Karachi; one of the seven largest urban metropolises in the world, reaching its pinnacle of development in the early 1980s. Simultaneously to the rapid economic growth, the educational sector was also flourishing with the emergence of new universities and Institutes. Although it didn’t go unnoticed that all these educational developments were primarily done in the science and engineering department. It was in 1989 when a group of architects, designers, and artists sat together and acknowledged the fact that the economical hub of the country, Karachi, in the admits of growth has eradicated its culture and flavor. Indeed, there was an urgent need for the city to have an institute, a space that boosts the creative side of the city.

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Indus valley school of Art and Architecture was coined the name of the first art institute in Karachi, which aimed to focus on Art design and Architecture disciplines. Its vision was to give the society, politically and socially aware and environmentally sensitive individual, through an academic procedure that encourages students to focus on the technical and aesthetic quality of their work.

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Interdepartmental Collaboration

Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVS) caters to six diversified creative departments; Architecture, Interior Design, Fine Arts, Communication Design, Textile Design, and Fashion Design. The University manages to nurture a healthy and positive interdepartmental interaction between students and the faculty. Such interaction creates a socially active campus life whistle broadening the creative spectrum of the students. The first year known as the Foundation year lays the groundwork for the interdepartmental interaction, where students for all departments are merged and divided into multiple sections. Thus, students from all six departments study together and learn the basic skills before moving forward to their respective departments in the second year.

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Community Initiative Work

IVS has a deep and intensive profile in community services, it believes that encourage community services in academics can nurture socially sensitive individuals for the society. Although it’s not just the students who are encouraged for these activities the faculty and administration take an equally active part. The university is credited for sustaining the Nusserwanjee park located adjacent to the campus and the sculpture park, situated across the road. These parks act as communal spaces used by the residents in the neighborhood. In January 2011, the Fine Arts department organized a five-week project in which the students redesigned and painted the wards, corridors, waiting and reception areas of the Pediatric cancer ward and NICH. Furthermore, the textile curriculum consists of a course of design intervention through this course the students are asked to explore the native craft, research, and document them. This course inspires the student to work with skilled craftsmen in the rural sector. Thus, through the curriculum students are encouraged to work in close collaboration with the community.

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Explore the City

IVS strongly believes that to nurture the socially responsible artist, it is significant that they interact with the city and the social life beyond the premises of the university. The curriculum for each department is structured: to maintain a constant interaction of students with multiple parts of the city. It enables the student; to analyze and experience the city life through multiple viewpoints due to which they become more critical towards their work. Students are constantly questioned and taught to create work that is socially appropriate and fits in their context. Furthermore, a seminar-based course; City Orientation conducted in Foundation Year prepares the student to get accustomed to the city life and get familiar with the idea of researching, documenting, and understanding the city.

The Nusserwanjee Building

The preservation of the Nusserwanjee building is one of the most significant contributions of the university, as it entails immense heritage value. The Nusserwanjee building was first constructed in the early 19th century by the father of Jamshed Nusserwanjee Mehta. The beauty, of the structure, is in the intricate detailing of timber frames layered by plastered rubble stone and coursed stone masonry. The building was originally located in Sadar. Although in 1995, it was on the verge of being demolished for the new construction. But the founder of Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture expressed their interest in preserving such an architectural heritage. Therefore; in April 1995 the entire structure was dismantled, block by block, and was relocated to a new site in Clifton.

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Such preservation of architectural heritage is to date unprecedented in the history of the country; thus, it provides the student an opportunity to have a day-to-day experience in an architectural heritage restored to its glory.

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The IVS Gallery

“The gallery provides a platform for emerging artists and a prestigious stage for established artists through exhibitions and retrospectives.”

The gallery acts as a catalyst that providing a smooth transition for a student from academic discourse to the professional realm. The gallery encourages projects and events that promote contemporary art practices, providing students a broader spectrum of knowledge that exceeds beyond the realm of typical academic discourse. The monthly artist talk brings together the emerging and established artists on a platform, curating analytical discussions that help the students in their critical thinking. Further, the gallery provides that students space exhibit their work and introduce it to the world.

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Author

Aqsa is an architecture student and a self-taught writer. With keen interest in urban planning and cartography. She believes that words are the fourth or the unseen dimension of a space that can enable people to connect to spaces more than ever thus aiming to empower the architecture community through her voice.

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