Royal College of Art and the contemporary Indian designers
Picture: Singanapalli Balaram and his Rural Bicycle designed at the RCA as a student project.
Just as NID had trained the first generation of design teachers for India in the 60’s and 70’s some of these leading teachers and some from the second generation were further trained at the RCA in the 70’s. The first to head to London was Prof Singanapalli Balaram who was deputed from the NID for a year long training at the RCA in 1971. He returned to India and worked at NID till he retired from the Institute after which he has moved to Coimbatore to set up a new school of design there called the DJ Academy.
Singanapalli Balaram, RCA, Industrial Design Engineering, 1971.
Home at DJAD, Coimbatore:
Balaram at DJAD:
The IDC was set up in 1969 by Prof Sudha Nadkarni who himself was a student of Hfg Ulm but his students from IDC went to the RCA in the early 70’s to come back to teach at IDC, IIT Mumbai and at the IIT Delhi where another school of design took root.
Lalit Das, IIT, Delhi (RCA, School of Industrial Design Engineering from 1972 to 1974)
Kirti Trivedi, IDC, IIT Mumbai (RCA, School of Industrial Design Engineering from 1972 to 1974)
IDC, IIT Mumbai:
K Munshi, IDC, IIT, Mumbai (RCA, School of Industrial Design Engineering in 1974)
Workshop on Product Innovation:
Dhruv Mistry, MA Sculpture RCA 1983
Shilpa Ranade, IDC, IIT, Mumbai Head of Animation at the IDC also stuidied at the RCA.
Interview in Animation Express:
This early round of RCA scholars from India was followed by a stream of very talented designers from NID, most of whom were from the NID’s undergraduate programme and they are listed below with discipline, year and some web links appended below each person.
Picture: Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien at their studio in London
Nipa Doshi, MA (RCA) Furniture, 1997.
John Lobb: Apprentice Shoes:
Nagraj Seshadri, MA (RCA) Industrial Design, 1998.
Core77 1999 Heavyweight Design Champion:
Priya Prakash, MA (RCA) Computer Related Design, 2001.
Diana Irani, MPhil (RCA) Constructed Textiles, 2002.
Pratap Bose, MA Vehicle Design, 2003
RCA Degree Show 2003:
Box Car comment:
Bikram Mittra, MA Design Products, 2007
Bikram Mittra profile:
Animation has been a dominent area of collaboration in recent years. Nina Sabnani participated in the Helen Hamlyn conference for Design for our Future Selves in 2005 and several RCA faculty and students from RCA Animation Department traveled to India and interacted with NID faculty and student teams under an ongoing relationship under an MOU between the two schools.
Helen Hamlyn conference :
Picture: Anab Jain at RCA in 2004
According to Professor Sandra Kemp, Director of Research at the RCA, I quote from her email communication “Our strongest link with NID is through our Animation Department: - the RCA MA Animation course has had a working teaching exchange going for some years now. Over the years several Animation 2nd year students have been in Ahmedabad for 2 week teaching experiences at the NID Animation undergraduate course. All students enjoyed their stay in India a lot and they all came back with valuable experience. In return the MA Animation course had several exchange students on the course, such as Lucky Vakharia in 2007. The Head of Department, Professor Joan Ashworth and the AHRC Research Fellow Deborah Levy have both visited NID to run workshops, along with one of our Visiting Lecturers, Christine Roche. UnQuote
The following NID graduates have done their animation or media related courses from the RCA in recent years.
Sandeep Channarayapatna, MA Animation, 2004
Teheran Film Festival:
Anab Jain, MA Computer Related Design, 2005
Anab Jain website:
Anab Jain RCA portfolio:
Anab Jain's new website
Meghana Bisineer, MA Animation, 2006
Meghana Bisineer resume:
At RCA summer show:
Pooja Pottenkulam, MA Animation, 2006
Pooja Pottenkulam RCA showcase:
Anitha Balachandran, MA Animation, due to graduate 2008
The previous two posts about the linkages with RCA London can be seen here. The Early Years: Linkages with NID & Indian Design and next the Linkages with NID & Indian Design: Major Influences