Welcome to
Beaconhouse National University

SVAD’s Departments

  • Department Of Fine Art

    Since its inception, the Fine Art Department at the School of Visual Arts has contributed to the art scene of Pakistan immeasurably. It is the faculty and alumni of this department, with their practice of transnational sensibility, who have led the contemporary art scene of Pakistan in the first decade of the 21st century; undoubtedly a phenomenal achievement in itself.

    The Fine Art Department offers students the possibility of intersecting through disciplines, blurring and questioning existing lines and engaging in a close dialogue between the local and the global. This is aimed at helping them develop a position on issues important to them in the context of their reality, using contemporary strategies of making, installing, and curating art. Students work closely with faculty and visiting artists, through electives, workshops and the Fine Art Major Studio; a largely independent, practice driven studio, where they are encouraged to explore individual concerns.

    Unlike other existing fine art programs in Pakistan, the program at SVAD encourages students to work fluidly, without the compulsion to select a major. Emphasis is given to helping students first discover their specific concerns through practice and exposing them to a variety of media before they arrive at the medium/s best suited for their practice. All of this is accomplished in conjunction with a strong component of theoretical courses, both mandatory and elective. These range from lectures and seminars on art history to courses such as Beyond Art Making; a course which familiarizes students with professional practice, legal aspects of art practice, alternative practices in contemporary culture, historical and current leanings in curating, collecting and exhibiting. This equips them with the tools required to set out into the world with confidence, and to enable them to continue to evolve a critical position. Students complete their degrees with an exhibition, which is assessed by external jurors as well as BNU faculty.

    BFA Visual Arts

  • Department Of Jewelry & Accessory Design

    A precious object speaks a thousand words. A fine piece of jewelry is no less than a masterful work of art, adorning the body in every age and culture. But what lies within its very core, as we unravel it layer by layer, are the many stories of its creator, the creation and the created. Whether it is a precious keepsake or a trendsetting fashion accessory, contemporary jewelry explores the traditional along with the unconventional.

    The creation of fine or fashion jewelry, accessories and objects d’art is a global industry, offering many opportunities to build a career as a jewelry artist, accessory designer, production designer, metal-smith, teacher or gallery owner thus offering graduates a range of entrepreneurial pursuits with a passion for designing and making.

    The degree program at the Department of Jewelry & Accessory Design encourages students to explore and question the inherent relationship of objects with the body. The program is focused on questioning the meaning and value of both traditional and contemporary jewelry and accessories through the process and practice of making. The historical, cultural, aesthetic and emotional significance of jewelry and accessories is examined within the context of both current fashion trends and forecasts, and in relation to developments in the wider context of contemporary art and design.

    The courses are structured to stimulate learning through a multidisciplinary mode of study, thereby questioning, exploring, developing and realizing ideas and concepts. Through discussion and debate with distinguished academia, artists, designers, craftspeople and professionals in the industry, students learn to extend their observational, analytical, technical and communication skills to become innovators in their field.

    Students learn to develop an understanding of not only jewelry & accessory design, manufacturing and merchandising, but also a broad range of knowledge and skills in drawing, research, techniques, new materials, digital technologies and marketing. The program is closely linked to the industry thereby providing opportunities to actively engage in live projects, competitions, design fairs and art exhibitions. Students work alongside with leading designers and artists in their final year of study to develop a showcase of customized designs for high-end jewelry collections, fashion accessories and wearable and non-wearable objects.

    B.Des Jewelry & Accessory Design

  • Department Of Photography

    Photography is both a unique art form, pushing the boundaries of representative media and a mass medium with vast popular appeal. Photography has established its place within our art galleries, within social media and on the web. It is both a solid profession with many different career paths and a means of re-examining our own individual experiences. The disciplines of fine art, commercial, documentary as well as time-lapse, virtual spaces and videography increasingly cross over and individual photographers frequently work with ideas as much as with lenses. This is an innovative and inspiring time for photographers and a great time to study photography.

    To study photography means learning how to see in terms of images. Why does one image speak to us so much more than another? Which visual strategies will lead to which result? Images inspire the creation of further images and so, throughout the course, many examples of images from the history of art and photography will be discussed and analyzed as a compliment to contemporary practice.

    Students will work in the darkroom to connect their practice to the historical images from the past and they will assist contemporary photographers to understand modern image making strategies. This approach provides the students with an understanding of the creative, intellectual and technical factors which lead to good visual results.

    Projects from the different fields of the photography, such as fashion, portrait and documentary photography are taught as genre specific skill sets which once mastered are then questioned so leading to innovation and fresh photographic thinking. Professional workflows are established so the student can quickly articulate complex ideas with the strongest visual repertoire over any lens based medium including video. We all understand that photography does not stop with the snap of the shutter but few realize the broad human, artistic and technical skills required to use the powerful tools we now have within our grasp.

    The computer has helped to bring together images with their audience, and we use photographs more prolifically today than at any other time in history, but images that last, whether they be accompanied by text, made more poignant by the addition of sound, or remembered as the pivotal frame from a favorite film are never easy to achieve. It is said that photography is the easiest medium to make an image with but the hardest to make an image that stands out. We will give you the skills, intellectual and physical, to bring out your unique vision.

    Photographers who have recognized the power of images to speak directly to the viewer also see the medium, not isolated from, but part of a functioning system of knowledge whose influence is deeply meaningful. We will look at photography; in context, with words, in sequences, as narrative, with sound, over time, as fashion, as history, as art, and as part of a social consciousness. We don’t make a photograph with a camera, we make it with our mind. A single photograph can expose complex thematic relationships whilst at the same time speak directly to the viewer on an emotional level. Significant photographs, be they from the fields of photojournalism, commercial or fine art photography, remain imprinted in our collective visual memory and influence not only our emotions and imaginations, but also society as a whole.

    BFA Photography

  • Department of Textile Design, Fibre & Fashion Studies

    • Textile Department

      The textile design program in the Textile Design Department is aimed at preparing designer-artists. Accordingly, it has two-fold approach: it actively assists students to explore their potential as design professionals in designing multipurpose and multivariate fabrics for industrial products and solutions; and, prepares them as artists who can realize their creative ideas through fabric art. By expanding the parameters of its traditional identity beyond cloth, craft and fashion, the primary objective of the textile design program is to redefine textiles.

      The program aims to fill the interstices between textiles, fine art-sculpture, architecture and jewelry by connecting all these disciplines through fiber. The textile curriculum is designed to create a stimulating environment for students who choose to work in textile-based tactile artistic medium. The academic learning ranges from indigenous historical studies, universal contemporary trends, to the realm of embedded in our culture to the basic technological knowledge required to understand the core foundation of a variety of textile-related material and techniques textiles-yarn and fiber. The program, by combining research and practice relies heavily on the rich textile traditions of South Asia and contemporary universal textile art and design practices, has created a curriculum that is not only rooted in the essential past and present, but strives to maintain its relevance in contemporary institutional and societal settings.

      The department also aims to adjust to the implications of learning-teaching the coexistence of design democracy conventional textiles in the domestic and international markets. The department also realizes the responsibility of community engagement thereby providing empowerment strategies and design solutions to several underserved areas.

      B.Des Textile & Fibre Studies

    • Fashion Studies

      Realizing the cultural power of fashion designers, the SVAD designers will not only be inventive in responding to the demands of the local and international fashion clientele, but also take the responsibility of setting classic to eclectic fashion trends with conscientiousness. The program while highlighting the strength of fashion world, and its distinct styles will influence the way people dress, and the way new designers approach their work.

      The fashion design curriculum ensures that designer’s cultural power is utilized with a sense of civic responsibility. Focusing on new trends, fashion forecasting and investigating, the course incorporates research on garments and styling to achieve the intended objectives. The program is expected to eventually extend its training to other areas of the emerging fashion sectors e. g. shoes, handbags, accessories and interiors.

      B.Des Fashion & Fibre Studies

  • Department Of Visual Communication Design

    Purposeful and versatile, design is a pervasive form of visual culture. Everywhere and everyday, we interact with it - consciously or unconsciously, ephemerally or memorably. Design, at its worst, can mislead, offend, discriminate and sensationalize. At its best, it can inform, guide, delight, persuade, inspire, captivate and alert us. It certainly influences our environment profoundly and determines the choreographies of daily life.

    SVAD is concerned with the question of what constitutes a sound education for visual communication designers in Pakistan. The focus of the program lies in its service and inspiration to humanity. The Pakistani context offers access to a unique combination of traditional and contemporary concepts, skills and techniques. Craftsmen, calligraphers, typesetters or poster artists still practice on regular demand, while concepts of user experience and interface design are developed for latest technologies such as web, tablet and phone applications, games, animations and printed media.

    Students get introduced to global and local design discourses and link them with their own design practice. They learn to identify design opportunities in their environment and apply conceptual and practical design skills to challenges in society and industry. The development and presentation of appropriate communication design strategies for various purposes such as promotion, awareness, advertising, education, information or entertainment is central to the program. The curriculum consists of studio classes, theory courses, hands-on experiences, workshops with visiting professionals and field trips.

    While the pedagogic approach is interdisciplinary and project based, students have the possibility to specialize in one of these areas: Animation, Electronic Design, Illustration or Print Design.

    BFA Visual Communication Design

  • Department Of Art History & Critical Studies

    For more than thirty thousand years, humans have been drawing, painting, carving, chiselling and creating images for many different purposes, in many different times and places. Yet the term art is much more recent and the answers to the questions “What is art?” and “What is an image?” remain elusive and contested today.

    In our age of mass communication, how can we make sense of art works and images in all their physical and temporal forms? As the academic study of visual culture, art history can contribute significantly to this quest. It can do so by not only concerning itself with art works in the classical sense (such as paintings and sculptures) but by also exploring ubiquitous, profane and ephemeral images - images of the everyday; of news, of entertainment, of popular culture, of science and technology.

    The Art History program at BNU provides students with the opportunity to explore the visual arts in different time spans, contexts and cultures. The practice of art today is indispensable from art theory. We believe that successful young artists and designers need to be erudite and well informed. Through a deeper understanding of the historic precedents of their field, students are able to critique their own practice. Lectures and seminars in the foundation program lay the basis for differentiated ways of approaching, analyzing and interpreting art. During the second and subsequent years, fine art, and design students continue to study art theory at a more advanced level in a variety of compulsory and elective courses. The program also offers excursions and field trips in Lahore and elsewhere in Pakistan, so that works of art can be experienced and discussed at first hand.

    BA (Hons) Double Major Fine Arts and History of Art

  • Centre For Art & Design Education & Research

    The Centre for Art & Design Education and Research (CADER) is a new initiative at the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts & Design, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore. CADER aims to build national leadership in art and design education as a discipline of research, teaching and learning of artists, designers and art & design educators in Pakistan. Through the establishment of CADER, SVAD aims, in the long term, to facilitate advocacy for and implementation of education and literacy in, through and with the visual arts and design in K-16 educational contexts in both specialized and general education. It also aims at extending the outreach of these fields into informal educational settings, locally and nationally, in culturally relevant ways. CADER plans to approach this through a threefold mission:

    • Research
    • Curriculum and Assessment
    • Teacher Education


    Founded in 2013, it is the first hub of this kind in all of Pakistan dealing with these three areas together in the fields of art & design. Within these three focus areas CADER is currently running several distinct projects with different target markets and audiences, as well as having others in the pipeline which are expected to unfold over the next three years.

    Among its first tasks, CADER took under its umbrella BNU’s MA Art Education Summer program (established 2011), Pakistan’s first art and design teacher education program. In addition, CADER has initiated a program of custom-designed need-based K-16 faculty professional development workshops for BNU and external institutions. In its curriculum and assessment area CADER is working on BFA program assessments and higher education policy development for art and design HEI’s with plans for developing teacher certification criteria and national standards in art and design in the future.

    In the research area, CADER is fostering scholarly activity in art and design through a program of publications, conference programs, and visitor exchange in art and design and related areas. A core focus of its research mission is to facilitate intercultural collaboration and exchange opportunities for faculty and students through international residency programs and developing curatorial and research opportunities with several partner institutions all over the world.

    With respect to all three focus areas CADER seeks to foster and facilitate BNU SVAD’s institutional partnerships and collaborations with relevant educational institutions and agencies both within Pakistan and abroad.

    MA ART ED Art & Design Education & Research

    MA ADS Masters in Art & Design Studies