It is always delightful to visit the verdant, lush green campus of National Institute of Design, Paldi; and January 9, 2017, the excursion was all the more pleasurable as NID was holding its 37th annual convocation aptly titled as ‘Songs of a Tree’. NID, over decades of work, has taken the space of leading important Design Initiatives in the country and has produced many creative minds who have contributed to the aesthetic sensibilities of the society. From this perspective, the institute is like a ‘tree’ and its students are ‘songs’, who add to the vibrancy of the design segment of society. A rather poetic way to call the convocation ‘Songs of a Tree‘, and we just loved it a lot.
The jubilant environ was moreover like a festivity as the stage was framed by monuments and trees of the campus. The deafening hooting and cheering of fellow students accompanying their proud parents were more vibrant when their graduating colleague’s name was getting announced.
Dr. Ramachandra Guha, Historian, Biographer and Padma Bhushan Awardee was the Chief Guest on this occasion. The various dignitaries and officials like Dr. Pradyumna Vyas, Director of NID and Dr. Naushad Forbes, Chairman of the Governing Council marked the event by delivering speeches commemorating the students’ achievements and the work done by NID over the 56 years of its existence.
Dr. Guha addressed that the ornamental tagline of being a ‘NID Graduate’ is one of the thorniest degree journeys for a design enthusiast in India. He then continued to talk about the uniqueness of India as a democratic and diverse country which straddles so many worlds.
Being a premier design institute of the country, the convocation was certainly not just about speeches and awarding degrees. Accompanying the convocation was an enthralling exhibition that showcased the excellent work amongst different areas done by NID students and varied departments and divisions of the Institute.
The exhibition showcased that extensive work NID and its members have done in different areas. Some of the divisions displaying their work were Research and Publications, Outreach Programmes, Integrated Design Service, Innovation Centre for Natural Fibre. Industry and Online Programme, International Centre for Indian Crafts, Faculty Development Programme, Centre for Bamboo Initiatives and the R&D Campus in Bangalore. All the academic departments had also showcased the extensive work done by their students over the year.
Along with the exhibition, there was a cozy craft mela arranged by the NID authorities, where artisans from different parts of the country displayed some lovely handmade artifacts. Jewelry, fabrics, clothing, leather goods, as well as Madhubani paintings, are a major attraction of the fair.
This being NID many departments and faculty members had done innovative things to mark the day. The Department of Furniture Design, guided by Pravinsinh Solanki has done a beautiful installation with a tree like structure from which their creations from the past year were hung, a melodious sound also emanated from it, this beautifully commemorated the theme of the convocation.
Sekhar Mukherjee from Animation Film Design had made an interesting caricature which imitated traits of different faculty members from various divisions.
Our best wishes to graduate students for a blissful future. It was an exciting and pleasant experience to be on campus for this occasion. One hopes NID continues to be the torchbearer for design and innovation in the coming years and decades too.
The display of NID’s graduating students works shall be open to public at large from 10th to 13th of January 2017 between 9.00 am to 6.00 pm. It is definitely worth a visit.
Photographs: Marmik Shah
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