Featured Awards Winner

Shambhavi Ojha

April 2019

A big congrats to Shambhavi Ojha (@shambhaviojha.work), one of our 30 TDK Awards winners' for 2019. A National Institute of Design graduate from New Delhi, their work was chosen by Caroline Bagley and Sohee Kim from COLLINS (@thisiscollins) in San Francisco: "We really appreciated Shambhavi’s unique and sophisticated approach to editorial design. Their project “Food and Culture” shows a thoughtful consideration for typography and playful use of the grid. We were really drawn to the dramatic use of whitespace." We asked Shambhavi to answer a few questions for next years TDK Awards hopefuls.

What do you wish you’d known now when you started your design course?

I wish I had explored other design disciplines more. Being at design school is a unique time when we have many resources at hand and we are surrounded by people with different specialisations. Learning from other fields of study can help our own practice in unexpected ways.

I also wish I hadn’t shied away from expanding on some of my project ideas that were on the crazier side. Exciting ideas come up when you least expect them. It is important to document them so that you can work on them when you have the time to.

To have more faith in my work in general. Nothing brilliant comes out of trying to fit in.

What originally lead you in to design, and how has that changed - what do you want to do/are doing now?

From a very young age, I was extremely intrigued by interiors, spatial layouts, the general visual aspect of everything and the process of creation. Because of my highly specific tastes it used to be cumbersome to find exactly what I was looking for in the market so I started making the things that I wanted by myself, for instance recycling my own paper and binding that into a notebook. I realised that I was deriving as much pleasure (if not more) from going through the process as I did by arriving at the end product.

Design was not a popular subject of discussion in my part of the world and I was not exposed to it until a much later point in my life. But fortunately, through discussions with the correct people and by being at the right place at the right time, I managed to get accepted to a highly prestigious design school of my country.

Currently, I am a graphic designer exploring the world of typography, composition, colour in both digital and print media. I have been doing projects for fashion and textile brands and I enjoy that immensely but I also want to combine my practice with other disciplines related or unrelated to design and see what kind of interesting results come from it.

Any hot tips for getting ahead at uni?

1. Utilise all resources at your school. 2. Explore other design fields as much as possible. 3. Keep updated about what’s happening in your discipline across the globe. 4. Keep updated about happenings in the world, in general. 5. Don’t compete, collaborate. 6. Stay healthy—mentally and physically. 7. Talk, discuss, listen. Ideas are everywhere. 8. Take up self-initiated projects. 9. Always be open to feedback and criticism. You don’t have to follow what they say but it’s beneficial to have multiple perspectives.


Talk, discuss, listen. Ideas are everywhere


What do you love about the design scene in your city and what companies are on your dream list to work or collaborate with?

Unlike Europe and some other countries, the design scene in my city is still relatively new. There are many traditional arts and crafts that have been practised for centuries but design, specifically graphic design, as a standalone discipline is still evolving. This is exciting because it gives us designers an opportunity to establish visual languages, manifestations and indications which may create history!

There are so many studios doing such incredible work it is heartbreaking to name only a few. I actually have an ever updating Numbers sheet of studios and companies I would like to work for across the globe.

Not really a company but it would be a dream come true to have the opportunity to work for some of the musicians I admire, to design for a museum, to do labels for a liquor brand and to continue working for fashion houses. I also want to plunge into the world of exhibitions, spaces and interiors. I would definitely like to contribute to social movements I feel strongly about such as female empowerment and sanitation.

Where do you see your career in 5 years?

This is a tricky one. The world around us is changing so rapidly, it is difficult to fixate on 5-year goals. I would not like to find myself doing the same things I am doing today. I wish to keep evolving, always be relevant and eventually find a job that allows me to travel and explore the world.

2019 for you in a sentence

The most exciting year yet!

Instagram: @shambhaviojha.work

Website: shambhaviojha.com


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