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From Studying Engineering to Becoming a Car Designer : The Journey of Muqeet Arsh

Meet Muqeet Arsh, a Mechanical Engineering graduate from AMC College of Engineering, Bangalore, who got admitted into Masters in Transportation & Car Design course at Scuola Politecnica di Design, Italy, after doing his Diploma in Car Design from Launchpad Academy. He is currently pursuing his second year . He kindly agreed to meet couple of our students and talk to us about his experiences.
With two years of work experience at Mahindra under his belt, Muqeet was all set to take the next grand step in his career. His eyes were all set on being an automobile designer.
Having no background with design, he opted to hone his design skills before applying for a master’s degree at a foreign university. That’s when he enrolled himself in Launchpad’s Diploma in Car Design course.

visit to ferrari

visit to ferrari

In a live session with Launchpad Alumni, Muqeet shared his experience on how Launchpad helped him realize his dream. Here are some of his excerpts and learnings from the session.
Joining Launchpad’s Diploma in Car Design Course

“I did my Mechanical Engineering from AMC College. After that I joined Launchpad Academy. This helped me a lot to focus where exactly I wanted to be. They guided me how exactly to apply to colleges and which all colleges are open to apply.”
Learning How to Sketch

Sketching is one of the most essential skills to get into a design course at any prestigious university. Being from an engineering background, Muqeet realized that he had to learn how to sketch freely and own this skill. “I used to sketch but I didn’t know how to get into this field.”. Launchpad’s sketching and design course helped him hone his skills and get admitted to SPD, Italy.

Building a Strong Portfolio
“When I started, my portfolio was really bad. It was basically a word document with all my sketches. You can start with anyhow you want depending on how your skill level is.”
Your portfolio needn’t be anything fancy. Just include a collection of your best work. Focus on free hand sketches and showcase any other creative pursuits you may have such as drawing, painting or even clay modelling.

Why Join a University?

You will get to know what you really want to do. They’ll help you hone your skills right and get to the next level. The industry demands certain skills and traits from the designers, and the university prepares you to gel perfectly with it.
Getting Admitted is Only the Beginning

The SPD admission process consists of an online application process followed by a skype interview, wherein you’re given a live sketching assignment. It’s that simple really, provided you’re already prepared.
The course which Muqeet opted for at SPD is in English. No GRE score or TOEFL certificate was required to qualify for an admission.
About the Course
As with any design course, it’s extremely rigorous and tough. Classes are short, but most of the time is spent completing assignments and projects. You’ll hardly find time for any other activities, except on weekends.
The course is divided into two years. The first year is compulsory for students from non-design background. On completion of the first year, every student gets a 1-year post graduation certificate. Only those who score more than 8.5 GPA in their first year get into the second year to earn their master’s degree.
“Out of 12 students from my class just 4 of us made it to the second year.”
The course fee is roughly INR 20 Lakhs and the living cost is around 1000 Euro a month in Italy.
Learning from Industry Experts
The professors at SPD are all industry experts and come from some of the top design studios and automotive companies in the world. One of the professors is working for Alfa Romeo. Another was one of the designers for Niki Lauda’s Ferrari car. Learning from such experienced professionals was truly an amazing experience for him.

SPD is affiliated with Volkswagen Group, an automobile conglomerate with many companies under their belt. As a result, students get a chance to do projects at leading automobile firms such as Alfa Romeo to Lamborghini.
“My first year we worked with Alfa Romeo and Fiat. My second year as soon as I’ll be joining we’ll start with live projects from Lamborghini, Audi and Ducati.”
Why Italy and not US or Germany?
“As far as design is concerned I think Italy is the best place to learn, because it is known as the design capital of the world. They’re the oldest and one of the most famous designers in the world. They’re very precise, they know what they want and how they want it to be in the future.”
Being the home of iconic car brands like Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, Italy has been very influential in car design. We cannot argue with him here.

Joining Launchpad’s course helped Muqeet grab a seat at one of the most prestigious design universities in the world.
If you love cars and are interested in designing them, our Diploma in Car Design course is the perfect choice for you to get started on your journey towards becoming a car designer.

Here is the video of session.

Launchpad Alumni Interview – Shyam Prasad – NID

Shyam Prasad is a 23 year old mechanical engineering graduate living in Gadag, Karnataka. A design enthusiast driven by automobiles, getting into a reputed design school like NID or IDC was Shyam’s dream of many years. Shyam successfully cleared the written exam and studio tests of NID and will be pursuing his M.Des degree in Transportation and Automobile Design. He spoke to Launchpad on this joyous occasion and remembered how our Diploma in Car Design course helped him in his success and shared all the details about NID’s studio tests and other selection procedures. Read on!

Congrats Shyam! How does it feel to get into NID?
Thank you and I’m on Cloud 9 right now! It feels great. In fact this is my second attempt. Though I made it to the 5th waitlist, I was unable to clear NID’s tough entrance exams for the first time. However, I didn’t give up my hope on becoming an automobile designer. Every decimal counts in NID’s entrance score. I missed it by a mere 0.70 the first time and I’m glad I cleared it this time!

Shyam's Sketches

Shyam’s Sketches

Can you tell us more about the NID exam pattern this year?
I’ll give you a comparison rather. When I appeared for the exam for the first time, the test had about 7-10 descriptive questions and the total awarded marks was 50. But this time, the emphasis was more on creative-sketching rather than descriptive and the total marks was doubled to 100 as well, this year. The paper pattern is totally unpredictable to be honest.

Can you briefly tell us about the Studio Test following the exam?
The Studio Test wasn’t just a test, it was a whole new experience! After clearing the first round, we were asked to attend the second round at their campuses, respective of the streams we chose. I gave the entrance exam in Bangalore and the Studio Test was in Gandhinagar. The Studio Test goes on for a minimum of 2 days and can go on up to 5 days. We were offered free hostel stay during the Studio Test and the fact I was in NID campus made me reduce my stress levels and face the tests more confidently.

Shyam's Sketches

Shyam’s Sketches

What kind of questions are asked in the Studio Test of NID?
The studio test can be shortlisted to three stages.
1. We were asked to pen down three views of the scale models of the cars.
2. With a few craft items, we were given a task to complete.
3. The Interview.
Last time, we were made to sit in front of a JCB and asked to sketch three views of the JCB. The studio test, as I told earlier is a whole new experience! It is totally unpredictable, how they decide to test you. But it was a lot of fun!

How was the Personal Interview?
The interview was very cool and casual. Generally we expect interviews to be stress filled, but interviewers here go really easy on us. But they will definitely get the information they need out of us. Keeping our calm is the only preparation needed for the interview. We must know what we are talking about rather assuming or bluffing. One doesn’t need any coaching to face interviews and learn how to behave; we just have to be ourselves. And yes, we need to carry a portfolio to present the panel. In fact, carry everything and anything which shows the creative part of ourselves. Nothing is too much. The panel patiently goes through all the sketches or items that we present.

Shyam's Sketches

Shyam’s Sketches

How did Launchpad help you in all of this?
I was very disappointed when I couldn’t crack the tests for the first time. I felt it was because I didn’t put enough efforts. But it was just that I had no idea of many aspects of the car design though I wanted to pursue Transportation Design as a career. I just looked at car sketches and copied them down. But after I joined Launchpad, I got to know about perspectives, ratios and many other technical terms of car design. It totally redefined sketching for me. I think that sums up how important Launchpad was for me to get into NID!

 

Love Cars?
Interested in Car Design?
We have a course just right to fuel your interests! Learn more about our Diploma in Car Design online course!

Interior Designer Jobs in India: Top 5 Companies Hiring

The popularity of interior design in India is such that it’s no longer a choice of luxury but has evolved to become a necessary amenity. Increased standard of living and a growing concern for shrinking living spaces have made interior design more significant than ever. Correspondingly, the number of students who are considering interior design as their future career option is also very high today. If you are one of them, here’s a list of the top interior design companies in India who are on the lookout for fresh and creative interior designers.

But before we begin to list the top 5 companies where you could pursue your interior design career, here are a few facts about interior design to blow your mind!

  • High Demand: Currently India needs more than 100000 interior designers to work in various architectural and real estate firms, event management companies, healthcare and retail industry, hospitality, furniture companies and more.
  • Less Designers: However, this enormous demand for interior designers is heavily undersupplied as there are very few students who are taking up interior design as a career and very few interior designers who are capable of meeting the industry standards and satisfying all their clients, each with a different mindset and taste.
  • Tremendous Growth: The interior design industry which once was considered as a sub domain of architecture has evolved to become a fully-fledged, established profession today. Along with the existing high demand, the industry also has a tremendous growth rate of 20%, which is expected to continue until 2018.
  • Lucrative Pay: An entry level interior designer in India starts with a median salary of 4 lakh per annum and a senior interior designer makes up to 30 lakh per annum! You could be hired by interior design and architectural firms, by construction companies as an in-house interior designer, by furniture manufacturers or event managers.

With growing experience and demand, you could have your own interior design firm, be a consultant to high-end projects and also freelance in the sideline to supplement your finances. Now that you know why interior design is one of the best career choices in India, here’s the list of the top 5 interior design/furniture companies who want to hire people like you!

1. Homelane
Homelane is a budding startup based in Bangalore that provides technology led interior design solutions which are clean, quick and customizable; also specializing in modular and fixed furniture. Homelane drew a lot attention in a short span of 8 months since its inception to include big names like Sequoia Capital, Aarin Capital and the Ganeshes as its investors. Homelane is looking for more than 10,000 interior designers from around the country to match its growth rate, which is over 100%!

2. Urban Ladder
Urban Ladder is another home setup startup that hails from Bangalore, specializing in online sales of furniture and other home-décor services. Citing the importance of e-commerce in the future and Urban Ladder’s vision and growth in the e-tailer industry, many venture capital firms have invested in Urban Ladder, including Ratan Tata who made a personal investment in the company. Urban Ladder has many interior designer careers open under its wing.

3. Bonito Designs
Again from Bangalore, Bonito Designs is a well-established interior design company started and managed by a bunch of people who are probably in their 20s! Bonito Designs offers many interior design services including planning & design, visualization and consultancy. The company is also featured on the popular interior design website Houzz.com and is looking for interior designers who can learn quickly and tell stories through their designs.

4. Livspace
Livspace is located in Bangalore and is one of India’s leading shopping destination for home décor and design. Livspace offers interior design and home décor solutions to customers through their award winning designers or allows customers to customize the design by themselves through their interactive website. Operating with a browse and shop approach, Livspace is looking for many interior designers and furniture designers.

5. Inch
Based in Bangalore, Inch delivers world class wardrobe, bedroom and kitchen interiors. Inch specializes in modern and contemporary sofas, storage furniture, room designs, beds and more. Affiliated with Launchpad Academy, Inch is looking for promising interior designers and furniture designers. Those students who successfully complete our ‘Interior Design Course’ will be offered internships and job opportunities in Inch.

 

Love decorating houses?
Want to be a professional Interior Designer?
If yes, then we might have the course tailor-made for you! Join our ‘Diploma in Interior Design‘ online course today!

Launchpad Students Help Design India’s First Driverless Car

Driverless cars is not an unrealistic concept anymore and India is not behind in the race either. AuRo is an ambitious startup started by a bunch of IITians who are on the verge of launching India’s first driverless car. A research group of 30 people from IIT Khragpur, these guys here at AuRo have been working on autonomous vehicles from the past 4 years and finally their efforts have started to pay off. They are presently helping some of the leading automobile companies in building autonomous driving systems and ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) for their cars.

Most of the automobile companies and even Google are fighting over automated passenger cars and urban mobility today; and team AuRo feels it is in the right time, with the right product. Tech conferences, investor meets, workshops or science conventions, AuRo is giving its 100% to promote its products and gain the limelight it deserves.

Side View of AuRo’s Driverless Shuttle

Side View of AuRo’s Driverless Shuttle

Currently they are working on a ‘Driverless Shuttle’ which can replace manually driven carts and mini buses in university and company campuses, large industrial sites, theme parks and gated residential communities. The shuttle uses radars and lasers to determine its path and recognize the obstacles on its way. A high quality camera and a GPS system are also present to make the travel experience more smooth and safe. Though AuRo had the engineering to realize its Driverless Shuttle, it could really use a designer’s insight over its vehicle design and also use an impressive visual representation of its amazing concept. We are glad AuRo considered Launchpad Academy to help them with their design needs. Nalin Gupta, CEO and co-founder of Auro had a small chat with us over the phone and the next thing we know, our office shutter was open on a Sunday too!

Arjun Moger, one of our associate faculty formed a team of 3 comprising two of our students. The team sat down with Nalin, understood the whole Driverless Shuttle concept, listened to Nalin’s ideas and discussed if they could provide Nalin what he wants. Here is a brief on the design development process of India’s first driverless car by AuRo with Launchpad Academy’s assistance.

Image 1

Image 1

In the image, Part A is a bubble themed concept which is centered around a couch like interior with curved seats and open windows. The couch concept was designed so that commuters could interact more when seated opposite to each other. But since Nalin’s prime focus was on basic transportation and not the interaction of the commuters, the team came up with Part B. This boxy concept was based on Nalin’s suggestion that he wanted a cost effective vehicle that could accommodate more people and that could be manufactured with easily available materials. The outward mounted seats was an attempt to accommodate more people and use the available space to the fullest extent.

Image 3

Image 2

Part E in Image 2 are just a few of the numerous iterations of Part B and the design was inspired by Volkswagen Beetle.

Since the Driverless Shuttle would be used for small distances, comfort was a lesser priority when compared to accommodating more people. Hence Nalin’s suggestion was to take out the seats and make the interior more spacious, open and safe (Part C). The concept was further improvised by taking a school bus as an inspiration and taking away all the unwanted support structures in between, and including them only in the corners. The roof was given special emphasis this time and Nalin gave a go on the hard shelled top.

Finalized Concept of the Driverless Shuttle

Finalized Concept of the Driverless Shuttle

The above shown finalized concept was sketched and then rendered in Photoshop and finally Nalin could see AuRo’s future Driverless Shuttle on the computer screen! That day AuRo got one more step closer to its dreams! It was almost 11 in the night, Nalin was extremely pleased with Launchpad Academy and its talented students who helped him realize the design he wanted, in a single day!

Though we Launchpad Academy are an educational startup, we couldn’t be more privileged to be a part of something so unique and phenomenal in India, nation’s first driverless car! Because that’s what startups do, believe in startups first and foremost, help each other and take the startup revolution in India to new heights! And moreover, our Diploma in Car Design students wouldn’t have gotten a better opportunity than this to showcase their skills and knowledge gained from the course, an opportunity to help design India’s first driverless car!

Our Student Royce De Souza’s Take On The Driverless Car

Front View

Front View

Side View

Side View

 

Love Cars?
Interested in Car Design?
We have a course just right to fuel your interests! Learn more about our Diploma in Car Design online course!