The Unitedworld Institute of Design (UID) is proud of its faculty, and for good reason. “The combined experience of teachers at the institute is a whopping 150 years. It could be much more,” says Prof. J A Panchal, Director, who spent nearly four decades at the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, before retiring as the head of product design and principal designer.
The head of one of the departments at the Unitedworld is the head of the NID alumni association. Another Head of Department is its treasurer. “Almost all our faculty comprise ex-NID students,” Prof. Panchal added.
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Founded in 2012, the Unitedworld Institute of Design has waded its way onto the list of top design schools in the country. The school offers a four-year Bachelor of Design (B.Des.) programme and a two-and-half-year Master of Design (M.Des.) programme. In the M.Des. programme, a student spends six months in the industry. The programmes consist of specializations like communication design, industrial design, fashion design, interior design, lifestyle and accessory design and automobile and transportation design.
Eligibility: Class XII (minimum 50 percent marks)
Selection Process: Design Aptitude Analysis
M.Des: (2 year + six month industrial research) Communication Design, Industrial Design, Fashion Design, Interior Design
Eligibility: Degree in relative area of studies (minimum 50 percent marks)
Selection Process: Design Aptitude Analysis
The institute is part of the new Karnavati University in Gandhinagar, which awards the degrees to the UID students. The institute also shares the campus with the university, which has a law school, dental college, management institute and many other faculties. “We are a studio-oriented institute,” says Director (Academics) Col. Surojit Bose (retd). “The UID is about designing knowledge, skills and processes. This is possible only in a studio situation,” he adds. “Design is dynamic. Rapid changes are happening in the society.”
The institute is known for its strong emphasis on basics. The first two semesters are rigorous, with the students learning the fundamentals. The Foundation course is split into two, of six months each. In the first six months, a student learns art, design, culture, and technical aspects of design. In the second six months, the student learns more about a specialized domain, concentrating more on the subject. “Our students get the basic knowledge in the foundation course,” says Saumya Bandhopadhay, a sculptor and faculty member at UID.
Workshops, master-classes and field trips strengthen that foundation the students receive in their first year. Artists regularly arrive on the UID campus to deliver lectures. One such recent visit was by Bose Krishnamachari, artist and founder of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the largest contemporary art show in the country. Next year, the institute is planning to send its students to the 4th edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Fort Kochi to get a first-hand knowledge of the installations by globally renowned artists.
Studying with industry
There are as many as 1,300 students on the UID campus in Uvarsad in various disciplines. The institute has forged a strong relationship with the industry. The UID’s industry connect is called ‘Disha’, literally meaning giving a direction to the students to be industry-ready. “’Disha’ is a career-bridge initiative,” says Col. Bose. Industry representatives visit the campus to help students learn from their experiences. Recently, senior corporate leaders from Tata Technologies and Mitsubishi visited the campus to give a presentation on industrial automation design, a new way to integrate technology and design at a faster pace.
A Centre of Excellence in Automation is also coming up at the UID to equip the students with the latest technological developments. The students will also be getting the new thinking in special effects and 3-D. The idea of technology cohabiting with traditional craft is integral to the philosophy of the institute. Traditional craftspeople are always invited to the campus to help the students understand the rich culture of creativity in the country. The campus of UID resembles a crafts village than a modern design institute. The institute also has built a lifestyle and accessory department, reflecting the changes in the lives of the people today.