Learning Innovative Design Techniques

Sometimes the best things in the world are those which you long yearn for and then one day it all comes true. 8th and 9th Feb 2019 marked two such days for the students of Avantika University. We had the most amazing guests, who came to visit us all the way from Nagpur, Maharashtra. These two individuals have skyrocketed the concept of Designer and the connotation for what it stands. These two were, Tanul and Lalit Vikamshi, Co-founders of AlagAngle an Art Academy and Makers Adda a full-fledged product design workshop in Nagpur, which is currently churning out some of the best designers in the design field.

The day kicked off in high spirits in front of the main building of the University, in the open, making it a completely different and sensational experience than the other events conducted so far. A change in venue was a complete hit as the cool wind of February and the soft caressing suns rays combined to make the event fairly dreamlike. As the student count increased manifold, it was time to kick-off the session. Tanul Vikamshi and Lalit Vikamshi took the center stage. Then what followed has been etched into every single students mind, for it has impacted the designer inside each one of us. They started talking about how hierarchical education system has locked our creative imagination to a tidbit. He proved this by a simple experiment of how we have been victims of this cage from so many years through a simple drawing of a tree. Over 90% students drew the same tree which had been taught to us in our 1 st grade and still gnawed at our imagination and thinking process. The Creative Cage. So, now that it was shown, how do we break out of it? A simple technique was shown to us and we were perplexed. A simple line drawing changed into a form, which further changed into a product and then characters. One simple continuous line. A flurry of form and creation of product. It was pure bliss for us aspiring designers, to be honest.

The next exercise was even more interesting. We were told to write down any 13 common nouns we could think of. We got knives, cutters, washing machines and loads of things. Now we had to count our birthdate and mark the object corresponding to it. Then take our mothers birthdate and do the same thing. We had two objects marked. Now, we had to fuse them. Yes. We had to fuse them to create an entirely new product. No restrictions applied. Yes, we could make a tyre inspired washing machine which was built into a tyre of a car, or a flamethrower induced plate which kept food warm all the time. Now, that reflected some serious creativity which many had yet suppressed. A squall of ideas made the session more alive. It was then time for a second round. Now that we had a hang of the first round, we switched gears and came up with even more convoluted words. From basins to earbuds, we had covered it all. The results were quirky as well. But it was something new and interesting to peek into the ideologies and thinking processes of others minds.

The next day (9th Feb 2019), we had a workshop with paper and clay. Something the students were raring to get down to. Some amazing forms were created with the help of paper sticks. 5-6 tall structures sure boosted the students and the colleges aesthetic value. Pre-lunch, we were told to choose a flower and craft cutlery (for Industrial designers) or logos (for communication designers). We would then have to refine them over and over till it reached its prime form and finally sculpt it out with clay.

At the end of the day when everyone finished with the tedious task of moulding, crafting and sculpting, we took a good hard look at our finished work. Needless to say, everyone was quite pleased with what they had accomplished in such a short span of time. Such assortment of clay figures and paper stick forms made the students feel connected with their purpose of crafting the design world. And this was just the starting point.

Written by,
Atharva Dahotre