Lahore, the art capital of Pakistan, has a new player emerging on the art education landscape, but one that is aiming at nothing short of giving established players in the field a true run for their money. The Institute of Art And Culture is a newest art school in Lahore and has been established by Act XXXI of the Government of Pakistan.
The art and culture university is set to begin instructing its first batch of students this fall and for the first-ever batch, IAC has received 250 undergrad students that have been enrolled across four schools. The schools – School of Digital and Cinematic Art (SDCA), School of Architecture, Design and Urbanism (SADU), School of Culture and Language (SCL) and School of Art (SOA) – are currently offering 10 degrees and a total of 135 courses.
But the institute is not just offering routine instruction available at every other art school, rather the IAC administration is in verse with times and a major part of the university’s focus will be educating students about how to effectively sync technology and art to provide the industry with innovative solutions.
One of the key areas of IAC Lahore would be game design and animation and both disciplines would not be treated as add-ons in a particular arts degree. Rather, these would be considered a separate entity that students could opt for considering the emerging opportunities in the Pakistani and international market. IAC is offeriing four-year bachelor’s degree programme in game design, which will be first of its kind programme in Pakistan. The courses would be conducted by professionals from the game development and design industry and taught with the aid of professional equipment and labs established at IAC. To drive its seriousness home, the institute has already spent Rs 40 million on its professional labs to facilitate professional work for film animation and game industry.
Talking to The Academia, IAC Lahore SDCA Dean and Coordinator Professor Zafar Iqbal said the market culture for art students wasn’t available to many art schools across Pakistan. “We realized the need of such a platform that tests an artist professionally. At IAC, 50% of the faculty is from the industry and comes from established professions,” Iqbal said.
He said IAC had also initiated an incubation centre to encourage students to get involved with entrepreneurship and would even facilitate students to receive reliable funding through banks and established organisations.
“Lack of professional institutes can affect the quality of art and Pakistan has just three professional art institutes. IAC would be focusing on getting project funding for students instead of revenue,” Professor Iqbal said.
He added that IAC would be the first art institute to focus on academic research through exhibitions at the national and international level. “Five research papers are underway and they would be presented at ‘Thaap’ centre of art and culture in Lahore.”
Commenting on the approach IAC would want its students to have towards their degrees, Iqbal said technology play a vital part in defining art and the institute would encourage its students to utilise it to the fullest. Also, IAC would encourage students to get involved with extensive research. “We would like our students to be problem solvers through art. Students would be presenting their research from the second year of their undergraduate programmes,” Iqbal added.
The SDCA dean said IAC Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Pervaiz Vandal would be initially heading research through Thaap along with Vice Chancellor Professor Sajida Haider Vandal.
IAC would also be aiming at promoting the knowledge and understanding of Pakistani culture, and will be one-of-a-kind art institute that will be offering multi-lingual programmes at the university level. Students will have the freedom to study in either Urdu, English or Punjabi.
The institute has been approved by Higher Education Commission HEC and federal board of Pakistan and would be awarding its very own degree. For more details about the institute, check out this link.