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Series: Car Design Schools Have Changed So Should You! Part -6

Going By the times we are in right now, it's safe to say future scenarios in many areas including Design Education are not going to be the same as we were accustomed to.

Read Part 5 Here


Amol Satpute

MIT ID, Pune


I am Amol - a Bachelor’s student from the graduating batch of MIT Institute of Design. Some of you might know me via Instagram as @sxv7n

I am from Pune itself, born and raised.

The earliest memory I can recall of sketching cars was in 3rd standard, and I haven't looked back since. Surprisingly it’s quite common in our community which is


Again, like some of you, I was ‘destined’ to be an engineer and I gave almost all the exams for the same. Later on, I convinced my family and they trusted me, I got into MITID, and here we are.

Q1: Tell about us your design college, its legacy, values, and motto?

A: MIT Institute of Design is located 15 km away from central Pune, and is recognized

as one of the top design institutes in India thanks to its outstanding faculty + alumni

presence in the industry in various design disciplines. The institute focuses on three

core domains. 1) Mastering a skillset, 2) Acquiring the knowledge to use the skill set

appropriately, 3) Transforming your concept that solves a problem.

Q2: What are the requirements for getting into your design college?

A: The application process consists of two phases, 1) Design aptitude test (DAT), where

they test your basic ability to reason and answer some general knowledge questions

along with 10th-grade math problems, 2) Studio Test + Interview. This is where you get

a chance to see the institute, meet the faculty and students and interact with them.

Studio Test focuses on your live task-based sketching skills and problem-solving

abilities, while the interview focuses on your Portfolio/compilation of your past work. Pro

Tip: One Folder of good quality sketches is always better than a suitcase filled with

average work (quality > quantity). The scholarship is strictly based on your financial

situation per your performance.

Q3: What makes your college an ideal place for studying design?

A: The first year (Foundation Year) is similar for all students (roughly 200-250 students)

which helps you develop basic skills and learn core principles of good design. I feel the

connections you make in the foundation are of much more help because your friends

will go on to pursue different disciplines which will in-turn help you improve your world

view of design. In TD - After receiving your design briefs for the semester, you can work

on them according to your own pace. This is a serious lesson in time management and

helps you in achieving discipline. The curriculum allows you to grow in the topic of your

interest and structure your portfolio accordingly. Be it problem-solving, styling, or CAD.

The institute also offers semester exchange to colleges like Strate and CCS which helps you understand the level of international students, their culture and way of working, and opens up opportunities to work with few OEMs.

Q4: How do you think the design philosophy of your college is preparing you to tackle

the world of automotive design?

A: Specifically in Transportation Design, we are taught multiple subjects which consist

of mechanisms, clay modeling, Alias (3D), sketching, rendering, storyboarding, etc.

Core subjects like sketching and rendering are repeated every semester so by the end

of 4 years it helps you achieve a certain level. During these years we also participate in

industrial visits and interactions with designers from the industry.

Q5: Which design course taught in the college had an impact on your thought process?

A: The course of Sustainable Design from semester 7 was the most impactful. I believe

by semester 7 you are mature enough to understand the length and breadth of the

course and what would be the best possible way to approach it so that it shines in your

portfolio. In other words, it’s time to take off those training wheels.

Q6: If given the chance to design your college curriculum, what would you like to

change or add?

A: I would encourage more time assigned to sketching and rendering. Because 3D is

cool to do, but what you do in 3D is not cool, unless you have full clarity in your

sketches first. I would also encourage a curriculum that focuses more on different

aspects of TD such as Interior, CMF, Bikes, Commercial Vehicles, Yachts, etc. I would

also introduce weekly sketch battles.

Q7: What qualities do you think are required to become a good design student?

A: The ability to observe and analyze is far more important than flashy sketches and


Decoding the transition between surfaces, Relation between Shut lines and bodywork, etc is key to practicing good design yourself.

Breaking down a render you like into different layers, a sketch you like into basic forms and intersections is very important. Chew your food, Break it down and take it one step at a time, one skill at a time.

Q8: Any word of advice or personal story you would like to share for young aspiring


A: Instead of complaining about a lack of resources, try to make the best out of what

you have. Always extract the best piece of knowledge/advice from certain

faculty/seniors which can help you level up slowly and consistently. Making

Ferrari/Lambo illustration and model are just art and won't help you grow. Try practicing

multiple segments so you know your way around packaging.

Please be humble enough to analyze constructive criticism offered by peers. It is very

important to surround yourself with competitive people. Only then you can push one

another to get better at design and evolve. As the saying goes, “If you're the smartest

person in the room, you're in the wrong room.”

-Design Odyssey


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