Driven by design
Vimal Chander Joshi in Conversation with Mousumi Biswas, an automobile designer by profession but an architect by qualification.education Updated: May 29, 2009 12:54 IST
Designing and conceiving structures was probably ingrained in Mousumi Biswas’ blood for she is an architect by qualification, industrial designer by profession and daughter of a civil engineer. As destiny would have it, she discovered her creativity and landed a job in the field of automobile design after she completed her PG diploma in industrial design from National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad.
The programme at NID fetched her internships at DC Design and Maruti Suzuki. Currently working with Maruti Suzuki in Gurgaon as an assistant manager, she raises her eyebrows if you ask her about the car designs she has worked out.
In DC Design, she was involved in detailing and laying out smaller elements of designs for all kinds of vehicles from a car to a bus.
She found the job of customisation quite thrilling but designing a “new” car at Maruti Suzuki had its own charms. Besides earning good money, she enjoys the privilege of having one-on-one discussions with the top bosses of the company. “Though I am one of the 8,000 employees, being a designer, I interact with very senior people in the corporate hierarchy,” she says with pride.
At her present job, she is briefed about her company's design vision on the basis of market trends and demands. It is followed by an interactive discussion with the design team that involves brainstorming over the looked-for-structure. A rough blueprint of a possible structure is created after sessions of suggestions and examinations. Thereafter, necessary changes are made in the design to synchronise with the “requirements” and the final design is sent for approval. “It calls for high level of creativity and vision, which is exercised each and every day,” she adds.
Designing was meant for me
The profession is meant for those who have a penchant for creativity, great observation and analytical skills. One needs to do a self-assessment to discover whether one is meant for it. If you have a passion, you can easily make your way to auto designing.
Biswas was also hooked to automobiles, which drove her to her present career. Probably, this is the reason why she chose auto design as a career option over other disciplines in industrial design. The decision was taken irrespective of not studying any subject in automobile at NID. “When I joined NID, there was no course in auto design but I used to participate in competitions in college like those organised by Renault and Fiat. This ignited my passion for designing cars,” she says.
Her background in architecture also helped her a great deal to understand the basics of design. “The basic language of structure and design is the same. Lines and proportions used in design are the same which I learnt in architecture,” she explains.
She tasted success of sorts immediately after her PG programme when she bagged the first prize in the Renault Design Competition 2008, which fetched her a six-month internship at the Renault India. Around 75 students from different colleges participated in that contest which included contenders from the likes of IIT, Delhi.
She strongly believes that one needs to be clued onto the latest innovations. In her free time, she goes through auto magazines like Car Styling and Overdrive and watches auto shows on TV channels. “Not only do I read auto books I read up on industrial design too. It is good to get as much information as one can,” she says.
Her obsession with design pervades her personal life as well. Even when she hangs around in the market place with friends, she stops whenever some “soothing” design catches her eye. “It is quite natural. I don't have to make a conscious effort to look for captivating designs. My eyes simply stop at the sight of an aesthetic structure,” she says candidly.