David Boo Yuan Hong

Studying design in university builds foundation in David’s creative jobs.
Discover SIM GE David Boo piling up the Galton Tree at Suntec City mall during Christmas 2014 A STACK of cuddle teddy bears in a shop windows is enough to make your heart soft and sentimental as it makes you think of your childhood days celebrating Christmas. Just imagine the pile as a three-storey pyramid of bears dominating the atrium of Suntec City mall and the effect on shoppers there! This was what David Boo Yuan Hong -- as part of a design team -- helped to create for the year-end festive season in 2014. David, who graduated a few months earlier (August 2014) from the SIM-RMIT Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) programme, describes it as a Galton Tree structure (named after the triangular tree-like branching diagrams in Statistics textbooks, as conceived by Francis Galton). Spanning 8.9m by 5m, the tree (photo above) was a collaboration between City Harvest Church, Suntec City Convention Centre and M2P, says David. It took three full months from conception to production. “The main designer was Edwin Cheong. I was the supporting designer from City Harvest Church.” Living and breathing design, 2D or 3D, David, 28, owns his own fashion brand, David.B, and has been involved in many design gigs, including product design, graphic design and stage set design. David was already a graduate in Product Design from LASALLE College of the Arts before he enrolled at SIM-RMIT. “The market for product design in Singapore is rather small,” he says, explaining why he came to RMIT which offered a degree course that took no more than a year to complete. “The benefit of studying the RMIT programme was that I gained a deeper understanding of design principles and concepts. Before that, my knowledge was mainly derived from practical hands-on experience working in a few firms. At RMIT, I learnt the why, while previously, I know only the how of design.” David was also the organising committee member who coordinated the graduation exhibition (every graduating cohort holds an exhibition of all the students’ creative work). It involved months of hard work, having to find a suitable venue, conceiving the overall theme, as well as getting sponsors. The culmination was the stylish Tictalk Exhibition held in August 2014 at the National Design Centre in Middle Road which wowed more than 500 visitors. Melbourne Culture Another memorable event of the programme was the study trip to Melbourne. Over there, David and his classmates “studied” the coffee culture and lifestyle of the denizens of the beautiful, slightly laidback Australian metropolis. Initially, when David broached the subject of doing a degree course on design, his parents were aghast. Like most down-to-earth Singaporeans they were unable to see a career future in such an amorphous (vague and formless) subject. However, seeing his dogged determination, they relented and he was on his way to literally “design” a career out of design. “While studying at RMIT, I did several freelance design assignments to earn money to sustain myself. They included assembling a personal portfolio for a former MediaCorp actress, styling one of the shops in Orchard Central and designing T-shirts to raise cash for an animal shelter.” It's All About Creativity But why design? David explains that it’s all about creativity. He could not envision himself, desk-bound, eyes locked onto a computer screen, and tapping out piles of reports and other administrative mumbo-jumbo. Office jobs are stable and structured and if you sit there long enough, you will get a decent salary. But David says he would rather be elsewhere, doing something that is fun and flexible, work that fires his creativity and imagination. Currently, he’s doing a stint at an NGO organisation as a Design Assistant involved in several events. For 2015, he may be freelancing as a Set Designer for a short film that has a hundred scenes. Design requires not just passion but inspiration. So where does David draw his ideas from? “Most of the time, I get inspiration from movies, Discovery Channel and even console games. In game play, you get to experience situations that are just not possible in real life. Such experiences rouse your imagination and your creative juices start flowing.” His design motto is to create something that will encourage, enrapture and enliven everyday life. David and the Galton Tree viewed from the front - Posted online, January 20, 2015