The foundation year of art and design should be built upon 4 pillars, namely creativity, critical thinking, design thinking and tinkering, in short ‘Thinker Program’. Our ‘formative years’ actually never end and we are forever forming. Each of us is a work in progress and being a visual artist, what makes most sense to me is to take the raw material (tangible or intangible) and to create. Create relationships, perspectives and experiences, whether by building, forming, installing, making, modeling, sculpting, so on and so forth.
We experience the world around us with our body, through our senses and to be able to do so, our organs ceaselessly perform. It is such a continuous process, that most often we do not realize the involuntary aspects in our daily life. Our ears ceaselessly hear, nose ceaselessly smells, lungs continue to breath, the heart-^-^- beats and the mind ceaselessly thinks. It is only when we consciously practice to be aware of the various functions of our body, we begin to realize our true potential. As an educator, I have often felt that, involuntarily we often overlook integrating thinking skills in our pedagogy. Thinking is a way of life, just like breathing. To be physically healthy, we consciously breathe, what we call pranayama in yoga. Similarly to be mindful and for our intellectual health, we practice ways of thinking.
The ‘Thinker Program’ aims to do just so, integrating creative thinking process and making process. It is best, not done as a separate module or a subject, rather it should feed into every aspect of each component and subject in each module, irrespective of theory, studio practice, in real time or virtual platform, ‘making – thinking’ a way of life.
Vivek Karmokar, HoD Foundation, Unitedworld Institute of Design (UID)
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