Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts & Design

The Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts & Design (MDSVAD) fosters innovation and connectivity across art, design, and knowledge domains. It equips students and faculty with adaptive tools for experimentation and excellence. With a globally aligned curriculum and diverse faculty, it champions diversity and collaboration. Hosting students from SAARC nations, MDSVAD offers a unique educational experience.

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“Our mission is to fostering global creativity, our mission is to cultivate independent thinkers in visual arts and design. Our flexible programs and dialogic environment nurture adaptive professionals for the future.”
DEAN’S MESSAGE

Inspiring excellence,

“At Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts and Design, the year 2023 marks 20 years of taking the lead in celebrating diversity through a creative inquiry since it was established as the first school of BNU – Pakistan’s first not-for-profit liberal arts university. Now, entering the third decade of the institution and looking back in retrospect, we see the two decades as two phases: if the first decade has been about evolving naturally through sheer passion and excitement combined with a clear vision, the second decade/phase has given strength to this endeavour by creating and streamlining strong systems so that the outcomes of the first decade have expanded for a growing future. “

Prof. Rashid Rana

Dean, Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts and Design (MDSVAD)

MDSVAD PROGRAMS

Empowering Lives Through Diverse Programs of Study

Department of Fine Arts

The Department of Fine Arts at Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts & Design (MD-SVAD) is a unique program in the region. It offers students the possibility of cutting across disciplines, researching, archiving, questioning and reinventing existing methods of Art-making. This department equips students with the freedom to forge their personal paths.


Department of Textile, Fashion & Accessories Design

The Textile, Fashion and Accessories programme at BNU MDSVAD, has evolved with a dynamic vision this year to meet the ever-changing ecology of design. Global and regional expectations in the context of design morphology have led to the restructuring of the TFA curriculum with renewed passion. The TFA structure will allow students to decipher their own customized learning path choosing electives of their choice which will act as a scaffolding to support their design investigations.


Department of Visual Communication Design

Visual Communication Design at SVAD focuses on the role of a designer as a thinker-designer with a deep understanding of the core principles of design, the integration of technology and the accumulative application in the form of images, interactions and objects. The Department of Visual Communication Design endeavours to generate a mindset that allows students to combine a critical understanding of context with acquired conceptual and technical skills, allowing them to enact design interventions in environments real, virtual or imagined.


Department of Graduate & Interdisciplinary Studies

Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD) at Beaconhouse National University has taken the lead in implementing an innovative interdisciplinary approach to art, design, their expanded fields and their pedagogy. Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies at SVAD offers three-degree programmes: BA (Hons), Interdisciplinary Expanded Design & Art (IEDA), Master of Art & Design Studies (MA ADS) and a low-residency Master of Art Education (MA AE). The degrees aim to foster curiosity, adaptability and a rigorous sense of inquiry.


Foundation Year Studies

The Foundation Studies programme is a seminal year for all students of SVAD. It prepares students for their future majors in Visual Art, Visual Communication Design, Textile, Fashion and Accessories Design, and Interdisciplinary and Expanded Design & Art by introducing them to practical techniques of art-making but also setting the groundwork for critical and conceptual thinking. Having a dynamic curriculum that aims to stay relevant to current global trends in art practices, this year it has evolved further to give students an even better grasp on their chosen field of study, while simultaneously giving them the freedom to explore a wide range of creative avenues. In its new role, the Foundation programme will provide broad-based fundamental knowledge in the Fall semester, and then, in the Spring, move on to imparting skills and concepts more specific to post-Foundation disciplines through offering electives. Studio courses deal with several mediums and approaches towards art production, while their ideological counterparts are provided by theory courses dealing with visuality and memory. A hybrid studio/ theory course dealing with contextuality strives to provide their art-making with context through historical and contemporary aesthetic philosophies. Students are equipped with methodologies of visually articulating their ideas, individually as well as collaboratively, and encouraged to use art and design as agents of change in their societies. The first year may be overwhelming for any art student trying to determine a future career path. Keeping this and the diverse educational backgrounds and learning capacities of our student body in mind, the programme is designed to nurture their individual artistic personalities in order to help them identify their own interests, and eventually grow into confident individuals ready to carve out their niche in the real world.


FACULTY AND STAFF

Our Team, Empowering Futures

Prof. Rashid Rana

Prof. Rashid Rana

Recipient of the Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 2022, Rashid Rana is widely considered to be one of the leading artists of his generation in South Asia. He emerged as the creator of an entirely new kind of art from Pakistan at the start of the century. Notable for his ideas, imagery, and pictorial strategies, Rashid Rana has exhibited extensively at various galleries and museums globally. His works are in various public and private collections, including the British Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Fukuoka Museum of Art in Japan, and the Saatchi Collection in London. He is the recipient of the prestigious Game-Changer Asia Art Award and was awarded International Artist of the Year by SAVAC Canada in 2003. Primarily known for his art practice, Rashid Rana occupies multiple simultaneous roles. He mediates between artist, curator, and academic with a common thread of an unfixed and non-prescriptive view of geography and identity. He is a founding faculty member and currently the Dean of the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts & Design at BNU, Lahore.

Prof. Risham Hosain Syed

Prof. Risham Hosain Syed

Risham Syed is a visual artist who currently heads the Visual Arts Department at the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts & Design, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan. Risham has a diverse art practice in which painting and other mediums are employed to explore questions of history and politics. Her native city plays a pivotal role in her work, as do related inquiries into what the colonial history of the region means to today’s global south. She explores these questions using her paintings as pieces of a greater, often global context through installation and engages objects, borders, margins, frames with social reference and connotation. Her use of fabric, embroidery, found objects, along with her paintings, speaks about her connection with the personal, as well as the historical, weaving in history with the present moment. Risham has shown extensively in major national and international exhibitions, including the Manchester Art Gallery, ABRAAJ Capital Art Prize, Dubai, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, Asia Pacific Triennial Brisbane, Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art, China, Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi, National Gallery of Art, Islamabad, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, Harris Museum, Preston, Barbican Centre, London, and the Fukuoka Triennial, Japan. Ms. Risham is the recipient of the prestigious ABRAAJ Capital Art Prize (2012). Her works are part of important public and private collections. Her recent projects include a solo show at Manchester Art Gallery in Manchester, where her work conversed with the permanent collection of 18th and 19th-century paintings. Risham is a graduate of the National College of Arts, Lahore, and holds an MA from the Royal College of Art, London.

Prof. Kiran Farooq Khan

Prof. Kiran Farooq Khan

Kiran Khan is a professor and head of the Textile, Fashion, and Accessories Department at MDSVAD. She initially earned a Bachelor of Design from the National College of Arts in Lahore, specializing in textiles. Her thesis, titled 'The World Beyond the Senses,' was awarded a distinction. Additionally, she received the prestigious Percy Brown Award for Art History and two gold medals for her performances as part of the NCA puppet team, known as The Puppeteers NCA. She then joined the Pakistan School of Fashion Design (PSFD), now PIFD, where she taught for eight years and developed the textile curriculum. During her tenure at PIFD, she pursued further studies in textile design, accessories, and fashion drawing from La Chambre Syndicale De la Couture, France. She was also selected by JETRO, the Japanese External Trade Organization, for further training at Bunka College of Fashion, Tokyo.She joined BNU in 2004 and established the textile design department, where she has been for 16 years since its inception. She has received training in the conservation of textiles and completed her Master’s Degree in Linguistics from BNU in 2014, which she believes is an essential link between language and arts. She feels that 'all textiles convey a different story, and it is through language that we understand this story.' The Department of Textiles is actively engaged in craft revival and was awarded the esteemed international Mac Jannet Prize by the Tallories Network for a community craft Project called the 'Humnawa Project,' in collaboration with Sungi and Bunyaad under the Punjab Skills Development Programme, to empower women in Southern Punjab. She developed a curriculum on 'Innovative Design' for empowering rural women, a joint venture with Kaarvan Craft Foundation. This project with Kaarvan Craft Foundation follows the same structural model as 'Humnawa,' whereby 1600 women will be trained in clusters. The curriculum designed will serve as a template to provide exposure and encourage innovative thinking for all underserved craft practitioners in South East Asia.She was Artist in Residence at Art Address, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, in July 2018. She also designs for the textile sector and has developed designs for Mausummery Lawn, Sitara Textiles, and Five Star Lawn. She runs her personal Embellishment Design Studio, engaging local embroidery craftsmen and developing custom-made hand-embroidered textiles.

Prof. Quddus Mirza

Prof. Quddus Mirza

Quddus Mirza, an artist, art critic, and independent curator, served as the Head of the Fine Art Department at the National College of Arts, Lahore, before joining BNU. He holds a BFA from NCA and an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art, London. Mirza's work has been showcased extensively in significant group exhibitions and solo shows in Pakistan and the UK. He has curated exhibitions such as "Trade Union" and "Take Away" at Zahoor ul Akhlaq Gallery, NCA, and "One to One" at Alhamra Art Gallery, Lahore. His notable exhibitions include "Celebrating Art" and "Love" at the National Art Gallery, Islamabad, and "Beyond Borders: Art from Pakistan" at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai, India. Mirza is a prominent art critic, contributing regular columns to Pakistan's major newspaper, 'The News', and to international publications such as 'Art India' and 'Depart'. He is the co-author of the book "50 Years of Visual Arts in Pakistan" and serves as the editor of the online magazine 'Artnow Pakistan'.

Mr. Aarish Sardar

Mr. Aarish Sardar

Aarish Sardar is a design educator and interdisciplinary creative practitioner. He holds a BFA in Fine Arts (2000) and an MA in Multimedia Arts (2003) from the National College of Arts, Lahore. Aarish pursued his MA in Communication Design from Kingston University London (2006) after gaining several years of experience as an Associate Producer at GEO TV Lahore. Currently, he teaches at the Dept. of Visual Communication Design in the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts & Design at Beaconhouse National University (BNU), Lahore. Aarish has completed limited modules of the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ – Level 3) UK, namely Children Safeguarding, and National Open College Networks (NOCN) UK in Communication & Conflict Management.Aarish has worked as a communication designer and multimedia consultant internationally, serving clients from the USA, UK, Pakistan, and beyond, including Sophia Learning, Autograph ABP, Hulton Archives (Getty Images), DFID UK, Linge Roset, Eugene Dodd Typographics (EDT), Woolpack Inn, Hamptons of London, Aconflag Group Europe, and Salt’n’Pepper Restaurants (PAK/UK), among others. One of his notable projects is the design and art direction of the monograph “& She Wandered,” focusing on the acclaimed academic and visual artist Farida Batool’s art practices, published in March 2020.Aarish has exhibited his interdisciplinary works in various group shows at Kunj Art Gallery (Karachi), Rohtas Gallery (Islamabad), Corydon Clock Tower Gallery (London), Bermondsey Gallery (London), the School of Tomorrow exhibition held at the Royal Palm Club (Lahore), and at Alhmara Art Gallery (Lahore) as part of the group show

Ms. Aroosa Naz Rana

Ms. Aroosa Naz Rana

Aroosa Naz Rana is a recognized visual artist and educator, whose work has been showcased in various prestigious national and international exhibitions. Her art, deeply rooted in exploring societal themes, has contributed to the discourse on art and education. She has been influential in nurturing creative talents at BNU, leveraging her rich background in fine arts and art education to provide a comprehensive learning experience.

Mr. Mehbub Shah

Mr. Mehbub Shah

Mahbub Shah stands out as a visual artist and educator, whose contributions to the field through his exploration of visual representation and the real-vs-imaginary debate enrich the academic and artistic communities. His involvement in national and international exhibitions highlights his impactful presence in the art world. At BNU, he continues to inspire and educate, fostering a deep understanding of the visual arts among students.

Ayaz Jokyio

Ayaz Jokyio

Ayaz Jokhio's artistic journey is marked by an extensive exploration of painting as a medium, alongside various other techniques. With numerous solo exhibitions and participations in art residencies and projects worldwide, his dedication to art is profound. His role as an educator at BNU enriches the institution's artistic environment, providing students with a deep, practical insight into the art world.

Ms. Zainab Saghir Barlas

Ms. Zainab Saghir Barlas

Zainab Saghir Barlas, with her extensive experience in top advertising agencies and a strong academic background, plays a critical role at BNU as a design educator. Her contributions to the design summit and various group shows across Pakistan reflect her commitment to elevating design discourse and education. Her work as a visual communication designer and researcher significantly influences the nurturing of new talent in the field.

Ms. Rohma Khan

Ms. Rohma Khan

Rohma Khan, a multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and researcher, has made significant strides in bridging traditional craft with contemporary design. Her leadership in collaborative projects and initiatives aimed at craft revival and sustainable fashion underscores her commitment to social and environmental causes. Through her work, she has contributed to a broader understanding of textiles' role in cultural and contemporary contexts, making substantial impacts both locally and internationally. Her involvement in various high-profile projects and forums showcases her ability to innovate and inspire in the realms of art and design education.

Ms. Sana Aziz

Ms. Sana Aziz

Sana Aziz is a Jewelry Designer and an Educator. She has a Bachelor (hons) in Jewellery and Metal design from the University of Dundee, Scotland and a Masters in Art Education from Beaconhouse National University, for which she was awarded a Gold-medal and given the prestigious honor of representing her class as valedictorian. In addition to her entrepreneurial practice she has been enjoying her pedagogical practice at BNU since 2012. Over this past decade she has had the pleasure of teaching over 17 courses, including supervising the jewelry student’s graduating thesis several times.

Mr. Ammar Faiz

Mr. Ammar Faiz

Ammar Faiz engages in various mediums of experiential expressions and has exhibited his work internationally. His practice focuses on anthropological themes and has won awards in the Video Art category.

Ammar Shahid

Ammar Shahid

Ammar Shahid, a dynamic couturier, challenges design complexities and teaches diverse fashion-related courses at BNU, drawing from extensive industry experience.

Ahsan Nazir

Ahsan Nazir

Ahsan Nazir brings a unique fusion of prints and luxury fashion design, with a global customer base and a rich educational background.

Ms. Durre Shehwar Ali

Ms. Durre Shehwar Ali

Durre Shehwar Ali's design work spans industrial design to UX design, focusing on the social impact of design and product performance.

Ms. Aatiqa Sheikh

Ms. Aatiqa Sheikh

Aatiqa Sheikh is a dynamic figure in the field of art education, with a rich background in both teaching and research. Currently serving as an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the Master of Art Education (MA AE) program at MDSAVAD, she brings a wealth of experience to her role. Having begun her journey as a Senior Lecturer at MDSVAD, Aatiqa's passion for art education has taken her through various esteemed institutions, including the Beaconhouse School System, Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design, and Beaconhouse National University. Her diverse teaching experiences have equipped her with a profound understanding of pedagogy and a commitment to innovative teaching methodologies. Aatiqa holds a Master's degree in English Literature from Punjab University, a testament to her interdisciplinary approach to education. Her academic pursuits led her to achieve a Master of Art Education with distinction in research from SVAD (Beaconhouse National University), highlighting her dedication to advancing knowledge in the field. Beyond the classroom, Aatiqa is deeply engaged in research and advocacy efforts. As the co-founder of Covert Overt, an inclusivity research collective, she actively contributes to initiatives aimed at fostering diversity and inclusion within educational spaces. Additionally, her involvement in a collaborative art education project with BNU-TEF underscores her commitment to enhancing teaching and learning practices in public schools, particularly in Southern Punjab. Aatiqa's scholarly contributions extend to the broader academic community, as evidenced by her participation in conferences such as the 13th Humanities & Social Science Conference at LUMS. Her research interests span a wide range of topics, including interfaith harmony and religious tolerance, as demonstrated by her role as a Site Lead for a project aimed at promoting these values in collaboration with GOP, World Bank, and UNESCO. In summary, Aatiqa Sheikh is not only a dedicated educator but also a passionate advocate for inclusive and transformative education. Through her teaching, research, and advocacy efforts, she continues to make significant contributions to the field of art education, enriching the lives of students and communities alike.

Mr. Ghulam Muhammad

Mr. Ghulam Muhammad

Ghulam Muhammad is an awarded artist and educator whose work has been recognized internationally, including the Jameel Art Prize from the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Hifsa Farooq

Hifsa Farooq

Hifsa Farooq combines her roles as faculty and academic advisor with an active art practice, participating in significant residencies and exhibitions.

Ms. Sara Aslam

Ms. Sara Aslam

Sara Aslam did her Bachelor in Fine Arts and Masters in Art & Design Studies with distinction at Beaconhouse National University in 2016 and 2020, respectively. She teaches Foundation and Masters programs at BNU.

Ms. Eisha Liaqat

Ms. Eisha Liaqat

Eisha Liaqat is the Co-Founder of Articulate Studios, a creative space established to cultivate a sense of community among artists. The studio serves as a platform for artists to exchange ideas, find inspiration, and showcase their work. As part of her involvement, she curated and successfully implemented Art Saraye, an artist residency and outreach program. This initiative aimed to foster artistic and creative encounters, as well as promote rejuvenation and social change through engagement with the local community. She recently co-curated an exhibition titled “Retrospective, Fiber and Textile Expressions.”

Professor Salima Hashmi

Professor Salima Hashmi

A recipient of the Pride of Performance Award in 1999, Prof. Salima Hashmi is an internationally renowned Pakistani artist, writer, art historian, art curator and educationist. She taught at National College of Arts for 31 years before working as its principal for four years. She is one of the key persons who founded Beaconhouse National University and School of Visual Arts and Design. She is a reputed painter whose works have been exhibited in Pakistan and in international exhibitions. She has written extensively on the arts, and has curated exhibitions of contemporary art and traditional textile.

ALUMINI

Straight from the Source

MDSVAD TODAY

Breaking Limits: MDSVAD

NEWS | All News
BNU-MDSVAD Honors Mr. Hameed Haroon with a Prestigious Award

Beaconhouse National University (BNU)'s Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts and Design (MDSVAD) proudly announced the initiation of the BNU Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts, with the inaugural award being conferred on the esteemed Mr. Hameed Haroon. Mr. Hameed Haroon's remarkable contributions to Pakistan's art, design, media, and cultural landscape have made a lasting impact on the country's cultural identity. As a visionary leader, he has promoted heritage and culture through his work at Dawn Media, Mohatta Palace Museum, and with the Government of Sindh. Mr. Haroon has diligently archived and documented Pakistan's rich cultural history, supported notable artists, and curated seminal exhibitions. The award ceremony took place on June 8, 2024, at the SLASS Auditorium, BNU. Multiple dignitaries including members of BNU Board of Governors Mrs. Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri, Mr. Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Mr. Kasim Kasuri besides Syed Baber Ali, Mr. Abdul Razzak Dawood, Professor Salima Hashmi, Mr. Nayyar Ali Dada, Mr. Iqbal Z. Ahmed, Ms. Sameera Raja, Ms. Adeela Suleman, Vice Chancellor Dr. Moeed W. Yusuf and others graced the occasion. The event also featured the opening of the Degree Show 2024, which was inaugurated by Mr. Hameed Haroon, showcasing the outstanding works of MDSVAD's graduating students. MDSVAD, under the visionary leadership of Dean Rashid Rana, has established itself as a premier hub for creative excellence. Offering unique programs that foster innovative thinking, artistic expression, and critical analysis, MDSVAD has nurtured talent, experimentation, and originality, shaping the future of art and design in Pakistan and beyond. Dean Rana's vision has enabled MDSVAD to become a beacon producing alumni who have made a significant impact in the art and design world. The Fine Arts Department, headed by Risham Syed, produced talented artists who gained national and international recognition.

Design Summit 2024 by MDSVAD

First Edition of Design Summit Unveiled Intricacies of Design Discourse in Lahore On March 12, 2024, The Design Summit Lahore 01, a pioneering event poised to unravel the intricacies of design discourse in Pakistan and the Global South, was held at the historic Walled City of Lahore and BNU Campus from March 7 to 13, 2024, as part of BNU’s 20th-anniversary celebrations. Hosted by the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts and Design (MDSVAD) at Beaconhouse National University (BNU), in collaboration with Rhode Island School of Design and the Punjab Walled City Authority, this groundbreaking summit showcased diverse facets of design through exhibitions, conversations, projects, and pavilions. Under the theme “Everything that has been designed or will be designed is being designed right now,” coined by Prof. Ijlal Muzaffar of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), the Design Summit fostered a rich and expansive dialogue on design. It brought together international speakers, design academics, practitioners, and visionaries who delve into conversations surrounding the themes: ‘Artificial and Other Intelligences’, ‘Planetary Geographies’, ‘Design as Translation’ and ‘Designing Pakistan’. The Conversations segment was Powered by Lead Sponsor JS BANK and their digital arm JS Zindagi. Other key aspects of the summit included the Simultaneity as Design: Pakistan and Beyond- Exhibition, that showcased a curated display of works at the Royal Kitchen, sponsored by Co Lead Sponsor i2c Inc., and Patron / Cultural Partner German Embassy to Pakistan and the Materiality as Design; Envisioning Space Through Time- Pavilions exhibition that inspired audiences with their large-scale installations, sponsored by Meraj Housing Society. Additionally, the Spontaneity as Design; Jugaar and the City - Projects showcased at the Delhi Gate presented a critical re-examination of the notion of ‘Jugaar’ through real-life interventions. Sponsored by Cultural Partners British Council with some projects supported by Anne-Marie Schimmel Haus (German Culture Centre Lahore). The grand finale of the summit was held at the BNU Tarogil campus, witnessing participant engagement in hackathons, workshops and unique segments such as Sound and Performance as Design. The night concluded with the Food as Design segment led by Hashoo Group.

Second Run of Tolerance Poster Show

MDSVAD welcomed the second iteration of the Tolerance Poster Show. Originating in 2017 and spanning 40 countries with 81 appearances, this impactful exhibition returned to Lahore, Pakistan, for its second stint. The Tolerance Poster Show offers institutions the freedom to curate and exhibit works based on their capacity, which are then digitally printed and showcased. Curated by Professor Aarish Sardar, this rendition of the exhibition graced the serene backdrop of the SLASS Lawn on BNU's campus, captivating students, faculty, and visitors alike. Renowned design author and Co-Chair of the MFA Design Department at the School of Visual Arts, New York, Steven Heller, shared his commendation for the Tolerance Poster Show. In a quick review published in The Daily Heller, Heller emphasized the significance of tolerance in all societies and praised the efforts of Aarish Sardar in organizing the show at BNU. "The show leverages the unique power of design to remind us of our shared humanity," underscores organizer Mirko Ilic. By fostering dialogue and understanding, the Tolerance Poster Show at BNU continues to serve as a beacon of unity and acceptance in a world enriched by diversity.

TFA Students Explore Textile and Sports Manufacturing Process in Sialkot

Students from the Textile, Fashion, and Accessories Design Department at the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts and Design (MDSVAD), recently embarked on an enlightening educational journey to Sialkot. Accompanied by faculty members, the students had the unique opportunity to gain firsthand insights into the intricate processes involved in material selection, apparel design, and the crafting of sports goods and sportswear. Visiting the PSGMEA (Pakistan Sports Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association) head office as well as various factory units in Sialkot, they immersed themselves in the dynamic world of textile and sports manufacturing. Throughout their visit, the students delved into the sensitive and detailed aspects of the production chain, from the sourcing of high-quality materials to the meticulous craftsmanship required in creating sports goods and sportswear. They observed the dedication and skill of craftsmen as they witnessed the manufacturing process up close, gaining a deeper understanding of the industry's nuances and challenges.

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