With the aim of becoming one of the foremost schools of learning of the visual, material and built environments, O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) has launched the Jindal School of Arts and Architecture (JSAA).
A global panel of Art Historians, Sociologists, Social Anthropologists, Architectural Historians & Architects engaged in an intense and lively debate on the question, “When is Architecture” at the launch of the school in the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
JSAA essentially offers two courses to the students- BA (Hons.) in Built Environment Studies, a three-year design program which is unique to India and the professional five-year program, Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch). Delivering the welcome address, Professor (Dr) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor, JGU said, “I am proud to announce the launch of Jindal School of Arts and Architecture, JGU’s seventh school. With this we have stepped into the realm of study of architecture, design and the built environment. As this school evolves, we will draw upon the aspects of other disciplines offered by the university and will focus on international engagement from both faculty and student perspective.”
“The JSAA is not just another school and its global faculty will reflect the vision and passion to build a school which is different in its approach. I am sure that this collective will help the school to grow from strength to strength and achieve desired results”, he added.
Defining the fabric of everyday life as the locus of understanding design, Professor Thomas Mical, Dean-Designate, JSAA underlined the importance of ‘studio culture’ for design schools in his inaugural address.
“We have a brilliant opportunity to make a new design school and rethink conventional ways to transform architectural education in ways which are truly inclusive and interdisciplinary in nature. There is a global mandate for sustainability which is spread across design spectrum. JSAA is bestowed with global faculty and pedagogy and promises to design not just solutions but a value system which future generations could feel proud of”, he added.
Prof. (Dr.) Jaideep Chatterjee, Vice Dean presented the vision and the programs of the JSAA in which he noted, “…today we need to foster an environment where design, architecture are not seen as finite and autonomous domains of knowledge but rather in dialogue with other disciplines. Being a part of the JGU which has six established school in allied disciplines would allow JSAA to produce graduates who are already equipped in multiple disciplines to engage and address the most pressing issues facing our cities, towns, villages, and the public domain today.”
The vision also outlined how such interdisciplinarity and holistic education would be made possible through innovative coursework and curricular structure in which students from both programmes of JSAA can opt from 16 prefigured minors (History, Global Studies, Law, Public Policy etc.) or design their own minor in consultation with the faculty members, work in studios that are thematic and allow for vertical alignments across years or coursework.
Reminiscing his days as the architect of the JGU campus, Stephane Paumier, said, “I have witnessed JGU’s journey from being a barren land in Haryana to a glorious institution which hosts around 3600 students today. It has been a pleasure to design JSAA which being the hub of ideas and design will have different studios for robotics, industrial design, model making and exhibitions. I am sure that the structures will fuel student’s imagination and inspire them to be creative.”
While delving deeper into designing the course curriculum and further nuances, the panellists underscored how JSAA follows internationally accepted best practices of the academia and is supported by an acclaimed faculty. The school will be based on research and innovative excellence that fosters interdisciplinary research cutting across academic programmes allowing students and faculty to actively engage in addressing the most pressing issues facing our world today.
Prof. Raj Kumar also took the opportunity to thank Prof. (Dr.) Thomas Mical, Dean-Designate, Stephane Paumier, Principal Architect, JGU and. Prof (Dr.) Jaideep Chatterjee, Vice Dean, JSAA and other panellists for gracing the launch symposium.