A genius designer is a planner with an aesthetic sense, an eye for detail and a lot of creativity. Students at Ahmedabad’s National School of Design (NID) aim to imbibe all the qualities. According to Nirav Doshi, an animation film design student at NID, the uniqueness of his institute lies in its “no -exam-no-textbook” system. “We are free to work on any design project which allows us to experiment, be creative and explore our interests. After working on a project, we present it in front of a jury panel. While working on animation films, we also get to learn other skills such as sound design, direction, story-telling, 3D, and even acting,” says Doshi.
Another student, George Eliot, who is studying product design, finds the academic environment “hands-on, practical and project-based.” “The design process here is intense. We can design any product for sectors such as consumer appliances, healthcare, transport, retail and packaging. We can refer to reading material at our library and work with design studios across the country,” says Eliot.
NID is globally-acclaimed for industrial, communication, textile and IT integrated (experiential) design.
USP: “Our aim is that our students and faculty should be directly connected with the industry. The unique aspects of NID include a no-examination-no-textbook and project-based system. We allow students to come up with ideas that have social relevance. NID also offers consultancy services to Indian industries. Students have the freedom to bring real-life projects into classrooms,” says Pradyumna Vyas, director.
Programmes: The institute offers professional programmes at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels with five faculty streams and 18 diverse design domains such as industrial design, communication design, and apparel and textile design.
Faculty: There are approximately 65 full-time faculty members and more than 200 visiting faculty every year.
IT quotient: IT facilities for the students of all the three campuses — Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and Bengaluru — include more than 2000 LAN connections, more than 1000 high-end workstations functioning on Windows and Apple platforms and a common IT lab.
Infrastructure: Apart from the discipline-specific workshops and labs for students, such as metal workshop, wood workshop, textile workshop, dyeing and printing lab, ceramic design studio, transportation workshop, etc, NID also has a Knowledge Management Centre (KMC) at all the three campuses. KMC helps in managing print, digital, audio-visual material and is a collection of books, periodicals and other resources from across the world. Besides this, the centre has a large collection of the student diploma projects, craft documentation reports and other research projects. The Ahmedabad campus has a Design Vision Centre which is a design support facility for education, research and consultancy with three hi-tech labs.
Clubs and societies: There are several students’-initiated activities at NID. The Monsoon Fiesta is a three-week programme which includes activities such as sports, poster competition, dance performances and drama workshops.
During Bateein, another popular event, students invite eminent persons from different walks of life to give presentations and talks. Students also participate in RGB, an inter-college fest for design schools of the country. D’frost and Infest are the design fests at the Bengaluru and Gandhinagar campus, respectively. NIDUS, a design outlet, retails products from lifestyle and accessory to ceramic and textile that are designed by NID alumni, students and faculty members.
Admissions: The admissions process is usually initiated around September. In January, the following year, written tests are conducted in eight to nine major cities. The academic year begins from June. From 2013-14 onwards, overseas candidates are eligible to apply to NID.
Foreign collaborations: “We have signed MoUs with about 56 institutions across the world for joint research programmes. The idea is to bring in a global perspective in design and share our values with them,” says Vyas.
Placements: More than 100 companies participated during the placement process 2012 across the three campuses. The number of offers, including placement and diploma projects, were 234. The maximum salary offered was Rs. 38 lakh per annum. The salary range from the rest of the participants was R6 lakh per annum to Rs. 13 lakh per annum. The companies that visited NID during placements included Toshiba, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Titan Industries, Infosys Limited, and GE Healthcare.
NID is an autonomous institution under the aegis of the ministry of commerce and industry. It was set up in 1961