Dr Sanjay Gupta, Director General, World University of Design (WUD), speaks to Guardian 20 about how the WUD, India’s first and only university dedicated to education in the creative sector, was set up, and about the variety of courses it offers.
Q. How does World University of Design help youngsters who are keen to make a mark in the creative domain?
A. Youngsters have a high level of creative energies, which they are looking to channel into a course of study that’ll set them on a career path. Most of them are unsure of the stream they must take and try to take a call based on perception of their parents or peers about the “placement potential” or so called “scope” of the stream. WUD helps youngsters make the right choice between art, design and architecture and between their various streams. WUD also follows the strategy of having a foundation year, so that the students get time to make their choice.
Q. Tell us about the variety of courses the university offers?
A. WUD offers the widest choice of 24 programmes in art, architecture, design and management for youngsters seeking creative courses. Courses in design vary from fashion design to product design, interior design, lifestyle accessory design, graphic and communication design, animation and game design, industrial design, transportation design and retail design. Courses in visual arts are very contemporary and different from those being offered anywhere else in the country. They include creative painting, applied arts, art and design history, curatorial practices in arts, contemporary art practice and fashion art. Management programmes, too, are unique to India and a move away from the traditional FR, marketing and finance mindset. The management programmes are design strategy and management and retail business management. WUD also offers many diploma programmes. Of particular interest is its Professional Automotive Modeling (PAM) diploma, which has been specially developed for the future needs of auto majors and in close collaboration with the industry.
Q. What according to you are the strengths of this university?
A. World University of Design is envisioned as the first and only specialised private university in India solely devoted to education and research in the creative sector and its associated knowledge economy. At WUD, we combine teaching, research and studio practice in a trans-disciplinary environment. The facilities, partnerships and resources at WUD are all student-centric, aimed at fostering free dialogue, expression and outreach. All WUD programmes, at undergraduate, graduate degree or professional diploma level, are inspired by our approach to creativity as the greatest human asset.
Q. How important do you think universities of this kind are for promoting creativity and diversity?
A. Specialised and niche Universities like WUD that are futuristic in their vision and approach, are very important for India, not only in promoting creativity and diversity, but also in making India an economic superpower.