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India Summer Program

Designers Abroad: A Short Course in India

Amritapuri ,  Kollam District,  Kerala, India

July 28- August 25, 2012

  3 pictures together

Course: ATR 300 (3 Credits)

Price: approximately $1960 undergraduate (potential graduate option, $2180 graduate).  Includes accommodation and meals. Students pay airfares on their own.

Led by: Deborah F Carlson, UMass Dartouth Artisanry & Textile/Fiber

Goals and Objectives:

The primary objective is an experience of working in their field while experiencing cultural immersion. The Designers Abroad would take Artisanry students to South India, to design tapestries and bags for Embracing the World  , a United Nations recognized NGO. This would be a Service Learning course offered both for credit and non-credit.

The course would expand design experiences beyond opportunities in the United States, to see small artisan organizations in the developing world. It would combine both classroom design problems with service learning.

This is an opportunity for students to experience new cultures, expand awareness, and have a personal experience of the lives of artisans in the developing world. Our students are talented and creative. They have a great deal to contribute to the world.

This short-term course could be taken for credit or non-credit. As a 3 credit course, there would be a studio component based on their design work. Another three credits could be an Independent Study, such as a travel diary reading and writing component, reflective of their experience.

The goal of the program would be two fold – first, to immerse UMassD students in another culture; this one would be rural south India, in the State of Kerala. Secondly, the students, as a Service Learning activity, would work with local artisans, designing tapestries and bags to be made by these women.

The course will fulfill university requirements for service learning and diversity.

Day by day Itinerary (tentative)


 6:00 AM tea

 8:00 to 10:00    breakfast

1:00- 2:00            lunch

4:00                        tea

8:30-9:30              dinner


Day 1         tour Amritapuri; introduction to the tailor shop

Day 2         project #1assigned by Jayanti (head of tailor shop)

 Day 3         workshop with German pattern maker Aparna

Day 4         visit Amrita University, including e-learning project (haptic                     textile painting software)

Day 5         workday

Day 6         critique

Day 7         Field trip to Kochi

Day 8        Problem #2 from Jayanti

Day 9       workshop with New York stylist Johanna Davis on sourcing                     materials in India

Day 10     Workshop with pattern maker Aparna

Day 11      Backwater tour

Day 12     Studio workday

Day 13      Critique

Day 14      Field Trip to Varcala; Kovalum Beach

Day 15     Problem #3 from Jayanti

Day 16      Workshop with pattern maker Aparna

Day 17      Design workday

Day 18      Design workday

Day 19      Feedback from Western Shop staff

Day 20      Exhibit of Design work

Day 21     Field trip Orphanage

Day 22     free day

Day 23     Trivandrum

Day 24     fly home

For more information:

Visit Amrita.edu 

Contact International Programs Office

Pine Dale Hall 7123A, 508.910.6506





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