Semantics & Communication Theory

Message design and information transfer

In this course, students are taught how to design messages for various media. Communication here is understood as the act of decoding messages by the sender (designer) via a channel to the receiver (intended audience).

Given below are some examples of students work. They are designing audio messages for their intended audience. Over the years students worked on various topics of their interest. Sharing some clips for your reference. During the course, we discuss how communication, gestalt and information theory affect the various aspects of message design in applied contexts.

Understanding Raga in Indian music

YEAR: 2013
Language: Hindi + English
AUDience: 20 yrs and above
CREDITS
Institute: IDC School of design, IIT Bombay
Students: Naveed + Ram + Prashant
Content-type: Conceptual 
Task: Design an audiovisual message on a topic you do not understand.
Based on the concept: When you teach, you also learn
Discipline: Communication Design
Course: Semantics & Communication Theory
Instructor: Prof. Mandar Rane
CONTENT

How does a air conditioner work?

YEAR: 2015
Language: English
AUDIENCE: 9-11 YRS
Credits
Discipline: Communication Design 
Course: Semantics & Communication Theory  
Instructor: Prof. Mandar Rane
Institute: IDC School of design, IIT Bombay
Students: Upasana + Rekha
Content-type: Conceptual 
Task: Design an audiovisual message on a topic you do not understand.
Based on the concept: When you teach, you also learn
Language: English
CONTENT
In this audio clip, a mother is trying to explain her daughter Varsha and her friend Amit about how an air conditioner (AC) works. Varsha is in std 4th and Amit is in std 5th. Both Amit and Varha come back exhausted to Varsha’s house after playing in the hot sun. Amit gets surprised with the room becoming cold when Varsha’s mother switched on the AC. Amit doesn’t have AC at his home, hence he has some misconceptions about an AC. Varsha’s mother clears their doubts about how an AC makes the room cold and things inside an AC. She explains them the working process of an AC by making three of them stand and form a dummy model of an AC: Varsha acts as one tube, Amit as another tube and mother acts as a pump. 

Difference between HIV and AIDS

YEAR: 2013
AUDience: 20 yrs and above
CREDITS
Discipline: Communication Design 
Course: Semantics & Communication Theory
Instructor: Prof. Mandar Rane
Institute: IDC School of design, IIT Bombay
Students: Amrutha Krishnan 
Content-type: Facts + Conceptual 
Task: Design an audiovisual message on a topic you do not understand.
Based on the concept: When you teach, you also learn
Language: Hindi + English
CONTENT
A conversation information difference between HIV and AIDs.

Understanding Diabetes

YEAR: 2015
AUDience: 30-40 Years / URBAN
CREDITS
Discipline: Communication Design 
Course: Semantics & Communication Theory
Instructor: Prof. Mandar Rane
Institute: IDC School of design, IIT Bombay
Students: Pankaj Doke +Sandeep Athavale
Content-type: Conceptual 
Task: Design an audiovisual message on a topic you do not fully understand.
Based on the concept: When you teach, you also learn
Language: Marathi
CONTENT
The audio clip is about explaining diabetes to mid-age generation (age 30 to 40) of India residing in Urban areas and in the economically middle-income group who generally do not access the internet for information. Diabetes can be of two types – one is hereditary and other is acquired (predominantly a lifestyle disease). The clip is about creating awareness about diabetes, its causes and how can it be prevented. It attempts to overcome the myths that people hold. A brief user study captures the typical myths that need to be addressed which are listed in the later section of the audio. It is a conversation of a mechanic and doctor at a garage where the doctor gets his car repaired.

Gestalt Laws of perception

YEAR: 2015
AUDience: Amateur & practising designers
CREDITS
Discipline: Communication Design 
Course: Semantics & Communication Theory
Instructor: Prof. Mandar Rane
Institute: IDC School of design, IIT Bombay
Students: Ameya and Rucha
Content-type: Conceptual 
Task: Design an audiovisual message on a topic you do not fully understand.
Based on the concept: When you teach, you learn
Language: English
CONTENT
Gestalt psychology is explained using examples of everyday familiar objects & situations. The challenge is to explain visual ideas through audio. Communication Design is not limited to communicating with visuals, it is concerned with the design of the message. 

More audio clips 

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Last updated: 9 APR. 2020
Free Download // Assignments and documentation of student works
ASSIGNMENT DIFFICULTY LEVEL
Very Difficult
80%
COURSE DESIGN
The course was originally designed by Prof. Uday Athavankar.  It is a legacy I am taking forward. 
Prof. Uday Athavankar
Product Design
Faculty IDC, IIT Bombay
Mandar Rane
Prof. Mandar Rane
Communication Design
Faculty IDC, IIT Bombay
Primary Audience:
Communication Design students: B.Des + M.Des