Enhancing the dimensions of creativity in design, based on Vedic Insights into Aesthetics

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MIT Institute of Design offers the 1st ever immersive course on Vedic Aesthetics to all Design students

Pune: 18th July: Aesthetics is the study of the nature of art, beauty and taste, with implications for the creation and appreciation of beauty. Aesthetics is a critical element of design. India has more than a thousand years of unbroken scientific tradition that produced monumental works on the fundamental principles of art, beauty and creativity and their interplay with human psychology. Vedic aesthetic theories deal with universal psychological principles at work behind human perception of beauty, the numerous dimensions of aesthetic expression and how to enhance aesthetic appreciation. Vedic wisdom considers art and beauty as means for morality, healing and self-expansion in addition to entertainment.

Why study Vedic Aesthetic Theories?

Most of the concepts of aesthetics taught in mainstream education worldwide do not include Indic insights in depth. To address this gap, MIT-ADT University’s School of Vedic Sciences (MITSVS), Pune has launched a first-of-its-kind course called “Vedic Aesthetic Theories” for bachelor’s students of art and design. In addition to presenting India’s contributions to aesthetics, it has a novel aspect, viz. how to apply the aesthetic concepts explored in Indian poetics to modern design.

Its designer, Prof. Nagaraj Paturi is an executive committee member of MITSVS and an acknowledged scholar in both Indic and western perspectives on aesthetics. Explaining the objective of this course, which is mandatory for the B.Des. students of MIT-ADT University, he said “There was a great need to have aesthetics courses based on Indic/Vedic shaastras and ideas. This is for the first time that any school of art or design has introduced such a course, which is transforming the design thinking. While some part of the course provides Indian words and concepts in place of some western concepts, a large part includes new additions to design thinking and design aesthetics from Indian tradition. I am sure, very soon this course will add a great value to worldwide outlook on design and art.

Course contents

The MITSVS course on Vedic Aesthetic Theories covers the following spectrum of Indic aesthetics as depicted in various treatises.

· Vedas: As romantic poetry; emotions of visionary sages through art, poetry, Vaidika Darshanas

· Upanishads: Brahmana and Aranyaka commentary on beauty aspects

· Source classification: Training manuals, theoretical works and interpretative works

· Mutual connections: Natya, Kavya, Nrutya, Sangita, Shilp, Vaastu and Chitralekhana

· Creativity prerequisites: Talent, its origin and self-study and their mutual connection

· Purpose of art: Presentation, instruction and delight

· Mother of Vedic aesthetic theories:Natyashaastra

· Plot analysis: Panchasandhi and extension to literature, film studies, etc.

· Kavyatma theories: Rasa, Dhvani, Riti, Alankar, Auchitya and Vakrokti

· Alankaras: Centrality, classification and abundance, naturalism as Alankaras

· World of Rasa: Centrality, Rasanishpatti, Rasasankhya, etc.

· World of Dhvani: Vedic science of semantics, classification and extension to art

· World of Auchitya (Propriety, unity); World of Vakrokti (Path of being different in creativity)

· Riti Jivitam and Kavisamayas (Poetic conventions)

This course is offered during the January-May semester.