See what this programme offers

The Department of Communication Design offers a four-year transdisciplinary and multi-pronged programme, highlighting communication, media, and interaction design studies among others. A commitment to research, analysis, innovation, and creativity, underpins an integrated approach to design. The programme offers a progressive transition through the course modules that gear students towards effective learning with applications across the existing boundaries of the design world. It also strives to inculcate social and cultural sensitivity among the students through socially engaged projects within curricula. Students can further construct their career trajectories by choosing a major field from among Graphic Design, Media Design, Interaction Design, to gain competencies, along with a minor field (chosen from the remaining majors) to supplement their chosen major. The curriculum is designed to ensure critical engagement and conceptual strength, proficiency in technical knowledge and skills, while providing theoretical scaffolding for an informed, creative, and innovative design practice. The programme is further strengthened by auxiliary courses including masterclasses and workshops conducted by professionals from the industry.


Graphic Design

The major in Graphic Design focuses on developing effective communication, using graphic design as a problem-solving instrument to generate innovative solutions through an iterative process of information gathering, research, strategy, and conceptualization. Applications of these will be in developing branding and advertising, editorial design, visual systems, and service design. This programme is for inquisitive, passionate thinkers who seek to investigate and analyse conceptual and technical processes of design, their relationship with human systems, and their economic, political, and socio-cultural implications to become creatively and commercially inclined professionals. Students will articulate design at micro and macro levels as self-contained solutions and interventions that can herald a change in larger human systems by foretelling those changes and facilitating them. Apart from the necessary skills and knowledge, they develop empathy, self-awareness, and a sense of social responsibility through critical and analytical thinking processes. The studies further aim to inculcate reflexive thinking practice that leads to adaptive design making to respond to the rapid change in communication forms, technologies, and processes. The programme aims to endow young minds to become the drivers of change as they learn to negotiate the boundaries of design practice to become proactive and responsible members of society.

Interaction Design

The major in Interaction Design focuses on designing digital media products, experiences and interfaces including web, mobile apps, and other applications existing within the ambit of design and technology. Students further explore questions such as sustainability and the relationship between humans, cultures and technology through critical approaches and design futuring. This major is a pioneering step towards answering the growing need for interaction designers in a fast developing industry. It is also poised to explore the potential of technology and its applications to bring about change within the developing world, aiming for an economically and ecologically sustainable practice, whilst fostering an ethical understanding of the discipline. The studies further enable the student body to carefully assess local and global needs and harness technology to address them. Through courses such as Design Studies, students develop a good understanding of how humans think and what they desire, this makes students of Interaction Design well versed beyond merely commercial concerns. Empowered with an in-depth understanding of aesthetics and human perception along with research, problem analysis and strategy students work within and across disciplines to envision interaction design for tomorrow, whilst paying close attention to its role within society today.

Media Design

The major in Media Design focuses on design as an activity of cultural production, allowing students to renegotiate the binaries of design theory and practice through narratives and experiences in illustration, photography, film and video production, animation, and interactive media. The students learn to read and respond to the media, paying close attention to intent and interpretation, forms and processes, and social and cultural contexts of concern. They are further encouraged to develop a personal aesthetic and critical point of view, whilst being informed about the manifestations and evolution of media within a localised context.  The programme interrogates culture in furthering its changing definition and understanding in today’s globalised world, its role in shaping ideas, ideologies and philosophies in institutional and private spaces. Students are introduced to the methods of media production along with various cultural theorists, to be able to simultaneously produce content and develop a critical understanding of cultural production. Keeping in mind the new technological developments and audiences, the programme builds upon student skills in each discipline, whilst progressing towards an integrated skill-set that will enable them to operate in a media domain of blurred boundaries and a wider audience. This further allows the student body to envision new ways of facilitating integrated media experiences and responding to the ever-changing needs of our society. Through collaborations with other disciplines, artistic spaces, organisations, and academic institutions, the programme puts forth and schematises a nexus of new ideas.

 

Major in Graphic Design Third Semester 
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE356Studio Major: Graphic Design
and Typography I
6
DE357Studio Minor: The Still Image or
Principles of Interaction
3
DE358LAB: Software1
DE359LAB: Drawing and Prototyping1
DE360SEMINAR: History of Design2
LA308Islamic and Pakistan Studies 3
LA354Histories of Art, Design and Architecture III 3
Total Credits: 19  

 

Major in Graphic Design Fourth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE456STUDIO: Graphic Design
and Typography II
6
DE457STUDIO: The Still Image or Principles of Interaction3
DE465LAB: Software for CD1
DE483SEMINAR: Research for Design2
DE468SEMINAR: Design Studies3
LAArt History/ Visual Culture
Elective
3
 Total Credits: 18  

 

Major in Graphic Design Fifth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE569STUDIO Major : Visual Artefacts6
DEXXXSTUDIO Minor: Chosen Minor3
DE565LAB: Advanced Software CD1
DE572SEMINAR: Truth in Advertising2
LAGeneral Elective3
LAArt History/ Visual Culture
Elective
3
 Total Credits:  18  

 

Major in Graphic Design Sixth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE675STUDIO Major: Visual Systems6
DEXXXSTUDIO Minor: Chosen Minor3
DE665LAB: Advanced Software CD1
DE676SEMINAR: Creative Strategy2
LA612Research Methodologies
(Pre-Req for Final Research Paper)
3
LAGeneral Elective3
Total Credits: 18  

 

Major in Graphic Design Seventh Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE780STUDIO Major: Integrated Studio6
DEXXXSTUDIO Minor: Chosen Minor3
DE781SEMINAR: Colloquium3
DE782SEMINAR: Design, Politics and Ethics3
LA768Final Research Paper3
Total Credits: 18  

 

Major in Graphic Design Eighth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE834Thesis12
DE835Internship3
Total Credits: 15  

 

Total Credits Semesters 1-2: 36
Total Credits Semesters 3-8: 106
Total Credits required for a Bachelor in Communication Design degree: 142

 

Major in Media Design Third Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE361STUDIO Major: The Still Image I6
DE362STUDIO Minor: Graphic Design and Typography or Principles of Interaction3
DE358LAB: Software1
DE359LAB: Drawing and Prototyping1
DE360SEMINAR: History of Design2
LA308Islamic and Pakistan Studies3
LA354Histories of Art, Design and Architecture III3
Total Credits: 19  

 

Major in Media Design Fourth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE461STUDIO Major : The Still Image II6
DE462STUDIO Minor: Graphic Design and Typography  or Principles of Interaction3
DE466LAB: Software for MD1
DE483SEMINAR: Research for Design2
DE468SEMINAR: Design Studies3
LAArt History/ Visual Culture
Elective
3
 Total Credits: 18  

 

Major in Media Design Fifth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE570STUDIO Major : Moving Image I6
DEXXXSTUDIO Minor: Chosen Minor3
DE566LAB: Advanced Software MD1
DE573SEMINAR: History of the Moving Image2
LAGeneral Elective3
LAArt History/ Visual Culture
Elective
3
Total Credits: 18  

 

Major in Media Design Sixth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE670STUDIO Major: Moving Image II6
DEXXXSTUDIO Minor: Chosen Minor3
DE666LAB: Advanced Software MD1
DE677SEMINAR: Understanding
Narratives Across Media
2
LA612Research Methodologies
(Pre-Req for Final Research Paper)
3
LAGeneral Elective3
Total Credits: 18  

 

Major in Media Design Seventh Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE780STUDIO Major: Integrated Studio6
DEXXXSTUDIO Minor: Chosen Minor3
DE781SEMINAR: Colloquium3
DE782SEMINAR: Design, Politics and Ethics3
LA768Final Research Paper3
Total Credits: 18  

 

Major in Media Design Eighth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE834Thesis12
DE835Internship3
Total Credits: 15  

Total Credits Semesters 1-2: 36
Total Credits Semesters 3-8: 106
Total Credits required for a Bachelor in Communication Design degree: 142

 

 

Major in Interaction Design Third Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE363STUDIO Major : Principles of Interaction I6
DE364STUDIO Minor: Graphic Design and Typography  or Still Image3
DE358LAB: Software1
DE359LAB: Drawing and Prototyping1
DE360SEMINAR: History of Design2
LA308Islamic and Pakistan Studies 3
LA354Histories of Art, Design and Architecture III 3
Total Credits: 19  

 

Major in Interaction Design Fourth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE463STUDIO Major : Principles of Interaction II6
DE464STUDIO Minor: Graphic Design and Typography or Still Image3
DE467LAB: Software for IxD1
DE483SEMINAR: Research for Design2
DE468SEMINAR: Design Studies3
LAArt History/ Visual Culture
Elective
3
 Total Credits: 18  

 

Major in Interaction Design Fifth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE571STUDIO Major : User Experience Design6
DEXXXSTUDIO Minor: Chosen Minor3
DE567LAB: Advanced Software IxD1
DE574SEMINAR: Philosophy of Interaction2
LAGeneral Elective3
LAArt History/ Visual Culture
Elective
3
 Total Credits:  18  

 

Major in Interaction Design Sixth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE679STUDIO Major: Designing for Society6
DEXXXSTUDIO Minor: Chosen Minor3
DE667LAB: Advanced Software IxD1
DE678SEMINAR: Thinking in Systems2
LA612Research Methodologies
(Pre-Req for Final Research Paper)
3
LAGeneral Elective3
Total Credits: 18  

 

Major in Interaction Design Seventh Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE780STUDIO Major: Integrated Studio6
DEXXXSTUDIO Minor: Chosen Minor3
DE781SEMINAR: Colloquium3
DE782SEMINAR: Design, Politics and Ethics3
LA768Final Research Paper3
Total Credits: 18  

 

Major in Interaction Design Eighth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
DE834Thesis12
DE835Internship3
Total Credits: 15  

 

Total Credits Semesters 1-2: 36
Total Credits Semesters 3-8: 106
Total Credits required for a Bachelor in Communication Design degree: 142

Core Courses

Design Studios 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Studios form the main pedagogical space for design education. These are classes where students are introduced to core concepts and principles, and given practicum projects to execute in order to build competency while focusing on process and ideation.

Design curriculum in the second and third years exposes the students to various areas of design in accordance with their majors. Working on a variety of assignments including publication, web, media and UX/UI, students are encouraged to engage in experimental and individual explorations that facilitate personal and professional goals. The courses enable students to think conceptually and apply creative processes to theoretical aspects of design. This is in collaboration with problem-solving methodologies and critical thought while developing a personal design vocabulary.

Second-year design studios focus on strengthening the fundamental concepts and honing basic skills for approaching design projects. Visual Communication and Typography form the key components of the Communication Design major. Focusing on the Still image, Media Design students learn the basic tools of Photography and Illustration—digital cameras and drawing (traditional and digital techniques). Students are introduced to basic concepts like framing, composition and natural lighting. Further on they learn to deconstruct images and build a narrative through visual storytelling using both Illustration and Photography and non-diegetic sound. The Interaction Design students investigate the principles of interaction through physical and digital prototypes and visual communication. Students develop an understanding of decoding briefs, researching web and app design, understand the idea of user journeys and set up basic design grids.

Third-year design studios build advanced concepts and sensitise students to the practical requirements of their chosen fields with lateral thinking and creative problem-solving at their core. Communication design majors will learn to think innovatively specialising in content creation and copywriting as applied in multiple spheres such as advertising design, editorial and publications, information graphics etc. The Media Design students will explore and gain proficiency in projects involving the Moving Image through animation and film. Students learn studio lighting, process diegetic sound and further explore non-diegetic sound to conclude their projects through post-production techniques and processes. The Interaction Design students will employ technology to address problems around socially relevant themes. Following participatory design processes, they will learn to assess needs and develop solutions and interventions.

Integrated Design Studio

In the seventh semester, students from the three majors come together to undertake a single capstone project. The structure of the studio enables students to approach design as an interdisciplinary field and learn to work in teams, jointly conducting in-field research, working closely with the stakeholders and communities, as they develop holistic design-based solutions. As future designers, they look at problems, which different communities face on an everyday basis and decipher the difficulties that might exist, be it navigation, education, disaster preparedness or accessibility of information. They interact with dynamic and diverse faculty and professionals in this exciting course, which also covers critical and practical theory.

Design Studies

These are seminars where students are given exposure to histories of design, material culture and technology, deeper theoretical and conceptual frameworks, and contemporary issues in design discourse. Second-year seminars History of Design, Research for Design and Design and the Human Condition are compulsory for all majors. In the subsequent years, in addition to a compulsory seminar Design Politics and Ethics, students also undertake major-specific seminars.

Drawing and Prototyping Lab

Focusing on sketching and drawing for prototyping, students hone basic observational and analytical skills while further learning ways of seeing and building objects, environments and people, both individually and in relation to each other. Students learn to imagine, visualise and execute thoughts and ideas into forms using experimental techniques as they gain familiarity with mediums and materials for innovative design practice. Detailed study of subject matter with a concentration on angles, perspectives, measurements, proportion, scale, and form remains a consistent learning outcome, however, students are expected to use their knowledge and skill in unconventional manners as well to forge new and exciting links between drawing and design.

Software Labs

Students are given crucial technical and craft skills necessary for the studio courses. Lab classes are open to all majors in the third semester and become major-specific afterwards. The goal of labs is not just to teach software skills, but also to encourage students to build proficiency with their tools as a means to gaining a facility in really exploring the applications of those tools in various projects.

Internships

This credited course is taken in the summer prior to the last semester of study. The internship gives the students an insight into the professional working environment and also helps in preparing the students for their final thesis project. Students intern at advertising agencies, design houses, media and non-profits organisations. The objective of the internship course is to enhance the students’ personal as well as professional skills and provide a platform from which they can make more informed and educated decisions about their future careers.

Design Thesis

The final thesis is the culmination of the four-year undergraduate degree. This student-directed project is undertaken in the final semester of study. Students are required to conduct in-depth research on their chosen topic, leading to the execution of coherent design projects.

Colloquium

The department regularly invites professionals from the industry to share their experiences and knowledge with the students. Short duration workshops are also conducted by visiting professionals throughout the academic programme.

Study Visits

Study trips are planned and organised by the faculty and students with the objective of enhancing the students’ learning and giving them a broader perspective of their field of study. Students are taken on local, provincial trips during their course of study. These national visits are an integral part of learning for the students outside the formal studio structure.

Design Consultancy

The Department also undertakes commercial and pro-bono work from the social/ development sector, including print media, film, illustration and photography. Past clients have included multinational corporations, educational institutions, fashion houses, NGOs and others.

Collaborations and Affiliations

The Department of Communication Design has received another grant from the US – PAKISTAN UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIPS GRANTS PROGRAM 2020-23, funded by the U.S. Mission to Pakistan and administered by the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP). In keeping with this aim, the Dept. of Communication Design has designed a program – Critical Design Education & Practice, to facilitate a more critically oriented research and creative practice in Communication Design education in Pakistan. The current program includes faculty from Kennesaw State University while reaching out to new partners, University College of Art and Design, Islamia University of Bahawalpur – IUB-UCAD, SABS University of Art, Design and Heritages – SABS, Karachi School of Art – KSA and Arts Council Institute of Arts and Crafts – ACIAC. The new program consists of 3 key activities, Curriculum Development Trainings, Faculty Development Program and Design Research Grants. The activities will be co-conducted by IVS and KSU faculty over a period of a year. Previous collaborations with KSU were a  3-year faculty and student exchange program and included   International Design Conference – IDCK in 2017.

The department also seeks industry collaborations and linkages integrating these with curricular, extracurricular and design and research based activities. Some collaborations have been with CFx Comics (a subsidiary of Creative Frontiers), Azcorp Entertainment,  ND2C – National Digital Design Conference, Vasl Artists’ Association, Effie Pakistan, CCP- Center for Communication Programs Pakistan, Pakistan International Film Festival – PIFF, Bykea, My Water, Tapal, Jaffer Brothers, Tehreek e Niswan, Alkhidmat Karachi, Media Matter for Democracy – MMfD, The First Microfinance Bank Limited – FMFB, for various projects.

 

Message from the Head of Department

Alfiya Halai
Head, Department of Communication Design

The Communication Design department aims to develop an interdisciplinary community that amalgamates research, design and technology using human-centered philosophy. This philosophy motivates design leaders to become critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers for lifelong success and rewarding careers. The department is committed to enhancing students' educational experiences by drafting a curriculum based on diverse academic and experiential settings that engage students in research and skill development, and recruit outstanding faculty. 
 
The department believes in fostering an environment where students gain comprehensive education in Communication Design as a core and further specialize in Graphic Design, Media Design, and Interaction Design. The department’s vision is to establish a platform for the personal and professional development of all stakeholders, function on inclusivity, creativity, growth, and competence, and create a happy learning environment that strives to deliver excellence.

Department Faculty & Staff

Mirza Mohammad Amir
Assistant Professor
  • Masters in Art Education, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan
  • MSc, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, University of Karachi, Pakistan
  • Certificate in Graphic Design and Advertising, Parsons School of Design, New York, USA
Nomaan Bhatti
Assistant Professor
  • MA Film Making, Kingston University, London, 2008
  • Fine Art Diploma, Karachi School of Art, 2002
  • Advanced 3D Modelling & Animation Diploma, Noor College of Professional Education, Karachi, 1998
Alfiya Halai
Assistant Professor and Head of Department
  • Master of Advertising, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), Karachi, Pakistan
  • BDes, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, Pakistan
Ume Laila Hasan
Assistant Professor
  • Masters in Art Education, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan
  • BDes, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, Pakistan
Tazeen Hussain
Associate Professor
  • MA, New Media And Society, University Of Leicester, UK
  • B. Des. Communication Design, Indus Valley School of Art And Architecture, Pakistan
Khurram Khan
Assistant Professor
  • BFA, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, Pakistan
Farah Mahbub
Assistant Professor
  • BA, University of Karachi, Pakistan
Zehra Zaidi
  • B. Des, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi
Syed Zulfiqar Sajid
  • B. Des, Graphic Design, KU, Pak
Arif Samad
  • MBA – Marketing Management, Muhammad Ali Jinnah University, PAK
Halima Sadia
  • B. Des, Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture, Karachi, PAK
Eman Ruhail
  • Art, Media & Technology, Parsons School of Design, Paris & New York
Irfan Kheri
  • B.S, Computer Science, F.A.S.T I.C. S, Karachi, Pakistan.
Shane Hussain Naqvi
  • Master of Computer Science, MAJU, Karachi
  • BA, English Literature and Philosophy, University of Karachi.
Maheen Minai
  • BDes, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, Pakistan
Muhammad Ali Khan
  • M.A. Mass Communications (Advertising & PR), University of Karachi
  • B.A. (Hons) Mass Communications, University of Karachi.
Shahzaib Khalid Khoker
  • MA, Film Making Cinematography, Goldsmiths University of London, UK
  • BA (Hons) Media Communication University of Arts London, UK
Hassaan Khan
  • B. Design, University of Karachi, Pakistan
Sara Jamil
  • B. Des, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi
Summaiya Jillani
  • BFA, University of Karachi, Pakistan
M. Arsalan Iqbal
  • Bachelors in Media Sciences, SZABIST, Pakistan
Syed Hisham Hasan
  • BA, Film Arts and Production, Toronto Media and Film College
Syed Ahmed ul Hassan
  • BE Electrical, NED University of Engineering and Technology
Tabriz Ghazi
  • BA (Hons) - Digital Design/ Virtual Reality and Animation, University of Huddersfield, UK
Samyah Arif
  • B. Des, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi
Nagin Imad Ansari
  • B. Des, IVS, Pak
Sikander Ali
  • BA, KU, Pak
Dr. Sabir Ahmed
  • Ph.D. Mass Communication, University of Karachi, Pakistan
Kiran Ahmad
  • B. Des, IVS, PAK
Salman Abedin
  • Master’s Degree, Strategic Foresight and Innovation, Ontario College of Art & Design University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Mahmood Ali Ahmed
Teaching Assistant
  • BA, Federal Urdu University, Karachi, Pakistan
Furqan Hyder Shah
CD Studio Officer
  • MBA HRM, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan
Bhawal Valjee (Badal)
  • Technical Staff