NTU was one of the few universities around the world that allowed me to study a design course specific to product design.
More about Ishita
BA (Hons) Product Design student, Ishita Arora was awarded the Best UK Entry place at the Pro Carton Young Designers Competition. Here we find out more about her experience taking part and her experience at NTU so far.
Congratulations on being awarded Best UK Entry at the Pro Carton Young Designers Competition. Can you tell us more about your experience taking part and how you got involved in the competition?
Thank you. I took part in the competition as a part of my coursework on the BA (Hons) Product Design course. I got the opportunity to enter after my project was shortlisted in the top 25 out of my class (75 students in total). I then went on to be shortlisted in the Top 100 for the Pro Carton Competition itself.
It was a new experience for me as I’ve never entered a design competition before but my tutors, especially Emily Brook, were extremely helpful. The university sent my prototype to the Netherlands for the jury to judge, and then kept me up to date with correspondence with the organisers of the competition. The experience gave me lots of confidence to showcase my designs to a wider audience and to develop my ideas into consumer products.
What was your project design and what inspired you to create it?
My project focused on rebranding menstrual care products and making them more inclusive for everyone to access. The main goal was to reduce plastic waste created by companies like ‘Always’ and to give a second life to the packaging of the product.
What made you choose to study at NTU and what’s your experience been like so far?
NTU was one of the few universities around the world that allowed me to study a design course specific to product design. It gave me an opportunity that my home country (India) lacked and I’m very grateful for it.
Coming from a completely different background with no knowledge of the field, the first session took me out of my comfort zone. However, the way the course is structured, it’s almost impossible for anyone to lag. I just went with it and after a successful year, all I can say is that I’m really glad I chose to study here
What’s been your favourite project or piece of coursework you’ve worked on during your studies?
My favourite piece of work so far has been ‘Narrate’. This was a project that was based on our personalities and through a combination of primary and secondary research, I was able to create a tool to help improve the fine motor skills in autistic adults.
I was able to incorporate my Indian heritage through drawing inspiration from the ‘Mahabharata’ and had a chance to put together 84 pages of research and sketching to create a pair of sensory driven dice. Funnily enough, I found even 84 pages was insufficient, just because of how much there is to explore!
Have you had a chance to participate in any extra-curricular activities at NTU?
Yes, I’ve been a part of the mental health champions over the past year and have organised a lot of creative workshops with them. I am also the Marketing Executive for Enactus NTU and on the student voice panel for ADBE student experience group. These have been great opportunities for me to engage with like-minded people and have helped me to build my professional network
Ideally, what career would you like to go into when you graduate. Have you taken any steps to help you get there?
I believe every brand, from Jaguar to Lego, has potential to be more accessible and inclusive to everyone in the world. As a Product Designer it’s my aim to be the one creating those designs.
During my first year, I volunteered with NTU student services, took part in inclusivity workshops through global lounge, and worked with Enactus NTU. I also completed my first paid internship as a product designer for a product launch for ChangeXtra, a company tackling menopause through the Grad4Nottm scheme.
In 10 words or fewer, how would you promote NTU to prospective students?
NTU is that step you need to take to be closer to your dreams.
You can keep up with Ishita by following her on LinkedIn and Behance.
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