Melvin marvels his way into the Bachelor of Design

Ever since high school Melvin has had his mind set on architecture in pursuing a design career. But a year after coming from Indonesia to study the Bachelor of Design, Melvin decided to add Construction as a second major to his degree. Melvin spoke to us about his experience so far.

What was your favourite first year, Bachelor of Design subject and why?

I couldn’t decide between two subjects as my favourite, one from each major. For architecture, it would have to be Foundations of Design: Representation. It was my first experience of the ‘studio culture’ with weekly feedback, pin-ups and critiques. There were also very useful workshops which introduced the basics of how to use both 2D and 3D software which we could then experiment further with for assignments. I had a blast scanning croissants.

For construction, I loved Principles of Building.The lectures offered great introduction to the fundamental theories of construction. The questions and assignments forced us to apply knowledge into real-life scenarios hands-on.

What are some of the skills you have learnt while studying the Bachelor of Design?

I feel confident in navigating the basics of design software:  Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Rhino 3D. I have also learned fundamental design thinking, how to create design briefs, how to operate laser cutters and various hand-sketching techniques.

Importantly the degree helps with skills essential to the workplace, from time management, to the ability to cooperate and work with new people, to understanding decisions that designers must consider before putting pencil on paper.

What advice do you have for other students thinking of studying the Bachelor of Design? Is there anything you wish you had known and would like to share with students weighing up their options?

Design, on most occasion, requires a creative mind that is not afraid of pushing through the boundaries. Prepare yourself to think originally and innovatively. Choosing your major(s) should be based on your passion rather than external pressures such as family. You and not anyone else will be the one completing the degree. Ask for more information about the program you are interested in. Approaching older students for suggestions really helped me.

What advice would you give new students to tackle the challenges of University?

University requires a high degree of independence. Being able to manage your own timetable and deadlines is crucial. I have found keeping a planner keeps me on track when juggling between other subjects. There are also higher work and performance expectations, but refrain from comparing yourself to others. Do not rush yourself to perform well instantaneously. Stay motivated and be patient, progress will soon reward you.

Learning doesn’t stop when you’re done with class. Be proactive in researching your course’s new trends and innovations. Tutors tend to acknowledge your extra set of knowledge when examining your works. Finally, there will be decisions you have to make which will impact your future. Be open to discussing these with close friends, teachers, older students and your family.

What would be your dream project in your future career?

My dream project is to be responsible for designing residential architectures meant for staycations / retreats at secluded natural settings. These buildings will also then act as the area’s landmarks and bring people closer to the nature than ever.

What was the highlight of your first year at university?

The highlight was seeing my hard work pay off in seeing my works selected for exhibitions and my construction reports being chosen by the client. It was the greatest feeling relaying the good news to my proud parents overseas who have supported me unconditionally.

An example of Melvin's work named: Color (in the) Woods. Supplied.

How important is it for you to graduate with a degree from a world standard university? 

New ideas and innovations makes the world ever more competitive. Hence, a high standard of education is very important to stay abreast in the world’s industry. It allows me to be internationally recognised by future employers for possessing a world-class education and professional skills. A world standard university acknowledges the world’s biggest challenges and prepares students with the necessary skills to tackle them to create a better future.

Thinking about studying design?

Read more about the Bachelor of Design