May 18, 2015

Gautham T R's IITK MDes interview experience

I just finished my interview..wanted to inform you...
It was very weird and vague . People were asked about where fish markets are In their respective cities..other guy was asked about Salman's case...some guy was made to sing...and most of them were GATE qualified..and didn't even have a portfolio... They got their B.E project which was of no use..even the candidates from B Arch ..faced same questions..they didn't even check their folios...
there were 3people in panel
So my turn came and I didn't wanna face awkward I took out my boxes in which I had my works..and kept it on the desk ...haha right after they asked about my name and score..and why not Mtech (for which I think my answer was not good: I said I had low cut off :( but that's not true.I didn't apply coz I wasn't interested in Mtech..only Mdes..)and the lady in the panel asked me to show my pieces...I opened it...and they were pretty impressed..and told me that they are all fancy wonder works..only meant for pleasing...on large scale they are pointless..i agreed..but its jus to show my least better than just a B.E project :/ and then they asked what I want to be in 5years...which is such a wrong question :( I thought for a while...because I didn't know how to answer it..  I said product design, mdes aren't very big in India right now.. But in next few years ..this field will also catch up with others..and making a proper base now and then probably a company to help solve problems will be good...I think they weren't satisfied with it
And after that I showed my file :D the few ideas I had put..and the lady said " Oh somebody told you to make a few sketches before coming to interview " and she laughed...I felt weird. .I said I knew about portfolios....but I couldn't complete my sentences. Too many questions..and they couldn't wait...I kinda couldn't think properly :/
And then they said you can leave.. before leaving I said its a pleasure to be here and to that she replied...reach out to more fields...a designer should be flexible..practice more sketching....that was the cue I guess :/ throat ached became dry within two seconds.  I smiled. Nodded my head .and walked out saying thank you...

May 17, 2015

Success Story : Nishith Parikh (ID at IDC IIT-B)

I precisely remember the day when my friend, Siddharth Parmar showed me the CEED website. I had no idea that such and exam actually existed and the fact that it did was a thrilling prospect for me. I didn't have much time left to apply so i quickly filed the form, completed the formalities and submitted my application.

Preparation for CEED:
I had absolutely zero knowledge as to the method i would need to follow to prepare for CEED. There were a few coaching classes in Hyderabad and I did have a look at them but decided not to take coaching (which i believe was the best decision i took). I soon started sketching, and sketching with a time limit. Sketching included everything from basics like line and ellipse drawing to complex pencil renders of candles, books, human poses and many other things. One thing i would like aspirants to keep in mind is that you must always practice with a time limit. I also tried solving all the previous years question papers with multiple solutions so that i got maximum practice and increased my thinking potential.
Tip: Ask friends and family for product ideas or about some difficulty they face while using currently available products. It could be anything like a door handle, a pen cap.. anything. Try redesigning that product so as to effectively solve that problem.
Part A:
All the study material is available online and it is advisable to be prepared with it thoroughly.

Studio Test:
I was just too excited to be in IIT Bombay and was not focused at all. It took a while for me to completely understand the question (Designing a sweet box). However after coming out of the hall I re-read the question and to my horror I realized that I had overlooked a few critical points asked. I was devastated.

Keen to make up for my blunders in the studio test, I was determined to leave no stone unturned for the interview. The interview panel was overwhelming as it had about 4 or 5 faculty members. They asked me about the products I had made, how they worked, materials used etc. I answered most of the questions fairly well in a confident and slightly elaborate manner. I could see that they liked my answers as most of them were smiling encouragingly. In the end they decided to severely criticize one of my designs. I initially got defensive but then realized that going into a shell is not gonna cut it so i stuck to my ideas and defended my designs for all their worth. Once they got their answers they smiled again and asked me to leave. I thanked them, smiled and left the room.
I would like to thank Prasanna Gadkari for his selfless support and patience to answer all my queries. Id also like to thank Prandeep Gyanvir for guiding me through the portfolio preparation process.
Very excited.

May 16, 2015

Success Story : Bhavik Grover (PD at IDC IIT-B)

 I am actually re-writing this blog, we all get a chance to correct ourselves,we should use that chance worthly.

I had been through many failures in life, failures happens because of two reasons mainly, one is because of your own mistake,that you commit at end point because of lack of self confidence or something, second is you don't have trust on yourself, Because you might not had put enough of efforts to have that self confidence.

Similarily i had commited many mistakes or left my work because of giving up situations, which
added those failures into my life, Such as rejection from number of interviews in degree college,or might be failure of design of the vehicle which i made for national level competitions and even expulsion
from a software company after working their for two months. One thing which was common in all was "LACK OF PURPOSE". I haven't ever stopped and asked myself a question that why i was doing that, i just wanted those things because of sake of wanting them.

Until and unless you have "Purpose to live" that is "DESIRE to learn" and do whatever your heart is
telling you to do, and giving the best of effort that you can imagine to put, one just can't get rid of failures

The day i realised the mistake which i was doing all over again, was my birthday and i was listening
to session "UNSTOPPABLE-by Sandeep Maheshwari".(YOUTUBE him,He's the reason for all this change)
I left my third job that day and made my mind prepared for very clear aim, that i want to
follow my passion, that is product designing.

I sat at home ignoring the thoughts that what will people say, I started preparing for ceed, I was a self evaluator earlier then later asked for people's feedback to know what all mistakes i was doing, i youtubed most of lessons like basic sketching perspective, i trained myself for good representation of ideas. But here also a difference which most of people don't realize, The ideas  you get are outcome of your daily basis learning, so if you are really passionate about anything, go crazy about it, make stuff, open electronic products, draw paintings, do whatever you feel like doing, because that only increase the level of ideation.

I solved previous question papers, but not just for solving, I solved just product design questions
 but five times each question,everytime i had different approach, which helped me in increasing my speed and to tackle question, I prepared for part-a, made a list of categories of questions which came
in exam, got more relevant questions and learnt somehow, but don't leave your effort just to that
,Do much more than i did,Because i just cleared part -a by one mark, and even do sketching like anything ,learn perspective drawing like a pro, ideation will be part of your daily learning, but be sensible with ideation also. Rest everything will fall in place.

I had put much of efforts and cleared Ceed, with AIR 30, then came period for portfolio preperation
I had made considerable number of projects during my engineering,that all were products and nicely
made in CAD, I made few more basic product concepts ,solving some basic problems of daily life,did the ideation, Cad modeling and made posters and put together in my portfolio, With all this effort i had developed confidence which i believe is reason of my success.

Don't hesitate from getting failed,try,get failed,learn from it,stand up again, do it again and then conquer.

But its just not about clearing CEED or getting admission, once you understand the Purpose of living,
and you have your desire clear, for which you will be ready to do anything. You will get though any problem in life.

Choose your way of living! Either let it be as it is going, or Stand up and change it.

My portfolio:

Recommendation: Channel on youtube: Sandeep maheshwari

May 14, 2015

Success Story : Suyog Dhanawade (IISc)

I always dreamed of writing my success story here. I read this blog regularly and went through every post.  I am Suyog Dhanawade, an Electronics Engineering graduate joined an IT firm.  After working for about six months I realized, I am in wrong field (though I was performing well) and really need to find better way for job satisfaction.

I came across CEED in my final year of Engg, but I somehow managed to miss the dates for next 3 years :P Finally I took it seriously and started preparing from December(I had whole year to prepare).
Every bit of information is available here in this blog,just explore Internet for updated information on Materials and Manufacturing Processes. Part-A is just to test your basics and GK. 

I was sketching portraits for years n I was good at it, but when I started preparing for CEED I completely stopped it. As I got to know I am poor sketching other things(memory drawing, perspective). I practiced drawing everyday products I see, initially with reference then from memory.
To build up memory drawing, observe an object completely and then draw without looking at it, moving from simple to complex ones.

 For Part-B most crucial thing is Time management. You can’t think of a great idea instantly, you should be prepared for it and practice it regularly. Practice straight lines, curves, ellipses. Whatever you sketch, draw it fast. Don’t go for rendering/colours, questions in exam are time consuming and you wont get time to render or colour (unless it is asked to colour). After completing your whole sketch, you can go n add some shading. Don’t go for blending, smudging (cross hatching consume less time), your IDEA counts here not realistic sketch.  Go through D’Source courses available online, subscribe to designers channel on youtube(spencer nugent, scott robertson, IDCreatures), follow them on behance, coroflot.

Solving Part-B, you should divide time frame by marks. I read all questions first, reserved time for every question. When I started drawing 1st one, simultaneously I was thinking random solutions for 50 mark question. Difficult question for me was to make 3 products of given shape (I missed practicing this) and made regular products (toy, hammer and fan). Emphasize on Innovation here, make some good product. I think I lost some marks here.
For 50mark question I drew some 3-4 sketches. Ideation, Final product with details and How to use it. Materials, manufacturing process are also imp here. Everything you choose, you have to consider End user.

Post result I was Happy with AIR-32, but I knew this doesn’t count much after qualification. I started preparing Portfolio, generating rough Ideas on weekdays when at office and making a Fair sketch on weekends. When applied for IDC, I focused more on variety sending 1 product idea, 1 sheet of sketches and 1 calligraphy sheet (If possible send maximum sheets related to course you applying, instead of variation), As they have this forms with them at Interview and you will be questioned on it.

MVD interview at IDC: asked me where i am from, what I do. then my salary, how much I save (unexpected). Then asked why MVD, I explained my passion about it (not so good answer). then they asked me to show what i have. one professor was going through portfolio n asking me if i have done any coaching, he said "good good". watching models, asked what clay i used, from where i got it. how i made cone model. then asked what i read ( read lot f technical stuff from gears, their types, engine, differential, etc) asked to explain how engine works, i explained good n prof. asked what is TDC in 4-stroke. thought for a while n said i dont know (i never read it)

PD interview at IDC:
started with lady with my DAT model in hand asked why this. I explained, i actually made spoon out of closing lid and she liked that.  then he opened my form n asked why i choose door stopper? why toilet flush? he turn d page asked what is dynamic water tap? (sheets from my form) i started explaining, he handover it to bapat sir. sir saw n said it already in market. i said yes but its fr fix amount f water mine is dynamic (cud have answer better explaining diff between mechanisms). asked about my models how i made it. Then asked why I want to switch from company paying me good.

You must have a good a Portfolio. I did not include any digital work(all hand drawn A4 sheets). A good approach to solve problems. Always think of end user while explaining what you made in DAT(missed it).
Interviews at IDC are more like friendly talks, you will enjoy it. I was happy after interviews, hoping to get selected. But couldn’t make it, huge disappointment for me.
Then comes IISc, I started reading all needed information again. Practiced some basic mechanical numerical questions (Bending diagram, shear force), some probability calculus.

DAT at IISC: Technical paper 1st. some geometry n analytical skill questions, solved quickly. then comes engg questions. paper was tough than i thought , I practiced most f basics f mechanics, but hardly managed to solve 5/11. comes design paper next. Mahindra Reva car to draw exactly as given.questionsabt latest products n technology. to find problems in given situation(hand pump and overloaded Bullock cart) then question about materials(never heard of those names) only wrote about brass. final question was about redesign black board duster.

Interview: prof. Gurumoorthy& prof. Kailash satish vasu taking interview f my panel.
what i do in Cognizant, why i want to switch?
then i pushed my portfolio towards them. Gurumoorthy sir going through it n asked, give me 1min presentation why engineers should not be designers?
i talked for around 30-40secs. he said you still have time, but I was done :P
Kailash sir asked, tell me one good product (both way usb) and one bad product(door stopper). Asked to explain about it.
then asked to pick one product from table n describe ways to improve.
i picked stapler, explained improvement for safety, automation n wide end users.
Kailash sir asked about rpm of washing machine from my portfolio.i tried answering, he asked how can I increase its speed.
then some general questions, how much time I took for portfolio, how I prepared for ceed.
n asked about my watch(this is 3rd time I was asked about it in both f my IDC interview n then here) why I chose it?
then asked about my engg interest, what design work can b done in biomedical.
at last asked me about my clay models, n my current salary
and wished me for the results

I wrote too much in detail, but never know what will help other aspirants. Below are my portfolio samples. Believe yourself, have a passion and make sure you are heading right way.
People helped me achieving this: Prasanna sir, Rohan More, Trivikram.

Some links I went through:


May 11, 2015

Success Story : Himanshu Hazarika (Animation at IDC IIT-B)

Myself Himanshu Jyoti Hazarika, I was born and raised in the North-eastern state of Assam. I did my Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics & Telecommunication. Since my childhood I have a lust for painting and drawings which eventually tilted toward film and animation. It was my first attempt to CEED and getting a seat in IDC is really a surprise for me, as being an average student I always used to consider the IITians as elites


So CEED 2015 was on my birthday so was little bit excited also. To be very frank I didn’t got chance to prepare for it. At that time I was working at Bharti Infratel Ltd. in tower operations. As at bottom level telecom job used to be 24 x 7 in nature, I rarely used to get time to prepare.

For part A
I was always interested in current affairs so it helped me. Other than that grab any IBPS magazine solve it (arithmetic and aptitude) few weeks prior to CEED, if you can do that cracking part A is not a big deal. I followed some pervious CEED papers and filtered out the topics which I am going left and prepare the rest. (Like you can’t predict which logo they will ask you to identify, but if you know the shortcut of arithmetic you can answer any problem related to it). So select the portion which is your forte, after all it’s just for screening and in MCQs it may quite risky trying to attempt 100% if you are not sure with answers.

For part B
It is quite simple to crack if you keep practicing freehand sketches. I really faced problem in managing time as I didn’t get much time to practice due to my job. But my past experience in drawing and painting saved me.

Certain things which worked for me:
  • 1.       Follow previous papers
  • 2.       Practice geometrical shapes
  • 3.       Focus on perspective and light & shadows
  • 4.       Don’t go for detailing just try to present what has been asked in the question.
  • 5.       Study some Simple human/animal gestures and positions. (In CEED the storyboard had one character of Eagle and I forgot how it looked like, but fortunately I saw one sitting on a tree in the entrance of the Examination Hall J)
  • 6.       Practice pencil shading (Don’t think about using colours). If you can practice it well, it’s easy and fast way to bring out details with minimum number of tones.
  • 7.       Practice memory drawings of various day to day objects.
  • 8.       “Control your emotions”, if you are interested in a particular specialization and found a question from other domain easier and less time consuming don’t hesitate to attempt that. Don’t start thinking like you are cheating on your partner.

Blunders I made during exam:
  • 1.       Don’t touch the keyboard. While drawing the cooker (During 1st question itself) by mistake I put my elbow over the keyboard. And it consumed around 5min-7min in allotting a new system.
  • 2.       Decide which question you’ll attempt first.
  • 3.       I devoted too much time in first question because of which I couldn’t able to finish the last one. So practice well and manage your time.
  • 4.       In questions like framing stories with given words/characters go for what strikes you first. I spent too much time in trying to frame something out of the box story.

After getting 81 rank, which I didn’t expected as I left 3 questions incomplete in Part B. I took a big risk in January 2015, I resigned from my job as it can be difficult for me to prepare the portfolio along with my hectic schedule (I am not suggesting to resign anyways). So I gave 1 month for my portfolio, I included one short animated clip (along with the sketches of key characters and storyboard), one comic strip, one short documentary, caricature of two friends and some digital art along with my old paintings.

Well this time I finished my comic strip J (As in CEED my storyboard was incomplete). This time I didn’t find it difficult to manage the time. In DAT we were asked to write a story and then make a comic strip based on that. It should be assumed that whoever appearing in DAT, are good in sketching, so where you can grab more points is the story. Here you’ll get decent amount of time so think for some time and frame the story nicely and at the same time imagine the scenes in your mind. Once I am done with the story, before started writing, I gave a brief introduction to the key characters (Name, age, and gender), situation and relation between the characters.

First of all the panel was quite supportive, it was nice to interact with them. One thing which I was always following in all kind of interview I appeared till date is, I never present fake character to suit the organization’s needs and always tell the truth, whether I got short listed or not. And may be because of it one of the Professor in the IDC panel complimented me by saying that, “That’s why I like Northeast people, they always say the truth”.
 Whatever you present in your portfolio, keep ready with answers to every “WHY” and “HOW”. And if it’s your original work, surely you can and if you are making it by following someone else’s work then do mention about your inspiration in the beginning itself. And just keep smiling.
During interview they just watched my animated clip and asked some questions on it, looked at some old painting and rest all the questions were on my personal life like why I did Engineering, why I am switching for Engineering to Design, my hobbies and interests, etc.

I am really wants to thank my parents for their support in all ups and downs in my life.
I will always grateful to Mr Bhaskar Ganesh (Asst. Prof. NITS Mirza) for his consistent motivation.
I am thankful to Teacup Blog & Prasanna Gadkari Sir for his support, Ashwin Gandhi (DP-IITK) , Himujjal Sarma (Alumni, DoD-IITG), Anshumali Baruah (Alumni, IDC-IITB)

May 08, 2015

Rahul Kumar Dhanuk (VC & Animation at IDC IITB)

We are very grateful to Rahul for writing his wonderful success story with us. He is on eof those rare candidates who cleared both Animation and VC

Namasteh and Hello to everyone
My name is Rahul Kumar Dhanuk. I studied Information Technology from RCC Institute of Information Technology, Kolkata.

I believe in an education which is more practical and less theoretical , so that the knowledge gained is applicable. I have the ability to communicate subjects visually through drawings and paintings. So I pursued IDC (Animation and VC ) after graduation.

I cleared CEED two times before but failed both times at the interview (Animation).
1.       At that time , I did not totally understand the essence of Animation and VC in IDC.
2.       My portfolio lacked solid content.

I will be sharing what needs to be done for  CEED/DAT and Interview and also  what I have learnt.

CEED preparation:
Initially I took a postal course which provided me CEED related study materials and sample questions. I practised them on my own. It helped me to understand CEED .

After that I got to know about Teacupblog and Dsource (From Prasanna Sir) . Practised for CEED as advised in teacupblog and watched all the tutorials in Dsource.

Five most important things :

1.       Practising drawing from memory (i.e drawing without live or photographic reference). It can be done by drawing what you have drawn yesterday from a reference ,drawing the same thing today without reference. It will let you know how much you remember , and what you need to see again.

2.       Practising developing a photographic memory. Eg. You saw something on road , observe it close , come home and draw it .

3.       Carrying a pocket sketchbook everywhere you go.

4.       Point 1 ,2 and 3 will help store lots of images in your memory and you can easily draw things whenever you need to communicate an IDEA.

5.       To be aware of the events (social and political) that is taking place in India and around the globe
For understanding the nature and structure of anything (living or nonliving) , I would strongly recommend to sketch from life (wherever possible) instead of pictures. It not only increases your power of observation and your ability to capture things through drawing but also reduces your dependency on a machine.

Comic books are very helpful for CEED Part B and DAT . It gives dynamic human/animal characters , poses , expressions and also their interaction with the environment & objects. Practising these would help in creating good compositions and Storyboards. Since time is a major factor in CEED and DAT , practising cartoons is important , because it helps in conveying subjects effectively in minimum possible lines.

About DAT :
DAT for Animation needs you to write a story and illustrate it. As the time is short , story has to be short too , so that the storyboard could be finished. It is important to finish the storyboard for obtaining maximum marks . I think instead of detailed drawings , good gestures  can be used to communicate the story.

The Story should have a solid content.(subjects having social and educational relevance). Avoid silly things because there are many serious issues out there. And also I don’t think the story has to be funny.

 You can get ideas for stories from almost everywhere . For eg. look deep into your life , or other relatives and friends. Reading newspaper/storybooks is also helpful.

Generally a story can be written in the following steps :
1.       Beginning (introduction of the characters)
2.       Conflict (eg a character in a problem, or a character wants something)
3.       End (How the character solves his/her problem)
Else you can always innovate provided it communicates well.

DAT for VC needs you to do Logos ,or redesigning existing designs. And to interpret a poem or passage. Studying master design examples (Indian) is necessary for that. Anything you design should have proper meaning (socially and educationally relevant) & easily readable by the masses. The meaning of the design and the design should relate to each other. It is necessary for the design to speak for itself what it means, without any explanation from the creator. I think i.e. a good design.

Has to be short, effective and department relevant. I think 5 works for each department will do. Very less time will be given. So keep minimum no of works so that you can have the time to explain it to the Professors. Only show relevant works to the Professors for each department . So arrange them in separate files if you are applying for multiple streams.
Portfolio should only consist of Ideas and Solutions to problems. Sometimes raising an awareness about a particular social problem , is also the solution to the problem.

Before making a portfolio
1.       I would recommend everyone to see the works done by the IDC professors and student projects. This will make you aware of the IDC standards, their way of thinking, and nature of works. In short you will understand the essence of IDC.
2.       Do check whether the design you are doing has already been done by somebody else or not. If yes try to avoid and search for things that has not been done . If you want to redesign  something ,identify its problems and make it better (it’s a new idea too).
3.       If you want to make a Story/Film/Animation or illustration about a particular subject ,you should always check the related facts before , even if it requires some field work. Never rely solely on facts reported by others. It is always good to have your own research & experience. By doing so , you  would have solid understanding of the subject and can easily answer questions raised by the Professors on your work.
4.       Portrait ,Still life , landscape paintings and drawings dosen’t counts much. Only conceptual illustration are needed. Although life drawings of human figure (clothed/nude/semi nude) can have little value for animation because it helps in Character designing. 
5.       Regarding Digital Painting you can always start with simple softwares first , like sketchbook pro,etc.
You should have adequate proof to show that the portfolio works is entirely your creation. If you have taken inspiration from somewhere don’t hesitate to mention. Remember that                      

I think the interview is all about convincing the Professors that you know and understand IDC and the department you are applying. And the only way to do that is studying :
1.       The IDC course structure of the department you are applying.
2.       Analysing Student’s and Professor’s work.
3.       Asking yourself , Am I  passionate enough for that department to do that level of hard work and deliver results ?
4.       If yes , make your portfolio accordingly.
You can expect indirect questions from the Professors , to check whether you have a genuine aptitude for the department or not . Like “ How was your journey to Mumbai”? . Any normal person would answer “It was Nice”. But an Artist/Writer would say about the many new things he observed and sketched which he/she generally dosen’t  see in his hometown or travel via train or flight.
Everything they ask you is to know about your aptitude towards the department you are applying. There is no point in lying about anything , cause ultimately you are cheating yourself.
Also if you have changed your field of education ( like me , from Information technology to VC ) you should ready yourself to explain WHY you did it , to the Professors.
If you have any question about any aspect of the interview you can openly ask about it.

Persons I am grateful to , for helping me :
Prasanna Gadkari , Abhishek Verma (IDC, Animation) , Debasish Biswas( IDC, Interaction Design), Bhavik Grover(IDC, Product Design) , Vasundhara Agrawal (IDC , VC) .

Contact me if you wish , at Facebook and gmail. 
My mail id is             
Congrats to fellow batchmates and Good luck to all other aspiring designers
.                                Thank you.