Core Leadership

Archana Surana

Archana Surana

Founder - Director

We live in a globalised world. Our students, alumni and faculty are contesting on a national, but most importantly on an international level. The challenges are significant, and and it is our duty to provide our youth with excellent opportunities.

Our future generations have the right to be competitive and proud of the place they operate in and create. It becomes increasingly important that education, and especially higher education – undergraduate and postgraduate study - advances and thrives, responding to the demands of a constantly changing environment and contributing to the Jaipur, Indian and international communities.

The website holistic source of information related to our institution, our joint projects, student progression programs, affiliations and partnerships. It includes a showcase of students and alumni work and our longstanding association with a number of international design institutions for student progression and exchange. ARCH is also a voting member of international forums that include the World Design Organisation (WDO), the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI), and CUMULUS. We take great pride in announcing that ARCH will be the host for the Fashion Colloquia in 2020, here at our ARCH campus in Jaipur.

At ARCH, we provide an excellent education by internationally recognised and highly qualified faculty working tirelessly to motivate and support our students during their studies. Heartfelt thanks to each member of the ARCH community - our students, their parents and families, the faculty, staff, advisors, wellwishers, and last but not the least, the employers of our alumni, all of whom, have relentlessly supported us and worked towards strengthening our vision of empowering individuals to unleash their true potential.

I am confident that your time at ARCH will be both enjoyable and rewarding, providing you with knowledge and experience that will prove hugely beneficial in your future academic, personal and professional careers.

I wish you a wonderful creative learning journey and student life at ARCH.

Benoy Thoompunkal

Benoy Thoompunkal

Chief Meddler
Partnership, Research & Innovation
Academics & International Collaboration

Today, the incredible international Internet is at your beck and calling! A fingertip away. A slim, impatiently vibrating ‘something’, is vying for your attention in your pocket, literally crackling energy from screen to scrabbling fingertip/s, making the hair on your head wave to a glory hallelujah while standing on end! Look at photo above.

You don’t really need to physically travel, to see and experience the world anymore. The time will come (and in a limited way, it’s already here), when you could be sipping coconut water, swaying twenty feet up in the air, in twin hammocks (one for you and one for the coconuts, of course, ha!) strung between a couple of genteel well behaved coconut trees on a beach in Mauritius…. or…Kerala !! …..and all this, without moving out of your living room. In the real world, (and maybe for the ‘recording’ of the virtual set up), you would need a crane journey up to the hammock. The return to terra firma happens, when the trees start to bend (!)

Which, in other words means, you are required to gracefully exit the habitat, before the treetops brush the ground, OR, as soon as you have been judged ‘Completely Coconut Water Clogged and Fermented”, whichever comes first!

Likewise, this incredibly generous Internet, can educate you very well. You can officially acquire all sorts of qualifications, from Head Sandmaster and Moisturiser of Cracked Feet to Chief Moustache Trimmer for Giant Pandas, and….if you’re very lucky, Assistant Nut Cracker to the Royal Suite of Flying Squirrels. (This last one is slightly more tricky, as it requires flying skills too, apart from an ability to crack nuts to music, while assuming the multiple physical orientations and configurations, deemed essential to the complex art of ‘assisting’ !)

And, most interestingly, you win the right (with the paperwork), to add all sorts of (and as many!) alphabets in front of your name (or after, if you prefer that!) and get called Professor, Guru, Doc, et al, and teach, invent, innovate, express, and contribute, to world well being, while presumably keeping to the spirit, and generally accepted norms of evolution, while you grow!

So then, why, would you, ….. ANYONE(?)…., want to join an institution of higher education in design, and pay for a few years of immersion in streamed knowledge and take on the additional hassle value of having to be present every day, being on time, being a student, PARTICIPATE, be the only hope of your family….. ? ….? ……??

Is it the piece of paper you get at the end? Aspirations and hope for fast track progress through life with better jobs or positions? Accolades for surviving? (!) Recognition as an alumnus of an internationally known institution? You could achieve the first two, sitting at home, too. Depending on your capacity. The last two? Take your chances! Et tu……?

We have been taught to study together in schools (most of us!). What did we get out of the experience of song, dance, prayer, noise, disorder, predictability, challenges, periods, achievements, competition, exams, submissions, report cards, PTM’s, black eyes and puffed lips (!) (the last two… not all of us!)

And when the annual exams did come around, some passed, and some didn’t.

But we studied together didn’t we (!); and sharpened our pencils and peripheral vision together didn’t we (!); and used it to advantage together, didn’t we (!); whenever we could?

We evolved. And flowered. Regardless !!! Gaze shifts still happen, on their own…..for some! To this day!

We carry the same into our higher studies in design. Or do we?!

Ever screamed uninhibitedly in public?! Watching a horror movie with other grown up (technically so), like minded individuals, at a cinema hall, (in unison, non-stop, and legally sanctioned) ?! One should feel more confident in the company of people?It might be interesting to film the exiting fans, post show, hysterically doubled up, pointing at each other, trying to walk and laugh at the same time, all the way to their Ubers and all the way home. The release would probably be a hit on You Tube. ‘you were scared’ ‘I wasn’t’ ‘You were’ ‘saw you’ ‘ha ha’ ‘look at his pants’ etc

How many have tried it at home though…… the screaming I mean! Family watching a horror film together? Without pillows! Now, THAT scenario is ripe for further development, but we will desist.

Sufficient to say, humans are social creatures! Live together. Possibly scream together. (if the situation demands it, or allows it! And, provided, the neighbours don’t object, of course.)

So more confident in the company of people? Creative people ?? Fools ?! Creative people might be easier to relate to, for any forward plans! (WHAT forward plans??) What….what… what forward…… WHAAT???

As weird as you are, you may find someone weirder. In a NICE way OF COURSE.

Creative individuals are essentially CREATIVE! And they laugh a lot!
Or make others laugh. At universal absurdities. At themselves.
No need to explain so much, or speak other languages to be understood.
Expressions and signs are enough, most of the time! Not much repetition required, except affirmations, perhaps, to a wide eyed ‘naah, really?!!’
Highly developed sense of hearing, bordering on batty. Ha ! Heard you! Not the only person singing off key, am I! ….AM I ????

In a serious vein (at last…and about time!), one learns from each other. One learns to laugh at oneself, hopefully, and appreciate others, hopefully. One starts to realize strengths and identity, and begins to discover one’s own abilities and capacities, as well of others.
Just a little more perhaps, than that previously self contained, self indulgent, self absorbed, pesky, school kid avatar, competing dutifully, mindlessly and….in the absence of a really worthwhile challenge…. sadly… in the ‘over the 98’s’ pole vault contest, for family, country and admissions, and not necessarily in that order!

The built ambience and ethos of an institution for higher education in design helps to extend sensitivity, articulation and other communication skills. One begins to understand the value of the ‘WHY’ question. Not as before. Not as a former juvenile, borderline, rebel ganger, but as one who wants to progress into deeper understanding of the world, its myriad concepts, objects, beliefs and processes. One learns to progress from the WHY into the realm of WHAT, HOW, and WHEN. Kyon, Kya, Kaise, Kab !!
An angular alphabetical approach prescribed for well rounded and well insulated people! The sharp points of the alphabets are designed to get attention. And action?!

In short, it starts with the BLINK, BLINK, BLINKING. Then progresses to the THINK, THINK, THINKING. (sounds like calypso reggae!) AND…. it is wonderfully orchestrated and ENCOURAGED and syncopated at the start line and at the finish line, (and at all the silly (?!) in between deadlines!!) by all, teachers and peers.
Encouraged. Understandable.
Most will encouragingly, whoop you through your first HESITANT BABY steps…
But stay on your feet …..! Pick yourself up quickly from nose landings, and indicate your willingness to soldier on. THAT is important!

Just remember your babyhood enough, to BE one now…. Babies regain their feet VERY fast(!)
And, they are brave. No fear or aversion towards freely creating ‘MESSES’(!)
The process of discovery and learning is full of eyelash to forehead rollovers, and the occasional, superbly disorienting, somersaults.....
Heavens,…… WERE really thinking someone else would do ALL the THINKING FOR YOU. All the time?? Right, wrong, ugly, beautiful, superb, crap, success, failure …..? How about walking your own walks!
And undoing your multi core processor blocks!!! Oh, didn’t realize you were multi, hey! Alien?

Don’t need to look sideways anymore (!), because, if you have thought it out, your answers are likely to be as valid as anybody else’s. You can always add detail and better it, and make it MORE valid!
Can’t lose that competitive streak, can we, now! And you don’t have to!

You are encouraged to use that silver flash to work hard. To critically sort and integrate research, reasons and explorations; parameters, constraints, and solutions; check ‘em, poke ’em, and test them, almost to distraction/ destruction; and present the outcome confidently to anyone at all - peers, teachers, seers, unbelievers, animals, birds, and extra terrestrials, both Indian and International! You can add industry, investors, and their patent attorneys, to that list (!)….they too, should be waiting in line, impatiently!

But at the end of it all, be ready to deal with feedback and real needs….
MOST IMPORTANTLY…..if required……, START all over AGAIN, to get to the best answer possible.
So then…. the parts that an institution facilitates, and never mentions or lists on your Degree -

A Physical Space and Essential Infrastructure in a Supportive and Safe City.
Opportunities for collaboration and building; Opportunities for silent and safe learning; Space for reconstructing self confidence through experimentation, exploration, self expression, feedback, and guidance; Events and opportunities for networking; Inspirational entrepreneurship inputs to get ready for the world; Mentorship from industry; Exposure to the Universe in manageable doses (!);
Happy chances to apply and practice self imposed discipline in the workplace, both inside the box (??), and while training in the field, outside the ‘box’(??!); Reaching cultures firsthand through exchange programmes, and well paved progression pathways; participation in various world forums…… and.......and..

AND those solo expeditions (!) through the Internet at home?? They are important too! To keep extending oneself. Keep it up, and share with peers and teachers across the world.
End up standing on your feet with confidence, and a clear mind.
You can change ANYTHING.

The World needs you.
It really and truly does….
But, DO you really want to DO anything???! If so, get on with it.

All the above is meant to be read at high speed. Don’t wait to ‘understand’ anything at all. Meanings will emerge and come and ‘stand under you’ sooner or later. Whizz through. Repeat the journey if required. Remember - HIGH SPEED!!
Don’t worry about getting concussed OR crosseyed! You’re tougher than you think – like babies! Don’t fall off your chair.