6th April 2019 proved to be yet another milestone, with the Vice President of User Experience at PayU, India delivering design talks with full vigour at Avantika University. Amber Krishan is an NID and Parsons School of Design pass out. A proven industry professional, with expertise in end-user centered design process, he is a regular speaker at NASSCOM, IIM-A, Nokia Roadshow and many more such platforms where he keeps on adding value through his expertise. The session delivered by him highlighted on the value of design in the coming future. The session exposed the learners to the many facets of the design process and its deliverables, and how students, as aspiring designers, shall have a different view of it. He emphasized on the importance of experience and what role it plays in any field of design. The students were made to realize some important movements which had happened in the past and had made a huge impact on how today’s industry is functioning. Based on this, the students were made to sit in groups of ten each and discuss as to what according to them will be the future of design and what could be the positive and negative aspects of the advancing technologies.
The students explored the realms of real-world designing in a workshop conducted by Manik Arora; Co- founder of the design studio – ‘One Thing’ on 29th March, 2019. Manik is a Mechanical Engineer who ventured into the field of design in the year 2014 with his studio and since, has worked with major companies like Paytm, PVR, TATA and many more, designing real-world UI and UX solutions. The workshop conducted by him emphasized on providing the students with a bridge between the “Theoritical” design and the ‘Real-world’ design. They were made to understand the key steps towards physically getting their product into being; from understanding the user, to setting the expectations from both the ends and in-turn convincing the user/ client to purchase the idea. The workshop further led towards prototyping an app in the real-world environment to give hands-on training about the process, the do’s and don’ts, and client dealership.
‘3D Printing’ as exclusive as the name sounds, the session conducted on March 8, 2019 was just the same. Avantika University welcomed Nikhil Furtado, a mechanical engineer by profession, born and brought up in Mysore. He is an entrepreneur having founded his first company ‘Hidden Reflections’ at the age of 18 which turned out to be a huge success. Nikhil started up another company by the name of ‘iPrint 3D’, where they develop low-cost 3D printers. He got recognized on various platforms like NDTV's quest for the next big online business idea as well as one of the top five start-ups at TATA First Dot. His company, ‘Hidden reflections’ is now a part of Merako Media Pvt. LTD.; a media and advertising agency serving people across the world. The session was jam packed with various methods with which the students could mold their way from passion to profit. On March 9, a one of its kind workshop was conducted which comprised of interesting details about 3D printing; the process, areas for 3D printing and future prospects etc. The students got to know a lot about the enticing world of 3D printing and opened doors for more interesting design ideas.
1st March 2019 proved to be a fabulous yet hectic day for the students for they had a Design Marathon to run. Hands On Studios is a workshop-based studio in Pune which works hard to connect the current generation with the roots of India’s great heritage and traditional art. Arpita Banerjee and Siddharth Gaikwad conducted an embellishing session where the students learned about various traditional art forms and the immensely hidden wealth in the form of knowledge which transcribed the very essence of every Indian. The session became the foundation around which the Design Marathon revolved and gave a solid perspective to the students on what was supposed to be the essence of their masterpieces. The 15-hour Design Marathon proved to be a mind racking part of the session as the students had to digitally empower the artisans for global exposure through designing a Mobile App, Idea, Website, Chatbot or any Design Channel.
The session on 22nd Feb 2019 was as power-packed as the guest himself. Naved Aslam is an actor, director and screenwriter. He started his career with theatre and did many projects like DD Nationals’ Vyomkesh Bakshi (1993), Pyaar Kii Yeh Ek Kahaani, Jodha Akbar, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, to name a few and made his debut on digital platform with a Web Series called Smoke. The thought-provoking session revolved around the importance of communication and story-telling. He emphasized on Key points like Observation, Processing of information and Delivery. Sharing his experience and insight of the creative field, Naved elaborated on the precedence of relevance of any story or product to the stakeholder to trigger a certain reaction amongst them. He further motivated the students to debate upon ideas as the appreciation and criticism would lead to a better idea. The session gave the students a fresh respective to communicate their ideas better and start observing their own stories to give birth to alluring ideas.
Branding is what gives an identity to any product and its maker. The iConnect session on Friday immersed the students in the world of branding and the expert was none other than an MIT ID alumnus and a founding team member of Avantika. Amir Khan Pathan is the Founder of Amirkhan Pathan Studio in the city of Pune which, has worked with a wide variety of brands such as ARH Design Academy, Jabong, Pastel Balloon, NativeRoots, Zoomcar, Sona Fresh Agro, NOOKAD Nation and All India Transport Services to name a few, and has recently bagged the project ‘Sex, Drugs and theatre’, an upcoming web series on ZEE5 Original. He discussed about the fundamentals of design, key points of branding and typography giving examples of work done by him, confabulating about the various phases a designer goes through before reaching to a conclusion. The session broadened the vision of the students emphasizing on various aspects of branding and encouraged them to think in an out of the box style.
The workshop on Design Operacy and Sculpting was steered by the expert designers and mentors from Alag Angle and Maker’s Adda, Nagpur. Tanul Vikamshi and Lalit Vikamshi are the Founders of this Art Academy and Design Studio, and have flourished the passion of Design in thousands of students, training and guiding them since many years. The two-day series consisted of many activities which made the students understand the finer nuances of the learning process and how prior learning had blocked free thinking and put bars on the expanse of the mind. Forced connections were discussed to promote ideation and innovation. After a day full of brainstorming, the second day saw enthusiastic and active participation of the students in the workshop, where they experimented with clay to create interesting forms and made spatial structures with newspaper and straws. The workshop emphasized on working on live projects and solving day-to-day problems. The impact of the workshop was immense which, made the students think from a different perspective and, analyse and question everything with a design-thinking approach.
A session and workshop on AR and VR was conducted by Devdutta Puntambekar, the CEO and Founder of Sattvarise Technologies; a strategic digital company leveraging the latest technologies to provide innovative and immersive services in the digital world using Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality. The session started with an over-view of AR and VR, detailing how the break-through of the shift from 2D to 3D is bringing a huge difference in the digital world, and how AR and VR can be used to design new-age products. Post this session, a workshop was conducted wherein the students collaborated in groups, brainstormed and created solutions on given topics through the use of AR and VR. The entire proceeding was a fresh breadth of knowledge which upgraded the tech-skills of the students and defined new horizon to design and think in 3D.
Amit Gehlot is an alumnus of IICD, Jaipur and a craft and design specialist. His experience includes demonstrated work in the industry and academics where he has headed the design department in Vivaldi Leather Pvt. Ltd. and Industree Crafts Foundation, and taken space and material design workshops at Santa Fe in New Mexico. His experience in academics includes his work in institutes like IICD, NIFT, NID, and Pearl Academy etc. He was present at Avantika University for mentoring the students about space and material design and sharing his vast experience for acquainting the students with this field and the trends in the industry. The session was magnifying, and his experience helped the students get an in-depth knowledge of materials and spaces.
The freedom of thinking is non-negotiable at Avantika University and the Friday session was a reflection of this ideology. RJ Anjali from 94.3 My FM is popularly known as Superwoman on her daily morning show which is dedicated just for women and their upliftment. She is also a proud nominee of the AIB International Awards for her campaign, '#HoonTohHoon', which is a social campaign spearheaded by My FM for the social upliftment of women. Her session was one of a kind which promoted dialogue among the young learners on topics which are otherwise considered as a taboo. She shared her insight on radio awareness and created a platform where students openly discussed about topics like body shaming and LGBT community. The session all in all aimed at breaking stereotypes and was a good learning experience for the students.
26th October 2018 was the first gigantic step towards empowering our students and faculties with a platform to contribute to the growth and development of the specially-abled citizens of India. The launch of Social Design Lab – ABLED, is a huge leap for the betterment of the society at large. The Lab opened in collaboration with Dominix Design Studio, Pune, aims at conducting research, and develop innovative, customized solutions for the specially-abled individuals in rural and urban areas and enable these people to go about their personal and professional lives without any hassle.
The Chief Guest for the day, Sudhir Bhai Goyal, Founder of Sewadham Ashram along with the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Prasheel Suryawanshi and the Founders of Dominix Design Studio, Dhruva Paknikar and Pankaj Jadhav, inaugurated the lab with great enthuse and conviction, that the unique Design-Technology lab would be both, a learning experience for students and a platform that would create customised solutions to help the specially-abled people in their daily chores. Students from Avantika University will be working alongside eminent faculties and global designers to curate these solutions and contribute as enlightened citizens of India.
In the recent SparkTalks, Mahendra Joshi enthralled all the students by his words of wisdom. From time management to handling stress and becoming the best of oneself, his words really helped the students look at the world with a different lens. Mahendra Joshi is motivational speaker with a track record of being the best in his forte since last 22 years. The founder of the organization, ‘Beyond Imagination’, his passion for helping people maximize their latent potential is unwavering. The very indulgent session was a mix of confab and mind warm-up activities which, opened new channels for thoughts uncalled for by the students. The session motivated the young learners to always to be open to change and keep on modifying their skills to keep pace with the changing times and also covered pointers on how to maintain the ascent in their career. The session encapsulated all the do’s and don’ts for maintaining a healthy balance in life.
In the recent SparkTalks, Avantika University hosted Mr. Viljami Lyytikäinen from Design Factory Global Network of Aalto University Finland. Viljami, a graduate of Aalto University, works for its DFGN, a network of 24 innovation platforms in universities and research organizations situated in five continents of the world, developing the network and its activities. Design Factory Global Network is on a mission to create change in the world of learning and research through passion-based culture and effective problem solving. The session which revolved around ‘Designing emotions’ enlightened students on the importance of emotions while designing any product and how this approach helps design in a human- centric manner. He showcased videos of products developed at Aalto University to illustrate the approach in which products should be designed and conducted a very engaging activity to make the students understand how emotions can put life to any product. Post all the brain-storming ideas, he reviewed the year-long work of the students and gave them suggestions on how they can improve and design products in an effective way. All in all the session helped the student find a new horizon in their pursuit of being the future Designers.
The work of motifs and prints itself is a completely different world and the industrial visit to Bherugarh’s Batik Prints and Block Handprint workshop on 23rd September 2018 was a peek into it. The Batik print is an age-old craft of wax-resist dyeing and printing which is believed to have been practiced in the countries like Egypt, Japan, and India for over 2000 years. The local craftsmen gave the students an overview of how the entire process of Batik print is carried out by the extremely skilled artisans and the importance of every minute detail in the process. The hand made designs and the precision which was used absolutely mesmerized all the students. Just after a small demonstration, some of the students got into the shoes of the native people and tried their hands at block printing and coloring of fabric. The visit ended with everybody purchasing cloth material from the enormous range which was put on display. The visit helped the students get a peek into the ancient art form and its resistance throughout the ages.
Saturday, 22nd September 2018, Avantika University was graced by the presence of Mr. T.N. Hari, the Head of HR at BigBasket. An alumnus of IIT Madras and IIM Calcutta, he is an author, mentor and a strategic advisor to multiple companies with more than 30 years of experience in diverse management roles. Mr. Hari's session was distinctive; he conversed about time management, leadership skills, priority management and shared his vivid experience and success mantra with the students. They discussed at length about life, the smallest of things that build the right attitude for a constructive career, start-ups and how the young learners can embrace the budding entrepreneurs in them. The session was truly illuminating and taught the students the importance of being down-to-earth yet progressive at the same time.
As part of the iConnect initiatives of Avantika University, the fellowship program with Reap Benefit had its commencement on 15th September 2018 with Mr. Kuldeep Dantewadia and his team giving orientation to the students about the upcoming activities of the 10-months long program. Reap Benefit had its name marked in the Top-5 start-ups in ‘Stand-up Start-up’ 2016 and works aggressively to tackle local environmental and civic problems with its effective and low-cost solutions. The first day encompassed a workshop on trigger-mapping, where the students worked on the basic principles and designed solutions which would be implemented in real-time in coming future. The program marked the start of the journey where students start to groom themselves as problem-solvers and work rigorously on their critical-thinking skills.
In the recent SparkTalks session on 14th September 2018, the students of Avantika University got a chance to behold the sparkling story of Mehek Malhotra. She started her ride with the National Institute of Fashion Technology receiving the ‘Best Graduation Award’ and currently owns a studio in Mumbai by the name of ‘Giggling Monkey Studio’. Being an Indian visual artist and a master in her forte, she has worked with Hindustan Unilever, Quantum Consumer Solutions, Pantaloons, The BarCat and Coffee by Di Bella to name a few. She spoke about art and perspective, illustrating her experience with various Corporates and MNC’s, she reiterated the importance of being diverse professionally and talked at length about colour, patterns and textures and how one can create effective and visually appealing creatives. She also indulged the students in a mid-night sketching session and carried out a mind-blasting activity to unleash their latent skills. Her charisma and experience at such a young age was a trigger to all the students and spiked their passion for the field of Design even more.
Friday, 7th September 2018 came with a glistening opportunity for the students at Avantika. Mr. Pankaj Kothari, an esteemed behavioural skills trainer, author, consultant and life guru came to inculcate and demonstrate the importance of effective communication. He has been training students as well as corporate personnel for the last thirty-one years. The director of Impact Educare and Training and a 6-year old member of the Toastmasters Club, his session covered all the ‘mains’ about effective and conscious communication. The session outlined the minutest of elements of communication from phonation to the comprehensible speed of speech and how one shall practice consciousness while speaking to make it more meaningful and unequivocal. All the students walked out of the class with a different perspective of communication, highly entertained and enlightened.
The noon of 31st August, 2018 was full of exhilaration since the guest this day was Mr. Wajid khan. An Indian artist, portraitist, sculptor, inventor and patent holder who has been recognized for his outstanding work in Nail Art and has his name penned in The Guinness Book of World Records, Limca Book of Records and Asia Book of Records. He is one of the most prominent artists in the field of creating sculptures through nail art in India and is a guiding light for the students who want to pursue their dreams and passion in creative arts. He briefed the students about the various aspects of Metal and Stone Art and executed a brain-storming session on how to generate ideas through brain-mapping. After these mind-engaging activities, he also provided his critique on the various projects of the students and told them ways of how they may enhance their perspective while prototyping. As a token of thanksgiving, the students made various installations such as his engraved portrait on a tile, paintings and live-sketched canvas as a souvenir for his valued contribution to their lives.
IMR is a platform for our learners to step out of the campus and learn by observation in a real world environment. So, the visit this time was to TATA International Limited in Dewas, which is a leather-based manufacturing and distribution member of the reputed business conglomerate the Tata group on 24th August, 2018. The students delved into the manufacturing plant and left no stone unturned. They were enlightened about how leather products are manufactured, from the process of acquiring the skin to the procedure of pre-tanning, tanning and post-tanning. By experiencing the manufacturing process upfront, they also understood the challenges and limitations of designing leather products. This helped them gain insight on how to visualize in a real-world situation and fill these gaps. They also understood how ethics played a very important role in converting any business into a brand. The students were astonished to see the high standards being followed in the campany’s practices and the level of cleanliness in the whole facility. This visit in its full, was a very enriching experience and helped the young learners get acquainted with the inner perspective of the industries.
At Avantika, we believe in keeping our students up-to-date with the latest technological trends. A workshop on Saturday, 18th August 2018, was organized to update the students with latest technologies and coding languages. Mr. Pramod Chandrayan, Mr. Mayank Sharma, Mr. Praveen Mandpe and Dr. Subodh Shrivastava, all technology experts with more than 15 years of Industry experience, were present at Avantika University campus engaging the students in a very stimulating workshop on ‘AngularJS’ and ‘MEAN stack’. They delivered a session outlining the need of keeping oneself updated with the upcoming trends in technology and the IOT world. They also shared the perspective of the Industry in terms of skilled manpower. The students got hands-on experience in both languages, built their foundation by degrees through detailed practice sessions. It was truly an enthralling experience for the future Designeers.
On 18th August, 2018, CII YUVA Orientation program was organized at Avantika University campus. At Avantika, we believe in all round development of the students by organizing various activities throughout the year so that the students get the right exposure, just in time and not just in case. For this orientation, we had with us the Leadership team of CII Yuva, Indore chapter, Mr. Shankey Bansal and Ms. Pooja Bansal. They spoke about their vision to influence, inspire and motivate millions of students across India that are the pillars of our nation’s progression. They started YUVA platform through which they envision to connect the students to the various industrial communities, corporate CEO’s and country at large working towards a movement of nation building. The students were more than delighted to be served with the opportunity to get the much needed exposure of the Industry where they wish to see themselves in the coming years. It will help them connect with the students’ community nationally and grow exponentially in all walks of life.
In the recent SparkTalks on Friday, 17th August 2018, we had with us the team from Reap Benefit, The Founder, Mr. Kuldeep Dantewadia and President-Operations and Business, Mr. Shashi Shekhar at Avantika University campus. Reap Benefit was one of the top five start-ups in ‘Stand-up Start-ups’ 2016 and is indulged in solving local environmental and civic problems concerning waste, water, energy and sanitation through low-cost solutions and have so far indulged in 500 hours of public problem-solving. The Reap Benefit’s team started with throwing light on various such problems that need immediate action. The motive was to encounter the students with real-life challenges and awaken the socially responsible citizen within them. Their talks laid much emphasis on the techniques of problem-solving, trigger mapping, empathizing and how to make the most out of constrained situations. The students came up with interesting solutions and the entire session was very thought-provoking. Such activities happen throughout the year at Avantika University because our aim is not just to produce graduates but socially concerned individuals who will work for the betterment of the society at large and come out to be excellent communicators and problem-solvers.
As part of the iConnect activity Organized by the Industrial Relations team, on Friday, 10th August 2018, we had with us Ms. Alpa Jain, an enthusiast Architect and Designer with vast experience in Retail and Space Design, for an activity based workshop on “Customer is God, not just for retailers but also for designers”. The workshop opened with a very interesting interaction outlining the various aspects of consumer behaviour and the mapping of consumer journey for making design Human-centric.
The workshop conducted by her made the students dive deep into the pool of space and experience Design and gave them hands-on insight of the industry. The workshop revolved around the Design process, Problem- solving, Design Thinking and Innovation with the user as the key stakeholder. She reiterated on the importance of consumer needs, qualitative exercise such as surveys, psychological analysis and the essence of process in Designing. Providing insight of the demand in industry, she stressed on the importance of Engineers and Designers coming together for creating user-centric solutions.
The students enjoyed immensely throughout the brainstorming workshop, presented their ideas and will surely apply her teachings in their various projects at Avantika and beyond.
As part of the iConnect activities of the Industry Relations team, on Friday, 3rd August 2018, we had with us an Award-winning film-maker, growth marketer and entrepreneur, Mr. Prathamesh Krisang for SparkTalks. This session was organized so that the students could get a peep into the ‘Design perspective used in film- making and marketing’. He opened the session with the screening of his self-directed short-film, ‘One Last Question’ which highlights the struggle of people of Assam during the secessionist movement of 1988. Being a growth marketer and a passionate story-teller, he explained how he helps organizations in effectively strategising their brand story through videos and creative content and how design thinking helped him get the right perspective in all his initiatives. He stressed on the importance of being heuristic, accepting failure and hard-ship as the life’s coach, qualitative and quantitative analysis as key aspects of Design process. He emphasized a lot on the journey of learning rather than the end result and also highlighted the essence of strategising ideas. To sum it all up, he left sparks in the mind of all students to kindle their curiosity into something big.
On 26 May 2018, Mr. Samrat Nawale conducted and exciting session at Avantika University. With more than 17 years of experience in human-centered design, Mr. Samrat is a Senior Design Manager at Samsung. He aims at driving a design centric approach in fast paced, technology heavy environments. During the edifying session, Mr. Samrat stressed on the difference between invention vs innovation and the importance of user-centricity in product design. He advised the students to do best at whatever they take up and lay emphasis on design principles and fundamentals. Through a learning activity called the ‘Design Sprint’, he encouraged diverse individuals and teams to work together and come up with an innovation. The session was exceptionally relevant and students connected with the speaker at a good wavelength.
On 10-11 May 2018, team ‘IndieFolio’ conducted ‘Portfolio Day’ at Avantika University. Through the super interesting initiative, the design mentors at IndieFolio aim to motivate the students to learn by doing and get mentorship from industry professionals. The two days of the event were highly enriching with review and analysis of M. Des portfolios on day one, and exclusive interaction with the mentors, Design Challenge and panel discussion on day two. IndieFolio, a squad of industry experts, gave a new dimension to learning and added enormous value to the students’ experiences.
In the recent SparkTalks session on Friday, students from Avantika University got the chance to hear the sparkling success story of Ms. Poornima Burte. She started her flight with National Institute of Design, and went on to work with illustrious brands such as Fevicol and Coca Cola, and presently runs her own venture ‘Design Orb’ that perfectly blends branding and strategic thinking. She explained to the students the branding ideation process, brand identity building, and presented case studies of reputed brands and noteworthy campaigns. Her particular mention of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation project and the Coke Studio Season 3 campaign were exceptionally fascinating for the listeners. Through the enlivening interaction, Ms. Burte provided a holistic understanding to the students of how branding and design work and further emphasized their real-life applications.
On 5 May 2018, students from Avantika were privileged to experience the culmination of Volvo Group's global processes and excellent technology and Eicher's futuristic engineering and deep knowledge of markets. Students visited the manufacturing facility of Eicher trucks and buses in the industrial town of Pithampur, near Indore. The facility is well equipped with Product Development and Designing, and Research and Development centres. The manufacturing experts at the facility familiarized the students with the assembly line of trucks and heavy vehicles. Under the mentorship of Prof. Ambar Bajpai and Prof. Gautam Karve, the students were also fortunate to get an insight into the bright future of trucking technology.
To encourage great ideas and to instigate the young minds to think beyond the obvious, a session on ‘How to find and evaluate a business idea’ was organized at Avantika on 6 April. Continuing the exciting journey of industry interactions and exposure, in-house faculty and industry relations head, Mr. Rohit Lalwani conducted the thought-provoking workshop. Rohit regularly conducts such interesting sessions at various institutes including the titans such as IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Bombay and many more. The workshop aimed at imparting knowledge to the students on ways to identify business ideas and evaluating their potential for sustainability and profitability. The practical workshop was successful in eliciting pioneering ideas and encouraging innovation.
The students of M.Des. Communication Design visited the Dainik Bhaskar printing press in Indore as part of their Publication Design course. The visit aimed at helping the students understand the printing processes and their constraints. Shachikant Birthriya (Production Head-DB Indore), mentored the students about pre and post-printing processes, throwing light on how these things work on the ground level and their technicalities. Further, processes like plate making on CTP machines for CMYK process was demonstrated. The learners witnessed the live- printing of the ‘Ah! Zindagi’ supplement of DB which gave a fairer view about how things work. Students also got a peep into other processes like procurement, production cycle, wastage processing, packaging, marketing, lead times, and distribution etc which gave them a 360° view about the publication industry.
A workshop on Building Effective Global Communication Skills was conducted by acclaimed communication specialist and motivational speaker, Mr. Mo Riddiford on 17th January, 2018 on campus. The workshop covered insightful discussions on identifying the students’ limiting beliefs regarding communication, implementing effective communication, finding the words, phrases and most importantly attitudes to regain voice and confidence in a conversation, and thinking systematically during communication. Mr. Riddiford, assisted by Ms. Ruth Tribhuvan also explored the cultural barriers and difficulties faced by non-native English speakers, and came up with appropriate solutions to get past the same. Mo Riddiford hails from New Zealand, and is a communication consultant, coach, university teacher, author, activist, motivational speaker and meditator. He is the creator of the BE-in-English System, including the ground-breaking Communication Trust-Power, and the inventor of the TISL Game, for reading the language of a person's mind. He has co-authored the Amazon bestseller, ‘Upping the Down Side’. He was assisted on the workshop by Ruth Tribhuvan, a specialist in Communication Trust-Power, expert in intercultural communication and an experienced Enterprise Software (SAP) professional.
Mr. Parveen Singhal, COO & CCO of Wittyfeed.com and Ms. Neha Fatechandani, CLO, Snowball conducted a Knowledge Transfer session with our students on 22nd December, 2017. The session was centered on exploring new avenues in entrepreneurship and converting students’ passions into lucrative careers. The interaction was curated by our Head of Industrial Relations, Mr. Rohit Lalwani.