The idea has given him the rare opportunity of an internship with the world's leading automobile design house, Pininfarina of Italy. If 'Kamas' is Ramesh Gound's creation of passion, it is Ahmedabad's signature landmark — the Sidi Saiyed ki Jali — that has spurred another NID student, Neerav Panchal, to design 'Ratna' which he calls the "jewel of Indian roads". A third student, Shailendra Petwal, was inspired by 'Navras' to create his design.
Panchal and Petwal too join Gound at Pininfarina. They were winners of a competition on the theme 'Luxury Car For India' held by designers associated with auto giants like Ferrari, Ford, GM, Jaguar and Fiat.
"We were asked to define Indian contemporary luxury and how it is rooted in India. When I thought of what the world associates with India, it is Kamasutra that came to my mind. After studying Kamasutra, I realised its essence and my theme emerged — two objects coming together and moving in one direction with a force of passion," said Gound.
He added, "My design is built on this essence, where the exteriors of the body curve and become part of the interiors of the car. It's a two-seater car that has seats like a bike but with a back-rest".
Panchal has always been attracted by the Sidi Saiyed ki Jali, the intricate stone carving at an Ahmedabad mosque which has been adopted as the city's symbol by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. So, when he designed his car, its influence was evident.
"My inspiration was Indian architecture, where the roof of the car resembles a dome and the back door has a print of the carvings of the jaili. I call it Ratna, which can be a jewel on the Indian roads," says Panchal.
"My design is inspired by the shape and the layers of the conch and depicts the Shant Ras from the Navrasas.
The design has loose curves and spirals. The seat next to the driver can rotate and has a 180 degree incline, to give a feel like you are in your drawing room," says Petwal.
"The designs are contemporary but rooted in Indian culture. It's a big recognition for the students, which comes right after a good show at the Fiat design competition," says Pradyumna Vyas, head of academics at NID, who initiated the automobile designing course at the institute.
So crazy it might just work: from Indian designer Ramesh Gound comes a motorcycle concept that's also a car. How so, you ask? Combine two of these motorcycles together, and you get a car.
Ground is currently enjoying an internship at the Pininfarina design firm in Italy, known for its work for brands like Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar, and Volvo. Asked to define "luxury" in the contemporary Indian sense, Gound simply took a renowned export of his home country—the Kamasutra—and applied it to vehicle design. Said the Indian: "After studying Kamasutra, I realised its essence and my theme emerged — two objects coming together and moving in one direction with a force of passion."