July 24, 2018

Experience of Muhammad Sufyan Shaikh for IITB

Hello to all the budding designers out there. I would first like to thank Prasanna Sir, for creating this blog and allowing me to share my interview experience in Industrial Design at IDC, IIT Bombay via CEED 2016. I was not selected in IDC- so just thought to share mistakes which I made so that you all would avoid the same and crack the process.

CEED 2016:
I applied for CEED 2016 and just studied in class and no practice/study at home. I prepared for Part- A the night before the exam. I cleared CEED with AIR- 142 and 42/100 in Part B. I was excited and started preparing my portfolio after the results. I collected a few of my artworks and photographs and that’s it. I just applied for IDC IIT B only and I had submitted the application form on last date with the tasks given in it. I was called for the DAT and interview for Industrial Design. Excited again!

We were asked to design a family phone charger with multiple ports in it. That had gone pretty well.

Studio Test:
We were asked to design a stationery organizer for 10-12 year olds. I had found the test challenging and was unable to generate any ideas. I started sketching whatever came in my mind without keeping in mind that I have to make a 3d model too. It became difficult for me to make the model and in the end I had nothing but cutout pieces of the model which I was not even able to assemble. They were taking our photographs during submission of answer sheets and models. I was standing with my broken model and the photographer said me to smile! I was like dead from inside with a fake smile on my face. AWKWARD!!!!

I went inside and wished them morning. There were 4 panelists. One of them was just sitting on my extreme right and didn’t even spoke a word. He just observed me and I thought maybe he is the psychiatrist but later I realized he was a faculty too. The first question-“Why design?” I answered them in a nervous tone that I wanted to make lives of people much simpler and comfortable (I was not satisfied with my own answer). They asked me about the application task of good and bad design example from India- Why I thought it was bad. I had chosen ATVM machine for bad. They asked me for my portfolio and I gave them my file in which I had all the artworks and photographs. One of them asked you have only graphic works? They were finding works from product design. One of them saw a Bajaj Avenger paintjob modification from my portfolio (image is attached below) and asked me what was the paint I had used- I had forgotten the name of paint and after giving a minute of thought I told them ‘Aspa’. They asked what I had made in Studio test- I had made the same model a night before interview at my home and showed to them. One of them asked if I had applied in other streams or other institutes. One Sir had even asked if I had joined any coaching- I honestly said yes. It lasted for 15 minutes and they asked me to leave. Before leaving I asked them if I can put the assembled model on the table- they started laughing and said no- thanks and I left the room with embarrassment.

·        Coaching: I had applied for coaching and was too much dependent on them. You don’t need it. Blogs like Teacup Blog are more than enough. Just observe stuffs around you and keep questioning yourself from design perspective, out of curiosity like when, where, what, why and how? Everything will fall in place.

·        Time: I had done poor time management and last minute execution of tasks and studying. Take application forms and tasks mentioned in it seriously. Think and read properly what is being asked- jot down the points and act accordingly.

·        Practice: I didn’t practice sketching and previous year’s papers. I became overconfident about my sketching. Design is not just sketching; it’s much more than that. You must practice, practice and practice a lot.

·        Sketches: I had wasted my time in perfecting the sketches in paper. You must be able to create sketches and represent them in a self explanatory way quickly, since time is the constraint. It must be neat, proportionate and able to communicate your ideas. That’s it.

·        Applying for one institute: This was the biggest blunder I had made. Apply in multiple institutes and streams as per your stream interests. If you want it strongly then you will make it by at least increasing the chances of cracking the process. If you are passionate, you will clear every hurdle which comes in your way. And you will enjoy it.

·        Interview: Be honest to panelists. Listen to what they say carefully, take a minute to think, it’s OK! And then communicate. Never react to questions, just respond by being yourself. I was only reacting. That’s bad.

·        Portfolio: I had just included my artworks and nothing else. Don’t just fill sketches and artworks. Identify problems around you and find solutions. Show your flexibility and variety by working with different streams, tools and materials. Take at least 2 copies of your portfolio in hard format so that you don’t miss to show work to the panelists. You don’t know who is interested in what. Narrate a story behind your idea and process.

This year InshaAllah, I am aiming for CEED/NID 2019 again. Wishing new aspirants luck and wish me luck too! You can find my few artworks and contact details below. Feel free to contact me. And not to forget- Thank you so much Prasanna Sir for this blog

Instagram: @sufyan_art

June 27, 2018

Success Story: Shaurya Verma (IIIT Jabalpur)

Hi All

Finally after trying for three consecutive attempts for CEED and NID, I find myself capable enough to write this.

In my B.Tech (mechanical) I got to know about this (M.Des) from my batch mate who was already joining IITD for the same. I went home I researched whole night and it was like something I always wanted to do but was not aware of. It was like I felt different very often that I have to do something else … at times I used to just look out the window at 4am … just observing things around memorizing more than a normal human does .. I could connect all that to this exam. I researched the previous papers and found them very interesting. I gained knowledge of perspective and proportions from my friend and worked a lot on line quality.

CEED 2016
It was my first attempt; it was on 10th December I guess. My center was somewhere in Ghaziabad(I stay in Delhi). I was tensed the night before and couldn’t sleep more than 15 min. Adding  to that I took sleeping pill at night and as a result I was very sleepy in the exam hall. The results came I cleared part A but scored and ultra low 17.5 in part B.

NID 2016
NID was fun. The exam was quite easy. I just couldn’t draw human facial expressions correctly which was of 10 marks. Result was 55.55 (not qualified for product and transport)

CEED 2017
I had joined job at Capgemini due to parental pressure. So gave CEED 2017 and result was 32 in part A… the cut off for part A was 34

NID 2017
I made a smart move and chose Ceramic and glass design with transport (ceramic has lowest cut off). I got staggering 62 out of 100 still didn’t clear transport but cleared ceramic (RANK 2). But the panel could easily identify that I am for transport and rejected me.

CEED 2018
I had made my mind that this would be my final attempt. While wasting 14 hours a day at job I still practiced sketching in company’s library. I was admired at office for my sketches. Finally the day came and I was again sleepless. Finally at 4 am in the morning I could manage to sleep for two hours and this fuelled my confidence. This time the center was within delhi too. I carefully attempted the part A . Avoiding negative marking and then came part B. I read the transport question first but it was slightly tough. So I went in with the product design. My target was to get 50+ in part B. because in earlier years this was enough to get a rank close to 100. Result part A 41 part B 52.6 overall score 49.7 Ceed rank 251(general).

NID 2018
It was same story as nid 17. I got 58.6. AIR 5 for ceramic and glass design.

Remaining part:
I got call from IITD, IITG and IIIT Jabalpur.

IIIT Jabalpur
We were given four different question papers. We had to finish it in 1 hour. One paper was about different types of chairs. Second was a bit about structures. Like why we have hemispherical structures in buildings. Third was creative one. We had to write which is the funniest commercial you have seen and had to sketch things pretty fast too. Fourth was very interesting IQ test. It had questions like – what if committed is not a crime but if attempted is a crime. I wrote suicide ;). Finally interviews were a mere formality. My interview took place at 10pm in night post dinner. Everyone was very over loaded with models practice works etc.  just like I was but I didn’t take anything inside because I knew they would be tired so I only took my printed portfolio and my sketchbook. One guy was viewing portfolio and rest were asking questions. They asked me why I wanted to do this course and leave my job. They said we don’t have transport faculty, I said I am okay with product. The results were out and I got in.

The studio test question was very tough. But I didn’t give a look to the choice questions which were quite easy as compared to the first one.  In first problem we had to cool a 6m x 6m room without using electric power and also had to incorporate humidity control feature. In interview they asked me about my studio problem. I came up with the idea of earthen pot based cooler but they said how do we control humidity from that and I was silent.

The studio test went well. We had to sketch the exploded view of a wrist watch without using any of its original parts. I don’t exactly know what went wrong here everything was almost perfect. May be I didn’t make eye contact with the panel.

What aspirants can do  

For CEED practice previous year papers again and again with time limit. The only way to go is self improvement. Study about materials and manufacturing it helps a lot. I suppose everyone who writes CEED exam has ideas in head but time limit is the only constraint. During exam I would suggest investing 70 percent of time in finding ideas and 30 percent in sketching is the best way to go.

A good rank can get you a call but not a seat. Studio test holds a lot more significance than interview and portfolio. So make sure you give your best for the studio test. For Portfolio keep it very short and precise. No panel would turn more than 6-8 pages.

For improvement in sketches find yourself a critic; one who is already gone through this process.

SPECIAL THANKS TO -: Anubhav Kardam(IITD) and Prasanna Sir

“The wolf on the hill is never as hungry as the wolf climbing the hill”


June 22, 2018

Success Story: Manushi Kaushik (New Media Design, NID)

Hey people,
I am Manushi, will be joining New Media Design Batch 2018 at NID.
First of all, I want to thank Prasanna sir for all the guidance and support.
He is the greatest mentor you will ever need for this journey.

My Background
I am a B.Tech graduate in Electrical Engineering from YMCAUST, Fbd.
Got campus placement and worked at VOLTAS for 2 years. 
Resigned from the job last year and did a scholarship residency program at Germany as an interaction designer.

So, I had failed attempts before getting here and realized that my approach for the exam was wrong. I prepared for previous attempts by locking myself in a room and just practising though I did not leave any topic but still was not able to crack. On retrospective, I realized the reason for failure was my wrong approach. The only thing you need to do for preparation is get going, meet people and be as much aware as you can.
I jotted down these 3 main areas to work on for preparation- 

1. Design Thinking/Process
This I felt was most important and kind of difficult to understand as it can not be learnt in a day by reading just literature.
So, for this, I took part in various national level design/ innovation/prototype competitions, went to design camps, did hackathons and stuff. And brainstorming there really helped to understand the design process and also have hands-on experience on it.
I strongly recommend the aspirants to go to these places since you will be meeting more creative people and innovations happening around will boost your ideation process.
Also projects you do there help you while making the portfolio.

2. Sketching
Now here, especially all NON- arts/design/architecture or any related field graduates you need to remember that you will be competing with people who have studied sketching for 4/5 years, so your natural strokes have to be fully practised.
So this time while preparing I, fortunately, got a fine arts graduate who taught me sketching from scratch the way he learned in his college. And it did polish my natural strokes to a good extent.
But I absolutely agree with people for whom self-practice is sufficed..it is totally a personal choice based on your skillset.

GK and Aptitude
For GK..all the links and material in this blog, Manorama year book, daily newspaper, online articles on design..the more you read the better.
For Aptitude, I purchased General aptitude books from market available for other competitive exams like bank exam etc. just to stay in touch with basic reasoning and maths problems.

Portfolio and Interview
From my past failed interview experience I realized I will be competing with the best in different fields so portfolio really need to stand out from projects to presentation to everything.
Prasanna sir helped me a lot in compiling projects and also adding new stuff for versatility. It did help a lot in the interview.

For the interview I was just as true as I could be, most of the interview was about my previous projects. They asked mainly about the whole design process behind the solution and why I made that particular product.

So after this whole experience, all I can say is don't prepare for this exam keeping in mind fixed syllabus and topics but work on your own self as a designer and explore as much as you can. You can not afford to leave any stone unturned. Go through all the links and material in this blog thoroughly and read as much as you can.
This surely is a beautiful journey.

All the best

June 20, 2018

Success Story: Dipak Chambhare (TAD at NID)

HELLO...guys I am DIPAK,I have completed my bachelor degree in Mechanical engineering.

First of all thank you PRASANNA GADKARI sir for this opportunity.
So here I am going to share journey of my Dream NID TRANSPORTATION AND AUTOMOBILE DESIGN.(first attempt)

From the beginning I am always curious,crazy about vehicles there
working,looks etc specially cars I don’t know how why, when but there is something which always attracts me towards cars ... like every guy at that age me too loves to sketch cars vehicles a lot but I think in my case it is slightly different i m just doing it so because I love to do only that work than anything else. The main thing on which I believe on is environment around us plays a vital role.

Main design journey starts from 10th standard I still remember it is 10th standard summer vacation waiting for the result one day at night while surfing on net on topic of how to become a car designer I found interview of (SIR ANKIT PRASHAR) Indian automotive designer graduated from Coventry university.That interview becomes one of the important turning point of my life after reading that interview my perspective about  design gets totally changed I learned a lot from it and that was the first time I came to know about NID ENTRANCE,there r such entrances for becoming  AUTOMOTIVE DESIGNER. That interview  also shows me the path,in what way now I have to move on for achieving my dream.

After this I collected all the complete info about NID ENTRANCE as well as CEED and started to improve my knowledge slowly and design terms. I know while reading this one point may be came into your mind guys that why I had not applied for B.Des after completing my 12th because I want to keep backup for me and also wants to get technical knowledge so first I took my bachelor degree in
MECHANICAL Engineering.

After completing my engineering I decided to take one year drop for preparation and then appear for exam but unfortunately in year 2016 due to some documents issue, I failed to apply for entrances but
without getting nervous & thinking much on it I continued my preparation & this year I had applied for both CEED AND NID, unfortunately I failed to qualify for CEED but the good news is that I cracked the NID prelims with OBC AIR-22 and got call letter for MAINS.

For NID prelims AND CEED preparation I prepared from the two
blogs. 1) stuff you look blog by (bhanu chander sir) 2) Teacup blog by (prasanna gadkari sir) These two blogs have more than enough material for preparation along with this lots of study material (PDF) from various sources on google, sketching practice on daily basis, MANORAMA YEAR BOOK AND YOUTUBE CHANNELS LIKE STUDY IQ EDUCATION by Dr.Gaurav garg, PROKO, ADDYLABS by Akshay khandalkar sir, DRAW WITH JAZZA.

FOR NID MAINS AND STUDIO TEST preparation seniors from NID and IITs helps me a lot specially I would like to take some names here Ronit pandya, Prasanna Gadkari, Akshay khandalkar,,
Dhruva rathod, Bhanu chander, Sanghbir venkatesh satapathy, Amartya Banerjee, Roshan kove....these people also helped me in my prelims

preparation.along with this my PARENTS, PAYAL(I had never seen such a positive and motivating person like her, at each & every step she is with me), My Sisters and four friends are also always there with me in this journey; right from the beginning.

INTERVIEW (conversation between me and interview panel of 3 people Praveen Nahar sir,Rengarajan Balaji sir and one more but I don’t know the name)

Before proceeding I would like to say that this interview going to be very long if I write it in detail as this interview is of 40 to 45 min.

Here I will try to describe it in short hope you guys would like this. So.....when I entered into the hall with my clay model boxes and portfolio folder in my hand a panel of 3 people were seating there.
Me- May I come in sirs.
Panel-welcome....dipak good afternoon (with smile)
Me- Good Afternoon sirs.
Panel-so dipak you have ....brought clay models with you.
Me-yes sir two cars.
Panel- ohh nice keep that boxes on table and take out your cars but
before that just give your portfolio folder to us.
Me- yes sir (The panel was very nice,polite,free and cool)
Panel-Nice work dipak do u know the scales of this models.
Me- yes sir it is 1:18
Panel-okay and what is there in that small box dipak.
Me-sir it is a soap car model (and I handover to them).

Panel-ohh really dipak it is made up of soap (with smile) (ALL the 3 were watching it one by one and take its smell which is very nice,intentionally I had used Cinthol soap for this purpose and did not paint the bottom portion of soap were Cinthol name is engraved)
Me-yes sir (They love that soap work and clay models)
Panel-Nice work dipak (me -thank u )
Panel (sir Rengarajan balaji)-opens my portfolio folder first (and asked me so...... NID is your dream dipak (as I had mention this in my About me section and also there is my pic with Bugatti Chiron
clay model)
Me-yes sir
Sir Rengarajan balaji- okay....where is this Chiron dipak(with smile)....
Me-sir,it is in home because it is heavy than this models and size is also big one so I didn’t brought this car.
Sir-okay okay......no problem.
Panel- Dipak just sketch that red car on this paper as much as you can sketch in 2 min (they were talking about red concept ED sports car for Tata motors which I added in my portfolio)(they gave me the paper and pencil).

(After that they asked some questions on my project of safari van and also other questions like.....why you had used this things as a inspiration in your project? from where u learn clay modelling? sketching? which clay u used for this model? Is this is your first attempt? how you came to know about NID entrance? which colors u used for clay modelling? what you want to do what is your dream after completing two and half year of M.Des? what is your engineering project? which markers you had used its name,numbers? what is the name of this car,country (i.e they were talking about one
car from marker rendering section Volvo s90),what do you think about your sketching? which is your favorite car, SUV? DIPAK explain your CONCEPT compact SUV (i.e ORANGE RASANZ) CLAY
MODELING PROCESS? what is the use of sharp lines on its side panels? And many more questions.

 After a long question answering list on my portfolio,clay models,sketches......... interview ends at the last they asked me how was your studio test dipak I replied it is good sir (replied with smile) panel-okay nice(with smile)good luck dipak ...good luck dipak good luck dipak.....thank u sir (I keep my cars inside the box and leave the hall) (but guys really I enjoy lot the overall process of interview without any pressure, panel was really very nice and cool).

So finally results are out I got OBC AIR-7 with wait-list no-1 but after a long wait of one and half month I got confirmation mail from NID.....so now admission process is going on....and session is going to start from 9th July 2018.......MOST AWAITED DREAM COME TRUE @NID #AUTOMOTIVE DESIGNER #TAD

According to me From this journey things I came to know,that one must have keen passion about his/her work so that your work speaks itself and how curious,dedicated you are about your work,about design this are the some key elements for which panel is looking for in an aspirant/candidate.so stay passionate stay Alive...love your work and chase your DREAM never give up at any stage up downs are the part of life but by this phases you will become more and more

There is lot more to write but I don’t want to bored you all. I tried to mention each and everything here as much as I can........hope you all enjoy this journey with me chasing my DREAM @NID below are the some work from my portfolio,clay models and sketches.

Feel free to contact me if you want any help regarding preparation and other stuff.


May 04, 2018

Success story: Saksham Panda (NID lifestyle accessory design)

First of all, I would like to thank Prasanna Sir for being so patient with my never ending questions and helping me throughout.  I am a civil engineer (as if it matters) and I got selected for lifestyle accessory design at National Institute of design, Gandhinagar.

This is going to be a real big long story ( read rant) so you can skip this and jump to ‘preparation’ part and save yourself some time or continue to find out whether you relate with my experiences or not. So it started back in August 2016 when I completely made my mind to pursue M.des and not get into usual GATE/ IES preparation as everyone around me was doing. I have always been inclined towards drawing and crafts and all the artsy stuff so the preparation completely fascinated me. The problem with me was my low self esteem about my work. I was not at all confident about it. I got a lot of adulation for my artworks as a child but as I grew up I lost the connection and developed a bubble of low self esteem around myself. Fast forward to engineering days when we were studying engineering drawing, I started to look for further studied in similar domain as I liked it very much. The search took me to structural design engineering then M.plan then M.arch and then finally I stumbled upon a blog post about M.Des. It was enough to blow my bubble of low self esteem. I gathered all my broken bits of confidence and started drawing again. I searched every single thing related to M.Des on internet. Teacup blog was the most precise place to look for help in that case. And obviously Prasanna sir and all other people from success stories section helped in getting a clear vision about the course and preparation. I would sit religiously to read all the success stories and it would make me feel that this isn’t rocket science, all it takes is passion and correct strategy to come out with flying colors.


Let’s just say you have never even touched a pencil to draw but still you can learn it so forget that it is something god gifted. Few people are naturally good at it and it’s fine if you are not one of them. So get started with lines. Draw a million of them. Draw until your shoulder begins to ache. Now take some rest and draw circles. Again a million of them. Circles of all sizes, colors, castes and creed. Do not discriminate. Now draw ellipses. You know many of them. And keep in mind to draw everything without moving your wrist. Move your whole arm as you draw. Your shoulder should control the motion not your wrist. Now you can draw whatever you like. Learn perspective drawings, isometric drawings, exploded views, still life sketching etc. Search images and try to copy them then try to draw on your own. There is a LOT to draw and it is never enough so keep practicing and while you’re doing it don’t forget to draw lines, circles and ellipses every now and then. Once you are satisfied with your work you can go for solving all the previous papers of CEED and NID. Now that you know what type of questions are actually asked you can work on your weak points and improve your speed.

Everything except drawing

Now a good drawing may fetch you some marks but it won’t ensure your selection. To get selected you need a great idea along with your sketching skills. So the key here is to OBSERVE and READ a LOT. I cannot emphasize it enough. Start observing every little thing around you. Try to appreciate good designs and figure out bad designs in everyday products. And to know which good design is and which is bad, you’ve to READ (see told you). For rest of the part A questions you’ve to keep in touch with current affairs (mostly art, culture, design etc. related). Read everything that you think is important and there’s already so much stuff out there so I won’t write much here. Go find on your own ;P


I am not going to tell you the exam pattern. Close that Facebook tab and search it. You need to be very calm during the exam. Bring out the best out of your ideas and present them well. Plan your time so you have enough time to draw everything. Don’t waste all your time in drawing a single figure meticulously and spoiling the rest of questions rather attempt every question with pretty average drawings. And don’t tell me you need help with OMR sheet too. ;P

Studio test and interview

Once you get a call for studio test and interview, start working on your portfolio right away. Now this is a whole new problem that “what should I include in my portfolio?” So take a look at Behance or Coroflot to get an idea and start working to build your own. It may be a tedious process but you’ve got to have faith in your ideas and work on them. I personally struggled a lot in this phase but trust me you’ll enjoy it once you figure it out. The studio test is the best part of whole admission process. Just manage your time well and enjoy it. The interview is a mystery in itself so be yourself and please do not lie there. 

I tried to elaborate as much as I can to make it easy for you guys and I’d be available if you need any help at any point of time during your preparation. 

Sample of work from my portfolio.