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Interview with Saurabh Nimsarkar: Premier Designer in Autonomous Transportation and Digital Experience Design

Saurabh Nimsarkar has carved a niche for himself as a pivotal persona in the realm of Physical and Digital Experience Design. Furthermore, he is a leading voice in the world of autonomous transportation design. With esteemed credentials from premier institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and the ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena, Nimsarkar’s design insights are a unique fusion of formal education and inherent passion. Renowned brands such as Godrej and Boyce, Honda R&D, and KittyHawk have all benefited from his forward-thinking perspective.

Transitioning from engineering to design, he reflects, “The adventures of my youth molded my design ethos, sparking an enduring zeal and quest for excellence.” This ethos is evident in his pioneering projects, encompassing ventures in Hyperloop technologies, autonomous vehicles, and innovative design strategies for Los Angeles Mayor’s office of Eric Garcetti.

In discussing his commitment to expanding the boundaries of design, Nimsarkar notes, “With an eye on societal, cultural, and environmental consequences, I continually explore beyond conventional norms, aiming for transformative experiences and outcomes.” With foundations laid in his youthful adventures and a love for sketching, Saurabh Nimsarkar stands as a shining example of design excellence in the modern age.

How Did Saurabh Nimsarkar Earn the Prestigious Good Design Award and India Design Mark in 2018?

Recognized for his groundbreaking Work-Lounge Active Seating Solutions for Godrej Interio, Nimsarkar’s design profoundly shifted traditional perceptions of office lounge furniture. Reflecting on this, Nimsarkar states, “Recontextualizing objects for inspiration is essential, seamlessly merging aesthetics with function to enhance wellness and productivity in my distinguished creations.” His recognition can be seen here on Page 187 on Good Design Awards Brochure.

Further, what makes the Mars Auditorium Chair, another of his ingenious creations, stand out in the Indian market? This emblematic seat, celebrated for its innovative features and streamlined design, isn’t just prevalent in Indian auditoriums. It has also garnered thousands of sales nationwide, cementing its status as a market frontrunner.

How Has Saurabh Nimsarkar’s Innovative Design Approach Captivated Global Audiences?

Gaining significant acclaim for his avant-garde projects, Nimsarkar’s invention, ModLiv, caught the eye of international platforms like the esteemed Wallpaper magazine*. In an age defined by swift tech advancements and a penchant for minimalist living, how does ModLiv fit in? The answer: as an autonomous domicile on wheels, it epitomizes the migration to non-traditional residences. Reflecting on its ethos, Nimsarkar elucidates, “ModLiv embodies a contemporary fervor for immersive living, harmonizing the allure of minimalism with the versatility of a transient lifestyle.”

But what about his other creations? For instance, the speculative toolkit ‘ACTIFY’, which gained traction on renowned stages such as the 4th World Congress of Psychogeography and Austria’s Navigating the City. Inspired by “Speculative Everything” by Dunne and Raby, how does ACTIFY differentiate from typical mapping instruments? By emphasizing the splendor of wandering over mere directional guidance. Delving deeper, Nimsarkar remarks, “ACTIFY transcends the notion of mere destination. It’s an instrument that revels in the voyage, empowering users to forge their distinct trajectories.”

Lastly, with Nimsakar’s celebrated endeavor, Echelon, earning accolades from multiple media channels, how does it reimagine future retail spaces? Echelon envisions an era where retail environments metamorphose, meticulously crafted to offer unified experiences that fluidly align with burgeoning tech and transit innovations. Describing this foresight, these arenas transcend basic commerce; they actively elevate urban mobility and metropolitan living’s holistic experienceexperienceHow Did Saurabh Nimsarkar’s Design Expertise Influence the Transportation Innovations in Los Angeles?

In 2020, Nimsarkar’s influential touch was evident in the Los Angeles First Transportation Technology Innovation Zone project. This trailblazing venture turned the Warner Center into a beacon of mobility advancement. But how did it emphasize the intertwined relationship of design and community involvement? Nimsarkar sheds light on this, sharing, “The initiative crystallizes the profound impact of design in propelling community-centric advancements in transportation.”

Moreover, during his significant association with the Mayor’s Office of Los Angeles, how did Nimsarkar’s collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF) come to fruition? Notably, he was instrumental in shaping a pivotal document on the Principles of Urban Sky. Beyond orchestrating stakeholder interactions and penning the content, Nimsarkar crafted detailed data visualizations. Highlighted prominently on the WEF website, these sound profiles further accentuate his insightful and artistic prowess in this paramount undertaking.


How Does Saurabh Nimsarkar Merge Philosophy, Ethics, and Design for a More Unified Future?

Stressing the integral role of philosophy and ethical thought in design, Nimsarkar cautions against diving into design with preconceived solutions. He elaborates, “Entering the design realm with preset answers restricts our scope and propels us towards a tech-deterministic trajectory.” Instead, he champions a human-centric methodology, one that dives deep into people’s aspirations, values, and visions for the future. Such an approach, he believes, hinges on posing disruptive queries that shake the status quo, paving the way for innovative, inclusive, and universally accessible outcomes.

So, how does Nimsarkar visualize the equilibrium among individuals, urban environments, and the prevailing powers of tech and economics? He articulates, “This all-encompassing perspective not only pushes our civic future forward technologically but also ensures it resonates with its residents’ values and caters to their needs.”

Diving deeper into his personal ethos, what drives Nimsarkar’s successes in the design arena? He pinpoints three core tenets. Firstly, he upholds the ‘Beginner’s Mind’ philosophy in design, cherishing a childlike wonder to foster adaptability and avert complacency. Next, he underscores the necessity of unwavering dedication to attain design expertise. And finally, he advises fostering a broad skill repertoire over an obsession with a singular design methodology, enabling holistic decision-making. Reflecting on this trifecta, he comments, “Maintaining an ever-curious mindset enhances adaptability in the fluid world of design, while genuine expertise is a blend of relentless dedication and the nimbleness to incessantly learn and pivot.”

Saurabh Nimsarkar’s work can seen on his website on – and on Instagram

Additionally, he can be reached at

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