5 President's Award-winning designers from Temasek Poly

5 President's Award-winning designers from Temasek Poly

Temasek Polytechnic's School of Design has produced five out of 33 winners of the prestigious President's Design Award since 2006.

The school's director Lim Chong Jin said: "This attests to the strong academic rigour and deep pool of creative talent in our local design institutions.

"We hope this will inspire more young people to consider design as a profession."


Mr Nathan Yong, furniture designer and founder of Grafunkt Studio

Mr Yong, 43, who graduated in 1991, is an award-winning furniture designer, whose designs have been sold in Germany, Denmark and the United States.

In his submission for the award nomination, he has this advice for aspiring designers: "I would advise young emerging designers to be inquisitive, humble and patient. Design is like acting, it takes a lot of practice and errors to perfect the craft."


Mr Chris Lee, creative director of Asylum, a creative company comprising a design studio and a retail store

Mr Lee, 44, considered becoming a marine biologist or hotel manager at first but there was "no turning back" after he enrolled in the design school.

He graduated in 1995.

His advice: "It is a competitive landscape so you need to be passionate and determined to have a career. Having said that, the reward is you'll get to live an amazingly fulfilling life."


Mr Hanson Ho, founder and creative director of design studio H55

Besides winning the President's Design Award, he also won the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, and his designs have represented Singapore at the international level, such as the various Venice Biennales.

Mr Ho, 40, who graduated from TP in 1998, remembers his time in school fondly.

"I witnessed pottery being smashed, drafts being thrown out of the window, and mounting boards being torn apart. It showed the passion of tutors, the severity of producing bad work, and it made me push my creative boundaries and ability to reason through my ideas."


Mr Pann Lim, 41, co-founder and creative director of multimedia-based agency, Kinetic Design & Advertising

The award-winning advertising industry veteran has over 300 awards to his name and has also been named Singapore's Most Influential Creative Director.

He was the speaker at TP's Beyond 'O' Level Seminar last year.

During the seminar, he advised students to follow their passion when choosing a course, and likened it to a romantic relationship.

Mr Lim said: "If you love a girl, you don't love her for a year, you love her forever. If you have the passion, prospects will come later.

This article was first published on January 10, 2015.
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