Gold tableware designed for eating with hands

Pearl Academy spotlights 10 standout student design projects

Themes of gender inclusivity, shelter for the underprivileged and urban water crisis feature in this school show curated by the Pearl Academy in India.

The 10 spotlighted projects, which range from product and communication designs to interior architecture, are by students from five different courses at the academy.


Pearl Academy

School: Pearl Academy
Courses: Undergraduate Product Design, Undergraduate Interior Architecture Design, Undergraduate Communication Design, Postgraduate Interior Design and Styling and Postgraduate Communication Design
Studio: Final Project
Tutors: Samarth Reddy, Punkaran Singh, Sashi Kiran, Anupam Tomer, Richard Bara, Puja Anand, Henri Fanthome, Soumya Kharbanda, Dinesh Abiram, Mona Mehta

School statement:

Pearl Academy is a springboard for ideas that explore human centric solutions, consider and evaluate human impact; our final year student work focuses on developing impact driven interventions of varying scales. They understand advanced design concepts, have been taught to apply design thinking using cutting-edge technology to design for inclusivity and accessibility.

Undergraduate Product Design statement:

"The four-year Undergraduate Product Design course deals with the design and development of industrially produced consumer durables like electronic and smart devices, appliances, tools and equipment, furniture and packaging in the service of a wide variety of industries, businesses and socio-cultural needs.

"It encourages learners to become adept makers, agile thinkers, and fearless creatives."

Undergraduate Interior Architecture Design statement:

"The four-year undergraduate course in Interior Design uncovers the potential of design to transform spaces into unique experiences. This course is designed with a contemporary, sustainable approach and encourages students to take creative risks by developing a thorough understanding of human psychology, behaviour and needs."

Undergraduate Communication Design statement:

"This program enables students to apply the principles of design to a wide range of communication challenges across various forms and types of media. Students develop an understanding of people in their socio-cultural settings and devise appropriate strategies that lead to communication products, systems, services, and experiences.

"Students work with traditional print media as well as contemporary digital forms, gaining the essential skills in today's market."

Postgraduate Interior Design and Styling statement:

"The field of Interior Design and Styling is proliferating in the commercial, corporate and residential spaces of India. Many people are opting for the services of interior designers and stylists to enhance the aesthetics of their space and reduce stress.

"This postgraduate course intakes graduates from all disciplines and disperses comprehensive technical and design-related knowledge of styling through industry interaction and exposure. It integrates the curriculum with quality assurance from stalwarts in the design industry and helps students develop a holistic view."

Postgraduate Communication Design statement:

"The two-year postgraduate program in Graphics and Communication Design equips students for content development in diverse media like print media, motion graphics, film and television, photography, digital media, web and app design, and other interactive applications.

"The program aims to formulate a fundamental foundation and build a sound, basic grounding for later disciplinary competencies in the domain."


A visual of an emergency floating walkway for floods

KARA108RG by Shraddha Kumbhar

"Mumbai faces flood problems every year. When high tide and torrential rains come together, the city witnesses severe social and financial downfall. On 26 July 2005, Mumbai received 944 millimetres of rain, more than three feet of water in a day.

"Given the severity of the emergency, a lack of ready-to-use flood equipment was identified. KARA108RG – The Flood Emergency Equipment is a design for the safe movement of people from one place to another during flood-like situations. The modular floating pontoon kit assists government authorities in mass evacuation of the general public in flooding situations."

Student name: Shraddha Kumbhar
Project name: KARA108RG – The Flood Emergency Equipment
Course: Undergraduate Product Design
Email: shraddhakumbhar1998@gmail.com


A portable water container for slum dwellers

Jal Saathi by Harleen Kaur

"Most urban shanties do not have access to clean tap water in their homes and must seek out external resources, such as government water tankers that come for a limited duration each day and lead to long queues. Often, young children, mothers and the elderly have to carry back assortments of water-laden containers to meet their family's water requirement.

"Jal Saathi is a low cost, hygienic, portable water container designed specifically for urban slum dwellers in India. The compact design allows easy transport and navigation through a narrow gulley and is a space-saving water storage vessel apt for small jhuggis."

Student name: Harleen Kaur
Project name: Jal Saathi
Course: Undergraduate Product Design
Email: harleen.09814@stu.pearlacademy.com


A marble drinking bowl

Chuha Series by Akanksha Patnaik

"Chuha imbibes the tale of Hindu goddess Karni Mata of Bikaner in Rajasthan. She lived to be 150 years old and remained young and beautiful. Upon her death, she metamorphosed into a rat. This lore of the goddess' spiritual transformation into a rat is captured through beautifully sculpted mice, inspired by the famous French mouse Ratatouille, taking the traditional story and its main character out of their original context for fresh, global appeal.

"Hand-carved marble Chuhas animate the drinking bowl they are perched on as a homage to this fascinating spectacle. Legend has it that spotting a white one is especially auspicious; they are thought to be manifestations of the goddess herself and considered a special blessing."

Student name: Akanksha Patnaik
Project name: Chuha Series
Course: Undergraduate Product Design
Email: akankshapatnaik2014@gmail.com
Website: ikkis.in/collection/limited/chuha


Gold tableware designed for eating with hands

Inculcating Traditions by Pahuni Krishnatriya

"Inculcating Traditions is an attempt to reintroduce the culture of eating food with fingers in domestic settings, as well as in a luxury restaurant.

"The sensorial experience is a tool for engagement and observation, involving five senses through the touch, feel, look, smell and taste of the metals. The design encourages locals to readapt and foreigners to observe and accept Indian culture. This project is about acceptance, experience, value, comfort and inheritance of a tradition using contemporary tableware as a vehicle to achieve it."

Student name: Pahuni Krishnatriya
Project name: Inculating Traditions
Course: Undergraduate Product Design
Email: pahuni.09230@stu.pearlacademy.com


A visual of Basera temporary accommodation

Basera by Poorvi Jain

"Basera is a design for temporary accommodation for the underprivileged. It addresses the most fundamental needs of people and families seeking medical advice in cities. At large government hospitals, it is common to see people camped in make-shift arrangements and in a constant state of fear and anxiety as they wait for their dear ones to recover.

"In Basera, a basic necessity of accommodation and food is overlaid with activity, identity, craft and a sense of community, to create an atmosphere of togetherness and sharing, through a carefully assembled sequence of spaces and deep understanding of community and their needs at a fragile moment in their lives."

Student name:Poorvi Jain
Project name: Basera
Course: Undergraduate Interior Architecture Design
Website: artsthread.com/portfolios/basera-a-temporary-accommodation-for-underpriviliged


Visuals of a Labour Recreational Facility by Tasha Singh

Labour Recreational Facility by Tasha Singh

"With her family's roots in the industrial set up around Meerut city, Tasha Singh saw an opportunity there to take interior design into the public realm. The Labour Recreation Centre addresses a set of deeply interrelated needs and exploits their interdependence to create a safe space that weaves various functions and space typologies into spatial and functional experiences.

"She uses the opportunities of the site to create two large interior topographies that are multifunctional and at the same time a social platform. These topographies derive multiple studies of the use of space for activities as simple as sitting, to more complex interactions and entertainment. Their shapes and forms being familiar, but at the same time offering a newer and more complex experience."

Student name: Tasha Singh
Project name: Labour Recreational Facility
Course: Undergraduate Interior Architecture Design
Website: artsthread.com/profile/tashasingh


An advert for Project Bi.Poetry by Jazer Chand

Project Bi.Poetry by Jazer Chand

"This project is a creative inquiry exploring the human-computer relationship as a binary system – intuition versus logic, quality versus quantity, emotional versus mechanical – in a poetry-generating interface.

"The interface inhabits the two entities as opposites by borrowing five ways of conflict resolution and translating them as five modes of interaction for creating blackout poems."

Student name: Jazer Chand
Project name: Project Bi.Poetry
Course: Undergraduate Communication Design
Website: blackout-poetry-tool.github.io/


A visual of Tabeer by Tamanna Gupta

Tabeer – Crafting Livelihoods by Tamanna Gupta

"Tabeer brings craftspeople, designs and the women's organisation Womenite together to create a platform for collaboration, design intervention and women's empowerment. The project also directly addresses the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals adopted by member states in 2015.

"Tamanna Gupta uses these ideas to string together a narrative that ties together various spaces including studios for design experimentation, knowledge and material libraries for learning, informal spaces for social interaction and retails spaces to craft together a centre that is strongly reflective of the social aspirations from which it arises."

Student name: Tamanna Gupta
Project name: Tabeer – Crafting Livelihoods
Course: Postgraduate Interior Design and Styling
Website: artsthread.com/profile/tamannagupta


Project Hope leaflets that encourage organ donation

Project Hope by Kripa Singh Arora

"Project Hope is a system design campaign to help people get a new life from another person's life when they can do their bit at the time of leaving the world.

"The motive is to allow the people who want to donate their organs at the time of their death to be able to do it with efficiency getting them and their families on board and educating them."

Student name: Kripa Singh Arora
Project name: Project Hope
Course:Postgraduate Communication Design


A poster from Log Kya Kahenge by Arunima Sarkar

Log Kya Kahenge by Arunima Sarkar

"Log Kya Kahenge, which translates to "what will people say" in English, is a term that we may all have come across at least once in our lives. If you decide on a particular matter, we think about society first. Because no matter what we do, we get badly judged.

"Amidst plenty of other factors, one of the crucial issues is being a homosexual because many people, I believe, are still struggling with the acceptance of homosexuality."

Student name: Arunima Sarkar
Project name: Project Log Kya Kahenge
Course: Postgraduate Communication Design


Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and Pearl Academy. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.