June 16, 2017

Success Story of Bala Prasanth (IIT-G)

Hi! I’m Balaprasanth, a Civil engineer and future Industrial designer, from Salem - Tamilnadu. Here is my success story! I hope it will gain future aspirants’ confidence in the journey towards design. Here, I’m sharing my thoughts, mindset and learning from different experiences till the admission at IITG.

This story is loooong, so as my struggle.. but the end will make feel happy!

Design instinct..

I’ve always been creative and shown my interests in sketching, model making, crafting and visual designing. But I was doing all these stuff up to competition level and as hobby. It was the day in my final year of BE when I started searching for honing my actual skills in a professional way, I ended up reading about Master of Design programme. When I read about CEED exam, it did make me feel like as if I found a treasure that would fulfill this life with utmost happiness. And yes, truly it is a great treasure-gate that opened up the world of design, which every soulful design aspirant longing for.

M.Des..

            Design masters will choose us when we really have an eye of conceptualization. I had concepts popped up in various real-life experiences, that insisted out me to go for executing it. It naturally pushes every limit irrespective of academic background and any inferior thoughts, to shape our self a designer.

CEED Exam..

          Here sketching is important but for clearly communicating variant ideations and NOT for showing up any artistic skills in the exam. No standard preparation materials are needed for the exam. Practice on previous year question papers and exploratory search of the same are the key processes enough to follow. Blogs will help here narrowing down the search and share experiences.

Part A can be solved using observational practice and basic analytical workouts. Current affairs and GK could save the Part A cutoff as these questions can be answered quickly. Yes, time is the predominant factor which grab our hands to get through CEED. I tried to complete as much questions I can solve in that golden hour. Attempting negative marking questions lastly and questions with high marks firstly helped me managing time.

Part B tests our design thought process and creative skills. I started with 50 mark question, the first question which I felt that can be answered well and quick. Every question has unique set of design requirements and evaluation criteria. I answered exactly what they asked to solve with more concepts. Even a very undetailed yet fresh and innovative concept sketch could get good score. 45 minutes to 1 hour was my time limit scheduled for this question and I managed well. All remaining compulsory questions can be answered with spontaneous ideas and simple cartoon sketches.

One should enjoy running CEED race to express design interest effectively in it!


After CEED Exam..

          I’m interested in products and its branding visuals. So, my portfolio was contented to it. I compiled my portfolio with few design sketches from initial ideation to final view, photographs of clay models, logo designs, posters, typography plays, photographs and paintings.

Never look for any references in making portfolio projects as it might restrict one’s design thinking to that reference’s limit and even lose creative confidence.

I made all the concepts and works from real life experiences. For instance, I conceptualized a mobile case that can respond on impact and safeguard screen cracking, along with additional features. This example was my design issue and my experiences were the design criteria through which I ideated many concepts and evaluated for best one out of it.

Studio tests and Interviews..
            After disappointment from missing IITB chance and IISc weird interview experience, I was longing for a chance to show my skills to someone who really consider this year. Continued to IITD, IITG &; IITK.

In IITD DAT, they’d evaluated aesthetic sense and 3D concept modeling skill. Interview had questions about the DAT works, academic background and why design (for me, especially why design from civil engineering? as engineering itself has many design branches). They were in a rush and so they didn’t even had time to take a look into my portfolio. I made a mistake while answering here.. I answered to justify my interest with portfolio projects which they already ignored. On spot tasks are expected in IITD interview. The panel had 3 faculties.

            In IITK, direct interview was there. They’d asked about my background and asked few questions related to the field of my interest - product design. Why design?- can be answered.. but, why not mtech/arch/art/craft/fashion/other pg?- can’t be answered satisfactorily. I said the true reason, yes, none created an impact as MDes does, while deciding it as a future career. They made me to compare two milk shake cans which they had drunk at that time, and asked to choose the best out of them. The panel had 6 faculties.

The Golden opportunity..
          After ignorance, disappointments and rush minutes that made my interviews unluckier, final opportunity was IITG. I was the last candidate of the list. This time, my mind was set to face the experience rather longing to get selected there.

            Studio test began, in first part (45minutes) we were asked to build a story/ experience or an essay with any four words from four categories – a character, a place, an animal and an object. I started writing a fictional story and enjoyed making twists and climax. After 15 mins of break, the second part of studio test (45 minutes) began and was surprisingly to illustrate the same story in 6 slides which I completed satisfactorily.

            My interview was scheduled on 3rd day lastly. When I entered the room, I handed over my works to faculties at both ends. The most surprising and good part of the interview in IITG was, they looked into my portfolio and that made them concerned to listen about my failures in previous interviews. At that time, I said what I known and what I missed to learn so that I couldn’t succeed the previous interviews. My skills and confidence were satisfied here and was reflected in result announced in the next day.

            Finally, the golden opportunity is in my hands now! I ran over to the department, called and thanked all seniors who helped and guided in this journey. Not an end, but a sweet beginning!

To my friends..
            I would like to mention here that I hadn’t been into any coaching classes or materials. Once you decide to become a designer, you should live as a designer. I learnt lot of things through google search and from various design blogs. Even after a lot of effort for CEED, portfolio and studio tests, many candidates failed at interview stage just because they lack behavioral design thinking in front of interview panel. It is important to have self-confidence and self-analysis in design practice for every idea you have. It is not just about how well you design, but how much interest and effort you are ready to give for your idea in execution.

            Be focused and get updated with today’s design culture, you will surely get it! 😉

All the very best! Cheers! 👍  

Let’s discuss.. 👇

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