December 24, 2010

Transportation and mobility design tips

This is a guest post from Vikram Kulkarni.

Tips for Getting Admission in Transportation Design

India has overtaken traditional car manufacturing nations such as France, Spain, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy and Russia and became the seventh largest motor vehicle/car manufacturer in the world in 2009. Indian auto manufacturers produced 2.63 m (million) cars and commercial vehicles in 2009¹ out of which 2.17 m were cars. Domestic passenger vehicle sales hit a new record in 2009-10 (Apr-Mar) when over 1.95 million vehicles were sold ¹. These statistics easily show why transportation design is most sought after course in India.

The institutes that offer this course are IDC (IIT Bombay),NID,DoD (IIT Guwahati), IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur, Institute of Design, DSK School of Design and DYP-DC Center for Automotive Research and Studies. Most of these institutes prefer a high CEED score, besides that qualification test and interview is carried out for a limited number of seats.

The following tips will be found useful for students who wish to persuade higher education in mobility design.

1. Passion. The most important criteria for getting admission to transportation design is passion for design of cars, trucks, bikes or anything with wheels. There is no means of developing it, so it is important how you show that you have this passion.

2. Know the language. Do you know the difference between sedan, station wagon and coupes? Do you know what does a ‘mid size family car’ means? Can you tell if Tata 407 is a pick-up or a van? There are many such terminologies you may encounter in mobility design. An excellent cource of knowledge is common motor magazines like Motoring, AutoIndia, Autocar, Overdrive, etc.

3. Know the current trends. A current trend of the aesthetics and style adds a lot of value. This can be your own study or some well established one. For example, the current trend in the market, when this article was published is, Indian market is moving towards merger of SUV and sedan. Cashing on this Skoda has launched Skoda Yeti. Similar trends are observed in Tata motors when they launched Tata Sumo Grande.

4. Subscribe to a good magazine. This is a carryover from above two points. There are many good auto magazines. You may want to invest a few bucks in one or two of these. Also some of them contain pictures that can be used for practicing sketching. My favorites are Motoring and Overdrive.

5. Build a basic portfolio. This basic portfolio should contain anything that shows your passion for mobility design. This may contain some quick sketches of cars, some new designs, seating and interior concepts, new types of steering wheels, solutions to parking problems, concept for vehicles with collision detector, fully rendered concepts, etc.

6. Know the basic working of an automobile. The engine of the automobiles drives the piston, which in turn turns the crank shaft. This is connected to the gear box through a clutch. When you press the clutch pedal the engine is running but the gear box is not receiving any power. The gear box is connected to the transmission which drives the wheels. This is the very brief working of a common automobile.

7. Invest in a good set of tools. A good set of tools is a relative term. If you are good at sketching with a pencil, then you may consider buying a set of prismacolor pencils. Some may prefer to build their skills on Alias Wavefront.  Whatever tools you are comfortable with, make a point in using the best of these while presenting in the interview.

Wish all the readers best of luck for their future and you are warmly invited to share your success stories with us.

Thanking you,

Vikram Kulkarni

¹ Source: OICA (The International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers 2007 Statistics)

Vikram Kulkarni is a currently a automobile designer at Toyota Motor Corporation. He studied Transportation and Automobile Design at NID, Ahmedabad. His main interests span automobile design, safety and trends. He is also fluent in Japanese and an avid stamp collector.

E-mail :


Aarya said...

Thanks for this Post,..

It is necessary to differentiate between Auto Engineering & Auto Designing, as many students have less Idea about this gap,..

More about same can be found on following link,.. ( views by DC)

arunima said...

thanks a lot for the post !

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Dear Aarya,
Thats a nice point. Most candidates appearing for the CEED may already know the difference between Auto Engineering & Auto Designing. This is partially because a majority of them are from engineering background. But once reading the provided link, it will be much clear. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Dear Arunima,
Pleasure is mine as always :)
I have requested a few friends to write a guest post on admission for animation and visual communication. Hoping they find time soon.

Anbu said...

wow superb and the post which i awaited the most thanks a lot bro's
.......... :)

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Thanks Anbu,
Vikram will be happy to read your comment :)

chetanyadav said...

hello sir
i'm an me student and will be appearing for ceed' interest lies just in car designing,i can make automobiles from almost all perspective..i'm an artist too with pens and pencils,i'm so mad about giving cars new looks,design,shape and all..but what it seems to me is that ceed is just not about making a car visually appealing, isn't it? how should proceed for the entrance..its not that i do only cars, i can give anything a new look(but again i simply make a product more appealing, design is not making anything beatiful)..the software which im really good at is sketchup(i model cars and wheels on it),will study pro-e in next sem(6th), thanks hope u'll reply.

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Hello Chetan,
Its very good to hear about your passions for the cars. You are also right that CEED is beyond visual appearances. Its good to have knowledge of 3D software, but not necessary for CEED. Similarly, learn Pro-E only of it genuinely interests to you and not for CEED. I have compiled a few tips for CEED preparation based on my experience and based on those of my friends here
Besides that, I guess you will have special interest towards automotive design. For this, my friend Vikram has posted a really helpful guide here
Feel free to write back if needed
Wishing you best of luck and happy new year

chetanyadav said...

thank you
happy new year to ou too,it took me months find you super useful blog..maybe google could not compile teacup and ceed :)
actually i wanted you to change my perspective towards design..(a well begun is half done..)

anyways sir i can do fast sketches both with my pen and pencil(so one would find cars more than lecture notes in my notebook,my production is at par with msil :)..)this habit of drawing cars in notebook has led me to be quick but the problem is when i try to give details..i often end up scribbling more than shading so i really lose some of my best designs in margins of the notebook(its difficult to recreate them in fair)and overdoing of lines make them bad:(
and do think sir i should focus more on fair drawings...
should i start making my portfolio from now on...and as far as my interest is will it be enough to have just automobile concepts and do i need to present them fair clean lines and coloured ones? (i'm sorry for not asking this ques in protfolio sec)

chetanyadav said...

where else should i focus? is it mandatory to link my car design with new technology( like if i'm asked : "chetan, you have designed a car which looks new but how is it different from cars presently on road?" do i need to work on technological concepts like incr. economy, sol. to traffic, parking problems safety measures and so on..rather than drawing a new model in terms of looks..

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Hello Chetan,
I guess you need to first focus on clearing CEED. Maybe you can think about developing your other abilities like thinking about concepts. For example, design scissors for visualy impaired. Also go through the old CEED papers and see how you feel.

chetanyadav said...

hello sir
sorry again for asking non-ceed question, i have another doubt and i want you to clear it..can i pursue career in transportation design after Mdes in product or industrial design as all iits don't offer this course except iitb...and would my portfolio of just transportation do justice for other courses?

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Dear Chetan,
Branches like mobility design, interaction design, furniture design, are design of very specific products and are seen as a subset of industrial design. Therefore a degree in industrial design covers all these points too. Further, while making your portfolio, I suggest you to focus on skills like sketching, concept generation, modeling, etc rather than focusing on specific products like vehicles, unless your skill in mobility design is exceptionally well and you are just not ready to settle for any other degree than mobility design.
Hope that, this is what you wanted to know

chetanyadav said...

hey sir
this has brought smile...don't know how but you managed to understand me exact...this comment was all I wanted. This is surely a relief..thank you very very much. :) :)

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Hi Chetan,
I am glad that it helped you too :)

p.sanvd said...

Hi Prasanna da
thank you thanks a lo.....t . Actually i posted question about this blog somewhere else (on your site ) and later found this blog so sorry for that .

Saurabh Chalke said...

Hi prasanna,
I was little confused while writing the comment... on ur blog.. as im new here, But Hats-off buddy, for your amazing work n help through this blog..I have not gone through all things yet but whatever i found was really helpful. Im good in portrait sketching n currently making interest in transportation n mobility sketching... but I dont have any experience on design softwares ( accept autocad )so is it mandetory to showcase your skill on computer in portfolio or only drawing sheets are sufficient enough ?... just want your suggestion for the preparation ... I know its way too long for me..

thanks regards..

- saurabh chalke.

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Hello saurabh,
You dont need any experience on software. Mainly how you think and design is seen in the interviews. Some people choose to express their thoughts on papers and some use software. For prepration, be familiar with different styling elements like, how you design doors of a car, and whats in trend now a days. Also a short study on your favorite vehicle styling is recommended. This will put your skills in line with course. And of course, sketch a lots of automotive of all types including trucks and bikes.
Best of luck

Saurabh Chalke said...

thanks bro.. this is what i was expecting from you.. :). can u plz suggest me good color pencils.. with varieties of shades of each color..?? n I have recently heard about KNEADED eraser.. do you have any idea about it.. where i may get that locally..? Im from mumbai..

- saurabh chalke.

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

I have not used many pencils. I just prefer Faber Castell over others. I have been using the pack of 12 pencils since CEED. Kneadable Eraser is also mentioned on one of the post here You can see the flipkart link there. Its not really necessary to use it though.
I had got it from Venus stationary stores in Jogeshwari, Mumbai. There are many Venus shops around. here you can see them on map.

Saurabh Chalke said...

thanks Prasanna...but m bit confused between those of triangular n hexagonal shaped pencils..i guess triangular one might b better... what say??... n thanks for locating flipkart link.

- saurabh chalke.

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Hi Saurabh,
I never really thought that deep over the form of the pencil. I just prefer bilt matrix Charcoal Black HB2 if Stedler is not available :)

Saurabh Chalke said...

thanks so much prasanna ... :)

- saurabh chalke.

Rickey said...

hello sir,can you please tell me what is the exact number of total seats available for M.Des @IDC for d 2013-15 batch???

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Hello Rickey,
The official IITB site says nothing about number of seats, but as per this site, there are 50 seats for each discipline

Jones Henry said...
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Shuvham Sharma said...

Hey ,
Can u please tell me some easy tips to crack CEED coz I love to draw and yup I want to be in IDC that's my dream.

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Hi Shuvham,
Some easy tips for CEED
- Make sure your solution is creative
- Generate as many concepts as possible
- Make teh sketches as realistic as possible
- Add details to all your design
- Sketch fast
- Show how the design you proposed will be used :)

All the best!

Shuvham Sharma said...

Is there any other way to be in touch with you ...coz I need tips in lot

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

You can write to me at

Sam Hawkins said...
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Atendra Singh said...

Hello prasanna,
how is MITID pune for TAD ?

Atendra Singh said...

i m applying for ug this year nd i want TAD discipline in b.des so plzz guide me through this.

Sudarshan G.S said...

Hello sir,
I have cleared prelims for NID transport design this year.. can you give me some tips to clear the mains? should I join a coaching class to prepare a portfolio? If so could you suggest the best ones? Thank you very much

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Hi Sudarshan,

You can easily prepare a great portfolio on your own. I can help you in detail if you write to me on[at]

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