Vishakha Somani, Student – SOFD, talks about workshop with Italian faculty from Politechnico Di Milano

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“The best part about having them here was that their thought process was completely different”- Vishakha Somani on workshop with Italian faculty from Politechnico Di Milano

The first experience with our Italian faculty and I couldn’t have been more psyched about it. They stayed here for three consecutive weeks but time never ran faster than the way it did while working with them. We had all been waiting relentlessly for their arrival. And they left us enthralled by their creative visions and the skill of evolving our little projects into executions. 

I believe that the best part about having them here was that their thought process was completely different. In a way they assorted us with new lens to look at the same old things. We understood their culture and built this newfound love and appreciation for our own.

The live projects were our first clash with client briefs and time crunches. I learnt how a designer’s life isn’t ordained with a clock. When there’s a deadline, the work never stops and the brain never sleeps. I remember while working on the Tote Bag, my concept lines struck me at 4 am and thank God I sleep with a notebook so I could pen it down. It would’ve just remained a lucid dream otherwise.

But it was not all glitter and gold, working with strict briefs is hard and to put the client’s need and requirements before our own was a foreign concept to us. It was a massively conflicted situation for our brain. And then of course there is the drama that comes with working in groups. In a jiffy, everyone is happy and the next we’re all losing our minds with discontentment. It was a crazy experience but I distinctly remember how we were grinning ear to ear when it all concluded.

That sheer moment of completion and knowing that you just succeeded in doing what felt entirely absurd at first makes it all worth it. Isn’t that what our whole fraternity lives for? I think yes.

But most of what I take back from this workshop was a simple line that I need to tattoo on my wrist, that we are not artists, we are designers. We may scrape a piece of our heart for every project we do but what’s more important is to reach out to the client’s soul. If we can’t succeed in doing that simple thing, there is really no point of our existence. And I’m sure each one of us is striving for that design practicality from now on.

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