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‘Always loved art’: Design student shares how her mother supported her unconventional career choice

Gauri Rampal, who aims to become a multidisciplinary designer, says she considers herself to be a ‘maker’

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As a 17-year-old, Gauri Rampal wanted to follow the path of her brother and become a doctor. Over time, she realised that art, not medicine, was her true calling. The Apeejay School Faridabad alumna is now on the verge of completing her bachelor’s degree in Design from The Design Village, Noida. She has also interned as an instructor and conducted workshops in ceramics at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi. She is interested in product, craft as well as interior design. In an interview, Gauri recalls how her mother inspired her decision to study the subject, her aspirations of becoming a multidisciplinary designer, and more. Edited excerpts:

How would you describe your journey at Apeejay School, Faridabad?

It was a great experience. Apeejay Faridabad was like one big family. I recently visited the school as an alumni judge for a competition, where I met all my teachers and felt completely at home. That is exactly what the school has been to me—a second home.

Also Read: This Apeejay alumna and ceramic artist is helping youngsters cope with mental stress 

Gauri sporting resin accessories made by her

You will be completing your bachelor’s degree in Design. Can you tell us about the course?

My course is different from all other courses in Design in India in terms of its multidisciplinary approach. The course gave me the option to explore my areas of interest including product, interior, graphic, etc. This has helped me shape my portfolio, which is the most important thing in design, just the way that it represents me and my personality as a designer. The course grooms you to become a multidisciplinary designer in the future, and that is what I aim to be. 

What was your inspiration behind pursuing Design?

Back in school, I wanted to be a doctor and chose the medical stream in classes 11-12. But I was always interested in art and craft. The inspiration came from my mother, who is also an artist. Besides, my teacher in Apeejay as well as a couple of my school seniors were people I was inspired by. Design was something I really loved. I spoke to my friends, family members, and school seniors and concluded that it is exactly what I wanted to pursue in the future.

Now I am preparing to pursue a master’s degree.

Gauri at NGMA

What are you planning to specialise in?

I am still applying; I have been selected by four universities in the UK. If everything goes well, I will be moving there in September this year. My plan is to pursue a craft design course. This is a very specific course that I would not have perhaps been able to zero in on without the years of training at school and college.

Given that most classmates in school may have chosen more conventional courses, did you have any apprehensions about taking up Design?

I did have some second thoughts, to be honest, when I saw most people around me were taking up mainstream courses. Most people do not even know about design that much. Even now, when somebody asks me what I do, I have to explain it to them. Often people have asked me, “Are you a fashion designer?” although my course is nowhere close to that field. I consider myself a maker and have done product, craft, and interior courses.

How have your parents supported you throughout your journey?

My parents have stood by me through thick and thin. I remember how my mother warned me against opting for the medical stream in school. She hoped I would do something creative. But I was adamant because a lot of my extended family members, including my brother, were doctors. When I look back now, I realise she knew about my potential much before me.

After your degree, do you have any plans of starting your venture?

I would perhaps need to do a couple of jobs just to get started, but in the end, I would like to have my own company. 

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Senior Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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