Hi, I'm Ashris! I am currently a visiting student at the MIT Media Lab at the Fluid Interfaces Group. I did my undergrad in IIT Kharagpur studying Architecture. I fuse my skills in designing and programming to create products that engage and educate people. My interests lie in the intersection of technology, design and philosophy - a place I identify as the hotbed of creativity.
I think inventions around us are time-capsules that preserve creativity passed down to us across generations. By actualizing ideas into things, we immortalize ourselves. My research interests are centered around building social empathy into technology through gamification, visualization and immersion. I like to take complicated things and make them simpler.
P.S: To jump ahead to the projects, click here.
I devised a numerical method to automate the (really boring) process of zoning a site for an architectural project by taking into account climatological and toplogical input from the architect.
I designed a 15 feet tall structure dedicated to the Alumni Batch of 1972 of IIT Kharagpur. The designed evolved through a series of sketches and initial walkthrough renders.
I interned under Prof. Gerhard Schmitt at the Chair of Information Architecture. I implemented machine learning to create tools that enable architects to design spaces with greater control on the cognitive response of the user.
Based on my performance and enthusiasm, I was offered a research project at Bauhaus University, Weimar.
I was the Product Design intern at Witworks, a tech startup founded by alumni of my university in Bangalore. I worked on their second product called 'Blink', an IoT wearable that provide access to services on-the-go.
As a maker intern, I developed 'The Musical Facade', a dynamic screen that responds to music with motion. I did hands-on programming, electronic design, digitial fabrication to materialize my ideas into things.
I got accepted to the Smartgeometry 2014 based on my work at FabLab, being the youngest international delegate at the conference.
I was selected in the '20,000 Blocks' Cluster headed by DU Darmstadt at Smartgeometry 2016. We worked on a gamified architectural platform to allow non-architects be an active part of the design process while having fun.
I was the Winner at Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 Hackathon organized by Gupshup. I built a Messenger chatbot that helped people find their missing items by pairing them with people in a 7 kilometer radius zone who have reported a found report to the bot matching their description. Source can be found here.
My team 'Trafix' was the Finalist ( Top 10 in India ) in the GE Edison Challenge 2016. We built an app prototype that uses gamificiation to make following traffic rules fun. Trafix uses route planning algorithms on crowdsourced data to predict traffic congestion and plan individual trips in a way that optimizes the overall traffic.
I was the Quarter Finalist ( Top 40 in India ) at Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2016 for 'Pullypal', a social initiative that focuses on generating employment through rural tourism. Pullypal offers a unique experience to travelers who wish for a more immersive cultural and social experience in their travel.
Spring Fest, IIT Kharagpur launched a series called 'Inspiring Minds' featuring students and alumni who are an inspiring role model for the student community and I was honored to be included in the list ^_^
My blog about my experience at ETH as a research intern got selected as a 'remarkable internship' by Internshala, India's largest portal for student internships.
Processing, OpenFrameworks, p5js, threejs, d3
Tensorflow, R, MATLAB
Photoshop, InDesign, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Rhino + Grasshopper
Arduino, Raspberry Pi
My Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(MBTI) is INFP [Introvert | iNtuitive | Feeling | Prospecting]. The favorite people I share my type with are Kurt Kobain, Bill Watterson, Lana Del Rey, and Calvin. You can find yours here.
I make movies about things that strike a chord with me. 'Sweeten' is both about nothing and many things at once. I made it on my visit to Sweden, and hence the pun. 'Melancholic Times' is shot in the ancient city 'Hampi'; it captures moments of contrasting inner peace and turmoil. I also make not-so-serious videos, mostly Indian college-centric ones under the banner of 'Spectecool' (34k+ views). While at it, you may also like to see me being kicked out of my comfort zone performing stand up comedy over here. I click pictures of pretty places here.
I pen down my thoughts on issues I care about on Medium and answer questions that I think will be of use to others on Quora. Some articles that I like are: The Open Cage: Modern Day Slavery and Religion 2.0.
My article on consumer behavior titled 'The Irrational Consumer' was published in Economica, the publication on economics and public policy by Economics Club, IIT Delhi.
Questions I've answered about architecture: What are the most well architected buildings in the world?, , What career paths combine computer science and architecture?, What is the difference between a 'space' and a 'place' in architecture?
and some general ones: Why is money not the most important thing in life?, What is a paradigm shift?, Why are some languages written with straight lines while others with curved lines?, How can I visualize 4D shapes in my mind?
I am part of the LGBTQ support group in my campus called 'Ambar' which is trying to sensitize the student community about gender diversity and make the campus a better place for all students irrespective of their orientation.
As the member of the Debating Society, I have represented IIT Kharagpur in four national tournaments: National Law University Asian Parliamentary Debate 2012, IIT Bombay British Parliamentary Debate 2013, IIT Delhi Asian Parliamentary Debate 2013 and Kalinga School of Law Asian Parliamentary Debate 2012. I am also the Winner of the National Level Debate at Spring Fest 2015 that had 300+ participants. I was the Director of Communications at Model United Nations too in 2013.
As the Executive Editor of The Scholars' Avenue, the campus newsbody of IIT Kharagpur, I am responsible to launch new projects and ensure their execution. I mostly take up creative assignments such as 'The Happiness Project', 'The Marauder's Map', 'The KGP Society Periodic Table', 'KGP: Year in Review' and such. Under my leadership, the media body has seen a rise in the Facebook followers to 36k+ and monthly readership to 10k+
I have a love-hate relationship with Architecture. To me, Architecture is a field which in its essence is as surreal as poetry or music but has been reduced to the stature of make-up for real estate. I think Architecture is more about the soul and the mind than about buildings. I do not inted to pursue the field in the way it is practiced, but I do value the impact of the architectural design process in all of my works. For my undergrad thesis (to be completed by July 2017), I am designing the 'Centre for Emotional Technology and Artificial Intelligence' that shall embody everything I have learnt and wish to give back to architecture.