A Year Full of Challenges, Ambitions and Success: Sandcup's Yearbook

Design Culture Jan 23, 2023. 3 Min Read

By. Debopriya Bhattacharya

It was a scorching summer and I was locked up in a makeshift office atop a marketplace but the sounds of millions were echoing. The temple was adjacent to the marketplace, but the fragrance of the incense drowned the tepid smell of the marketplace. As I sat there I wondered to myself.

Sandskriti providing media coverage to Rath Yatra 2023, the Auspicious Hindu Festival Celebrated in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

“There are eighty of us, managing and marching a crowd of a couple of million people?” then I smirked a little and said to myself “Only in SandCup can this happen” This was the Ahmedabad Rathyatra, a cultural entity in itself which was been creatively managed by a collective of 80 young designers and creators.

When I look at 2023, it was always a story of us against the world, of odds but most importantly a story of togetherness. Our year started with a thought.

Our founder remarked, “What if we do something for designers? From our childhood, we have been conditioned to focus on maths and physics so much that our creative faculties don’t get a channel till we realize that there is a world full of possibilities”, and that was all the motivation that we needed to organize a meetup. We named our community Sandskriti because it’s the best place to seek motivation when we have such a diverse culture. Designer’s Meetup 1.0 was so successful that we were overjoyed to be able to do something for the community.

SandCup Design Studio - UX/UI Meetup in Ahmedabad

To add a cherry to the cake, it was the community who requested that they wanted to meet again. The requests kept on multiplying and before we knew it more than a thousand people had registered from different parts of the country. Giant names from the industry turned up to grace the occasion and it was at that moment someone from the team remarked,

“We must be doing something right to get so much love,” they said and added, “Everyone just loves to talk about design”

Flash forward a month and we were doing a podcast titled Design Ki Batein, doing outreaches to different institutions, traveling across the country to attend different conferences, and making sure we were representing the community on a national scale.

Someone had once asked me, “When do you get time to finish your projects?” and I laughed out loud. It’s very difficult for the world outside to gauge how work gets done at SandCup. We might laugh, crack a few jokes, and keep munching on snacks but the work just gets on without any hold-up. In 2023, we navigated some of the biggest challenges of the most critical industries and came out victorious. From designing systems to creating an ecosystem to solving problems to help businesses scale, we have done it all.

Festivals we celebrate at - SandCup Design Studio

All of these projects were interspersed with fun, laughter, and celebrations. For real, a team member got married and we felt like we were her family in that entire process. Cultural events didn’t go unnoticed. We celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi, Rathyatra, Independence Day, and even Chatth Puja. All of these make me wonder,

“What if the world was like SandCup Design? What if it was more tolerant and supportive?”

Summer gave way to autumn and autumn marked a new beginning. The second anniversary of SandCup Design. And we set sails to Indore. The one thing that has always fascinated me is the exclusivity of what we do. When we work it’s solid work but when we celebrate, we do it like professionals.

For three days in Indore, we had a gala time. We made a home out of a house with our decorations and our creativity and till the sun rose again the next day we kept on celebrating the New Year of SandCup. I wondered, “Everyone might have a job but who gets to celebrate their own new year” The days in Indore were a learning experience in teamwork and camaraderie.

Sandcup Design Studio Team celebrating the 2nd Anniversary by organizing Sandsburn Party at Indore.

We are so fortunate enough to get through to SandCup because we know and live design. What about the people who can’t get access to design education because of external reasons? These are the questions that kept plaguing the creative brains of SandCup. To make a change in the culture of design, education was an important component. Design education in India was never standardized or even remotely brought close to the global standards and that was when Sands Academy was born

Now that I think about 2023 was very kind to us. Opportunities appeared before us and we latched onto them. 2024 is here and instead of waiting for opportunities, we are creating them. We have the nation’s biggest designer’s meetup planned up which will host more than 3000+ designers. We are also launching the academy after a successful collaboration with UGC and other academic bodies and we are looking to create an annual Designer’s Gala to celebrate creativity.

“Only in SandCup can this happen”

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