Inaugurated in 2010 in Bangalore, transferred to Delhi in 2014, the India Studio is now based in Pune in the state of Maharashtra within the MIT Institute of Design.
The India Studio and the Transcultural Design MDes program
The India Studio’s Transcultural Design program provides a unique opportunity for students to specialize in social innovation and Design Thinking. In India, students learn how to use design as a lever for positive social impact on daily life and in the world of business. Students gain a better understanding of the Indian socio-cultural context and learn to create well-rounded design projects that meet the needs of users with a very different culture to their own.
75 students have studied in the India Studio since 2010. Working in multicultural teams in the context of a metropolis full of contrasts represents an incredible life experience for young designers keen to pursue a career abroad.
The team of teaching staff is made up of Hélène Thébault, designer and course leader for the program, and design professionals of all nationalities and from diverse backgrounds who give lessons and conferences and supervise and assess the students’ work.
“Pune was an obvious choice of destination for the cchool due to its dynamic role in higher education and its attractiveness in terms of industry. The cooperation agreement signed with Pune MIT Institute of Design in 2018 marks the beginning of a new phase of development for the India Studio. The MIT Institute of Design is one of the top three design schools in India with many international partners and the best facilities on the Indian subcontinent to ensure the finest training for students from L’École de design. We are thus strengthening our international development with partners who allow us to offer our students the best training courses in our overseas studios,” explains Stéphane Gouret, deputy director general at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique.
“The announcement of the India Studio’s new location has generated a lot of interest in students who want to give their training an international dimension,” adds Hélène Thébault, Course Leader at L’École de design’s India Studio.
Why move the India Studio to Pune?
Situated 148km south-east of Mumbai, near the west coast of India, Pune, with its 4 million inhabitants, is the cultural capital of the state of Maharashtra. The city also offers an intense and diverse cultural experience with iconic places such as the Shaniwar Wada fort and temple of Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati.
The city is also a major educational hub. Each year, Pune is home to around 24,000 foreign students, which is more than the total of foreign students present in the rest of the country. This large student population contributes to the dynamism of the city which has earned the nickname “Oxford of the East”.
Pune is often ranked no 1 nationally for its quality of life and the quality of its infrastructures. It’s the Indian mega-city with the most trees and green spaces and its student scene is vibrant and omnipresent.
Pune is also an industrial hub, particularly for the automobile and information technology sectors. With its very active design community, and a wealth of product designers (particularly in transport), interior designers, architects, scenographers and fashion designers, this region has in recent years become the place to be in Indian design. This environment offers endless opportunities with regard to collaborations, internships and partnerships for the Transcultural Design MDes program India Studio.
MIT Institute of Design: a partner of international stature
Founded in 2006, the MIT Institute of Design now has over 1200 students and 52 teaching staff. It is the most international design school in India and the best connected to the economic sector. It has a great many international academic partners: Manchester Metropolitan University and University for the Creative Arts in the United Kingdom, Politecnico di Milano in Italy, Abertay University in Scotland or George Brown College in Canada. The MIT Institute of Design offers BDes and MDes programs in product design, transport design, interior design and scenography, graphic design, motion design, video design and UX design. Its development in India and its international positioning make it the ideal partner for the India Studio.
L’Ecole de design Nantes Atlantique has its own dedicated studio. Students on the MDes Transcultural Design program have full use of all facilities at MIT Institute of Design: a large library, many workspaces, conference rooms, workshops for various materials and techniques, IT labs, a printing area, as well as a shop for purchasing materials for fine arts, painting, calligraphy, etc. The MIT Institute of Design is itself part of a larger campus made up of many higher education Institutes, a school, a hospital, as well as a huge sports complex which can be used by all students at the India Studio.