Singapore’s highest honour for designers and designs across all disciplines
One of Asia’s premier design festivals that champions design thought leadership
National Design Centre

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Singapore 188969

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Meet the DesignSingapore Scholars 2020

7 min read

Congratulations to our four newest DesignSingapore scholars! Ms Chew Jia Ying, Ms Nan Phyu Phyu Thin, Mr Orion Dai Yuhui, and Ms Yap Shu Mei Serene will be furthering their studies in various design-related fields. Get to know a bit more about them.

Ms Chew Jia Ying | Research Programme PhD at the University of the Arts London (London College of Communication)

Jia Ying is a multidisciplinary design strategist with a passion in social innovation & education. She’s currently an Education Design Strategist/Teaching Assistant with the NUS Department of Industrial Design developing a transdisciplinary module spanning design, engineering and psychology.

Her background in project and facilities management shaped her interests in integrated systems and businesses, while her industrial design training has honed her sensibilities to form and function. She learnt to experiment with material properties, create models of consumer electronics and launch a crowdfunding project for a lifestyle product.

However, while her peers were excited about developing product sketches and 3D models on the next consumer electronic, she found herself fascinated by the intangible. It was projects in service innovation and experience design that really got her excited.

Jia Ying’s work as a service design researcher enabled her to have a better understanding on collaborative methods and stakeholder engagement. An aspiring research-practitioner, her experience in service design research in (and with) government agencies, private companies and the third sector has fuelled her interests to research the complexities of cross-sector innovation.

She was one of the co-founders of the Nordic Rebels movement, where their innovative curriculum for blended learning and transdisciplinarity won the Danish Design Award 2019, Better Learning category. Her current research interests focus on transitions towards design-driven transdisciplinary higher education.

Ms Nan Phyu Phyu Thin (Lucas) | First year student, Bachelor of Science in Interaction Design at the ArtCenter College of Design

Nan Phyu Phyu Thin’s dream is to own a social design consultancy so that she can create new ideas for the rest of her life. Ever since she was a child, she daydreamed about new ideas and possibilities for the future. Friends call her a “mad scientist” because of her curiosity for the most mundane things and her “nonsensical” ideas, but she has always known that her path in life is to be a generator of ideas.

Nan Phyu Phyu Thin is left-handed, a child of a physically-disabled mother and from an uneducated family, which influenced her perspective of the world. Even after moving to Singapore, she felt that she was still being treated differently for being a permanent resident. Even though she made friends, she still did not feel a sense of belonging.

It was only when she was studying under the Interaction Design program in ArtCenter that she started to notice how being different was her unique strength as it allowed her to see a world others couldn’t. She sees design as a way to achieve her goal of creating an equal, loving and inclusive world, and believes design can help marginalised people’s voices be heard. She strives to design a community that includes minorities and provides them with a sense of belonging.

Mr Orion Dai Yuhui | Master of Arts/Master of Science in Global Innovation Design at the Royal College of Art

Orion is an industrial/product designer by training, and specialises in designing 3D products, especially mobility devices, design thinking and assimilating technology into design. He enjoys exploring the integration of design and engineering – to bring out the aesthetical factors in a product, and also enhance its functionality, ergonomics and user experience through the usage of various design thinking processes. 

Orion came to Singapore from China at a young age and he is keen to go overseas to meet like-minded individuals in entrepreneurship and innovation, and be immersed in different cultural backgrounds, gain various perspectives and insights. He also used to run an autonomous food delivery start-up.

Orion wants to contribute to Singapore’s design scene by making design easier to access, to understand, and to relate to, by incorporating design into our way of thinking and living by conducting design thinking courses in our schools, and connecting people to design. 

Ms Yap Shu Mei Serene | Master of Arts in Service Design at the Royal College of Art

When studying for her diploma in Mass Communication, Serene used photojournalism to shed light on homelessness and ageism in Singapore. For her honours degree in Design Communication, she designed interventions to remind passers-by of the importance of embracing alone time in a hectic society.

She spent 5 years as a product designer in DBS Bank, where she started as the only female designer in a team of 8 in 2015. Today, women make up 50 percent of the 60-man team. She’s a strong advocate for gender equality and cultural diversity and triggered a movement to hire more women, as well as creating an environment for cultural exchange and understanding. 

What she believes has truly shaped her and made her appreciate the value and importance of design even more. When she was still a student working on both front and backend operations in libraries, F&B and retail outlets, and in a public broadcasting conglomerate, she observed how everyone could be working their best in their own ways, but lapses in understanding how everyone’s parts contributed to a whole usually resulted in misaligned missions and less-than-ideal outcomes.

This set Serene on a mission to create a better society. She wishes to delve deeper into organisational layers using a wide range of disciplines, from UX to service design to drive organisational and community improvement through co-creation. With this opportunity to study abroad, she is looking forward to facing new challenges that will broaden her perspective to life and design.

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Singapore’s highest honour for designers and designs across all disciplines
One of Asia’s premier design festivals that champions design thought leadership
National Design Centre