April 09, 2014

Success story of Jayati Bandyopadhyay - Interaction Design at IDC IITB

Jayati Bandyopadhyay made it to Interaction Design at IDC IITB! Here is her success story

It was probably last March or April when I got to know about CEED from a friend and was completely awestruck and overwhelmed to see the previous year papers. They were so very different and yet pertaining to everyday problems and its solutions. So, I decided to appear for CEED.

Cracking CEED

Though I could not devote enough time to hone my sketching skills, I made it a point to go through each of the available question papers and finding their solutions. Generally, the answers are evaluated based on given criteria, like perspective, light and shadow etc. So I felt the picture composition as a whole is important. CEED may be unpredictable, but it has a definite pattern. Trying to formulate problems and generate solutions might help in a way. On a lighter note, I thought I will not be able to crack CEED as I was not confident enough regarding Part A (loads of logos, cultural aspects and a few technical questions) and ended up checking my score 2days later!

IDC Admission form

My greatest mistake was not to concentrate on making a portfolio once CEED was over. Whether you crack CEED or not, start making your portfolio! Because, once the result is declared, no amount of time will be enough to make things look impeccable! IDC admission form demands not only previous background and qualifications, but also a set of tasks for each stream including portfolio. I decided to apply for both Visual Communication (VC) and Interaction Design (IN) as I thought it would increase my chance to get into IDC. Photoshop skills really came handy while designing the portfolio. I restricted myself to maximum 2 pages for each work with less text and more screenshots of my apps and websites (small explanation for all screenshots). Any future scopes and ideas can also be part of your portfolio. And how can I not mention Prasanna's name who replied to every single email and post I sent him! He is a life saver!!

IDC Written Test & Interview

The written test was of one and a half hours duration where we were asked to jot down existing problems and their corresponding solutions, and elaborate on any one of the solutions of a railway station, given touch screens have become extremely cheap and can be cut or folded into various shapes. In VC, we were asked to design a poster, asking for aid for any one of the severe problems that India is currently facing. For the interview, I had a powerpoint presentation, hard copy of portfolio and working apps loaded in my mobile. I kept my best work at the beginning and also included my paintings and sketches. The IN panel was extremely co-operative and asked a lot of questions regarding my work and the written test and I had two interviews for IN! The VC interview lasted for only 2mins though! Both the panels asked about my preference (VC / IN ).

I must admit that I did not expect things to turn out the way they did. I am extremely thankful to people who pointed out my weakness and helped me get better. If you have any questions, feel free to mail me at jayati.bandyopadhyay@gmail.com.

Sample pages from her portfolio

Success story of Vasundhara Agrawal - Animation at IDC-IITB

This year Vasundhara Agrawal successfully cracked the seat for Animation at IDC-IITB. We are glad that she shared her success story with us.

CEED Part A: 
   1. Most importantly keep reading newspaper.
   2. Look out for logos and symbols in everyday life.( my head was always
   popped out of the window while traveling to catch a glimpse of almost every
   bill board or the road sign)
   3. Find interesting ways to study like i used to play the logo quiz and
   it really helped a lot. I also used to watch videos to some common topics
   like color theory and basics of typography etc. I found this was less time
   consuming than reading the actual theory and i also remembered more this
   way. So improvise on your studying style because the ultimate aim is to
   have fun.

CEED part B:
Keep sketching, for if you are not regularly into sketching it will take some time for you to catch up with the flow and speed. Nothing more that speed matters in the written exam, everyone has awesome ideas but you are judged on your ability to represent it. Also try and find some very good color pens and coloring medium that won't blot on the answer sheet but help you make the representation aesthetically appealing. I was short on time for my 50 marks question plus on top of it i just had color pencils to make the question which said design a website interface for a multiplex named "Navarang", this made it extremely difficult to make the text look neat and impactful. I wished for some good quality markers then.

I scored 34 in CEED part B. When IDC announced its cutoff it said 'people with score above 34 in part B can apply' that was a confusing statement. I called them up to clarify they said i could apply. That was all i needed. I knew coz my score was a borderline score my application had to do a more than decent job. I have always loved material exploration. I made a very interesting application. I was aiming for VC but just 4 days before dispatching my application i decided to apply for animation too. But i made sure both the applications were good. I got a call for both. Bottom line please take the application seriously i know people who had a very good scored but depended too much on just the score and didn't give the application a serious though, hence didn't get a call for the interview.

Written at IDC:
The idc calls the shortlisted candidates again for a written exam based on your CEED score and the application. I personally didn't do very well in either of the written exams for the fields that i had applied in. I was too nervous and overwhelmed with the talent pool that i saw.

The Animation interview was just after my VC interview. The panel was very friendly but the first question they asked me was " Did you not understand the question for the written exam?" I was confused they said you answered it wrong. There were six characters given you had to chose any three and make a story board but you chose only one. I was dumfounded. Suddenly they said ok so tell us the story now. Sir repeated the characters and asked me to chose any three and tell a story. My mind was in a cooperative mood and helped me spin an interesting story with a twist in the end. They liked it.
I had a less than a minutes video to show, they liked that too. It was a paper cut video so i showed them the cut characters too. They asked me question on my application material. They also asked me if i got into VC and Animation which one i would chose. I tried to dodge the question but being unsuccessful i told them the truth that i'll chose VC. To justify my answer i started to show them my VC portfolio. They were very interested seeing my material exploration and some of the very traditional methods i had used in my work. They said all the best and nice meeting you. I thanked them being so sure i wouldn't get a call as i had clearly told them i want VC. But i guess they knew it better.

Some tips and tricks that worked for me: 
   1. Explore youtube, a video lingers longer in your mind.
   2. Go through the site of IDC and see the specialization fields of the
   faculty.This will help you decide on what lines the application should be
   prepared, also if you are able to perceive the interest point of the panel
   in the interview you can present better. Like later when i checked my
   animation panel had specialization on story telling, that explained how i
   made up for the mistake i made in the written exam.
   3. Try out something different. There are no rules in this field so
   enjoy the freedom.
   4. India is a very culturally and traditionally rich country, try to
   show that in your work.
   5. Lastly have fun. I had a hectic schedule with my full time job but at
   the end of the day the fun in the preparation kept me going

You can write to me for any questions on agr.vasundhara@gmail.com

Selected pages from the pages of portfolio shown by Vasundhara during her interview
 Coffee Painting


Book cover design

Book cover design (rear page)

Spider web pattern using thread

 Coffee paintings set made for a restaurant

April 08, 2014

Success Story of Bhavik Grover (Product design in IDC)

Bhavik Grover bagged a seat at IDC, in Product Design. He has shared his success story with us here

So finally m here...was waiting when the day will come n will write full experience which begins with lots of failure and finally a big success....i am not good at writing so please manage...

I completed my B.tech from a very reputed college of punjab...known for its mechanical engineering...as a mechanical engineer...the journey with design started in 2010...with a competition efficycle...n then after...it became one of my love...but as it was initial phase of life...i too wanted a job...n no design company was coming...i appeared in 18 companies...tried to act fake(as a management guy) got failed everytime in interviews or gd's....got selected in one chose it over my Nid exam...but got failed in both...I got eliminated from company :( and failed in nid too...Because of lack of focus... after it i joined one company as a designer...left it after a month...couldnt be happier in that place...joined my senior's company on his recommendation..but wasnt happier there too :(

then came a twist and a complete different phase of my life...CEED...and a motivation ray appeared in my life ...SANDEEP MAHESHWARI (youtube him) ...he helped me in improving my vision towards life...there i decided to leave my comfort zone and left my third job on my birthday...and got determined to prepare for ceed.... then came another hope...Teacupblog...this helped me in making my strategy for ceed...so i will explain my three month preparation journey and strategy:-

i took all previous question papers....divided it into three parts....
1.sketches 2. problem statement etc. 3. main design question

i tried to solve each sketch problem 5 times in different way everytime and most importantly i post in ceed 2014 group to take feedback...every other sketch was improved on basis of feedback...it helped me a lot.

main design question: this was my favourite part...i chose product design questions because they were my strength and tried to solve it in two different ways....
here i made a little difference...inspite of posting...i send those answers to seniors...people studying in idc...they gave me very clear feedback...n some tips which helped me like anything...like mind mapping ...mind mapping is very useful technique and one should write it on sheet too in side,,,

i sketched lots of other things too...as a timepass...most importantly during this time...i flirted and prepared at same time with lots of girls
;) flirting is good for health and keeps u happy :D

for part a ...i categorized types of question...and for each category i used to collect as much data i could from internet....i will share all data in CEED 2015 group. that is hand written...
 i was a slow pace runner...just making one or two sketches per day...taking feedbacks on facebook...and made it in best form i could draw...improved my skill like perspective drawing and all...
i assumed last pattern to come and made my strategy that would spend most of effort and time on optional question...

Day came of ceed exam...i listened to my favourite song before exam (lakshya ) then followed my strategy in exam...i finished three compulsory questions in an hour...and spend one hour on optional question...mine aim was clear to do product question..did mind mapping and made a nice attempt...i sketched exploded view...sectional view...just forgot to mention material...so i got 40/50 in that...and just 9/50 of remaining questions...

On 3rd jan i cleared Ceed with  good rank and was very happy...and then started preparing for form application...they asked three tasks...i added three of my works in application got shortlisted...with good number in list ...

then started making portfolio...u can check it here (

DAY 1 : Dat exam...we were given a problem to redesign cycle of chaiwala...i did it with full interst and made a solid cad model also and got its printout to show in interview...i liked solving that question very much..

DAY 2: Material test: we were given plastic sheets to make a ceiling lamp....i look upward at roof there was a lamp hanging...i thought why not to replicate it just..it was simple and nice...i tried making but in 1 hour
20 min....i came up with a pot sucker (toilet cleaner) :O i was having just
10 minutes to think of something...then i added a bulb inside of plastic sheet n improved design so that it should not look like toilet cleaner...but luckily i came up with very neat model...and they liked it they said...very neat and simple .

Interview: i will discuss my pd interview only....as in conversation:..it was total honest conversation and complete honest interview (reason i think of my success )

interviewer : you had applied for ixd also...wat is ur priority? and why?
me: pd...because when i making any product or designing..i just cant feel time...i could sit n work for hours without getting bored.
Int: show ur portfolio n explain.
me: i started expalining all...i showed my mechanism also ( i had forgot it outside..i asked permission ..ran outside...brought it n then showed...they liked it i believe)..

after explaining 7 8 projects they said ok fine...and gave me a cup and asked its manufacturing process...i wrongly said blow moulding...then pointed my self wrong...and then said i forgot the name...but know the process...they showed a pet bottle..i said its made by blow moulding...
then they gave me a metal water bottle...asked its material...i took it in hand...felt it light weight...told aluminium as the material....then they asked about its cap..i said injection moulding...(both answers were right)...

then they took my material test model i made in morning,,..they said we liked it very much..its neat...but why havent u preferd to make it decorative or something...i said "simple is design for me" "it should be feasible most importantly"

then a mam sitting there...reading my application form...which social i would like to work...i told her "rape" and told her that i already had started working on it...luckily she opened my file...and page of that project was opened...she looked into and said "nice"....

my task b which was to give sketches of product which i feel were innovative...were e-rickshaw and mahindra e2o...sir asked me what i felt different about them..i explained about differential in e rickshaw...and technology used in e2o....

at last they asked me from where i got to know about ceed and how i prepared for portfolio...i answered BRDS...that was not truth to the extent...but yes i joined it last year..but i felt no use of it...just little information and help source...

this all went for 5-7 minutes (that what people sitting outside says...but i felt like 15 20 minutes...and explained everything very fastly....huff it ended...n i was feeling good with an optimism in mind...that it all went good...

today m selected in product design in IDC...a great support of prasanna sir, Trivikram , Paul anthony , Omkar , mayur and many others....keep interacting... dont hesitate in posting ur answers or work...enjoy and stay motivated and calm :)

Bhavik's entire portfolio:

March 18, 2014

Why Sketching?? - guest post by Vivek Bhalekar

“Why do you sketch?” a simple question asked to me by many people, especially when they realise that sketching is a part of my work. I have worked with people from various educational and professional backgrounds and levels and almost all types of people have asked this question to me. Many of the students who wish to be designers also have this question, “Why sketching is important for a designer?” (Especially those who are not good at it ;)) I used to give various answers to this question based on the time available in my hand and genuineness or interest behind their question. But slowly it started making me ask myself, “Why do I sketch? What is so unique about it that I prefer sketching?”
In order to find the answer, I started thinking about the way I look at sketching as a tool. When and where I have used it as a designer or engineer?
As a designer I mainly use sketching for ideation, detailing and concept generation part. I also use it to define scenarios, analysing processes, defining problems. Even at times to record incident or observations during user study.
So, there are three things because of which I prefer sketching over anything else. Those are, Flexibility, Fluidity and Simplicity.

Flexibility: Watching me sketch ideas or draw flow chart of processes many people say, “Why don’t you do it in CAD directly?” or “You could have done that in excel..” But the point is till now I have not come across anything that can give me flexibility and fluidity as compared to sketching. If you want to draw a square in CAD it asks you dimensions. But, while sketching an idea no one will ask you the dimensions, view port, constrains or material. When an idea comes in our mind, it is very fragile, sometimes you do not have a clear picture. So there is a chance that you will lose it, if you do not document it quickly. Now if you operate CAD software, your mind gets occupied on thinking about commands or information required for operating software. Whereas, your mind should be working on analysing and developing that idea or thinking about another idea. But in comparison while sketching you can start with a simple 2-D square and go on developing it to a 3-D frame structure or mechanism. You can easily put comments or mental notes for your referral as and when they come. Hence, it maintains the synchronisation with spontaneity of thoughts.

Fluidity: This is something that anyone can develop with practice. Sketching is a process of transforming something that is in your mind to the paper. So, the more you practice, better it will get. It is a skill to develop synchronization between your mind and body (not just hands). By practice your sketching will become more fluidic and effortless. Which will allow you to think more about ides while sketching.

Simplicity: All you need for sketching are 3 simple things: Something on which you can sketch, something with which you can sketch and obviously a thought that you want to sketch. That is how minimal the requirements are. Imagine, you are with client or with your boss or discussing something with your team mates. You get an idea that you want to convey to them. You may not get a computer or any CAD software there. Sketching is what will come to your rescue there. Sometimes while doing a user survey you come across certain observation or idea that you want to capture. You can always sketch it then and there and keep it. All this is possible because of the simplicity of sketching.
Now there are also few values that get added to you if you keep sketching. It increases your observation, visualisation capabilities, knowledge about various things and your visual library. These things will help you in your work no matter what your profession is.

So, to sum up I would say, yes there are various tools that one can use at various stages of design. As a designer we all must try to master as many as we can. But, we should not forget the basic tool of sketching. As I believe that it is the ultimate weapon of designer. It is not a Swiss knife but a simple knife, which when used wisely can perform various functions effectively. So, Happy Sketching….

About the author:
Vivek Bhalekar completed his masters in product design from IDC, IIT-B. Currently he is working as an industrial design for Larsen & Toubro on defence projects.

He lives in Mumbai and his hobbies include sketching and trekking


February 24, 2014

Typical Design Aptitude Test (DAT) questions

Hello friends,

As you are well aware that, after you apply for a IIT or IISc, you will receive a call for  Design Aptitude Test (DAT) and interviews. In order to get admission for the M.Des course you must clear both of these. Questions in interviews are often similar to the ones in DAT, so you can prepare accordingly.

Apart from regular CEED-like questions like "identify te material for ..." or "design a poster", there are some questions that test the engineering aptitude of the applicant. This is especially true for fields, like PD and MD,  that require a good knowledge of engineering.

Let me tell you a question they asked in DAT 2 years back at IITs and IISc

 "a wooden block of known weight is kept on a table. using a stopwatch and a ruler find a method to determine the coefficient of friction between the two surfaces".

Another one "how will you determine the thickness of the leg of a chair?"

"you are given an unknown flammable fluid. How will you determine whether its suitable for using in IC engines or not?"

Questions like these are based on the basics of physics. As a designer you might need to show that your design can sustain. Therefore premier design institutes test some of these basics.

For preparing these, i strongly suggest use of any standard physics textbook written for class Xth . NCERT textbook is available free of cost here.

For VC, last year the following questions were asked "design a typographic identity, logo and symbol for a Safari park and also come up with an interesting name for the same."

And the year before that, the question was to design a poster for increasing the tourism in india

For MD, they has asked to model a cube with the given dimensions, sketching an auto rickshaw and designing a tricycle for kids!

Feel free to ask any queries you have

December 01, 2013

Chetan's Opinion on CEED 2014 paper

Chetan Yadav is a regular reader of TeaCupBlog. He appeared for CEED this weekend (1 Dec 2013) and here is his opinion about the paper. I liked the way he used resources at hand to solve one of the questions :) 

Paper was cool, found PartA easier than that of last time..but had some questions which were completely luck dependent...i made sure not to make ANY guesses in those. And question like A4 sheet size was- free ke marks, i once studied it but had forgotten at the exam time...had brain open at the time so took my ruler out and measured the admit card. There was another ques of golden ratio with a square and adjoining rectangle to it as the figure, i applied brain here as well, took the ruler out again and measured the sides of square and rectangle right on the monitor...ehehe...square had 2.5*2.5 while rect. had 1.5*2.5, calculated 2.5/(2.5+1.5); =app 1.6 And got the answer. I did this last yr as well which had ratio of wide screen, then i had measured the dimensions of the monitor i had :p
PartB; Ques1-sketch a man opening a fridge OR sketch a scooter with a man standing next to it. Ques2- write a description of club house scene, pic was given. Ques3- 3uses of umbrella apart from conventional use of protection against rain and sun. Optional1-design website interface for a movie complex. Optional2-comic strip, which needed min 20 frames (who has time to sketch 20 frames that too when scene was to show a crowded railway platform). Optional3- problem and solution regarding street drains etc...The only problem was...i found the PartB a little lengthy, don't know about others. For me, it was so lengthy that i didn't have time to color anything :( But no still life sketching question was a treat, i just can't sketch a plate and stuff on it, hehe

November 11, 2013

Design Debate at IDC (IIT-B) on 16th Nov 2013

Dear CEED aspirants,

An exciting design debate is going to be held at IITB.

An exciting opportunity to interact with students and professors of IDC. Learn how design thinking works and express your thoughts on the questions like "What is Design?", "Can designing posters have impact on behavior of people?". Maybe you can even take away some ideas for your portfolio!

Visit this link on Facebook

Check out this poster for more information