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MDes at the India Studio

MDes at the India Studio

Alexandre Pineau is in the first year of a Transcultural Design MDes degree at the India Studio. He tells us about his choices and gives us his impressions of his first months in India.

Tell us a bit about your background

After doing a technical Baccalaureate, I joined the first year of undergraduate studies at L’École de design. I continued my studies with a Product Design HND with the company Mx, in the research and development department. After my HND, I did the Design, Materials and Modeling degree (D2M) in the same company. I am currently in the first year of the Transcultural Design MDes degree at the India Studio.

What made you decide to do your MDes in India?

The Master’s represents a change of direction in my studies. The HND and the vocational degree that I did are industrial design-oriented courses. In contrast, the Transcultural Design Master’s program in India focuses more on small-scale or artisanal customs and techniques.

What do you hope to gain from these 2 years in India?

Above all, to discover a new culture, but also a new way of thinking – discovering new ways of producing and understanding what makes the country tick. These two years are also the opportunity to work on a more global design approach and to do some research.

Since arriving at the airport in India, what has been your biggest challenge?

 Not to mention the administration in India, I would say that my biggest challenge was during my internship in the first year of the Master’s. I carried out my internship in a consulting firm specialized in social innovation. The greatest challenge was when I had to collect information in local villages without being able to speak Hindi and no one could speak English.

And what about daily life? How easy or difficult is it?

Being in Delhi means you can live comfortably: there are shops and restaurants everywhere. Many Indians speak English so communicating isn’t a problem. Daily life isn’t all that different. As Europeans, we realize how privileged we are. On the whole, the country is very dynamic and noisier compared to France. India is a very rich country and at the same time it is very natural and untouched with a great diversity of cultures and religions. At times it is difficult to gauge how women are considered by some men. It can be quite shocking. The other difficulty is getting out of our privileged bubble to really explore and understand India.

What do you like best about the course?

All the different people we meet through the course modules. Throughout the year, external designers come and teach in the India Studio. They come and give lessons on their specialist subjects. We get to meet inspiring designers with diverse profiles. We also get to travel with the master’s program (MDes) to explore the country. For example, we’ve just come back from 4 days of training in Jaipur where we did a workshop on blue pottery and block printing.

Once you’ve graduated from school, how do you see the beginning of your career?

I’m not sure I want to join the world of work straight after my MDes. The MDes opens doors to many specialities which I find interesting. I still want to learn – maybe I’ll look for a specialized master’s in design strategy, research and design. Or maybe I’ll stay abroad and find a job working in design research.

What would you say to a 3rd year Bachelor’s student about choosing a Master’s program?

The Transcultural Design MDes is a real opportunity offered by the school to discover a new country. I think that doing a Master’s abroad is more rewarding than doing all your studies in the same place. Finally, India is a country bursting with opportunities for designers.