Bengaluru is a city that is famous for creating national and international platforms for the youth. Special to Bengaluru is a clear focus on innovation and futuristic thinking. In today’s VUCA world of wicked problems and fluid boundaries, design disruptions are critical for crafting a promising future. For a city that harbours multiple regional, local and international identities, Pearl Academy will give an impetus to the young talent of Bengaluru.
Pearl Academy has launched its fifth campus in “Namma Bengaluru”, which has involved research, multiple outreach initiatives, dialogues with Bengalureans, industry, and a scrutiny of international trends.
All Pearl Academy courses keep in mind the life-long learning that help students become more responsible and empathetic. The biggest challenge that we faced in setting up this new campus was how to craft a student experience that is not only out-of-the-box, but sparks curiosity, encourages unconventional experiments that apply to Bengaluru specifically. Bengaluru is slightly different from our other campus launches; therefore, we have invested a lot of time in understanding the city’s culture and its youth. In keeping with our tradition of excellence, we have to ensure that we get everything right.
To this effect, earlier this year, we conducted a workshop on the role of a design college in Bengaluru and what makes a ‘Bengaluru Design’ special. Around 70 people, who were specifically chosen from the industry, alumni body, and friends of Pearl, convened for an evening of discussion. It was led by our advisory board members Prasad Bidappa, Vikas Satwalekar, and alumnus Nikhil Mehra, along with Bengaluru design leaders Poonam Bir and Abhijit Bansode. Post the discussions, there were table discussions, which were shared with everyone, thereby leading to insights such as:
a. The need for cross-disciplinary/seamless learning across disciplines
b. An opportunity to accumulate wisdom/create and document knowledge
c. A focus on Indian traditional heritage and craft/textiles
d. Engaging with futuristic technology
e. Bengaluru being the start-up capital, developing entrepreneurial skills in students is essential
f. Create a space for a more significant role of design, especially in public sector and government
g. The local people of Bengaluru love purposeful design, making life better/public and community roles, inclusive industries
h. A space for agility, experimentation
Post the discussion, our Bengaluru project team brainstormed on how to take these ideas forward to make Pearl Academy Bengaluru special. There were other discussions that took place at NASSCOM, and individual meetings with designers, researchers, retailers, and educators have helped crystallise the theme in Bengaluru. This journey will carry on as we continue to engage and explore.
Bengaluru is already ahead of the rest of India in creating a vision and platforms to empower India’s young minds. The city already has its first robot restaurant! In a transient world, no one single parameter like a high salary or a substantial degree can define success. Nor can siloed and colonial education or grading systems define it. Instead, it has multiple dimensions, which include innovation, collaboration, empathy, curiosity, social contribution, and responsibility to people and the planet.
Pearl Academy is going through a very exciting phase. Watch out this space for more updates as we gear up to announce our new campus in the city of joy… in Aamar Kolkata.