Design – Roadside Bench

“Your time starts now!”

Just 90 minutes.

Within this time, I need to visualize a good design, make isometric, plan and elevation drawings, dimension all the parts and give two cross section views.

The Test
I was attending the Entrance Test for a Product Design Course (M.Des.) at IDC, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB). The question given to all the aspirants was to design a roadside bench for elderly people to rest in between long walks. The design should be attractive, should withstand all weathers and should be stackable for easy transportation.

A lot of images flew in my mind. I tried to remember whether there are any furniture designs that captured my attention before. Any design process, when bound by a time frame, results in a shabby product. But entrance tests need to be bound by time.

The Design
After fifteen – twenty rough sketches and 50 minutes, I managed to come up with a design.

Roadside Bench Line Drawing

The Features
The points that I intended to convey were:

1. Three people can occupy the bench at a time. Only the central person is blessed with a contrivance to sit back and relax. Don’t ask me ‘why?’


2. The other two ‘extremists’ can sit in any direction. This is best suited for three strangers or enemies who don’t want to face each other but want to share the same platform!


3. ‘Holding holes’ are provided for umbrellas or walking sticks. This feature gives an opportunity for the local administration to start a ‘Lost and Found’ Department in the park that can generate a huge revenue.

Holding holes

The Result
After the entrance test, I was interviewed by two gentlemen. They wanted to know the material I chose, how the parts are interconnected and “Are the parts really stackable?” I think they soon found out that here is a person who knows nothing about product design or material properties.

Did I mention that I failed to get the M.Des. admission at IITB?

Design date: 19-June-2008

Update: August, 2008

This month I joined for M.Des. in Product Design and Engineering at CPDM, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.