I am an observant & detail oriented designer who enjoys exploring new ways to enhance the experience of social interactions using design.
I came into the YSDN program with a background in visual arts and I have since learned so much about the importance of design and its powerful impacts on society and culture. I enjoy both print and digital realms of design–I especially enjoy working on editorial and user-experience projects. Aside from design, I have a passion for travelling and experiencing new cultures. I also have a keen interest in photography and love finding ways to creatively incorporate it into work.
What is the most useful piece of design advice that you have received?
My workshop professor constantly encouraged myself as well as my classmates to always know who your competitors are–familiarize yourself with the works of other designers and evaluate their strengths/weaknesses. This will really help you determine the level your own work should be at, and help you find ways to separate yourself from what others have done.
Other than design, what creative fields interest you most?
Photography. I got my first DSLR camera when I was sixteen, and since then I have fallen in love with both portrait and landscape photography.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?
Goldenrod. This colour reminds me of the atmosphere I grew up in in my home country of Malaysia–the climate, the food, the vibe.
If you could learn any new skill or talent, what would it be?
Learning a new language. There are many languages I wish I was fluent in, but I’d probably eventually like to learn Spanish and German.
The Art of Appreciation
Part 1: A Guide
Cultural appropriation is an on-going controversy in our society and it has proven to dehumanize the targeted culture/faith. As part of my final year thesis project, I chose to explore the misrepresentation of Indigenous culture in many mediums within popular culture. Instead creating something preachy, I alternatively designed an informative editorial piece that could be used as an educational tool to teach the public–especially the youth of our society–what exactly Indigenous cultural appropriation is, the many issues surrounding it and how we can appreciate Indigenous culture without contributing to the offensive stereotypes that have been perpetrated.
Part 2: Indigenous Appreciation Teaching Kit
For the second part of my project, I began to think of other effective and engaging ways I could create more awareness surrounding Indigenous matters. I also thought about my personal experiences when studying Indigenous history in elementary/middle school and how the curriculum failed to bring up many important issues that continue to affect Indigenous communities today. After talking with a few individuals who were experts in Aboriginal studies, I narrowed down four themes that I felt schooling systems in Ontario failed to acknowledge in history curriculums: the 100 year history of Indian residential schools, native communities and their respect for natural resources, reserve systems in Canada and the protection and celebration of Indigenous culture. From here, I decided to creating a teaching kit that would function as an additional resource within grade six to eight classrooms.
The core purpose of this teaching kit is to expand on the experience of Indigenous topics beyond the traditional textbooks offered in Ontario middle schools. The kit contains a series of five activities that are designed to bring awareness to often ignored and/or unknown aspects of Indigenous issues, history and culture. Activities in this kit are meant to be completed over the course of one week. Each activity is associated with a particular theme related to Indigenous topics that fail to be addressed in most schooling systems across the province. The goal is to foster awareness and have students start a dialogue with one another on the topics of long-term Indigenous issues in Canada.