The 2nd edition of India Dream Big Designathon—a learning opportunity for future designers in industry-academia setting conceived and organized by Space Matrix, a design consultancy that specializes in workplace design—concluded recently at the Space Matrix BetaLab in Gurugram. The competition organized in association with Sir JJ College of Architecture, Mumbai, was the first physical event after the program was launched online last year.
Vaishnavi Parmar emerged as the winner and Maria Ujjainwala and Ayushi Thakur followed close as the runners-up. The winners received cash prizes worth INR 1Lac and internships at the Space Matrix studios, with the winner getting to spend 2-3 months in the Singapore Studio.
This year’s challenge was particularly interesting as it targeted the fast-growing start-up sector. The students needed to design a creative workspace for a start-up keeping in mind their dynamic nature as well as the changing nature of work. Out of all the students who participated in this endeavour, 5 finalists were flown down to the Space Matrix Beta Lab to present in person to the jury. While two of the finalists focused on fashion startups, one focused on a pet care and pet cafe concept, one of the finalists focused on the growing sector of social influencer firms and the fifth finalist looked at a travel startup.
All the interactions were carried out through in-person campus visits with designers from Space Matrix guiding students through the entire process. The participants went through several rounds of mentoring and nurturing, over 3 months, by Space Matrix’s leading designers Titir Dey, Managing Director Design, Swaviman Das, Director Design – India, and Daksh Sharma, Design Lead who are also some of the most coveted designers in the workplace design space. The entries were judged on contextual design, innovation, ideation, purpose alignment, and presentation skills.
The judging panel included Mr. Suresh Narayanan, Chairman & Managing Director – Nestlé India Limited; Rishabh Goel, Managing Director and Partner at The Boston Consulting Group; Sahil Vachani, CEO & Managing Director, Max Ventures and Industries Limited; Ridhi Kale, Senior Associate Editor with India Today HOME and Jaiprakash Aildasani, Chief Operating Officer, India, Space Matrix.
Elaborating on the challenge The Space Matrix team says, Dream Big Designathon will continue to collaborate with prestigious design institutions to carry this unique concept forward. The underlying idea is to build a strong design culture and a connected fraternity of designers in India and the rest of Asia. With the Dream Big Designathon, the company aims to engage with and give back to the design community with an aim to nurture young talent by giving them a live design challenge, relevant to the current times, for them to work on and for them to learn in real-time under the guidance of industry experts from within Space Matrix. Akshay Lakhanpal, CEO India, Space Matrix, said, “The whole experience of organizing the Designathon this year was exhilarating especially when the inaugural season for India was online. The world of work and the nature of workplaces in terms of design and employee expectations have changed drastically in the last few years. This is where the Designathon aimed at understanding how these budding talents conceptualize the dynamic workplace of today and the future. It was also an opportunity for them to innovate and collaborate through real-world exposure to workspace design and understanding how they approach the challenges ahead was a roaring success and we look forward to enhancing the ambit of this program next year”.
Rajesh Rokade, Assistant Professor, Sir JJ College of Architecture, said, “Our institution has always given importance to ideas that the younger generation brings. In this regard, we are happy to have partnered with a brand like Space Matrix which is known for its out-of-the-box approach to design. I congratulate the winners and others who participated in the event. We hope to continue this association for a long time to come.”