facebook_pixel

From Launchpad to NID – Gautam Merwan

Gautam Merwan is a talented young fellow from Chennai and a dear student of Launchpad Academy. A Mechanical Engineer by qualification, Gautam always wanted to be a designer and study in a reputed design school like National Institute of Design (NID).  A guy who looks up to Tesla’s Elon Musk more than anybody, Merwan started his design ventures in his engineering days with his innovative ‘The Wash Bike/WIKE’ concept which is a cycle cum washing machine! A guy with many innovative ideas, Gautam shares his NID success story with us and remembers how Launchpad’s Diploma in Car Design course help him achieve his dream of getting into NID. Read on!

Gautum and his WIKE Team

Gautum and his WIKE Team

Congrats Gautam! How does it feel to get into NID?
It feels great! My phone is ringing restlessly as everyone I know is calling or texting me to congratulate on my success! Last year my performance was utterly horrible, especially the Studio Test. This is my second attempt and a lot of things have changed over a year, if not hugely, significant at least. I am very happy about it.

So how was the whole NID experience?
The NID admission process in particular, is always a treat! Starting from their Design Aptitude Test which is round 1, all the way to their Studio Test and Interview which is round 2, the entire process is so awesome. Just the experience of going through their tests and having them pick your brains for what creative mess you’re really made of is really rewarding. So whether you get in or not, you definitely gain something to hold on to for life!

How were the Studio Test and Interview?
The questions were just so cool! It’s unlike anything that you see in CEED or any IIT entrance exams. Last year, the first question I was asked in the interview was ‘Which was the latest movie that you saw’! What’s more good about NID is that people they really read students and remember us. They immediately recognized me from my last year’s interview and asked what I was up to the entire year. They don’t care about your marks nor your strokes on pieces of paper, but the person and the vision behind those. They are really cool and friendly people, in the interview hall.

What kind of questions are asked in the Studio Test of NID?
There are many rounds and levels.
1. The first round is a pretty simple and straight forward task, a Live Sketching round. I was given a Porsche Cayenne SUV and was asked to draw two particular views (Front and Rear ¾ views) and a view of our choice. They provide you 30 minutes, a huge A2 paper and a ball point pen.
2. Then we were seated back inside the hall and given a booklet with our next set of questions. There were a few general questions like identification of certain cars from their pictures and noting their special features. We were also given a blank front view outline which we were supposed to complete using our imaginative skills.
3. There was also a task where we were supposed to make a model with the materials given to us of a modular seating/sleeper compartment for either a train or sleeper bus.

Gautam's Sketches

Gautam’s Sketches

How did Launchpad help you in all of this?
I am person who was always against coaching centers who promise to help you with your design skills but only end up making Design into an Engineering styled rat race. As I told, my first attempt was an utter disaster. Right from holding the pen in the right manner and drawing a straight line to sketching cars, I learnt all of it after I joined Launchpad’s Diploma in Car Design course. I first attended their Car Design workshop in Chennai and the people of Launchpad seemed assuring and reliable the very day I met them. I took up their DiCD program online and the rest is history!

 
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!

From Launchpad To NID – Shyam Prasad

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!

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!

Learning Car Design With Launchpad-Gautam Merwan

Gautam Merwan was an enthusiastic student of Launchpad’s Diploma in Car Design program and we couldn’t be any happier when we learned that he cleared CEED 2015. We decided to have a small talk with Gautam, ask him how he was doing and congratulate him. This is what he had to say!

Hi Gautam! What are you upto these days?

Hi! Being a Mechanical Engineer by qualification it’s certainly thrilling to have cleared CEED. My rank is 347 and marks, 31/100. As I graduated recently as an engineer, I’m currently weighing my chances in the Design world and working on my personality and experiences as a designer.

Have you applied to any Design Schools yet?

Yes! The application process is going on and I have applied for Product Design at CPDM, IISc-Bangalore and waiting for other IITs to begin their admission process. Since I’m from an engineering background, I have always had a fascination for Product Design and Transportation Design. I think both these design domains are extensions of my personality and pursuit for bringing out meaningful solutions through design. I’m aware that I will be getting greater exposure by joining design schools abroad, but I’m more of a Buy Indian, Be Indian and Make in India kind of person (When we asked his views on design schools abroad). I mean look at it, we have IDC in IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi and many other IITs in India that are on the same page with other top design schools in the world.

How did Launchpad Academy’s DiCD course help you?

In immense proportions! I got to know about Launchpad Academy from Facebook and was first introduced to its team in their Car Sketching Workshop at IISc, Bangalore. Being a resident of Chennai, the workshop was really worth the travel and money. And upon learning that LA’s Diploma in Car Design Program was online, I didn’t need more reasons to join the course right away. To be honest, right from learning how to hold a pencil to going through the admission processes, I have come a long way to become a designer and team Launchpad has been my biggest support during all these difficult phases. To put it in a few words, Sathiyaseelan Sir helped me to unlearn engineering and showed me how to become a designer.

Which Designer do you consider as your Role Model?

I have great regard for designers but would rather choose Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla Motors as my role model for his progressive approach towards science and entrepreneurship. I believe Design is what makes innovations great, as design is what makes people relate to these innovations. I and my friends here at VIT designed ‘The Wash Bike/WIKE’ which is a bicycle cum washing machine, intended to save money as well as time. I think design will help me turn more innovative ideas like this into real products, and better products in fact. (Very proud of his innovative project, Gautam hopes his project will be a product one day. We hope too!).

The Wash Bike

Any words/tips for fellow Design Students like yourself?

Well, I think the Launchpad team can give much better advice to design students than me because they are the ones who changed my perception about design and advised me what to do. However, I would ask my fellow design students to keep their mind open to new ideas and really, truly find themselves on their pursuit of design. Because THAT is the truest essence of a successful designer.

 

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!

Learning Car Design With Launchpad-Jonathan Kasumba

Jonathan Kasumba is one of those students Launchpad Academy is indeed proud to have. A 33-year-old industrial designer from Uganda, Jonathan is an example how age, profession and cultural differences are no barriers when it comes to learning. An active participant of our Diploma in Car Design program, here’s what Jonathan had to say about design, designers and Launchpad.

Hi Jonathan! Tell us a few things about yourself.

Hi! I am an industrial designer by profession and I currently live in Uganda. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Art and Design and I work in Kiira Motors, Uganda’s leading Automotive Original Equipment manufacturer.

How is the design scenario in Uganda and what made you choose car design as a career?

In Uganda design is still in its infancy in the context of product/ industrial design. The talent is alive and well, however opportunities to make use of this talent are pretty less. To answer your second question, I am very much inspired by the mystery of the world around us and the way nature is designed. There is a constant need to develop our surroundings and evolve with it; and what seems as science fiction today is tomorrow’s future. To me cars came out with a profound attachment to our everyday existence and car design lets us relate cars to the periods in our lives.

What are your strengths as a Designer?

I am a 3D modeler, sketch artist and a problem solver who loves aesthetics. I would say sketching, concept generation and sketch modeling are few of my strengths as a designer. Over time, since my graduation I have seen a drastic digital divide among designers and use of computer aided tools and softwares are a must today. I use 3ds Max, Photoshop, Alias and Illustrator for sketching and design purposes and Unity 3D for simulation.

How is Launchpad Academy’s DiCD course helping you?

Over years as a designer I have realized the prime importance of basics and fundamentals in car design. Complexity in design is nothing but basics multiplied again and again. Launchpad’s Diploma in Car Design Program has helped me to expand my knowledge about these basics and fundamentals and learn more. Also the course is helping me to understand manual rendering techniques and new ideation methodologies. Sathiyaseelan sir’s experience is instantly reflected in his teaching and I just can’t get over his side view workflow. It is simply superb. Car design as a subject is evolving continually and through the course I could learn how car design is approached with new ideas and new ways, especially in Asia.

What are your future plans as a Car Designer?

To setup a design studio that meets the needs of industrial design here in Uganda. Automotive would be the key field of focus of the studio.

Any words/tips for fellow Design Students and Professionals?

Learning is a part of us, never stop learning. Realize your strengths and capitalize on them as a design student. Be willing to experiment and experience new things as the world keeps evolving. Strive as a designer to design different products. Finally, love what you do!

 

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!