Tan Mei Ling
Product Designer, Park Games Equipment Sdn Bhd , 2008
Ideas are everywhere. Search for it. Expose yourself to a variety of activities and you will be inspired to think and come up with new ideas.
18 September 2008
A Global Designer
Written by Christine Chan
She specialises in designing children’s playground apparatus and the products of her imagination are delighting kids in Dubai, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia.
Christine Chan talks to this Limkokwing Alumna to find out more about her journey from classroom to career.
Her looks are deceiving. She could pass for a high school student with her unassuming demeanour. Tan Mei Ling, on the contrary, is a level-headed, mature designer whose creative ideas help her employer Park Games Equipment to export them all over the world.
Limkokwing University of Creative Technology taught me to think-out-of-the-box. It encourages me to be outstanding.
She got her foundation in product design at Limkokwing University where her most outstanding project was the design of a jar opener for the disabled.
“Limkokwing University of Creative Technology taught me to think-out-of-the-box. It encourages me to be outstanding,” said Mei Ling who had received a full scholarship from the University.
“I’m from Perak and coming to a big city was definitely a challenge. But the warmth and friendliness of the multi-racial campus was overwhelming. It made every day of my university life so enjoyable. It certainly made me a more independent girl,” she said.
She added that as a product designer, it was important to get the right education to train our minds to be creative and innovative. “My lecturers taught me the concept of ‘rope and snake’ whereby one can generate ideas through combining the design of two objects with similar characteristics. It was so useful that I apply it in my daily life,” said Mei Ling who credits Limkokwing University for giving her a priceless education and experience.
Constant generation of new ideas is often a challenge for designers but Mei Ling sees it in a different perspective. “Ideas are everywhere. We just need to search for it from around us or even through the internet where a lot of information is available. We should also expose ourselves to a range of activities that can inspire us to think and come up with new ideas,” explained Mei Ling.
Her secret in being a successful product designer?
“Treat the entire design process as a hobby or an interest, not a job. Don’t be afraid of exploring new ideas. Everything involves hard work as success does not fall from the sky. You have to be mature and persevere, always”.
“Through time, hard work and experience, you will gain trust and confidence from others and that is something money can’t buy,” said Mei Ling. ‘Failure’ to Mei Ling means that one should go back to the start to identify the cause and find solutions to the problem. It is like an opportunity to learn and analyse the problem.
Describing herself as a cheerful person, Mei Ling aspires to be an established designer over the next few years and seeks new challenges to improve her skills. “From a mama’s girl to a fully independent woman, I’m ready to take on more,” said Mei Ling.
Treat the entire design process as a hobby or an interest, not a job. Don’t be afraid of exploring new ideas. Everything involves hard work as success does not fall from the sky.
Besides designing Mei Ling has another talent. She sings like a bird. “Singing releases my stress and tension. I love singing in the bathroom, no one gets to hear you,” giggles Mei Ling who formerly represented her school to perform in front of the district governor of Perak during her high school days. She was the Committee Service Director of the Interact Club.
She expresses thanks and appreciation towards her parents. “I’m not able to be where I am today if not for my parents. They supported me in every way they could and gave me a chance to pursue my studies in the city. I know they do miss me a lot. Even though I’m working, I still take the time, at least once a month to visit them,” said Mei Ling whose hometown is in Telok Intan, Perak.
With a solid foundation in the related field, Mei Ling is now ready to face greater challenges in the product design industry. “The industry is very competitive as product design has a niche market compared to graphic design or interior design.” We reckon Mei Ling will succeed as she has the creativity and the confidence to make her mark in the world.