I am inspired by the design marvels of everyday life. The intricacies behind apparently simple yet timeless masterpieces intrigue me to dream that one day I shall leave behind at least one such timeless product.
A curious student as a child, I used to love all subjects. Except in music, my performance in most fields showcased my interest. Confused as what my singular strengths were, my parents and teachers felt my strength lied in the Visual Arts, even more when I won two International medals for painting, hence I made sure I applied to NID.
The graduate program in Product Design at the National Institute of Design (NID) made me realise how effective ideas can be once we know how to implement them in a carefully constructed design. There I got exposed to myriad skills, designers from various disciplines and most importantly, mentors for life.
During my exchange program, at the Pforzheim School of Design in Germany, I realized the standards one needs to set as a designer. The quality, precision and planning of life in general is what I experienced.
I have had the opportunity to carry out several design projects. Some of these include designing a low-cost DIY air cooler, a knee brace for the arthritic knee and even a lake beautification project.
A sports mobility project done during the exchange semester was amongst my first experience of working on a live project with Dassault Systems, France. It required us to model on their newly launched 3D simulation software. As an elective, I also chose to research on a declining-craft community that has not been documented before.
Another interesting project I worked on was to design a control panel unit to operate a plant of traction motors at the Railway’s Workshop, Nashik. The control panel design was an extensive interface design experience since it was my first work that has been implemented and now under use.
Once I graduated, I moved to Mumbai where I began working as a product designer at a small design firm on more industrial and engineering-based products such as surgical pippetes, breath-analyser. I was the only non-engineer designer there, and I felt it was a good avenue to improve on mechanism building.
During the same time, I got accepted to a dream like program called the Young India Fellowship. It was just what I wanted, with professional experts and luminaries as faculty and a fully multi-disciplinary approach, it provided me with the best tools to not only grow as a designer but more as an enterprising individual.
The fellowship and the fellows were a great experience in the Liberal Arts as well as in understanding India’s development. One needs to know in a nutshell what the status quo of our country is in order to envision nation-building ideas.
This exercise of painting the nation’s image comes through a process of amalgamating the findings and wisdom of various established approaches such as through methods of sociology, philosophy, anthropology, history, environmental sciences, economics, literature, the fine arts, Indian legal systems as well as the functioning of the Indian Planning Commission.
The fellowship also consisted of a 8-month project known as the Experiential Learning Module (ELM) to be done in a team of three. I was fortunate to work on an urban research project with StudioX Mumbai, a research hub instituted by the Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture and Planning (GSAP). This project resulted into a full-fledged research document on the urban village of Katwaria Sarai located in South Delhi. To invite further discussion and feedback, we tecently hosted a talk and exhibiton showcasing our work at StudioX Mumbai.
The Young India Fellowship Program has also been an agency through which I have understood that large-scale development lies in systemic interventions. The underlying goal is to create an improvised life in terms of 2D, 3D and 4D experiences.
I have come to realize my keen interest in designing systems to better and healthier living.
What matters most to me is to bring a change, an urge to create something different. There’s a constant desire for bringing a change for the better. There are just so many objects and systems around that really need change.
We as humans have a tendency to make ourselves comfortable to what is there unless given a choice. We bend ourselves to suit the product or the system when it should ideally be the other way round.
Hence I am in constant search for environments that prove conducive to my goal, where I am able to find ways to implement ideas. That kind of creative freedom is vitally important and matters most to me. Currently I am moving with my husband to San Diego, only temporarily, maybe a few years, hoping to find the next exciting avenue there !