The doors are about to open to a new automotive design school called DYP-DC Centre for Automotive Research and Studies (though colloquially known as DYP-DC College).
Based in Pune, Maharashtra, India, the college will focus on automotive design, and in time, incorporate automotive engineering and management into a slightly wider curriculum. Notably, students will have the opportunity to build a full scale, working, drivable prototype as part of their final year projects in both the undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs.
DYP-DC College has been established as a joint initiative between DY Patil group, a highly regarded educational organization, and car design guru Dilip Chhabria - who has come onboard to serve as chief mentor.
With more than 650 designs on the road to his credit, Chhabria is considered a role model to students in India who are aspiring to build a career in the automotive industry. “DYP-DC College is my personal passion, and I am going to drive this college to make sure it produces some of the best automobile designers,” he states.
Chhabria originally qualified in Transportation Design from Art Center of Design in Pasadena, US, and then went on to work at General Motors’ Design Center before starting a successful automotive accessory business.
With regard to the program at DYP-DC, Chhabria explains he will be involved on three levels. “Firstly, I’ll act as chief mentor for the students and will review and critique their work and provide them with feedback to help them improve. Secondly, I’ll be in close contact with the faculty and constantly be reinventing the curriculum and updating and co-ordinating the teaching methods to keep it fresh and dynamic. Thirdly, since I believe that design is a matter of heart, the institute will aim to develop skills that embody this philosophy, coupled with business and manufacturing dynamics.”
From August 2010, the college will be teaching a three-year, full-time undergraduate program, and a two-year, full-time postgraduate program - both in Automotive Design.
Director Hrridaysh Deshpande says the college is focused on producing graduates of a high caliber by keeping the classes small and making entry to the school competitive.
Students are admitted on the basis of the quality of their portfolio, statement of interest and admission application. “Prospective students must demonstrate commitment, maturity and readiness to work and grow in an academically demanding, yet fun-filled educational environment,” Deshpande explains.
Enrollments for the academic year 2010-11 are underway, and Deshpande says he has already seen some impressive portfolios from students with good potential. He says the college, however, will only accept the cream of the crop.
Deshpande explains that the college curriculum (which uses the framework provided by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design in the US) will develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that allow success in the practice of automobile design and styling, while incorporating the most current developments in the field.
A variety of teaching and learning methods will be used to enhance students’ academic achievements. “We will emphasize learning and discovery through studio and workshop practice, critical reflection and experimentation with ideas, processes and materials,” Deshpande says.
An international faculty is currently being recruited who will teach students to question, discover, explore, and express themselves - and above all continue to push themselves to new limits.
The course will also ensure students gain experience through internships, thereby learning to solve real world problems in real industry environments so they can become ‘employment-ready’. These internships will provide an opportunity for students to gain valuable, practical insights about how the industry functions. In addition, they will be able to participate in industry sponsored projects, and also learn from visiting designers who will present guest lectures and workshops to ensure students are always exposed to fresh perspectives.
Students will be encouraged to think creatively and conceive, visualize and generate innovative design solutions using the latest CAD, design and visualization software including Autodesk Alias and Showcase, SolidWorks, and Adobe Creative Suite. Purpose-built design studios feature state-of-the-art facilities that include advanced laboratories and workshops with rapid prototyping and 3D scanning facilities, plus an up-to-date machine shop facility.
DYP-DC College is located in the young and thriving, cosmopolitan city of Pune, which is already an established educational center having the largest number of resident foreign students in the country. It is also a bustling industrial city and an automobile hub that is often referred to as the “Detroit of India”. Tata’s Nano was developed in Pune, while General Motors, Volkswagen, and Fiat each have a base there. The city is also home to the world’s second largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Bajaj Auto.
“The automobile industry’s focus is shifting from evolved markets to emerging markets such as China and India,” says Deshpande. “Historically, designs for cars have come from the west, been adapted and then sold in India. Now, car makers are beginning to realize they are going to have to design specifically for India. Therefore, we feel we have to provide the industry with the talent that can meet the design needs of a growing market,” he adds.