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Induction Day Ceremony 2021

Passion, Promise & The Process –

“Oh, the treasures a winter brings
To its spring.
How sweet it is to feel that something is
Both new and old.
The earth and sky love to rest and play and grow
Together; theirs is a dialogue of unity.“

Just as the seasons make way for each other, the first batch of students at DOT School of Design welcomed their juniors into the campus with camaraderie to share their space with their juniors to learn and unlearn at DOT. The Induction Day ceremony on the 20th of October started with the second-year students taking their first steps into the world of design accompanied by their parents/guardians. What ensued was a heartwarming day of joyous celebration and inspirational speeches by the guests who honored the event with their presence. 

The Induction Day Ceremonies Begin –

The day started with the parents giving a short testimonial about their experiences with DOT followed by a separate orientation for the students as well as the parents. The parents were shown a short presentation highlighting the rules and regulations of the campus. Information regarding hostel life, Design education, Career opportunities and the administrative procedures were explained in detail. The Q&A session allowed the parents to voice out their queries. Mr.Shankar, the institute’s administrator, explained how DOT’s curriculum is based on hands-on activities where the entire campus is the student’s playground to learn, synergize and collaborate. 

Meanwhile, the freshers witnessed the exhibition set up by the DOT faculty and their seniors which was an ode to life at DOT. The exhibition was titled, “Impasse to Hope – College as Home to Memories”  which talks about breaking the impasse and inertia the students have encountered during the pandemic and encouraging the students to look ahead with a sense of hope. The video prepared by the seniors was also played in the gallery. The first years then imprinted their unique signatures on the campus with a quick sketch and a personal message which was displayed on the corridors.


The Main Program –

Shortly afterward, the main program of the event commenced with a prayer song followed by a welcome note from the Chairperson, Mr.  AR. R. Raammnath. The academic coordinator, Mrs. Elizabeth Joseph introduced the audience to the learning culture at DOT. 

The advisors of DOT School of Design, Mr.Lenin – National Award Winning Director, Mr.Trotsky Marudu – Renowned Contemporary Artist, Mr.Amudhan R.P. – Documentary Filmmaker, Mr.Sathyaseelan – Design Head at Ashok Leyland, were invited for a panel discussion on the topic “Art & Design Education in Tamil Nadu”. The session was moderated by DOT’s Industrial Connect (INCO) Coordinator, Mrs. Muzna Nishath.

Lenin during induction day

The advisors offered guidance to the students by explaining the interrelation of art and design. Art produces problems whereas design resolves them. Mr.Sathyaseelan explained how the design process is based on creative expression, empathy and problem solving along with a keen eye for aestheticism. Form & function are the fundamentals of any design, but what makes it great is the empathetic response to the target audience and its ability to evolve along with the requirements of the people. He concluded, “Hence a design education is imperative for the progression of the nation, to understand the nuances of design and equip the students with the required skills to develop their own unique design processes”. 

The Chief Guest, Mr. Vasanth S. Sai – Director of multiple groundbreaking Tamil Films, along with the Guests of Honor, Mr. Rajakumar Mani – Creative Director at Interactive Design Cognizant, Mr. K. Vijay Sekar – Creative Director at Go Brand 360, Mr. EV Ganesh Babu – Film Director, Producer, Actor & Activist, Mr. R. Krishnakumar – Director & Partner, at Golden Chest Entertainment, Mr. Sebastian – Technical Director & General Secretary in Tamil Nadu Blind Football Association, were honored with a memento and invited to share their experiences with the students. Their thought-provoking speeches inspired the students to not only create an identity for themselves in the design field but also to stick to the process of becoming better designers. 

Induction day photo

Mr. Vijay Sekar explained how design is playing a major role in all industries and also hinted at increased job opportunities in the future as the stalwart companies such as Apple, Google & Facebook are establishing a separate department for Design. The Creative Director from Cognizant, Mr. Rajakumar Mani spoke about the differences between an artist and a designer. Mr. EV Ganesh Babu demonstrated the importance of coming forth when opportunity knocks on one’s door. “Vaazhkai Oru Murai, Vaaipu Oru Murai” was the message he left the students with, to grab life by its collars fearlessly. Mr. Sebastian introduced the audience to blind football and offered the chance of designing the merchandise for Chennai’s first Women’s Blind Football championship to the freshers.

Mr. Krishnakumar shared an excerpt from artist Keshav’s interview to explain how developing a unique style is an organic process. Design is a fiercely competitive field that requires courage to experiment and create a niche for themselves. The guests of honor infused insightful information into lighthearted and engaging speeches. Lastly, the Chief Guest, Mr. Vasanth S. Sai shared the process of making movies that transcend their generational standards. He mentioned the three steps to be creative and intuitive are, “Developing one’s sensibilities to observe the world more keenly, Making mistakes and falling forward to learn the essential values of life, and lastly, to learn for the joy of learning without anticipating the outcome”.

The event ended as a campus filled with enthusiastic young adults and their proud parents left for the day. The words that remained in everyone’s mind were passion, promise and process. To stick to the process with passion was the promise that DOT offers to the students and vice-versa. 

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Tips to use Design processes for effective Branding and Marketing Strategies


The answers to those questions were discussed at the first installation of the Aala talk which took place on the 31st of July, 2021. This online webinar interviewed Batul Turab, who is the CEO & Founder of the advertising agency, ‘The Raven Claw’. Batul has over a decade and a half of experience in the marketing and branding fields. She has worked with several organizations including large vehicle manufacturers, one of the largest health and wellness companies in India, multiple heritage FMCG companies and along with many others. 

Her work has been shortlisted for the CANNES LION International Festival of Creativity in France 2010.  Till date, her work continues to be listed in the Top 15 Ads in the World published by Times of India Ads at 14th place. Also, she is the recipient of the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2020’ awarded by Karaikal Ports. 

Batul explained how the Covid situation has helped people realize the importance of digital solutions. From the medium the webinar took place on, to everything that’s happening in the world, are all design solutions. She believes that everything is Design. From marketing, filmmaking, graphics,  fashion to the objects we use every day are all the result of design thinking. 

When asked about the most important trait of a marketer, she answered that it was to empathize. Understanding the customer’s pain points, directly empathizing and addressing them are skills a marketer should develop. The host questioned her about the opportunities available in Chennai, for which she replies that the Chennai market and the Chennai talents are pretty enthusiastic. She has worked in many places but Chennai has her heart, which is why her company is headquartered in the heart of the city. 

The market in Mumbai and Bangalore is quite competitive and exhaustive, but Chennai requires more entrepreneurs, creators, marketers and designers. The options for a career in communication design, marketing and branding are huge. The market here is also distinctly influenced by the tradition and culture that’s imperative to Chennai. These strong aspects make Chennai one of the booming cities in terms of a career in Marketing and advertising. 

Gone is the era of single companies encompassing the entire market. Entrepreneurs, Boutique agencies, and individual designers are running the show. People are more innovative, collaborative and open to working with independent designers. 

When asked how Design ties up with innovation, Batul replied that Design was a gamble. She gave multiple examples to explain how the technology required to do something is secondary. But to think of a particular problem and ideating the solution is Design. Once again she mentioned that everything around her is Design. From the ice-cream scooper, to the lipsticks with magnetic heads, the gap between the Mug handle and the mug, the specially crafted paper for artists such as handmade paper and watercolor paper are all design solutions. 

“Design is everything. Everything. “ – Paul Rand 

It was also discussed how design has been translated into stalwarts like Facebook, Google and Apple co. Design is an integral part of these companies’ structure. 

Post which the Q & A session was opened to the audience. Batul was asked to elaborate on the process behind the branding for any business. To which she answered that understanding the target audience was crucial. She used the example of toys to explain how mothers are the target buying groups and we need to message it to them directly to increase the impact of the campaign or the brand. Our communication needs to be strong and different in terms of branding.  

Finally, she was asked to explain why she named her company ‘The Raven Claw’. She explained how the thirsty crow story was the inspiration behind the name and that her brand represents curious creative creatures who come up with simple executable solutions. 

The webinar ended after an hour of fun-filled and informative discussions on design and marketing. We believe that the energy of the host and the speaker transmuted to the audience on the evening of the 31st which made the event enjoyable and memorable. 

To be a part of the upcoming AALA TALKs, follow us on our Instagram page (@dotschoolofdesign) to receive information about the talks. Also, if you have missed out on this exuberant talk by Batul, you can watch it on our Youtube channel.


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Career in Communication Design (Filmmaking)

Career Awareness Webinar with Hari Prasad: Filmmaking as a Career

Filmmaking is an essential part of Communication Design, hence a separate session was held just to talk about its significance and to guide the students in making a career in storytelling. The session started with Mr. Navaneeth Krishnan, an award winning filmmaker and a faculty at DOT School of Design, introducing the students to the academic prospects of filmmaking. He explained about the learning process at DOT, which not only focused on storytelling & technique but also on conceptualization. His thought provoking talk made the participants question the entire process of filmmaking. Along with details about the communication design course structure and infrastructure, he also gave a new perspective of filmmaking to the participants.  


After Mr.Navaneeth’s presentation, a short video with the student testimonials was shared. Mr.Hari Prasad, co-founder at Kadhai Films shared his journey into filmmaking. From starting out as a graphic designer, his passion for telling stories made him transition to filmmaking. Being an NID alumni, he expressed how the design principles he learnt at campus helped him set himself apart in his career. Using the medium of short advertisement formats, he was able to convey really crisp stories that won the hearts of the audience. His company has worked on some of the majorly known brands in India, especially southern India. He explained about his initial struggles in the industry and how he eventually tapped into this highly competitive market.  


After introducing himself and sharing his story, the Q&A session welcomed multiple queries from the students who wanted to understand the nuances of an education in Communication Design and a Career in Filmmaking. Both the speakers answered all the questions and made this session informative and useful for the participants.  


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Career in Spatial Design

Spatial Design as a Career as explained by Mrs.Sreedevi Bommisetty

Day 2 of the webinar covered the importance of Interior Design along with the plethora of career opportunities that are available. Mrs. Subashini, associate faculty member in the discipline of Interior Design at DOT School of Design started the session by giving an insight about the course at the institute. She spoke about the extensive design department which allows interdisciplinary collaboration, which improves both the technical and the design skills. Along with technical skill development there is also a lot of focus on the design thinking aspects of knowledge gaining. This is achieved by the multiple industry connect programs, professional advisors and visiting faculty. 


The students got an overview of the various programs here and how DOT handles the spatial design discipline. After which a short video was played where the current students at DOT spoke about their experience here. 


The industrial speaker Mrs. Sreedevi Bommisetty, Senior Architect at Hawker & West took over and introduced herself. She also briefed about her experience in the field. With relevant examples she explained how spatial design has changed the landscape of the city, has improved the business prospects of retail and has helped in the overall development of the country. 


She helped the students understand the importance of using sustainable practises and materials. She also pointed out that the construction, architecture and spatial design industries were not hit by the recent pandemic & economic recession. Job opportunities are expansive for interior design with the modern lifestyles of style conscious generations of the population. Interior Design is not just limited to domestic residential spaces, but there are multitude of scopes in the retail sector, public landscaping sector, etc. 


Mrs.Sridevi Bommisetty’s presentation was followed by the Q&A session. The students participated actively to get all their queries answered both about the educational & the career aspects of Spatial Design. Mrs. Sreedevi & Mrs.Subhashini actively resolved all the questions posted by the students. The entire session was very informative and useful in understanding the prospects of spatial design.  

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Chennai International Documentary and Short Film Festival 2021

Dot School of Design in association with Marupakkam organization, hosted the Annual Chennai International Documentary & Short Film Festival on the 3rd of March, 2021. Chennai International Short Film Festival (CISFF) is a popular event which is anticipated eagerly by film enthusiasts every year. With over a thousand short films screened across 8 years, our institution is proud to having played a part in the successful completion of the 9th instalment of this event.

The event was coordinated by Mr. Amudhan R.P. who is an advisor at our institute.  He is a documentary film-maker and media activist. He is also the founder and an active organizer of Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival since 1998.

Chief Guest, Mr. Trotsky Marudu, is a contemporary artist known for line drawing, animation, storyboard and computer graphics. Mr. Marudu has also worked as Art Director and VFX creative director for many films and is a pioneer in digital painting.

The first screening started with a documentary film titled “Sharamjeevi” directed by Mr. Tarun Bhartiya. The movie beautifully chronicles the hopes and hardships of working-class people of Kapasehra Village in Delhi. Mr.Tarun brave narrative portrays the life & struggles of migrants of Northern India.  After the screening, an interactive session commenced with the associate producer of Sharamjeevi, Mr.Hymanshu Singh and trade unionist, Ms.Sujata Mody.

The second screening began around 12p.m. with the documentary film titled ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ by director Abeer Khan. Albeit the title being inspired from the Thomas Hardy novel of the same name, the plot revolves around a man running amok in Mumbai rains. The documentary film honestly illustrates the madness behind solitary living in a world that’s already over populated.

Post which, the third documentary titled “Quarantine”, by director Mr. Alisher Zhadigerov, was screened. This documentary displayed the importance of quarantine in defeating corona virus from the perspective of a hedgehog that went for a walk instead of obliging the quarantine regime. Later, a Marathi short film titled “Prashna”, by director Santhosh Ram was showcased which portrayed the plight of migration workers in our country. The final screening began by 3.50pm with a short film titled “Stains” directed by Rhea Mathews. This movie begets a conversation on the culturally controversial topic of menstrual blood stain and the stigma around it. This was a beautiful movie which resonated with everyone and made them re-evaluate their relationship with blood and pain.

The event concluded with the audience taking away, not just the experience of viewing these movies, but also the social messages each of these movies conveyed. It was a memorable event for the participants, especially the students and faculty of DOT School of Design for having hosted the 9th Chennai International Documentary and Short Film Festival 2021 Day 1.