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Anant National University launches Centre for Visual Arts and Centre for Urbanism and Cultural Economics

The courses, research and outreach at these centres will catalyse the relationship between creativity, critical thinking, and analytical thinking

Anant National University, India’s first design University continues to promote 21st-century living and learning in a global context while keeping its academic core rooted in the Indian milieu by adding the ‘Centre for Visual Arts’ and ‘Centre for Urbanism and Cultural Economics’ at the University.

The courses, research and outreach at these centres will catalyse the relationship between creativity, critical thinking, and analytical thinking. These programmes will help transform imagination into reality, enabling students to understand the journey from conceptualising to executing real-world projects.

Focusing on the role of creative education, the Centre for Visual Arts at AnantU reinforces the practical learning of the visual form through domain-specific materials covering a wide range of media across contemporary studio art practices. The interdisciplinary curriculum draws on perspectives from aesthetics, philosophy, feminism, gender and post-colonial theories, as well as theories of globalisation and new technologies. This layered-engagement between studio practice and theory is fundamental to linking visual thinking with architecture and design. The Centre for Visual Arts is led by Dr Bindu Bhadana (Transcultural Studies – Arts & Culture).

The Centre for Urbanism and Cultural Economics (CUCE) by AnantU will focus on the interdisciplinary fields of urban and development studies and cultural economics in India. These take on increasing policy and practice relevance in the light of the UN’s agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly around sustainable cities and communities, in the post-pandemic world. The Centre for Urbanism and Cultural Economics (CUCE) is headed by Dr Ashima Sood (Urban Development) and Dr Shubhalaxmi Mohapatra (Micro, Macro, and Behavioural Economics).

The Centre will analyse and develop holistic and sustainable models of urbanism that are attentive to India’s rich tangible and intangible heritage. Building upon the guiding principles of the School of Creative Practice and Entrepreneurship, AnantU (SCoPE), the Centre focuses on research-informed praxis. Preparing a new generation of enquiry-led practitioners and practice-attentive researchers in the field of local, urban and regional development studies, and cultural economics, the Centre aims to establish AnantU as a centre for excellence in the urban built environment and cultural economics in India and the Global South.

Speaking on the launch of the centres, Dr Anunaya Chaubey – Provost, AnantU said, “We envisioned programmes like these for years and it is exciting to see it come to fruition. The courses at AnantU seeks to nurture smart solutionaries, equipping them with analytical, design, and communication skills to drive change. We aim to establish community engagement through a multidisciplinary approach in the fields of design, built habitat, and sustainability.”

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