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G R A D U A T I O N  2 0 0 5  
Graduation 2004
AMRITA SOANS

SPACES WITHIN

 
Project Name : Diploma in : Furniture Design
Advisory Panel: Arvind Lodaya, John Mathew, Mary Jacob, Sudipto Dasgupta

“Despite it being a hypothetical project, my choosing to work with a real space that was in need of a redesign but had its own distinctive set of constraints.”

Amrita always wanted to take up a spatial project that addressed the general public, and she knew this project was her opportunity. “Every time I stepped out of home I consciously observed people in their surroundings and how they responded to various spaces. I noticed that most people including myself, often pass through certain spaces – ‘transit’ spaces if I might dare call them, completely unaware of their existence. These spaces are rendered ‘non-descript’ by its users, who hurriedly pass through it, because they have to, in order to reach their destination”, says Amrita.
Amrita proposed integrating graphics into the architecture to create a more fascinating, appealing environment that attempts an engagement with the user.

 
BHAVANA VYAS
WORDLESS PLAY
 

Diploma in : Fine Arts

Advisory Panel : Arvind Lodaya, Kumkum Nadig, Geetha Narayanan, Geoff Halber,
Ravindra Gutta, A V Varghese, Geetanjali Sachdev, Shuchi Grover

QUOTE

‘A wordless book stretches the imagination, allowing children and adults to explore language through design and illustration.’

Bhavana had the opportunity to be taught by the late Soumitro Sarkar in her Foundation program at Srishti. Soumitro, who had worked on internationally acclaimed and award winning illustrated books for children, encouraged her to pursue illustration. Bhavana’s work continued to move in this direction, while she pursued a variety of courses in Fine and Contemporary Arts, as well as in the multidisciplinary Design for Community and Self program.
Her diploma project became a space in which she could attempt to create a book, exactly the way she wanted, from beginning to end. Her driving idea was a “wordless” book, a graphic picturebook without a text-told story.


 
CHAITANYA KRISHNAN
PAPER CRAFT
 

Diploma in : Communication Design

Advisory Panel : Arvind Lodaya, Kumkum Nadig, Geetha Narayanan, Geoff Halber,
Ravindra Gutta, A V Varghese, Geetanjali Sachdev, Shuchi Grover

I wanted to explore the relationship between the story and the form of the book; looking at questions as to whether or not the story always dictates the form, or how well does form shape a story?

Chaitanya’s diploma project initially revolved around a Delhi publishing house called Katha offering to provide him with stories he would illustrate. But when he researched children’s literature, he found that there was very little done in terms of 3-D pop-up books in the Indian context. He had some previous experience with paper craft and had done some pop-up explorations during his Foundation program. So he decided to do his diploma project in the relatively unexplored field of non-conventional illustrated books for Indian children.
Chaitanya’s main focus was on the use of paper craft in terms of pop-ups and origami. His product was a pop-up book, based on a story he wrote himself and in which D56, a Techdroid, runs into trouble with some Crocobots.
D56’s companions in this sci-fi adventure, are two droids, Zero and Slinky. The storybook is supplemented by a kit which enables readers to build their own Crocobot. Readers also get an opportunity to familiarize themselves with complex aspects of paper craft.

 
GAURABH MATHURE
SMALL SCREEN BIG PICTURE
 

Diploma in : Communication Design

Advisory Panel : Geetha Narayanan, Shuchi Grover, Uma Chandru, Arvind Lodaya

As a designer, by default one’s job is to make things look good. But our preoccupation should be to provide added value. We have been taught to make connections and see patterns and it’s best that we use these processes in understanding, organizing and creating systems or services

Gaurabh Mathure’s project is titled “Small Screen, Big Picture”. It aims to place the designer at a systems level engaging him in the knowledge creation stage of a project. It portrays how the designer can and should be involved in aspects of research, concept development and evolution of the design proposal into concrete products or services. His project idea emerged from his prior work in the Communication for Change Lab and on the Demo Showcase project with HP Labs India. During his interactions with HP Labs India, he understood that the company was in need of designers as part of their processes in the innovation of technologies and services. That is when he realized that designers can now climb up the value chain of innovative companies and not be relegated to the last mile where they just add an aesthetic edge to products.
Gaurabh chose mobile phones and their services and features as the subject of his study.
His work has to do with designing ways in which human interactions can be extended using mobile phone services. The outcomes of his project were visualizations of the research and observational findings, service design consisting of system design, paper prototypes of the interface to the service application, an experience prototype which will demonstrate the service in use and an user manual.

 
MANJERI SADASHIVAN

THREE-FOLD CORD

 

Diploma in : Textile Design

Advisory Panel : Neelam Chibber, Swati Unakar,
Waseem Shaikh, Thampuran
Sponsor: Industry Craft Foundation

“What helped me drive my diploma project was a quote from Victor Hugo which went something like this: ‘A stand can be made against invasion by an army; no stand however can be made against invasion by an idea.’”

Manjeri’s diploma project has three ranges. She began with the question, If textiles define spaces through look, feel and colour, why not smell? She combined the properties of sacredness and purification connected to aromatics with the ritual of gifting to create a range of aromatic textile products - tablemats, coasters and gift bags.
Her second range used the idea of reusing waste/rejected natural fibre matting to make products with minimum wastage through
patchworks.
Her third range is developed as per the forecasts for 2005-06, combining natural components like leather and natural fibre with manmade materials like plastic and wires. She combined the properties of sacredness and purification connected to aromatics with the ritual of gifting to create a range of aromatic textile products - tablemats, coasters and gift bags.
Her second range used the idea of reusing waste/rejected natural fibre matting to make products with minimum wastage through patchworks.

 
RAJESH NARASIMHA

MOBILITY BY DESIGN

 

Diploma in : Furniture Design

Advisory Panel : John Matthew, Sudipto Dasgupta, Arvind Lodaya, Uma Chandru, Mary Jacob

“There are no exact statistics on how many people with disabilities require assistive devices. But there is a general agreement that only 15 to 20 per cent of the need for assistive devices is currently being met. Can a designer make all a difference?"

In India, we have a disabled population of approximately 50 million. About 10 per cent of these suffer from more than one type of disability: visual, hearing, speech, and locomotor. Of the disabled, 78 per cent live in rural areas. Locomotor disabled form the largest group of the people with disability, accounting for about 40-50 per cent of this population.

A very large proportion of this group requires some kind of assistive aid. There are no exact statistics on how many people with disabilities require assistive devices. But there is a general agreement that only 15 to 20 per cent of the need for assistive devices is currently being met. It is in this context that a designer can make all the difference.

Rajesh decided to engage with design for such physically challenged people, especially those who cannot walk. They needed some form of external walking aid or a wheelchair without which they often cannot do basic daily tasks in the community.

 
ROLF MARREN

DHURRIE ART

 

Diploma in : Textile Design

Guides : Sanchita Dasgupta and Poonam Bir Kasturi
Sponsor : Kaleen, Bangalore

“I wanted to work on t he design development of 12 contemporary dhurries inspired by an artistic approach with a dye shade card palette of maximum 12 colours.”

A very good painter of portraits even before he joined Srishti, especially of rock stars like Jim Morrison, Rolf’s exposure to the wider world of art and design aesthetics in the last five years has taken him in new directions. He was fascinated with dhurries even as he did his courses in textile design. Most of the surface design work he had done earlier was with repeat patterns and motifs. Now he wanted to look at the dhurrie as a canvas to paint upon. His idea was to use paintings and computer art to create contemporary patterns on dhurries which cater to different market segments and interior spaces. Rolf chose the aesthetic and ideological positions of two artists – Victor Vasarely and Paul Davies – to trigger and feed into his work. “I looked at geometric patterns and faces and tried to figure out how they could be used on dhurries instead of posters. My dhurries do not use too many intricacies or motifs. They are easier to weave, helping the weaver. Their costs are lower in contrast to the expensive floor coverings, woven mainly for the rich. Finally, they are paintings on the floor. I have also created upholstery that goes with the dhurries. With many contemporary artifacts selling as sets, those who buy my upholstery might go in for my dhurries too,” says Rolf.


 
SHAHANA MEHTA

HIDDEN VOICES

 

Diploma in : Communication Design

Advisory Panel : Geetha Narayanan, Sanjit Sethi, Uma Chandru, Kumkum Nadig, Shabnam Virmani

Resource : A V Varghese, Ayesha Abraham

What can a communication designer do to enable women who have been subjected to violence within the home to share their testimonials and bring their struggles, survival and coping strategies into the public domain?

Shahana’s project was inspired by ‘Silent Spaces,’ a collaborative documentary film, which she produced with her peers in the Communication for Change Lab. This film dealt with child sexual abuse. Shahana, following up issues of social concern thereafter, became interested in the theme of ‘violence against women’ around which she built her diploma project.

She has sought to sensitively build an array of narratives that voice and give visibility to women who have survived violence and who, as authors of these narratives, are differentiated from being reduced to mere ‘cases’ of violence against women. She decided to design a tactile product package that included modules to initiate a discourse on violence against women. Her project has provided blueprints for workshops using the audio and video testimonials of women who have suffered domestic violence.

The entire package is thus a tool kit for awareness and action. Through such products, Shahana’s project questions the myth of security, safe haven, and intimacies attached to the notion of the home and seeks to encourage the individual, family and society to do the same.

 
SHRUTI SHASHIDHAR

FLAT FORMED

 

Diploma in : Furniture Design

Advisory Panel : Arvind Lodaya, John Matthew, Mary Jacob, Sudipto Dasgupta

“My real challenge was to develop a product which went beyond mere function and reflected a way of thinking.”

Shruthi has always been fascinated by the all-encompassing knowledge hidden in geometry. The world through the eyes of a pure mathematician might appear to be one of myriad shapes and figures. For Shruthi, however, geometry is a way of seeing and understanding; a method and logic of how to make sense of the world. Her diploma project strives to be an apt synergy of geometry and design.

To gain a focus, Shruthi’s diploma project adopts two different approaches. Her initial idea was inspirational and looked at Origami, which essentially involves conversion of two-dimensional planar objects into three-dimensional forms, with implications as diverse as toys to solar panels for satellites.

The second idea, involved either putting up an interactive exhibition using geometry or developing toys aimed at devising a fun way of learning intriguing aspects of geometry.

Shruthi converged on a diploma project that generated complex 3-D objects from 2-D planar objects like sheet metal, paper, acrylic, plys, etc. Shruti believes that inherent to every material are limitations of size, strength and composition and that these govern the techniques that can be used on the material.

 
SHWETHA SHETTAR

DESIGNER-ARTISAN INTERACTION

 

Diploma in : Textile Design

Guide : Poonam Bir Kasturi
Sponsor : Sasha Association for Craft Producers, Kolkata

“This project would not have been possible without my learning from the craftspeople. Involving them made the project richer than doing the usual client brief and delivering the required products.”

Shwetha worked with Sasha Association, an NGO supporting Craft Producers to develop three collections of Kantha embroidery. The ranges created are to be marketed to clients in Europe, more specifically Italy, in 2005 - 2006. In creating these ranges, she was inspired by two traditional Bengali games – Oshta and Solah Gutti. She has created two home collections and a third collection of reversible stoles.

She worked with ten participants from a trained Kantha embroidery group for four months. Her objective was to instill confidence in the women and to impart an ability to create designs with a thorough understanding of the elements of design and the market.

Shwetha was motivated by Srishti’s emphasis on the notion of the designer having to work horizontally with crafts traditions, and not top down, so as to learn directly from crafts people. This process led to her personal enrichment and exposure to aesthetics and techniques she might otherwise have ignored.

 
SMIRITI MEHRA

SAMVADA

 

Diploma in: Communication Design

Advisory Panel : Ayisha Abraham, Geetha Narayanan, Michael Joseph, Sanjit Sethi

"The notion of an expansive conversation or Samvada becomes the device that could potentially facilitate a change of perceptions based on the premise that conversations spark change." 

Smriti Mehra’s project “Samvada” (Conversation) was part of the Fulbright scholar, Sanjit Sethi’s “The Building Nomads Project”, which involved ‘small site’ migrant construction labourers and their families. Smriti’s idea was to gather testimonials from construction labourers and shape these i nto a dynamic, constructive format; her product consisted of short video and audio pieces that tell larger stories of alienation and displacement, occupational hazards, identity and pipedreams, in order to provoke a discourse.

Her project sought to take prior learnings forward in terms of social concern and audio/video. She had spent a year in the Communication for Change Lab, working on “Silent Spaces”, a documentary on sexuality. She then studied Digital Video Production and made “Neerinakallu” (Water Stone), a non-fiction film tracing the movement of masses of clothes through their cycle, within the space of a Bangalore Dhobi Ghat.

She has conceptualised a series of workshops where her products trigger conversations and capture re-representations of issues of urban migrancy, rights and citizenship, ethical labour practices and the role of art, design and technology, with regard to invisibility of the building nomads.

 
SRIRANJINI RAGHURAM

PLAYING WITH LIGHT

 

Diploma in : Textile Design
Guide : Swati Unakar
Sponsor : Fabindia, New Delhi

"This project gave me an opportunity to interact with other designers and merchandisers and open my mind to new ideas. I was able to visualize, articulate and communicate ideas better."

Sriranjini was fascinated by the concept of light and textiles and jumped at the offer of a project by Fabindia, as this gave her the opportunity to pursue her interest. Her diploma project involved developing blinds and screens that could be used as room dividers.

She worked with two themes – ‘ethereal’ and ‘festive’. ”Ethereal” explored qualities of minimalism, fluidity and transparency. Techniques like embroidery and block printing were used to make the prototypes. The whole collection was created with whites. “Festive”, on the other hand explored a colourful and busy look.

The techniques used by Sriranjini gave rise to two story lines. One was implemented with appliqué and patchwork, whereas the other used materials like mirrors. Some of the initial concepts were adapted to make other products like bed covers and cushion covers.

“This project gave me an opportunity to interact with other designers and merchandisers and open my mind to new ideas,” she says. She was able to visualize, articulate and communicate ideas better. Her interaction with various kinds of people made the translation of her ideas into textiles an easy task.

 
VAIBHAV BHAWSAR

THE LOWLANDS PROJECT

 

Diploma in : Communication Design
Advisory Panel : Ayisha Abraham, Sanjit Sethi,
Shuchi Grover, A V Varghese

“As a result of 'drifting' through the city, I did have an array of experiences and I explored relationships between the city and the individual. It was vital to 'trace the drift' and the personal journey to map and illustrate the array of experiences.”

In the second half of 2003, Vaibhav was part of a four-month artist-in-residence program at the Cittadellarte Foundazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy. Here, for the first time, he worked on projects using both artistic and design thought processes. Vaibhav worked on two projects, one of which was a creation of a forum for exchange of personal opinions using a vending machine installed in a public space and proposed to create a means of holding a sustainable dialogue within a community. The second project was a sound installation on the relationship between tradition and modernization of local textile industries in Biella titled “Past Continuous”. It explored sound as a trigger for nostalgia and memory.

He then turned to his diploma project titled “The Lowlands Project” which laid emphasis on what the city looks like from an individual’s perspective and how the exchange of individual understanding between people leads to creation and articulation of different layers or maps of the city.

His outcome is an interactive screen-based glossary of concepts which is a work in progress. It is an attempt at internalizing and communicating the process of journeying by reflecting on a personal vocabulary. It provides a framework for future action. He has further retraced his journey in an exhibition.

 
VANDITA SANGHAI

RESIST

 

Diploma in : Textile Design

Guide : Swati Unakar

Sponsor : Anew, Bangalore

My final garments are unique since they have a three dimensional look. This has been achieved after a lot of exploration and experimentation on different silk fabrics. I have managed to give my garments a very dramatic look.

Vandita has always been interested in printing and dyeing. The element of uncertainty in the process of Shibori fascinated her the most. She used her diploma project to learn more about Shibori and dyeing. She used dyeing as a means to create garments. Her aim was to express dyeing as a wearable art and give it a different perspective.

Vandita looked at dyeing as not just a technique but also different ways of ‘resist’. She did her project at the design firm Anew, Bangalore, and experimented with the different techniques of resist which include application of wax, blocking and tying and stitching using threads.

The theme “aerial view” helped her decide what form and technique to use in her collection. Each sample she created led to innovative ideas to improve and create new ways of resist. Her final garments are different since they have a three dimensional look. This was achieved after a lot of exploration and experimentation on different silk fabrics and Vandita feels she has managed to give her garments a dramatic look and feel.

 
VINAYAK VARMA WORKING TITLE  


Diploma in : Fine Arts

Advisory Panel : Arvind Lodaya, Kumkum Nadig, Geetha Narayanan, Geoff Halber,
Ravindra Gutta, A V Varghese,
Geetanjali Sachdev, Shuchi Grover

Vinayak sought to create a fresh narrative form that would have the visual dynamism of a children’s book, motion picture or animation, while retaining the freedom and room for interpretation that a regular novel affords. His product was a “teaser” book - six chapters of a full-length novel he is attempting to complete. Each chapter uses an amalgam of text and visuals that Vinayak felt was most reflective of the subject matter.

The chapters refer to bizarre events and his fragmented text is complemented by his chaotic graphic treatment. He broaches the idea of a technology that allows a sentient Gaia to be psychoanalysed. This mix of science fiction and fantasy has strong doses of comic rant thrown in for effect.

Vinayak’s challenge has been to strike a balance between devising each chapter using a novelist’s stream of consciousness and a graphic designer’s or screenwriter’s compositional diligence and knowledge of visual cues. Aside from which there was, he says, the frustrating but enriching experience of storytelling itself.