John Lam

By applying design principles in problem-solving, we offer solutions, just like the engineers and inventors during the Industrial Revolution of the 18th Century.
Discover SIM GE The design is the message, in the graduation exhibition of RMIT students in Design Communication Over the weekend on July 6-7, 2013, nearly 2,000 visitors turned up at the Art & Science Museum at Marina Bay Sands. No, they were not there to ogle at soccer celebrity David Beckham but to view something more interesting - the artistic, creative works of 50 students of Communication Design. The displays included self-made books that were lovingly illustrated with drawing and calligraphic text, reminding the discerning visitor of the glorious miniature art books of Iran, Afghanistan, Mughal India and the Ottoman Empire in the 12th to the 16th Centuries. At Level 4 of the museum, the 50 graduates of the SIM-RMIT Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) programme, were showing off the best selections of their year-long study, says John Lam, 24, the student chairman spearheading the exhibition. Together with fellow students Grace Duan Ying, 27, Goh Zhongzhi, 24, and others, they designed, planned and looked for funds and sponsors, and even managed to gain the support of Marina Bay Sands, Art Science Museum, for the use of a gallery space for three days of exhibition, says John. The exhibition is held annually, the climax of 12 months of study and creative efforts in Communication Design. The discipline of Communication Design which incorporates design thinking, teaches students how to develop a client’s message and create media channels to bring the message to the intended audience. It is a holistic approach that seeks to attract, inspire and motivate people to respond to messages, with a view to building brand awareness, moving sales, donating to humanitarian purposes. Examples of Communication Design practice include the information architecture and design of Web sites, typography, illustration, advertising, ambient media, visual identity design, the performing arts, copywriting and professional writing of creative text. But a good design is more than eye-candy, says John. “By applying design principles in problem-solving, we offer solutions, just like the engineers and inventors during the Industrial Revolution of the 18th Century.” To qualify for this programme, students must possess a polytechnic diploma in design or visual communication, so they already have a foundation in design and visual communication. Also, a number of them are already working in creative fields. For instance, Zhongzhi produces and sells T-shirts with unusual artistic prints while Grace is a freelance designer and book illustrator who handles regular advertising jobs. John and his girlfriend operate an online female clothing store that boasts unique apparels, Pinned Up Closet. From left, John Lam, Goh Zhongzhi and Grace Duan showing their artistic and typographic creations. White-out: At the second part of the exhibition, visitors are shown a supermarket stocked with goods but without visual and design cues One of several Happily After book illustrations by Grace Duan, part of her portfolio for the exhibition