Hi, My name is Nihaarika (NEE.HAA.REE.KAA) but I also go by Nihaa.
I am from Mumbai, India and have been living in New York since the past 5 years. I graduated in 2020 fr0m Parsons School of Design with a major in Product Design and minor in Communication Design. Before committing to SVA for PoD I was working full-time for a year as a Product Designer and Design Consultant and also worked on a few a freelance projects in UI/UX.
What brings me here today is my interest in understanding the psychology of the human experience to improve the design of products. Observing not only why people do the things they do, but also how they feel physically and mentally while performing these tasks are, I believe, at the core of innovative design strategies. I also enjoy exploring the interaction between a product and its user on a digital platforms. I believe that this program will compel me to explore this paradigm shift between disciplines that define industrial and digital products and that’s why I am very excited to be a part of this program.
Living in two diverse metropolitan cities, Mumbai and New York, my works are influenced by different cultural experiences that are skillfully maneuvered to fit into current times. I love making things with my hands and exploring different materials with a hope to create hybrids between the natural and built environments to generate awareness and create design solutions.
An interesting project that I created in my senior year(not my thesis) involved building a zero-electricity air cooler using terra-cotta (RE.fresh). The goal was to preserve energy, while still providing relief from the heat. The air cooler consisted of cones fitted into a hollow brick, filled with water. Experiments on the product were tested in an outdoor space where the temperature dropped by about 2.16 ° F near the smaller opening of the cone. As a result of evaporative cooling and the Venturi Effect, the change in pressure resulted in an increase in air velocity providing a cooling effect. The success of the project motivates me to continue working on it. My future goal is to create an interactive digital algorithm for this product to be used on a large scale by automatically calculating its effect in different settings based on recorded temperatures and wind velocities.
My project, RE.fresh was part of a pop-up exhibition where I branded it alongside 12 Product Design studio projects, all designed for disasters in the age of climate change. An advanced Web: Interaction course I took during that semester, helped me design and code an interactive digital poster as an introductory statement for the pop-up show. You can check it out on my website below. And also see all the student projects on Instagram here:
So, I am very excited to not only create a physical products but also add technology to it to create smart products. I am excited about working with the Arduino and am slightly apprehensive about coding but still VERY EXCITED!!
You can follow my work on my website: