Ms Nan Phyu Phyu Thin (Lucas) is a DesignSingapore Scholar 2020, and a first year student at the ArtCenter College of Design, studying for her Bachelor of Science in Interaction Design. Being different is her unique strength as it allows her to see the world in a way that others don’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.
1. Please tell us more about yourself.
I am a Chinese born in Myanmar. I grew up in Burma but moved to Singapore when I was in Primary 3. When I was young, I never truly explored my own culture as I was a sickly child. But thanks to Singapore’s healthcare system, I actually got cured here and was able to explore the world. Since Myanmar was an isolated country at that time, I only got to discover the internet in Singapore. That totally changed my life as I was able to learn more about whatever topics I was curious in. This helped me to explore more about myself, and also about design.
2. How did you land on design as your specialisation?
Since young, I’ve always been curious about how things worked, how it came to be, and about people in general. My hobby was ideating and inventing new products or services. Whenever I had the time, I would listen to people who confided their problems to me, and try to think up solutions to overcome it. I spent a good part of my time figuring out what sort of career would allow me to do what I loved as a job. It was only after I interned at Bold At Work and attended their career workshop for youths that I learnt about UX Design. Before that, I had always thought that I wanted to do something related to science or even computer science. But a trip to HIVE made me realise that what I’ve been wanting to do was user experience/interaction design.
I hope to be able to design a more inclusive and fair world that does not discriminate people regardless of their ability or their identity.
3. Why did you apply for the DesignSingapore Scholarship?
I want to be a part of DesignSingapore’s network, as well as lift the financial burden off my parents. I never really noticed the design decisions Singapore has made in order to improve the efficiency and living experience there till I went to America. I discovered a newfound appreciation of Singapore and strived to be a part of its design sector. Singapore’s lack of natural resources has meant that we have to be more creative and it is a challenge I want to take. In my view, if Singapore can transform itself to be the thriving, modern and high-tech city-state that it is known to be today, it can be replicated all over the world.
4. What would you say most motivates you to do what you do?
I’m driven to live my life without regrets. I’ve always been curious about life’s many different experiences, hence chasing my dreams seems like the best experience I can have in my lifetime.
5. What would most people not know about you?
I may seem intimidating to people when they first get to know me, hence the one thing that I feel a lot of people do not realise is how easily I cry! Any touching or sad moments will always bring me to tears. Of course, I do control myself in public in order not to alarm others.
6. What are your goals for the future? How do you hope to contribute back to the design sector?
My goals for the future is to master the art of designing for our people and our planet. I hope to be able to design a more inclusive and fair world that does not discriminate people regardless of their ability or their identity. When I get back to Singapore, I hope to start up my own design studio that does exactly this and to be able to work with the public sector, as well as corporations in designing systems, services and products to create a world with better user experience.