The Design Village

By Sourabh Gupta, Co-Founder
Sourabh Gupta,Co-Founder

Sourabh Gupta

Co-Founder


Gupta graduated in Architecture from the School of Architecture, CEPT University at Ahmedabad. With the insight provided there by the best in the realm of architecture, coupled with a stint in Urban Design from Technical University Delft, The Netherlands and most importantly, propelled by a compulsive need to travel, explore and design, Gupta conceptualized Studio archohm to offer innovative design consultancy for architecture, urban design, interiors, landscape and product design. He is one of the founders of The Design Village.

A few years ago in Noida, life in that Kattha (catechu) making factory was monotonous. Every day, when the siren rang, as many as 150 workers walked into the factory and produced 30,000 kgs of Kattha. However, due to the increased levels of pollution it caused to the neighbouring vicinity, the factory stopped producing Kattha. Instead, it started making something that is entirely different – a bunch of word-class designers. Yes, the recipient of Best Institutional Design award by the Indian Building Congress 2018, The Design Village (TDV) is housed in this abandoned Kattha making factory in Noida. Now, TDV campus is a dream of every art lover.

"TDV also has an inspiring International Board of professors and professionals that was instrumental in developing its curriculum"

“TDV campus is designed to inspire and evoke curiosity by the sheer simplicity of its aesthetics and ethics of adaptive reuse. It is a space to enlighten minds, break stereotypes – a place to create yet make mistakes, to learn and unlearn,” says Sourabh Gupta, Co-Founder, The Design Village. What inspires most about TDV campus is how the philosophy aligns beautifully with the physicality. How metaphorically it suggests that just like desolate spaces, even disenchanted or distracted young minds have a chance and a promising potential.

Today, the campus of TDV is a thriving ecosystem in which every aspect of the design process is organically cultivated. The institute co-exists with various design organizations in and around its campus, where ideas manifest into solutions and experiences. These include – an architecture studio, an experienced design firm, a product design lab, a furniture workshop and a social entrepreneurship venture.
In addition to student projects and placements, this ecosystem allows real-world projects and design deliverables to form a part of the curriculum. Innovation through chance encounters and surprise interactions are part and parcel of TDV!

“TDV happened to us six years ago. All we had was an idea of how the design education of the future could be.As my own architecture and design studio - Archohm grew; we saw that inspiring Indians and students to be a part of the design fraternity was a logical direction,” recounts Gupta. TDV was born as an attempt to bring the international world of design closer home and use design to contribute in strengthening of the society and its values. In the first three years, Gupta and his team indulged in researching, evaluating and designing the vision of the college. They brought in like-minded people and worked towards the pedagogical model of this new school of thought. Gupta adds, “Finally, we went on to build an aligned space as the physical manifestation for the institution.”

The TDV Way of Learning

TDV believes that education is successful when motivation to learn is intrinsic. Gupta opines, “When students understand the ‘why,’ they are learning what they are learning, how it matters to them and eventually to defend what they stand for.” By taking personal responsibility for learners’ academic journey, the TDV way of education encompasses tasks including learning to learn, learning to dream and learning to do. Gupta pinpoints, “Learning and teaching is shared among students and teachers. Our teachers and course leaders act as facilitators, mentors and catalysts for the students.”

In fact, the key to make designers for the world is not just about the content of the curriculum imparted, but the way in which it is being imparted. At TDV, education is learning oriented and not teaching oriented. Hence, the TDV faculty forms the core of the village. The faculty is a great mix of experienced course leaders as well as young enthusiastic academicians. Moreover, an excellent network of visiting members comes in to take specific workshops and design coaches from the industry mentor projects of the TDV students.

TDV also has an inspiring International Board of professors and professionals that was instrumental in developing its curriculum. The International Board ensures that the philosophy flows seamlessly in all TDV’s activities - focuses on monitoring the quality of content through Faculty Development Master Classes and gives TDV an international network of visiting faculty to come and inspire students. “We have also partnered with many institutes globally to conduct International Semester for our students. This semester offers a unique opportunity for our students to interact with international
students, professors and professionals and gain an in-depth perspective of the international design scenarios,” claims Gupta.

On the flipside, TDV has collaborated with ‘dtours india’ for offering curate design travel to its students. “dtours conduct design and architecture tours across the world for students, teachers, professionals and enthusiasts. They are aimed to spread awareness of architecture, design, art and culture by travel,” explains Gupta. dtours help to enhance one's understanding and appreciation of design and architecture by experiencing it. Gupta adds, “Studying and experiencing works of greatest masters of the world with a diverse group of designers is indeed the uniqueness of the tours. More than being a tour, it is a design expedition of a lifetime.”

Offering Abundance of Opportunities for Interior Designers

Considering space (interior) design as a broad field of study, TDV does not limit the potential of Interior Design. “At TDV, we do not consider Interior Design as Interior Decoration. It involves the creation of spaces inside a built environment and interventions between different environments - landscape, urban, museum, exhibition, retail and many more,” shares Gupta. Carrying unique and effective concepts about design education, TDV thrives on its network of promoters and supporters, offering its students a gamut of work opportunities and industry experience.

Being engrained in an established design eco-system, TDV students have a direct contact with its network, both nationally and internationally. From production facilities to product development labs, design labels, brands, co-working spaces and studios, lifestyle stores and branding firms, the TDV ecosystem encompasses it all. “This interesting mesh gives enterprising students a chance of getting absorbed into internships and thereafter converting their internships into full-time employment,” pinpoints Gupta. Studio archohm, JCBL, CAYA , Design Factory India, Shades of India, GOMAADS, Know Designworks and Zolijns Designs are few organizations offering the TDV students much-needed practical exposure.

As a young and creative institution in one of the largest education systems in the world, TDV wants to live up to its ambition - impact through design, life through design. For TDV, design does not only solve problems of today, but also proposes new ways for the future. TDV also aims to nurture and educate individuals by not limiting them to any particular field of design. “Students may choose to not specialize in a particular discipline, but can be independent non-silo designers who can impact and change the world through design in any and every medium imaginable, echoing the ethos that a good designer can design anything,” concludes Gupta.