In 1875, John Lockwood Kipling, the founding principal of the Mayo School of Arts, Lahore, devised a curriculum for imparting craft training to artisans in Punjab. He borrowed theoretical assumptions from German natural philosophy which was already incorporated in the curriculum of design education in nineteenth-century England. Strongly influenced by James Mill’s Utilitarian ideas and German philosophy, English art administrators institutionalised the design pedagogy under the auspices of the Department of Science and Art set up in South Kensington, London. The department owned its establishment and achievements to Henry Cole’s perseverance. Inclusion of philosophical assumptions about nature, geometry, science and beauty in the curriculum led to the emergence of a new category, designer, which was supposed to focus on design, utility and marketability of industrial production. Artisan was supposed to assume this new role of designer by acquiring proficiency in reproducing designs from nature along with considering the demands in the market and by developing knowledge of machine. In this way, handicrafts could be replaced with mechanical production of commodities. The basic question of this article is how did capitalist interests define value of objects? By considering this question from Marxist point of view, I trace the genealogy of art instruction in colonial Lahore by studying the development of design pedagogy in nineteenth-century England.