Saurabh Nimsarkar: From making graphite sketches to designing autonomous vehicles
Saurabh Nimsarkar, an experienced designer and strategist at Wisk Aero LLC, is known for his work in developing autonomous air taxis with a focus on accessibility for people with disabilities. With a background in transportation design from IIT Bombay and ArtCenter College, Pasadena, he has worked with notable clients like Godrej, Honda R&D, and KittyHawk, contributing significantly to transportation and product design. Nimsarkar's innovative approach involves exploring alternative solutions and considering their societal and ecological impacts. He credits his creativity to childhood experiences and believes in maintaining a "Beginner's Mind" in design, emphasizing the importance of continuous learning and flexibility while advocating for a diverse skill set in the dynamic world of design.
Saurabh Nimsarkar, acclaimed experience designer and strategist at Wisk Aero LLC, is developing autonomous air taxis, focusing on accessibility for people living with disabilities. With a double master’s in transportation design from IIT Bombay and ArtCenter College, Pasadena, he previously served high-profile clients, including Godrej and Boyce, Honda R&D, and KittyHawk, contributing significantly to transportation and product design.
Engineer-turned-experience designer Nimsarkar utilizes a diverse cultural lens to critically examine and challenge the status quo from nano-scale to city-scale projects, including Hyperloop and flying cars. He says, "I explore alternatives and 'what-ifs', considering their societal, cultural, and ecological impact." Engaging deeply with people’s dreams and dilemmas through varied methodologies, he crafts inclusive solutions that resonate meaningfully with users.
Raised by parents who believed success is a crafted journey, Saurabh Nimsarkar nurtured his creativity through childhood adventures, from tree-climbing to sketching. These experiences honed his problem-solving skills. He states, "My playful escapades as a child became the bedrock of my ethos as a self-taught artist and designer, forever igniting my curiosity and drive to excel."
In 2018, Saurabh Nimsarkar won the Good Design Award and India Design Mark for creating five innovative Work-Lounge Active Seating Solutions for Godrej Interio, challenging the perception of office lounge furniture. “Designers should take objects out of context for inspiration,” says Nimsarkar, underlining his commitment to combining aesthetics with functionality to promote wellness and productivity in his award-winning designs.
Saurabh Nimsarkar's groundbreaking project, ModLiv, an autonomous home on wheels, gained recognition when featured in the highly-regarded design magazine, Wallpaper*. Amidst a backdrop where technology propels rapid changes and the modern generation leans towards flexible and minimalist lifestyles, ModLiv emerges as a contemporary response. It offers a mobile living solution for those actively choosing non-static lifestyles. Reflecting on this, Nimsarkar states, "ModLiv captures the essence of a generation prioritizing experiences and consciously embracing minimalism and adaptability."
Nimsarkar played a pivotal role in the Los Angeles First Transportation Technology Innovation Zone project, a landmark initiative introduced in 2020 for testing advanced transportation technologies. It transformed Warner Center into a mobility innovation hub, emphasizing design’s crucial role in community engagement. Nimsarkar remarked, "This project showcased the indispensable role of design in fostering community-based engagement and innovation in mobility."
Saurabh Nimsarkar’s doodles, while seemingly spontaneous, are intentionally created with an emphasis on quantity, allowing room for creative exploration. He maintains initial designs flexibly to encourage imaginative pattern recognition. Nimsarkar believes, "Doodles, with their gaps and fragments, offer a fertile ground for creative exploration, often holding more potential than a meticulously crafted sketch which might limit imaginative expansion."
Saurabh Nimsarkar attributes his success to three core principles. First, he approaches design with a 'Beginner’s Mind,' maintaining childlike wonder that promotes flexibility and guards against conformity. Second, he acknowledges that mastery in design demands relentless effort and continuous learning. Lastly, he advises against overcommitting to a single design solution, advocating for a broad skill set that supports informed decision-making. Nimsarkar emphasizes, "Maintaining a childlike wonder allows for flexibility in the dynamic world of design while mastering the craft requires unwavering dedication and a willingness to learn, unlearn, and re-learn."
Additionally, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org