Pearl Academy design students emerge victorious in Battle of Projects at Pune Design Festival 2019


Aiming to provide students with valuable and relevant industry exposure and to emphasize on the increasing role of collaboration in design, Pearl Academy, India's leading institution in design, fashion, business and media partnered with the illustrious Pune Design Festival for its 2019 edition which concluded on 12th January 2019.

Over 20 design faculty and more than 85 Pearl students attended the coveted event and gained insights into industry-related collaborations, case studies, and intellectual design conversations. The festival also witnessed senior academic team from Pearl Academy engage with design fraternity through panel discussions and workshops.

Six Pearl Academy students studying interaction design, interiors and graphic design from School of Design were selected as finalists; competing with over 260 participants from over 30 design colleges from across the country in the 'Battle of Projects', a competition organized by ADI. The competition was held in 7 categories - industrial, graphics, user interaction, craft, transportation, experiential space and lifestyle product design and the entries were evaluated by a panel consisting of eminent design industry stalwarts. Three of Pearl Academy students were selected as winners and the rest three won runners up prizes.

  • Alumnus Priyanshu Mukhopadhyay's project- Tuntuni's Adventure, immersive, interactive experience on touch devices was announced as a winning entry under the 'User Interface Design' category. His project attempted to build a bridge between the evolving needs for children's entertainment and Indian folklore by translating them from traditional to new media.
  • Raghav Sharma's short film - 'Dhundh' aimed at generating awareness around air pollution emerged as the winning project under 'Graphic Design' category.
  • Communication Design alumna Kanika Chaudhary's project named Bastar Bol Raha Hai, on the revival of the art and craft of the Gond Tribe in Bastar, Chhattisgarh bagged first prize under the 'Craft-based Design' category.

The other finalists, Communication design alumni Parth Varshney's project - 'Orange Pulp', an installation shedding light on the growing trend of hyper-nationalism emerged as the first runners up in the 'Experiential Space Design' category. Interior Design alumna Prachi Gupta's project - The Organic Hub won second runners up prize in the 'Experiential Space Design' category.  Alumna Akangksha Sarmah's project #ReDEAFine was declared second runners up in the 'Graphic Design' category.  It is a designer-driven awareness campaign that makes an active effort to address and gain a deeper understanding of the deafness as a disability and educate society about the community.

All students and alumni attributed their win to industry mentoring, inspiration and motivation from the faculty to explore beyond the brief and to holistic learning, they receive at Pearl Academy. 

'Collaboration is an important reality in design and related disciplines, but ideal collaboration is too often difficult to achieve to partner with each other effectively,' pointed out Professor Nidhip Mehta - Dean, School of Design, Pearl Academy while hosting a panel discussion titled, 'Collaboration - What stops you?'. The panel included industry veterans including Kevin Gilboe, Head of Design, Asia-Pacific at 3M and Pankaj Jhunja, Head of Mobility Innovation Hub at Tata Motors. During the discussion, a key theme that emerged was the need to build a more collaborative industry environment and encourage younger minds to effectively partner with each other and draw on a multitude of strengths, thus building more creative solutions to the industry. The audience too was excited to share their experiences and discuss how they've overcome obstacles in language, jargon, and nomenclature, as well as the various digital and non-digital modes of communication that can hinder or help modern collaboration.

Delving further into the idea of collaboration and communication, Agat Sharma - Associate Dean - Innovation and Design Strategy - Pearl Academy, engaged participants in a workshop named 'Collaboration, Game On'. The workshop was an experiment in writing collaborative speculative fables. The brief for the story was about a temporal micro-community inhabiting a new land and create civilization. At the end of the workshop, the participants came up with a short manifesto that promised to save this community from extinction.

Professor Nandita Abraham, President, Pearl Academy said "It was heartwarming to see our students excel at the national design festival winning three prizes out of seven and three more. Pune Design Festival provided a perfect platform for our students to interact with a community of designers and educators who are looking at changing the world. Industry and academia at the event stressed that competency and learning experience was more important than just degrees. Based on a superior student experience through our collaboration with the Association of Designers of India and others, Pearl Academy is being recognized as a leading provider of quality design education."

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