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Salman Afzal
Lahore / Pakistan
Salman Afzal is design academic and manager. With over ten years of experience in teaching, he has been associated with University of New South Wales (Australia) National University of Sciences and Technology, National College of Arts and Lahore Grammar School (Pakistan). Currently he is working as the department lead for Textile Design program at Institute for Art & Culture Lahore.
Interests: Integrated & Multi Disciplinary Design. Textiles, Culture and Identity.
Recent Activity
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An exhibition was designed at Institute for Art and Culture where students and faculty worked together for curating an exhibition of products that were produced in participatory action research based projects. The exhibition featured student works produced in workshops where classical textile practices in printing, dyeing and embroidery were learnt through collaboration with artisans and tradition bearers. The works on display included: Hand carved wooden blocks for block printing. Ajrak-Block printed textiles for apparels. Naturally dyed fabrics. Chunri- Tie Dyed fabric samples. Khaka for Sozan Kari. Naqashi on wood (Medium Density Fiber board). Embroidered samples in silk and cotton fibers. Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2020 at Salman Afzal's blog
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The Centre for Creative Partnerships (CCP) at Institute for Art and Culture in Lahore provides an opportunity for mindful integration of modern and classical practices, by engaging in practical projects that allow exchange of ideas and innovation. CCP aims to provide a platform where partnerships among traditional and contemporary artists, artisans, performers, practitioners, entrepreneurs, community workers, students and teachers is facilitated through a series of workshops. In its first edition, master practitioners or Ustads from the regions of south Punjab and Sindh were invited. The workshop series titled "Weaving Identitites: Mainstreaming Cultural Crafts" aimed to introduce techniques in creating pattern... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2020 at Salman Afzal's blog
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Design Thinking is an important tool to discover and define design problems in order to create innovative solutions. I had studied Design Management during post graduate degree at UNSW Australia, but never really imagined how often and regularly would I be using Design Thinking and Double Diamond method in my studio pedagogy. Following are a few projects that were generously assisted through this: Vertical Studio: We combined 2nd and 4th semester students of Industrial Design in groups where each group was defining problem in existing service based on design product of mass consumption. The groups looked at urban signage, furniture,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2020 at Salman Afzal's blog
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Among many things that I learnt with students at NUST was the importance of technical drawing and how effectively this assists in creating models and prototypes. Each year we did a project that focused on skills required for making models and prototypes. Every time cardboard was the only material to be used however the outcomes were different. I am happy to report that I have witnessed how students loved the assignment and used the knowledge in creating models for their future projects in Industrial Design studio. Following are a few photos from different groups that did project 'Sono Bernini' with... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2020 at Salman Afzal's blog
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One of the great outcomes of my work in ATX+PAK Fashion Forward Program is the realization of collaborative opportunities between design industry and academia of Pakistan and United States. I am very happy that I have been able to foster friendship with academics from US. Together withProfessor Sara Stevens at University of Austin, a program has been initiated between UT at Texas and Institute for Art and Culture IAC (where I teach and lead the textiles program). The GVE program aims to explore product development through collaboration and global learning between educators and students in United States and Pakistan. Professor... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2020 at Salman Afzal's blog
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In July last year I was invited by City of Austin to conduct a masterclass on South Asian textile at two locations in the city. The event was part of a larger ATX+PAK Fashion Forward Initiative FFI 2020 program. An interactive and hands on learning experience session was organised at AARC Austin . In first part I introduced textiles in Pakistan to the participating audience through a presentation, followed by a demo of block printing that constituted the second part. Participants were invited to experiment, learn and create their own samples through a fun filled workshop. More than 90 Austenites... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2020 at Salman Afzal's blog
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In July last year I was invited by City of Austin to conduct a South Asian Textiles Masterclass at Austin Fashion Incubator, Austin Community College (ACC) Highland Campus Texas (United States). The event was part of ATX+PAK Fashion Forward Initiative by the City. A lecture was delivered that focused on roots of traditional textiles in the region. It was followed by hands-on block printing where participants created samples of traditional Pakistani textiles using authentic hand carved wooden blocks. Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2020 at Salman Afzal's blog
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It's always a pleasure to talk on culture and identity especially when there is reference of textiles from South and central Asia. It's something that I am doing frequently now. I remember my first talk session was with a group of Industrial Design students from SADA-NUST Islamabad in 2017. They had taken 'Traditional Practices' as their elective course in fourth semester and their instructor (Maimuna Akram, whom I have known as a fellow textile designer and educator) had brought them to my studio, to show and share the collection I had kept. We had a lovely session where we looked... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2020 at Salman Afzal's blog
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Ah! This has to be one of my all time favorite design education assignments conducted at NUST Islamabad. In a nut shell 'Nemesis' was inspired by Arne Jacobsen's collection, except that students had to represent their personality through a form. Also this was the first project in third semester where user needs were introduced. So what is better than to first deconstruct yourself and make a set of cutlery (spoon, fork and knife) for yourself. This project was done with three batches, each experimenting with their own familiarity of materials to produce prototype (non-functional models). Project: Nemesis Instructors: Salman Afzal,... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2020 at Salman Afzal's blog
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The Walled City of Lahore has some of the best experiences to offer to its visitors. From medieval cultural monuments to architectural ornamentation and lively narrow bazaar alleys, one can't just ignore the charms and help not love it. I visited the recently restored Heritage trail and got the chance to revisit the jewel- Wazir Khan Mosque. Once again I ended up capturing loads of photographs featuring the ever enchanting mosaics, frescos and architecture. I also got a rare chance to visit the bazaars leading to the Sunehri Masjid. I must say the food in this bazaar was exquisite; the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2020 at Salman Afzal's blog
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Institute for Art and Culture in Lahore is in fact the newest kid on the block - youngest among university sphere in Pakistan that offer professional degree programs in art and design. I had the opportunity to kick start this venture through developing pedagogical approach and contents for the undergraduate program in Textile Design. Perhaps it also gave me a chance to explore the methods for implementing ideas that I had deduced as part of research through reflective practice, that I had begun soon after completing my post grad in College of Fine Arts (now known as UNSW Art &... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2019 at Salman Afzal's blog
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I am extremely sorry for not being 'very active' (tbh I'm trying to save myself from embarrassment of not being active at all lately). For those of you who do not know, I joined Institute for Art and Culture in Lahore and I have been super heavy ever since. It's been more than a year now and I feel I have done so much already! I have tried to set benchmarks (still doing that!) in creating learning environments that facilitate contemporary design education, while accommodating cultural practices of arts and making in the curriculum. I had the opportunity to set... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2019 at Salman Afzal's blog
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I am sharing a project that I did with my students in 2016. This was the first time we did a design project that addressed issues around existing case studies modular design in general, and specifically towards ideating solutions for shelving systems. The final outcome of the project was prototypes for such modular design application i.e., shelving for a particular household. The students presented their learning and discussed issues and opportunity in the designs that they had created. Although the requirement was to create one unit (of the proposed modular system that they had visualized) on actual scale, some of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2018 at Salman Afzal's blog
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I have lived for over four years in Islamabad and found it mesmerizing (I know it's hard to believe but it is the truth). Within it's grey landscape (contrary to the popular 'lush green' belief- that is a state found only during the monsoon) are these fine precincts where you can find craft collections. Islamabad is the capital city and perhaps it gives her an advantage over other metropolises in attracting and housing people of various ethnic and social backgrounds. Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) and The Lok Virsa Heritage Museum hosts various cultural events, of which markets is... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2018 at Salman Afzal's blog
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One of the first projects that I did with Industrial design students at SADA NUST was 'Bon Voyage'. It was a month long endeavour that consisted of workshops aimed at understanding the concept and need for efficient luggage design. I was very lucky to call in ex-student of mine (Sana Syed) who had experience with bag making, since she had herself produced a wonderful collection of hand made bags in her textile design undergrad thesis at NCA. The students got to learn various categories in luggage design and chose one to design for. The job was to be done in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2018 at Salman Afzal's blog
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For past four years I was involved in academic endeavor at NUST (National University of Sciences and Technology) Islamabad. NUST is a top ranked national university with robust rapport in scientific and engineering based learning. There are various schools which have produced graduates specializing in natural sciences, social sciences and management- business administration domains. SADA (School of Art, Design and Architecture) offers undergraduate degree courses in Architecture and Industrial Design. It was a fascinating experience to teach design based courses at SADA. Most interestingly, these students who were admitted to SADA had no prior education and/or portfolio in arts or... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2018 at Salman Afzal's blog
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After four years of staying dormant, I am alive. Among other posts, I would be sharing exciting stuff from my teaching career at National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) Islamabad Pakistan. My students at School of Art, Design & Architecture produced excellent works that would be posting here. Stay tuned :) Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2018 at Salman Afzal's blog
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It is very important for a designer to be empathetic towards problems that needs a solution.During my master's degree coursework, I was involved in a number a projects that required me to design a solution through an empathetic intervention. The best example in this case could be 'myPen' - an insulin pen injection, designed for the teenagers suffering from diabetes. Through the exercise, I was made aware of some facts and figures surrounding this disease and the methods that have been invented as a cure. The process involved looking at the problem and devising a solution by getting in touch... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2014 at Salman Afzal's blog
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The design and construction of the rugs is inspired by the notion of ‘saudade’ and takes its visual information in form of popular visual pattern from Angola and Portugal. Incorporating the traditional and contemporary methods of construction, these rugs employ various layers of deconstruction and association with nostalgia. Wool being the primary material (from Portugal and Angola) is coupled with stem fibre weaving technique (Western Africa).The three generations of the occupants (client) is represented by the three methods of rug construction i.e., Weaving , felted wool coiling and popular pile knotting. Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2014 at Salman Afzal's blog
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Along with three other designers, I was assigned on a task to create an environment for a mixed cultural living space. 'Republika Saudade' is derived from Portuguese meaning a place to live (republika) and a feeling of nostalgia (saudade). Saudade - the mood was created through placing four signature objects designed in collaboration to sustain the unified appeal. It was exciting to employ architectural and interior design skills learnt at my previous work experiences. The inspiration for designs was constructed around the profile of the client, in our case an Afro- Portuguese family with cultural and hereditary links from Angola... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2014 at Salman Afzal's blog
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It s always challenging to teach students how to create mood boards. And the most difficult part is when want your nod on their selected imagery for a particular mood. Some time back I came across a newspaper supplement that had previews for upcoming seasonal hues and moods. I thought it was very relevant in teaching people how to coordinate pattern and prints with colors and decor items. Following is a selection of a few moods included in the edition.I hope you can find it relevant to your understanding. Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2014 at Salman Afzal's blog
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Rabiya Mumtaz is a good friend and a former colleague when I was teaching at NCA lahore. A graphic designer by qualification, I have witnessed Rabiya in applying her reformed sense of aesthetics to wearable collections. She carved her niche by designing winter wear - a highly ignored space by most Pakistani fashion designers. Her portfolio includes numerous exhibitions at her studio and shared spaces throughout the country. One thing noticeable in her collections is a silent domination of western inspired minimalism coupled with regional and traditional design application, and this perhaps accounts for the niche client for the brand.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2014 at Salman Afzal's blog
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While surfing the women's wear at David Jones CBD, I came across a few dresses having hand emboridery ('adda' - frame embroidery). I was really surprised and suspected they were probably produced in India or Bangladesh. After looking at the price tags ($ 50- 90) I wondered how much the manufacturers were actually paying the craft precincts (factories) ? My guess - probably not close enough to guarantee social welfare and security. Sad :( Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2014 at Salman Afzal's blog
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Project Run(a)way was part of my latest activity in the design research. Initially a product of a research assignment done with acclaimed Dr. Katherine Moline, project Run(a)way transformed into a full scale research analysis providing a basic structure to my proposed research question. The assignment was a creative way to reflect on the irritant i.e., ethical issues witht in the design process (from production to marketing and retail). The two weeks activity witnessed documentation of the irritant through photography, collage, sketching and reflective practices. Taking design projects (done in Pakistan) in account, I was able to connect the documentation of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2014 at Salman Afzal's blog