BITS Pilani launches Future-focused ‘BITS Design School’ in Mumbai

Aspires to be a globally benchmarked Design school. To leverage collaborations with Aalto University, Finland, ranked #6 in the world for art & design by QS, and the School of Design, RMIT, Melbourne.
BITS Design School (BITSDES) will move within a 63-acre university campus in the Mumbai Metropolitan region for which Rs.1500 Crore investment is being made.

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Mumbai, 15 February 2024: BITS Pilani, one of the first private universities to be awarded the status of ‘Institution of Eminence’ by the Government of India, today announced a foray into Design Education with the launch of BITS Design School (BITSDES). The future-focused design school is modelled on top global design institutes and is being set up in Mumbai. BITS Design school will uniquely combine Technology, Business, and Entrepreneurship, core elements of the BITS DNA with the creative arts to nurture a new generation of future ready Design professionals poised to contribute actively to India’s aspiration to be a developed nation by 2047. Graduates will be equipped with a set of transdisciplinary and in demand competencies, to take on C-Suite positions as they grow in their careers.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chancellor, BITS Pilani said, “Design is increasingly pivotal in addressing the complexities of the new age. From manufacturing to services, and retail to technology, design is shaping the future of how businesses approach problem-solving and innovation. BITS Design School will reimagine design education with a bold, trans-disciplinary, competency based approach, and embrace avenues where design can positively impact people, businesses, and the world. BITS Pilani, with its rich legacy of academic excellence and trans-disciplinary thinking, is uniquely positioned to do this. And in the process, we will nurture a new generation of leaders who will use design to create value and solve problems for a better world.”

BITS Design School will introduce a four-year, residential, Bachelor of Design (Honours) programme in the academic year 2024-25, followed by a Master’s Degree programme and a Faculty Development programme for Design Educators over the next two years. Admissions open on 26 Feb 2024 for the founding class who will be taught by international visiting faculty and a marquee Indian faculty trained at the top Design schools in the world. In the second year of the programme, students can choose from the five streams offered for specialisation – Physical Product Design, Digital Product Design (UI/UX), Human Centred Design, Experience Design, and Visual Design.

With a strong international focus, BITSDES has as advisors, legends from the world of design—Don Norman, founding director of the Design Lab and author of the bestselling “Design of Everyday Things”, Sandy Speicher, former CEO of IDEO, headquartered at San Francisco, Biju Dominic, chief evangelist at New York and Mumbai based Fractal and CEO, FinalMile Consulting, and John Thackara, author, professor, and curator of The Doors of Perception – the celebrated design conference in the Netherlands. The BITS Design School curriculum has been co-designed and will be reviewed annually by Aalto University, Finland, ranked #6 globally in the field of Art & Design according to QS. The collaboration with Aalto University also covers freemover student exchange. BITS Pilani has a partnership with RMIT University in Australia. BITS Design School and the RMIT School of Design are working together to identify future collaboration opportunities. BITSDES faculty is signing up to participate in the training and mentorship connected to the Teaching & Learning Studio at the Hasso Plattner School of Design at Stanford University.

BITSDES students will gain access to and benefit from the 1,80,000+ BITS Pilani Alumni Network spanning 55 Countries, one of the strongest and most illustrious networks of industry leaders, founders, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders. A dedicated career support office will facilitate students’ preparedness, exposure, and access to leading Design firms, corporations, banks, NGOs, and research organizations.

A world class fully residential permanent campus will house BITS Design School, BITS School of Management, and BITS Law School. It is being built over 63 acres in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region with state-of-the-art infrastructure, and the endeavour is to make it a zero-carbon footprint campus over time. While the permanent campus will be operational in early 2025, BITS Design School will commence its first academic session in August 2024 out of the interim campus in Powai, Mumbai.

Meritorious students will receive generous scholarships to enable access and ensure diversity of the cohort.

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