Seveen Zaki Muneer
My name is Seveen Zaki Muneer and I am currently an assistant professor in the Textile Design Department at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVS) in Karachi, Pakistan. I have a BA in Design (Textile) from IVS and a Master’s Degree in Textile Futures from Central Saint Martin’s, University of Arts London. Other than teaching I am also an avid painter/illustrator and have showcased my work over the last two years in small shows in Karachi.
Earlier last year I proposed a Textile Faculty show to my colleagues. I am fortunate to work with colleagues who not only are educators but are also a group of dynamic designers and artists. I felt it was time for someone to take on the role of organising such a show. At IVS the faculty is encouraged to engage in creative and academic activities to enhance our skills and improve as educators. I was at a stage where I felt I needed to make the right decisions at a critical juncture in my personal and professional development.
This consideration led me to apply to Criticism and Curating in Art and Design at the Royal College of Art. After surfing the internet for courses, what interested me most about this course was that it would acquaint me with current debates and ideas in art and design and that it explored contemporary critical and curatorial thinking in an interactive surrounding. I have always sought after opportunities to grow and expand my knowledge of design and a dialogue about these ideas with professionals from different backgrounds was something I was thoroughly looking forward to.
The course did not disappoint, in fact it was a fantastic whirlwind and has to be one of the most interesting experiences of my life. To study at the Royal College of Art had always been a dream and to be back in London as a student was an even more exciting thought. The course was more than I expected and imagined. In five days the amount of information given to us alongside museum visits was sensational and supremely enlightening.
My favorite moment has to be the last day of the course when I presented the brief I had worked on over the week to my peers and tutors. I proposed a series of talks about Pakistan, highlighting inspiring stories about women in Pakistan who have worked against the odds to make a difference in society. The response from everyone was heartwarming.
Through this course I not only got the chance to meet fabulous and inspiring women from around the world, some of whom I am still in touch with and have become my very good friends but also came into contact with outstanding tutors, visiting speakers of the highest caliber and the most helpful and kind course administrative team I have ever met.
I returned to Pakistan following my time at the RCA, spurred on by the tailwind of an incredible experience, fresh with new capabilities and excited about the chance to implement innovative ideas. The knowledge I gained from other facets of this course such as understanding how exhibitions are conceived, pitched, researched and delivered, has been beneficial for not only the upcoming Textile Faculty show but for the department I work in and IVS as well. The show is set to take place in early March this year in the IVS gallery and I am certain that my experience at the RCA has helped to shape the show.
I am extremely grateful to the RCA Executive Education team and would do another course like this in a heartbeat.
"It was a fantastic whirlwind and has to be one of the most interesting experiences of my life"Seveen Zaki Muneer (Criticism & Curating Summer School, 2017)