking head self.  It is thrilling to recollect how the initial hiccups of settling an unsettled ship called NID Vijayawada (Amaravati) and now Andhra Pradesh, from a transit campus has never been an easy sail!

 

Before taking charge as the ‘Director’, appointed by the Government of India (my sincere gratitude), I was a frequent visitor to NID Vijayawada along with another colleague come fellow design educator since 2016, to give some direction to the demands of the then first young bunch of students, solving various design problems and of course reviewing curriculum, conducting juries, counselling et al! What intrigued me since the beginning was the amazing energy and sincerity amongst the young aspiring design students those who refused to accept any template approach to design education. They were keen to learn and I was equally keen to mentor, to handhold and take them along this adventurous path called design learning as I had been doing for eighteen years before, mentoring the animation department at NID, Ahmedabad.  We bonded immediately but who knew at that point of time that after a couple of moons and floods I would be appointed to direct NID AP as the second National Institute of Design after the fifty years of solo existence of NID Ahmedabad. NID AP is the first national design institute from the East Coast. What a story it is!!!

 

After the euphoric taking over as not only the Director but also the academic and administrative head, in a transit campus of Acharya Nagarjuna University, as an existing reality, my first year was a roller coaster ride chasing the dream of setting the house in order and gearing up for moving to our 50-acre pollution free rural campus at Amaravati region.

 

For me, ‘Trust’ and ‘Earth’ seem to be synonymous and without each nothing moves!!!   In Design education we go by some thumb rules: first is finding one’s own strength and building upon it, second is to avoid drudgery as it does not bear fruit and the one most important is hands-on minds on approach!!! In the initial days my administrative skills went through a baptism by fire but what kept me going so far in this new role, was the NID way of ‘learning by doing’. As Designers we always believe in creating opportunity out of challenges as Design is essentially a problem-solving tool.

 

 

I am glad, the year 2019, gave us an assurance that we can make impossible a reality. Chitrakatha’19 was the proof, as always what I believe, that the future lies in the hands of our young minds.  Under my mentorship, students from NID AP made possible, an amazing Festival of Design Stories, where many minds from various part of the world and the country came together to light up hope for NID AP lamp to shine further…against all odds! My kudos to them.

 

2020 brought us the new challenges of an invisible tsunami named Coronavirus which shook up the entire familiar world order and posed us with a new design problem. After an initial baffling period, I along with my small yet dedicated team, eventually steered the ship towards the virtual ocean and started exploring new possibilities. Online platform offered new opportunities: bringing various minds on board became easier than before, geographical handicap got blurred with IOT and young students became the pathfinders for us in figuring out the interface. NID AP community became one…once again. By the way, we also uprooted couple of hidden viruses in human form in this clinical journey and thus made ourselves stronger and happier.

 

Perform or perish is going to be our new decade mantra. Design education of NID AP in future will be an integration of best practices from the past and contextual relevance of the present! At the outset, I propose to make our foundation stronger and in the next two years our young students would get exposed to collaborative learning. Our collaboration with Bath Spa, UK, HSLU, Switzerland, KHM, Germany, Samsung Research Institute, AIIMS Mangalgiri, SPA Vijayawada and more on its way is adding wings to our ship.

 

Our new campus will be the place of pilgrim for the emerging Design Community from India, for the world is in making. Behold we will serve the nation and we are already doing it…silently but surely. Action follows the word and design will manifest that…the world is noticing us, and we will act accordingly…let NID AP’s design education connect and embrace society, art, science, technology and economy to be more inclusive and cohesive than remain in solo.

 

It is time to rediscover this great landmass with so many design stories untold, unheard, unexplored…NID AP’s new campus will be working together with doctors, architects, scientists, magicians, farmers, gardeners, cooks, dancers, toymakers, technologists, coders and many more to build an inclusive & sustainable design community from this part of the world. Together we will build an evolving program of cross disciplinary B.Des, to specialized Masters , to applied PHD in design, setting up incubations, design research labs with industry collaborations, international programs, design outreach wings, exchange & refreshers programs et al.

 

Time has come to collaborate, coexist and cocreate to live the new normal effectively, happily and meaningfully and to negotiate with the paradigm shift that is happening. Let it be the ‘New Normal’ too.

 

My sincere gratitude to all the parents and students for trusting in us and becoming a part of this long hard road to an exciting journey.

 

Wishing you all the very best and a great constructive year ahead. Let us all grow together. Let’s embrace the new decade with more proactiveness and courage. Let’s good design connect.


Part 1 :


A New Year, a New Era and a Renewed Agenda

Sekhar Mukherjee


Greetings Planet Earth, Salute Amaravati & Thank You Andhra Pradesh!
Happy New Year friends & community.

I took charge of NID Andhra Pradesh on 24 December 2018, the eve of Christmas day. My visit to our transit campus, in the lash green pacifist premises of Acharya Nagarjuna University, is not new. However, this time I changed my costume from fire brigade personnel to the Director of this history in making institute.

I sincerely express my gratitude to DPIIT and other dignitaries and experts for entrusting me with the laser torch to direct, shape & navigate a National Institute of Design of another kind! I will definitely not only play but also coach the team now onwards.

Earlier, every time I came rushing to the transit campus I was impressed by the team of young & restless but dedicated minds, working together with a glint in their eyes. So this Summer Christmas of 2018, brought me back to the place which has already given me abundance love and kick, to now build NID Andhra Pradesh time machine, as we need to travel between past and future through the present.

As the deep-rooted philosophy of National Institute of Design aptly quoted by one of our unsung design educator, Late Shri Siddharth Ghosh states, “Institutional foci…Fostering the culture of responsible and value? centric design education rooted in the traditions of India and Asia. Developing an approach to design for sustainable development. Fostering a culture of design which improves the quality of life for the masses. Fostering a culture of design which ensures the participation of all social groups and improves access to products and services for the widest possible range of users…..Furthering design research and practice to integrate perspectives and knowledge from the fields of art, humanities, science, technology, social science, and commerce. Strengthening design education in India to complement emerging domains of global concerns…”- Chitrakatha’13 Design Talk. NID Auditorium.

NID Andhra Pradesh is shaping up from a faraway land, a blessing in disguise, as living in urban comfort, design education often loses its direction in this age of glamour, glitter and information overload. Blessed with a young team, and an evolving place, I am sure we will build a strong community and soon the identity of NID Andhra Pradesh will be noticed.

Education is not training, educators are not a machine, and design knowledge is not a monomyth. Design is process-driven, human-centric, value-based education. We at times need to tell ourselves, I am here for the students, they are our future colleagues and the architect of India next. Form follows Content and Content comes from Context. Working in isolation will bring stagnation & stagnation is death. We need to be dynamic, sensitive, contextual, prompt, flexible and inclusive with changing times. So, dear NID Andhra Pradesh family, let’s spend more time conversing, telling & listening to each other’s stories. Maybe spend lesser time on Social Media, rather build our untold text & image for the world to know and respect. Let us Co-exist, Co-create, Collaborate and Celebrate every day, in line with the true spirit of Design Education

I welcome once again, all our friends & well-wishers to come together. Let the design Buddha smile!

Thank you and warm regards,
Sekhar Mukherjee


Short Profile
Sekhar Mukherjee

Director
NID Andhra Pradesh
Design Educator, Animator, Cartoonist, Festival Director & Graphic Storyteller!

Alumni of NID, Prof. Sekhar Mukherjee-was a senior faculty of communication design served NID Ahmedabad from 2002 till 2018. After graduating in commerce, he decided to follow his passion as his profession, and started his career as a newspaper cartoonist, illustrator & info-graphics artist at Economic Times, Kolkata, before he joined NID to study Animation Film Design in 1992. In 2000, he trained the first 2D animation studio in Dhaka, Bangladesh, one of his cherished projects. In 2002, he joined his alma mater as a design educator. For the next 12 years, he headed the Animation Department. Under his mentorship, his students won much national & international recognition. He was also the NID Film Club Chairman and the Artistic Founder Director of iconic Chitrakatha-A biennial International Student Animation Festival since 2007. Along with his student mentorship he also regularly contributes & practices cartoons, comics, illustrations, mural, graphic experiments etc. He is often invited as a delegate, jury member and expert to other design schools & various animation & comics festivals across the globe. In 2009 he received the Best Animation Teacher Award from CNBC-TV18 for “outstanding contribution to the cause of animation education in India”. He celebrates design as a problem solving and opportunity creation tool in his 25 plus years of the professional journey. He is also an editorial board member of 123 Animation- An Interdisciplinary Journal, SAGE, UK & Longform Graphic Storytelling Collective.

? The Story of Indian Animation - Sekhar Mukherjee D’source documentary on his journey and work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V23Ms45vYc

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