Sunway’s X Factor in Winning Competitions

Cultivating creativity, innovation and determination propels students towards success in competitions.

Sunway University students swept the awards at the Hanzi-Bank of China Ang Pow Design Competition 2020. Four Sunway students beat more than 200 entries from students across the country to take home the top prizes.

Design students at Sunway University have been constantly exposed to the latest industry trends and needs. One of the ways in which students gain exposure is through participation in competitions, an approach commonly adopted in design education.

Participating in design competitions allow students to interact with industry practitioners and peers from other institutions. This exposure also provides students the opportunity to evaluate their own creative work in relation to industry expectations, often regarded as a highly valuable experience for any budding designer.

Students may often not appreciate the value of spending time on competitions, especially when they are not a part of graded assignments, and consequentially adds more workload to the semester. Similarly, lecturers need to offer extra consultation hours to provide guidance to students and prepare them for the competitions. Every detail requires careful planning and preparation, including correctly understanding the competition rules and regulations as well as the design submission requirements.

For the competitor, the competition journey develops mental tenacity to succeed. The process from ideation to fabrication requires several rounds of discussions, decisions, rework and rehearsing for the pitch. Both students and lecturers invest significant amount of time and energy to ensure the best possible outcome.

After weeks or in some cases, months of preparation, the anticipation of competition results is likened to the moments of waiting for the arrival of a newborn baby. For the successful students, they receive affirmation and recognition of their creative skills and abilities. Meanwhile, for the silent coach in the background - the lecturers who journeyed with them - the moment of glory brings great pride and joy, almost always celebrated with tears.

At Sunway University, the commitment of the management towards student success is evident in the continual support of student participation in competitions. Although lecturers may feel the pressure to identify and groom new talents for competitions, year after year, the temporary anguish usually gives way to excitement for newfound creative talents.

Under Mr Travis Liew's guidance, Diploma in Graphic and Multimedia Design students – Teh Poh Leng and Boon San Sann won the 1st and 1st runner-up prizes respectively at the Hanzi-Bank of China Ang Pow Design Competition 2020.

Meanwhile, Zainab Ahmed Adeem bagged the 2nd runner-up and “Most Creative Design” awards while Kong Shi Hui took home the “Most ‘like’ in Social Media” award. They were both students of Sunway’s undergraduate degree in Design Communication, and were supervised by Dr Perline Siek.

This article has been adapted from the School of Arts Press (SOAP), October 2020