Graduating from NID, she had never thought to start a firm of her own:
“No one understood what ‘product designers’ did and what ‘design services’ were. Most companies wanted to put us in the box of engineers. But, I got some projects and was able to partner with an engineer and meet model makers and metal workers and other fabricators, getting products prototyped and in some cases put into small batch production.
Eventually as the market changed Bala (her partner in life and business) and I both became consultants to the MIT Media Lab project. It was at this time we struck out on our own. We moved the office out of our home and took up space in the city. This was an important separation of work and home life. The name ‘Ticket Design’ was one of many discussed.”
Ticket Design is a design and innovation consulting firm involved in Product Design (both digital and physical), Packaging and Branding:
“My role in the company is Creative Design Director; I manage the team and the design process. Bala is the Business Design Director, dealing with clients, proposals and logistics in order to maintain a professional and balanced work environment. We both are engaged in all aspects of the Strategic Creative Thinking part of the process, and curating the solutions.”
Designer admits that the biggest challenge of their business is “to get clients to understand the field of design, especially industrial design. Clients want to fit us into known boxes, engineering or styling. What we offer has so much more scope in terms of human understanding, working with different teams on a project and the response of the end user.”
Nishma says that “Functionality and esthetics are not a balancing act or either/or binary opposition. Functionality and esthetics cohabit the product. If you get the functionality right then efficient and elegant solutions are inherently beautiful. You need to find the ‘jazz’ of the product. Using a handmade product metaphor, pottery is like ‘jazz’. It is inherently adapted by the human touch; the hand process ensures that it is never exactly the same twice.”
Journey of Ticket Design has been very rewarding:
“We had clients come back for more and have had long relationships with them, which is very heartening. It is truly a blessing when our clients show faith in our work and look at us for creating the leap for them. We’ve been fortunate to have received awards for our work: Red Dot for IUD Insertion device, Appliance Design(USA) for TATA Track IT, IDSA, CII, etc.”
At the same time Nishma believes that India yet needs to embody design as part of everyday thinking.
Read this story in POOL 80.