Designing their careers

Alisha Shinde
Monday, 21 May 2018

A visit to Expo 18, the annual design exhibition at DSK International Campus in Loni Kalbhor last week, provided us the chance to meet some creative students

Design is finally being looked at as a career option, although this creative field is still not as mainstream as engineering, medical, CA or MBA. “For design as a career, it is extremely important for the students to be encouraged,” said Gargi Sharma, founder and principal designer of Changing Sky, a Pune-based strategic branding and integrated communications company. Sharma was the chief guest at Expo 18, the annual exhibition at DSK International Campus in Loni Kalbhor last week.

The expo depicted the journey of the institute’s Foundation Year students, from being just sketching enthusiasts to becoming design-thinking people.

Talking to a few students on campus, we realised that each of them is different and has a unique creative mind. It’s the passion for design that drives them and they showcased it through renders, sketches, prototypes and models at the expo.

A dream bike

What does it take to make a dream bike come to life? Four people, 41 days and immense passion. “Every 18-year-old boy dreams of having a cool-looking bike, but the question of money erases these dreams,” says Vinay Singh, a first year student of DSK International Campus. Talking about from where it all started, Pranav Rahukar says, “Believe it or not, we — Vinay Singh, Rahul Naik, Shivam Mehrotra and I — literally started making the bike from scratch in our hostel rooms and it was only when it could not fit it there that we moved it to the studio.”

It was Singh who first shared his dream of making a bike which was affordable and yet stylish and all the four boys pitched in with their time and effort. “This is the product of working extra hours after classes and skipping sleep on a few nights,” adds Rahukar.

Singh points out that all the material used for building the bike was sourced from scrap. “We took utmost care in reusing the materials,” he adds.

The bike, which runs on petrol, is not just a prototype but in full working condition and has even had its first test ride and a successful one at that.

Singh and his team are now trying to add a few finishing touches to the bike so that it looks like the one you get at the showroom.

For a cause

What could be better than having a design that empowers people? Malvika Kasliwal and her group including Prateek Kumar, Sanjana Kalra and Elaine Geojy, have developed a model called Unnati. Targeted at the unbanked population, Unnati was born out of the idea that our house-helps find it difficult to reach the banks due to various reasons — not trusting the banking system, the attitude problem of the bank employees towards the uneducated section of society and so on. Kasliwal explains, “Unnati aims to improve the lives of the unbanked. So far, they have been excluded from the benefits of the traditional financial services. Our concept aims to build upon community trust and help make their lives better.”

The concept involves empowering these people through moneylenders who are local and trusted by them. The prototype includes a card which bears a QR scancode. This can be used to pay shopkeepers who will receive their payments from the moneylenders, who in turn will also keep a tab on the money the people spend and help them manage their expenses. The team has also won the D&AD New Blood Awards.

Art and design
Art has been a passion I have nurtured since I was a child,” says Siddharth Kote, a first year student, which is also the reason why he decided to pursue design as a career.

Kote believes that even though people often use art and design as interchangeable words, they are two different concepts. “Art is a personal interpretation of what an artist feels but when it comes to design, functionality plays an important role,” Kote says adding that one needs design in art, while art is an aspect of design.

Racing for perfection

A few final year students have made a mark for themselves by earning international recognition. They participated in the design competition of the Impulse Modena Racing 2018, which asked its participants to deign an electric racing bike. “Inspiration is hiding in plain sight,” says Vishal who drew his inspiration from everyday objects.
“Italians like sensuousness which was the main concept that I had in my mind while designing the bike. I wanted to design a bike which would be sensuous and yet tough and swift,” Rahul Gavane says. While another student Alex Jossy, who too participated in the competition, says, “When it comes to bike designing, it is extremely important to keep in mind the requirement of the clients. This is our job and we have to stick to briefs.”

A noteworthy effort

When we hear the word ‘guitar’, a set image comes to our mind. But two students — Deep Sangoi and Devam More — created a rather off-beat guitar. “Our guitar is in the shape of a box,” says More. And that is not all, the guitar is played with the help of motion sensors which sense the fingers as they glide over the panel or chords and that further plays the set sound.

The guitar works on electricity and can be played while sitting down or standing up. Sangoi points out that even though this is just a prototype, they are hoping to work more on this and improve the final product which also involves design and physics.

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