What is special about Temasek Polytechnic?


Its award-winning School of Design nurtures students into versatile, industry-ready professionals.

Design is not just about making things look good. According to Temasek Polytechnic (TP) School of Design director Lim Chong Jin, design touches every single aspect of our lives, and is a career choice that is both fulfilling and exciting.

“A designer is able to harness his imagination and insights to turn ideas into reality that benefits people and communities,” he said.

In a fast-evolving global economy, design has become more valuable than ever. Mr Lim cited the National Design and Industry & Manpower Study 2019/2020 released by the DesignSingapore Council, which found that Singapore’s need for design talent is expected to reach 85,000 job roles by 2025.

According to Mr Lim, the global demand for innovation has resulted in widespread adoption of design thinking and other related methodologies, even in areas outside of the design industry, such as government, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, business and technology.

“Design has become a powerful enabler for business, an equaliser for the community and an extender for adjacent and other non-design sectors. Because design is an amorphous, strategic and intersectional term that can be plugged into many industry sectors, there will be many career pathways and options in design,” he said.

Among all the local polytechnics, TP is home to one of the most established and comprehensive design schools as well as the only polytechnic-based fashion and merchandising course in Singapore.

Its alumni include five Presidents Design Award designers of the year – the largest number from any design institute of higher learning. The Presidents Design Award is the highest local accolade for design excellence and has been won by TP alumni and creative directors Pann Lim, Chris Lee, Hanson Ho and Larry Peh, as well as design director Nathan Yong.

TP also stands out as a leading institution with over 600 regional and international awards. In 2008, TP was the first institution outside the United Kingdom to win the Yellow Pencil Student of the Year Award at the prestigious D&AD Award and has since taken home more Yellow Pencils in 2019 and 2020 in the New Blood category.

It has also received New York Festivals TV & Film Awards for five consecutive years since 2015, and has again made the cut for the best student film category this year. Closer to home, TP was named Institution of the Year by the Crowbar Awards from 2017 to 2020.

Thanks to the school’s stellar reputation, many TP graduates have been given advanced standing for their bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes on top of being accepted to universities both locally and abroad.

Recounted Mr Lim: “A few outstanding graduates with work experience – backed by a formidable portfolio – were exempted from their four-year design studies and accepted directly into Master of Arts programmes in reputable schools like the Yale School of Art, Domus Academy and the Royal College of Arts.”