National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

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Another year passes by and another batch of students’ graduate from its gates – 50 years on, and the legacy of this design school still continues. On the threshold of its 32nd convocation, the students of the National Institute of Design come together once again to celebrate and commemorate the ideologies of design as passed through generations of designers across the globe.
A landmark building designed by Charles Eames, that is nestled at the confluence of the old and new city of Ahmedabad, has been an integral part of the design revolution in our country. NID is recognised by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) under the Ministry of Science and Technology as a scientific and industrial design research organisation. It has been a pioneer in industrial design education after Bauhaus and Ulm in Germany and is known for its pursuit of design excellence to make ‘Designed in India, Made for the World’ a reality. The students follow their own trends and help create new ones for the country to follow; be it structures, textiles, clothes or films.
It’s safe to say that many students litter along the campus grounds, even after having graduated. Most people would not understand why a small city like Ahmedabad and this campus have such a stronghold on young minds that have been or are a part of this institution. The answer is simple; the campus lets you be who you want to be, gives you an identity that you choose for yourself. It gives you the opportunity to see the world from your own kaleidoscope and inspires you to follow your visions.

Where to find them
Upon entering the campus, the first place to look for inspiration would be the famed chai gate. Here, the soulful struggling designer struggles with the world not understanding his vision while drinking away chai after chai. Some come here to play the game of chungi – another innovation by the students of this college – which consists of a bunch of rubber-bands from the daily newspapers tied together and kicked around in circles. Some come here to take a break from the intense curriculum while others come here for animated discussions with their professors over cigarettes and chai.
The BMW is the highlight of this campus. For many, it’s a famous car, but for NIDians it’s the canteen behind the Metal Workshop! Yes, it’s true; these young minds get cheap thrills out of inane jokes. In between breaks or even when the classes are on, one will find this area packed with students sitting around, rushing about or chit-chatting about random things. Sometimes, the faces remain constant while the time changes, and sometimes, there’s a constant change of people.
During the course of the day, one has to go past the KMC – the pride and joy of NID, which is the Knowledge Management Centre. It’s one of the most extensive design libraries in the country and is always filled with students and faculties referencing for different project necessities. Many outsiders make special cards in order to use this facility provided by NID.
Once the sun sets, students step outside on the lawns for a morphed game of Frisbee. A mix between football and Frisbee, here the students run around throwing the Frisbee and catching it while still in motion. Seems easy, but seriously, it’s not quite that easy.
By nightfall, everyone’s sitting at the basketball courts at the hostel side. Some are playing ball while others are simply whiling away time. Some students stay back at the studios finishing assignments till the wee hours of the morning while others sit around till morning strikes and go for bun maska and chai before crashing for the night. This seems to be the routine of an average NIDian.

When to visit
The campus is forever buzzing with people working on intricate assignments or students sitting around; but the best time to visit this place is during the monsoons or just when the new kids arrive.
The campus is alive, literally, during this time as the snails crawl out of their holes and LGB’s (little green bastards) buzz around all the neat white sheets on which we draw. During this time, we have the famous Monsoon Fiesta, where everyone from NID is involved in a war between the different faculties of design. There is a poster war and war of instillations, music and dance competition, promos and sports. The teams choose a colour and a mascot and make everything based on the themes chosen by them. The campus sees some posters, which are four floors high touching down till the ground. The industrial design instillations and the promos screened in the auditorium are fun to watch. The festival helps initiate the foundation students into the NID way of life and gives way to healthy interactions on campus.
For the past two years, NID has also been hosting an inter-college design festival called RGB that sees many colleges flock to NID to get a taste of the design school. There are forums, workshops and competitions for students. A number of movies are screened for everyone to see, and there is a fashion show for all the designers to showcase their creations.
Another interesting time to come here during the animation festival called the Chitrakatha Festival. Animators from across the globe take part by sending their films to NID. These films are screened in NID and the directors are showcased to the entire animation community on campus. Many famous animators come here during this time to give talks and share some of their experiences with the students. It’s a great platform to build contacts with the outside world and people from the animation industry.
The real glory of NID is its Convocation ceremony every year, where every discipline showcases their ideologies and displays the works of the graduating students and those who have recently joined. It’s a time to rejoice and celebrate all aspects of design as one. The entire campus is alive with different things to see and do, with young designers excited to step out and show what they’ve learnt and proud parents to see their children realise their dreams. NID gives every designer an opportunity to realise their dreams. It gives them a stronghold amongst the world leaders in design. It’s a good place to let loose your shoes and dream.

Volume 1 Issue 7

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