The Late Bloomer

Chin Kar Fai scored just 100 points for PSLE. That landed him in the Normal Technical stream in secondary school. He later headed for the Institute of Technical Education. In 2015 he made it to NYP’s Diploma in Industrial Design. That’s when Kar Fai discovered his true passion - design. He never imagined to be among the top students in NYP one day.  But he is. With a GPA of 3.94, Kar Fai is also a recipient of the Sakae Holdings Silver Medal for his course. 


1) What sparked your academic turnaround?

I saw the disappointment in my parents when I landed in the Normal (Technical) stream. That knocked some sense into me. I decided to buck up, and stay focused on my goals. When I enrolled in NYP’s Industrial Design course, I knew I had found my true calling. I am especially thankful to my personal mentor, Mr Khairul, who was always there to guide me. He motivated me to give my best. 


2) Tell me about your proudest moment in NYP.  

That would be the special laundry basket I created for my final year project. It comes with a lifting mechanism that descends with the weight of the laundry and rises to the top when the laundry is removed. The handle and wheels also make it easy to move the basket from one room to another. I had to pull several overnighters in NYP to complete my laundry basket. But it was all worth it.

3) Where’s your favorite spot in NYP?

Roof terrace in block N1. It is very cosy and I love to chill there. I tend to get much of my design inspiration there.


4) What do you do during your leisure time?

I serve as a Youth Volunteer Leader with Student Care Service. It’s a non-profit organisation that specialises in reaching out to students. I have personally benefitted from their programmes since young. Now I want to give back. During my free time, I guide the younger volunteers, assist youths in their schoolwork, and organise outreach activities for them.


5) What makes a good designer?

I think a good designer must have empathy. This is the ability to relate to and understand our consumers. Designing a product is not just about creating something pretty. As designers, the products we create must give consumers a good experience. So, a good designer must understand and discover the needs of people first to be able to come up with useful and beautiful design solutions.




Because We Can


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