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Brenda Yap Poh Anne

Brenda Yap Poh Anne

Industrial Designer, Sharp Electronics, 2009
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Industrial Design

Practice makes perfect, so do more technical drawings whenever you have the chance. Visualize and appreciate everything around you, because anything in your life can be a source of inspiration for ideas, concepts and designs.

17 July 2009

Petite, Patriotic and Poised for Success

Written by Christine Chan

At 24 years of age, Brenda Yap is a force to be reckoned with in the field of industrial design, having designed for markets as diverse as Latin America and Southeast Asia. She also volunteers as a member of RELA, contributing to the country’s peace and security. Christine Chan salutes this brilliant and ambitious Limkokwing University alumna.

Graduating with a BA in Industrial Design from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in 2006,  Brenda Yap describes her university as a ‘hub where creativity is expanded’.  “The education system in Limkokwing University focuses greatly on the experiential and practical training aspect of education apart from just theories, giving students exposure to the outside world,” said Brenda.

The knowledge gained there was put to good use when Brenda landed herself a job as an industrial designer in one of Malaysia’s leading electrical and electronic goods company,  Sharp Electronics.

“The work structure is very challenging. Our team handles designs for audio visual products such as televisions, sub woofer speakers and other audio products,” she said.

Brenda also takes some time to explain the design process involved with every project. “The first stage is the ideation stage where the concept and overall design directions are made, followed by the brainstorming or development stage where more ideas are generated.”

The education system in Limkokwing University focuses greatly on the experiential and practical training aspect of education apart from just theories, giving students exposure to the outside world.

“The next step is a presentation to the clients, followed by technical drawings and setting up the 3D mock up,” explained Brenda, who is currently working on a new design for a Sharp LCD television.

Brenda and her team of designers were the ones behind the sleek and elegant design of Sharp’s Xflat Slim TV. She was also the designer for Sharp’s DVD player, which can be seen at Harvey Norman stores nationwide and leading electrical and electronic stores in Malaysia.

Acknowledged for her creativity and dynamic way of thinking, Brenda was chosen by Sharp to design goods for the Latin American, Singaporean, American and Filipino market. From time to time, she also designs for Kenwood and Pioneer.

Prior to this, Brenda worked at Lee Huat Plastics, where she designed plastic house-ware. She also designed premium plastic products for premium brands such as Nestle and Rubbermaid.

Expecting that the local designing industry will experience a pinch from the global economic recession, Brenda believes that the following years to come will be fairly rocky for Malaysian designers. Nevertheless, she is certain that the industry is far from demise despite being in the services sector, because design is an important element in manufacturing.

“If you don’t have design, you don’t have products. That’s why the slowdown will only be temporary,” she said.

Not only does Brenda design electrical and electronic equipment, she is also a member of RELA Malaysia, where she volunteers to protect the country’s sovereignty. Despite her petite appearance, Brenda is physically fit, having participated in outdoor discipline courses, shooting camps and various other outdoor camps.

“It feels great to be able to help people despite my size,” she says, adding that she also loves to rock climb at Genting or The Summit during her free time.

Brenda hopes to be able to design for a larger and more challenging market in four or five years’ time.  One of the inventions she hopes to contribute to designing would be a rescue helicopter.

Failures that turn into lessons to learn from will give you more confidence and will reveal to you how to make things better the next time around.

“It would definitely be a challenging project. It cannot be a normal helicopter because it would have to go into narrow and dangerous sites to rescue people,” she said, adding that if there were no physical limitations to design, she would also love to design lifestyle products capable of detecting human emotion or equipments that can cure cancer.

Brenda leaves us with some advice for future industrial designers. “Practice makes perfect, so do more technical drawings whenever you have the chance. Visualize and appreciate everything around you, because anything in your life can be a source of inspiration for ideas, concepts and designs.”

Above all else, Brenda reminds us that the key to success is to persevere always. “Failures that turn into lessons to learn from will give you more confidence and will reveal to you how to make things better the next time around,” she closed.

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