NICC International College of Design: An Unmatched Legacy of Education in Design
NICC International College of Design: An Unmatched Legacy of Education in Design

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Airman’s Odyssey

As the French author- aristocrat- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry speaks about perfection in design; his view can be contemplated and related by every design enthusiast and practitioner. Design has always been an integral part of the Human endeavour to acquire mastery over physical forms. While Design as an element is a ruling factor for all major global industries, its genuinity still lies in simplicity and the innate sense of aesthetical understanding of the designer.

To be an educator and excel at a prolific design college that acknowledges the challenge takes immense skill and understanding of the art of Design.

The Knowledge Review takes immense pride in unveiling the story of one of the most prominent colleges of Design, the eminent NICC International College of Design. In an exclusive interview, we spoke with Founder-Director, Dr Akash K Rose about the college’s journey, its unique yet predominant teaching methodologies, and impeccable results over more than 15 years. Following are some excerpts from the interview.

Kindly walk us through NICC’s journey from its inception to being a prominent design college for aspiring designers.
NICC’s dedicated 10,000 sq.ft. building was planned in 2002 and completed in 2004. NICC International College of Design is a member-affiliate of the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA), and the granting of this affiliation in March 2005 was simultaneous with the formal launch of NICC’s International teaching programs. Successful high-level placements and international appreciation of NICC graduates (Including winning a prestigious full scholarship in Packaging Design to IED Milan) led to NICC being considered an aspirational destination for Design students.

State the motto, vision, mission and core values of NICC.

“Career-Oriented Interdisciplinary Education” is the guiding principle of NICC’s pedagogic system.

Core Values can be summarised as: “Focused individual attention, encouragement of creativity, one-on-one nurturing of directional ambition and talent.”

An essential foundation which empowers this approach is the limitation of class sizes to not more than 18 students per class.

Kindly introduce yourself to our readers and briefly describe your journey with NICC.
I, Dr Akash K. Rose, am an alumnus of the eminent college of Medicine, A.I.I.M.S. New Delhi. I have always been passionate about Engineering and General Sciences. Thus, when a Fellowship in Physiology – Biophysics was offered, I won one of the two seats available for the program. Here, my colleague and I successfully developed a prototype low-cost E.C.G. machine with locally available components, winning the appreciation of the then Minister for Health. With this foundation in Biomedical Engineering, I was appointed to be a member of the Development Team, Committee on Science and Technology in Developing Countries, and subsequently successfully developed technologies for Govt. of India Ministry of Defence as a Consultant Scientist.

I have also been a consultant at the Vizag Steel Plant Laser Digitizing Annexe and in automation for several corporates. I have also developed unique products ranging from electrical to electronic to electromechanical for numerous clients and have patents/patents pending on his inventions. In the late nineteen eighties, I became an authorised Guide to B.E. Electronics Final Year students studying at colleges affiliated with Chennai University and have never stopped teaching since then. In addition, I am well-known and a respected photographer. This achievement led to NICC being selected as Canon’s Pro Centre in Karnataka and currently to Nikon’s choice of NICC as its only Equipment Partner Institution.

As an author-photographer, I have illustrated and published a series of nine detailed Photo-Technique articles in Better Photography, a Tata Donelly publication at the time. The interdisciplinary knowledge of Technology that I absorbed in Design and related subjects led to being an External Examiner to Govt. of India’s National Institute of Design (NID) P.G. Campus, Gandhi Nagar / Ahmedabad for seven years – 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017 (M.Des.) for the Department of New Media Design (NMD).

I currently teach Product Design, EV Design, Alternative Energy, Automation, AI and Advanced Digital Imaging at NICC.

What are the course objectives and expected learning outcomes for the students at NICC?

The Course Objectives at NICC align with the objectives of Govt. of India’s New Education Policy – especially regarding Multidisciplinary Learning.

NICC is one of the few Institutions in India offering programs guided by UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG). Learning outcomes are specifically:

  • Interdisciplinary Cross-Platform awareness leads to unmatched creative team member competence in conceptual and skillset application.
  • Instant career readiness to enable immediate integration into the industry without the need for extensive training and orientation by the industry.
  • International-Standard Design knowledge and skillsets in keeping with the Bologna Convention’s goal of establishing uniformity of Design curricula globally.
  • NICC is the first Indian institution to adopt the internationally increasingly important S.T.E.A.M. concept of integrating the arts (A) into the S.T.E.M. educational root. This leads to Design-Driven Innovation in multiple diverse fields.

Has e-learning enhanced the education facilities offered by NICC for the students?
Yes, it was of great importance during the various pandemic-induced restrictions. NICC continued without a break! We delivered quality teaching online throughout the period. However, online teaching of a multi-disciplinary field such as Design can only be a supportive exercise and does not replace the need for hands-on laboratory and field work as well as the team-building and co-operative skills necessary to be a successful Design professional.

What are the unique programs introduced to develop the necessary artistic skills in students?
In the First Year, a strong foundation is built in Art theory and Visual Design. Students create Graphics with a sound understanding of Art Movements, Current Trends, Colour theory, Colour Science and Applied Graphic Design. They also have entire projects devoted to creating Dioramas and other art installations to polish their artistic perception and develop their creative perception and skills of expression across multiple media.

Are there any special programs that allow the student to have global exposure?
All our U.G. and P.G. Twinning Programs incorporate standard degree education via direct enrollment in Govt. universities combined with parallel International-Syllabus Professional Diplomas (approved by the State Government). These programs use a curriculum closely in synchronisation with over 400 elite design colleges worldwide, which are our sister institutions via the ELIA network. Thus, the curriculum is truly up-to-date and genuinely international.

How do you help your students prepare for their careers in the future? Additionally, where do you see the future of education as we advance, and how is NICC preparing for it?
NICC takes a unique direction in crafting its curriculum for all courses. Conventional education syllabuses are based on academic classifications intended to lead to certain professions. In contrast, NICC’s approach is first to understand what the global academic fraternity’s extensive research indicates and to acknowledge the requirements of today’s Industries. Our curriculum is constantly tailored to create graduates who are a precise fit for mid-to-high-level industry careers and who are career-ready from the very first day, thus eliminating the endemic problem of producing graduates who are not employable.

Please mention NICC’s most notable achievements, accolades, accreditations, and awards.
NICC’s most notable achievement is the record of Placement of its Graduates in coveted positions in top industries, including Byju’s, Tata Elxsi, Xiaomi, Google, Nikon and many others. We are also very glad to note that many of our students have applied for and been accepted instantly for Higher Education at elite institutions in the U.K., Italy, Canada and other premium academic destinations.

In addition, we are proud to say that NICC students’ work has been widely recognised, and appreciative articles on their work have been published in the mainstream Press – TOI, The Indian Express, Bangalore Mirror, and Deccan Chronicle. Internationally, NICC is the first Indian institution to be accepted as a member-affiliate of The European League of Instituts of The Arts (Netherlands / Holland). Further, NICC is the first and only institution to be chosen as an equipment partner by Nikon. NICC was chosen “Institute of The Year 2020” – Design & Visual Arts by Academic Insights Magazine.

How do you envision the future of NICC going forward?
NICC is deepening its ties across the globe in terms of Design Education and has been offered collaboration with eminent Universities in the U.K. This initiative is ongoing. We intend to keep pace with evolving technologies such as EV development, Alternative Energy, Socially-Conscious Design, Green and Sustainable Design and to broaden the scope of our Graduates even further across the globe.

Recent Posts