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Young Talent Takes the Floor at Shaw Singapore

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As part of Shaw Contract Group’s social responsibility efforts in Singapore, Shaw welcomed the bright young minds and their mentors to its newly opened space for a night of networking evening in commemoration of Temasek Polytechnic’s Mentor Apprenticeship Pilot Program on 21 October 2015.

Temasek Polytechnic’s Mentor Apprenticeship Pilot Program was designed to provide the rare opportunity to eight eager Interior Architecture and Design Year Two students of the School of Design to shadow an industry leader and to work closely with him/her on a current project. It is a unique program designed to connect students with an industry leader on a one-on-one mentoring opportunity giving them an eye-opening experience beyond the confines of their school walls.

The program at its pilot stage has seen huge support from the Design and Architecture industry with big names such as Simon McDonald, Design Director at Studio HBA, Simon Raper, Director of MMoser Associates, Matthew Burke, Regional Leader Asia at Geyer, Camy Tan, Director of Marketing and Design Communications, Matilda Sung, Design Leader at Woods Bagot, Vanessa Lin and Archie Cruda, Brand and Communication Manager and Head, Design Excellence Centre at Space Matrix, taking part as mentors to help steer the programme to a more robust regular offering to Temasek Polytechnic design students.

The networking event was the first time where all stakeholders of the program came together to collectively share their experiences and provide feedback for the pilot. Each student apprentice gave a short presentation on their key  takeaways from the first-hand experience in the industry during their last semester break. The student apprentices spent their last vacation break shadowing their mentors and are expected to continue to work with their mentors again in their next vacation break in March.

As a design hub and catalyst for design excellence, Shaw Contract Group hopes to continually attract more creative minds to its creative space where the local economy will have access to and come together to collaborate, share and exchange ideas and applications.

With the take-off of this pilot, Temasek Polytechnic hopes to have student apprentices tagged to their mentors throughout their three year diploma program, including their compulsory six-month internship during their third year. This unique program is designed with the objective that student graduates will have the opportunity to gain relevant background and work experience for them to integrate into the workplace seamlessly.

Based on insightful feedback from students and mentors, it was agreed that the pilot has gotten off to a good start. One apprentice even had the rare chance to tag along for an interior design photo shoot. Student apprentices also expressed their appreciation and gratitude for their mentors by presenting them with heartfelt gifts at the end of their presentations. The mentors also commented on the potential of the program and the students, such as building their confidence in sharing their ideas or creativity in design, a critical skill required in the workplace.

Two Temasek Polytechnic scholars also had the opportunity to showcase their installations on that same evening. These students spent about three weeks prior specially designing the installations which were inspired by Shaw’s latest collection – Hand Drawn and Altered.

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Inspired by Shaw’s Hand Drawn carpet collection, Muhammad Nor Nazul created ‘Hand Drawn’ to to depict how imperfections and irregularities can be transformed into beautiful designs. There were markers alongside the art installation, urging people to add on and “complete” to the ‘imperfect, unfinished’ installation. The piece was the artist’s attempt to convey the beauty in imperfections.

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Inspired by Shaw’s Altered carpet collection, Darren Ng created ‘Altered’ with the mind-set that everybody has a different perspective. The curved surface of the installation allows one to have changing perspective from every angle with the reflecting mirrors, creating a sense of illusion.

The evening concluded with mentors and mentees both feeling inspired to do more and better when the next semester break happens in March 2016.

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