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Take your passion to the next level with Temasek Polytechnic

Its award-winning School of Design nurtures students into versatile, industry-ready professionals.

Take your passion to the next level with Temasek Polytechnic

TP School of Design has taken home the coveted Institution of the Year Award at The Crowbar Awards for four consecutive years since 2017. Photo: Association of Advertising and Marketing Singapore

Its award-winning School of Design nurtures students into versatile, industry-ready professionals.

Design is not just about making things look good. According to Temasek Polytechnic (TP) School of Design director Lim Chong Jin, design touches every single aspect of our lives, and is a career choice that is both fulfilling and exciting.

“A designer is able to harness his imagination and insights to turn ideas into reality that benefits people and communities,” he said.

In a fast-evolving global economy, design has become more valuable than ever. Mr Lim cited the National Design and Industry & Manpower Study 2019/2020 released by the DesignSingapore Council, which found that Singapore’s need for design talent is expected to reach 85,000 job roles by 2025.

According to Mr Lim, the global demand for innovation has resulted in widespread adoption of design thinking and other related methodologies, even in areas outside of the design industry, such as government, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, business and technology.

“Design has become a powerful enabler for business, an equaliser for the community and an extender for adjacent and other non-design sectors. Because design is an amorphous, strategic and intersectional term that can be plugged into many industry sectors, there will be many career pathways and options in design,” he said.


TP School of Design has produced five winners at the President*s Design Award since 2006: (from left) Mr Pann Lim, Mr Larry Peh, Mr Chris Lee, Mr Nathan Yong and Mr Hanson Ho. Photo: TP

Among all the local polytechnics, TP is home to one of the most established and comprehensive design schools as well as the only polytechnic-based fashion and merchandising course in Singapore.

Its alumni include five President*s Design Award designers of the year – the largest number from any design institute of higher learning. The President*s Design Award is the highest local accolade for design excellence and has been won by TP alumni and creative directors Pann Lim, Chris Lee, Hanson Ho and Larry Peh, as well as design director Nathan Yong.

TP also stands out as a leading institution with over 600 regional and international awards. In 2008, TP was the first institution outside the United Kingdom to win the Yellow Pencil Student of the Year Award at the prestigious D&AD Award and has since taken home more Yellow Pencils in 2019 and 2020 in the New Blood category.

It has also received New York Festivals TV & Film Awards for five consecutive years since 2015, and has again made the cut for the best student film category this year. Closer to home, TP was named Institution of the Year by the Crowbar Awards from 2017 to 2020.

Thanks to the school’s stellar reputation, many TP graduates have been given advanced standing for their bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes on top of being accepted to universities both locally and abroad.

Recounted Mr Lim: “A few outstanding graduates with work experience – backed by a formidable portfolio – were exempted from their four-year design studies and accepted directly into Master of Arts programmes in reputable schools like the Yale School of Art, Domus Academy and the Royal College of Arts.”


To do well in design, you need passion that comes with a purpose, plan and pursuit, said Mr Lim Chong Jin, director at TP School of Design. Photo: TP

On the topic of academics, Mr Lim highlighted that TP School of Design takes four key approaches: Industry project-based learning, holistic interdisciplinary and collaborative engagement, real-world immersion and a curriculum that goes beyond design.

He explained: “The school is committed to growing our students into collaborative, socially responsible and versatile practitioners with enough creative confidence to succeed in both design and non-design industries.”

Mr Lim added that collaboration is important in a world where the role of designer is transforming and expanding across disciplines. The school’s Centres of Excellence offer opportunities for students to work together on real-world projects, such as Equator, a satellite digital consultancy co-launched by DDB Singapore and TP School of Design. The BeyonDesign Centre leverages industry partnerships to work towards humanitarian and social aspirations, while the TP-Bernina Creative Studio enables students to experiment and incorporate craft and design with technology, using advanced Swiss innovation.

Throughout their education, students learn to pitch, create and present to industry clients, doing on average 30 client-commissioned projects for businesses, non-profit organisations and government agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance. For the latter, TP’s students designed the 2021 Budget logo.

TP students conceptualised and designed the branding and space planning for MFA’s Singapore Cooperation Centre in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Photo: MFA

TP’s students also participate in an array of industry-led dialogues, conferences and workshops. When travel restrictions are eased, students can look forward to field trips and overseas exchange programmes in addition to their industry internships, giving them valuable international experience and exposure.

“Design is a demanding, but fun and fascinating profession,” said Mr Lim. “To do well in design, you definitely need copious measures of passion – passion that comes with a purpose, plan and pursuit. To all prospective applicants who are keen to apply to TP School of Design, what you need to demonstrate is your passion and flair for design.”

Besides design, TP also offers diploma courses across the fields of applied science, business, engineering, humanities & social sciences, and informatics & IT. Students enjoy access to a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities such as the TP Advanced Manufacturing Centre and the AI Analytics Hub, which give them practical experience to prepare them for the industries they are passionate about. 

Find out more about Temasek Polytechnic.

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