Always Hungry For More
To do his final year project, then Industrial Design student Goh Han Wei spent hours in the waiting rooms at the National University Hospital chit-chatting with patients.
The reason? Han Wei had come up with Squeezo, a rehabilitation product for children with Rheumatoid Arthritis or other neurological problems, and he wanted to feedback on his design.
The young man also suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis, a condition where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues, usually leaving patients with painful, inflamed joints and other issues. He says: “I would just spot patients, describe my product and get their views. I also spoke with my own arthritis doctor, and asked him to link me up with other doctors to get their views.”
Such is the spirit which Han Wei has, and the energy he pours into his projects. It is no wonder that when Han Wei graduated in 2017, he won the HP Innovation Design Award, the highest accolade for NYP’s School of Design.
He is, as he describes himself, “always hungry, and always looking into ways to improve my designs.”
Han Wei’s success journey has not been easy. Due to family circumstances, he grew up in a children’s home at The Salvation Army. When he was young, he faced pressure to quit school to earn a living but he decided to press on. After his secondary school, he took up a Nitec in Production Design course at the Institute of Technical Education and in 2014, he got into NYP.
“I told myself that it doesn’t pay to quit school. Whatever happens, I have to take care of my own future, so I will need to continue my studies,” said Han Wei, whose maturity belies his youth.
His persistence paid off, for he thrived in the NYP environment. He said: “Life in NYP was really fun, actually. I love seeing my ideas turn into actual products, and NYP provided the environment to help me do that. My lecturers taught me how to persist with my ideas and never give up. As students, we are sometimes tempted to simply abandon our ideas when we run into problems.”
His NYP experience gave Han Wei the strength to dig deep within himself and come up with solutions. Under his lecturers’ guidance, Han Wei went on to win three major awards – the AsiaStar Award, the Singapore Packaging Star Award and a second prize in the Electrolux Sustainable Urban Living 2016 competition. He was also in the Director’s List for five semesters.
He managed his studies well, despite spending his weekends working as a barista.
As for his classmates, Han Wei feel that they inspired him to do better. “They are just like me! We have a strong passion for design and will do beyond what is required of us in the classrooms or projects,” he recalled.
Currently waiting to enlist in National Service, Han Wei has already snagged a full-time job as a designer at Supermama, a gallery company. He was talented spotted during his graduation show UNIT in March 2017 by Supermama’s founder Mr Edwin Low.
In future, Han Wei plans to do a degree in industrial and product design at the National University of Singapore. His dream is to become a reputable designer known for high standards of design.
And we are certainly rooting for him to achieve his dream!
Because We Can
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