Mr Orion Dai Yuhui is a DesignSingapore Scholar 2020, and soon he will be pursuing the Master of Arts/Master of Science in Global Innovation Design at the Royal College of Art. He enjoys exploring the integration of design and engineering and wants to contribute to Singapore’s design scene by making design easily accessed by everyone and more importantly, easier to understand and something that can be related to by the public.
1. Please tell us more about yourself.
Hey there! I am Orion, an industrial designer who is very interested in the amalgamation between design and technology. I am extremely passionate about creating functional and usable products using state-of-the-art technologies that can transform the way we lead our lives. In my free time, I like to read up on technological reviews about the latest emerging technologies, and I would then visualise how they can be adapted into commercial products that could benefit people from around the world. As an avid dreamer, I always like to challenge the status quo by iterating on existing products and how they can be improved to better suit their needs by studying the behaviour of consumers. To me, having the freedom to imagine and create is my pride as a designer, and I wish to continue to contribute to my society using the skills I have acquired during my Master programme.
2. How did you land on design as your specialisation?
I have always been interested in capturing my thoughts in the form of sketches when I was young, and growing up, despite not having majored in design before University, I have always taken an art or a design class as an elective throughout most of my years as a student. Back then, I did not have the confidence or the reassurance to major in design as a career because I was afraid that there might not be enough opportunities available for me locally. All this took a turn in University because I was really intrigued by the FYP show from NTU ADM. The creative mindsets from the graduating students in the cohort of 2012 has reignited the spark of creation in me, and I aspired to be among the group of unorthodox thinkers challenging the status quo.
I hope to use what I have learned overseas to advocate for a new generation of Singaporeans who want to push boundaries, experiment and start their own venture through entrepreneurship so as to further boost the nation’s economy.
3. Why did you apply for the DesignSingapore Scholarship?
I think that design is more than just technical skills; it is very much about perception, and how we are able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and think from their perspective. For example, the popular product Iphone would not have been as revolutionary had Steve Jobs not been as perceptive in sensing what consumers actually wanted in a smartphone; a phone that is intuitive to use and provides innovative features. I wanted to further my studies in a global programme that has connections around the world to be able to see from all their perspectives; how their society view the same products, and how they would use it. Upon my return, this would provide me with valuable experiences and insights to establish Singapore as a global culture for design and creative thinking.
4. What would you say most motivates you to do what you do?
People motivate me. When I look around my society, I see many areas that could have been done better, and the sometimes desperate situation of my fellow Singaporeans motivates me to think how I can contribute using my unique skill set; to design and prototype with products and services that can assist them in meeting their needs at a fraction of the cost as compared to before. I hope to be able to alleviate the living conditions for people around the world.
5. What would most people not know about you?
I used to be a science major back in secondary school and junior college. University was the first time I truly immersed myself in arts and design. I am really liking it though!
6. What are your goals for the future? How do you hope to contribute back to the design sector?
After my studies, I hope to return and give seminars highlighting the importance of design in our world and how they can contribute to the nation’s economy. I want to teach strategic processes such as design thinking, and how they can be applied across multiple fields, not just design. I hope to use what I have learned overseas to advocate for a new generation of Singaporeans who want to push boundaries, experiment and start their own venture through entrepreneurship so as to further boost the nation’s economy.