By Lee Dion

He started with doodles, “lots and lots of them” or “random ramblings”, as he calls his drawings and that has stuck with him since.

Haziqq, or affectionately known as Ziqq by his friends, is an aspiring designer and his life is anything but planned – he “was thrown into it”.

He stumbled into his current course of Design for Interactivity (DDI) at Republic Polytechnic because his ‘O’ level grades won’t take him anywhere else.

It was only during the beginning of his final-year that he realised it was all “a blessing in disguise” because he has found “no other environment that can stimulate” him better.

But in recent years, Singapore has seen a surge in design schools to cater to the growing pool of creative talents. What then, sets Haziqq apart from the rest?

While most would expect designers to talk arty and assume full control, the 19-year-old student has always been “user-centric”.

“As a designer, you design not just as a form of self-expression, it should be realistic and practical. You should aim to give people what they need and want. It’s all about the user’s experience,” explains Haziqq. “Give them solutions to enhance the way they interact with the designs.”

His guiding design principles have certainly paid off; his present portfolio is nothing short of top grade. The sizeable collection is encapsulated online in his personal website that details all he has done.

When asked if there is anyone that he looks up to, he replies almost instantly, “Chuan”, a reference to Dr Chong Li-Chuan, the Chairperson of DDI.

“Dr Chong makes you look at things with a fresh perspective. He takes you beyond the surface and probes you to go to the next level of thinking,” says Haziqq, whose hushed but intense passion and drive to succeed becomes evident as he speaks.

To succeed at what, you wonder? He grins before saying that he wants to return as a lecturer to inspire others, the way he was inspired. But before of all that, the aspiring designer wants to start out as a product designer with Apple because it “observes and creates products that work better”.

Having said that, Haziqq recognises that the journey ahead will not be easy. However, if anything, it will be his humility and willingness to improve that will see him through the hurdles.

Perhaps it is his humble background that taught Haziqq the value of pragmatism and clear-headedness; he deals with compliments almost nonchalantly.

During the interview, he repeatedly downplays his works, often reiterating that there are others who are more capable, despite the fact that his school had chosen him to front the school in this interview.

“I’ve gone through a lot in my life. I’ve had my share of ups and downs and I do not think that I’m at my best yet because I can still improve, aim higher,” says Haziqq.

From his early days as a doodling toddler to a dreamy youth, and the present day design guru in the making, Haziqq has certainly walked a long and winding path. The next big project he is working on is an exhibition of his final-year project.

Entitled “Project Lumiere”, Haziqq wants to create a lighted status “whose rays will reflect the love that is synonymous with the goodness,” referring to Venus de Milo, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

“But why stop at just a statue when I can take it one step further and turn it into a lighted ornament?” he muses.

With that, he picks up his pencil and paper and begins doodling all over, once again drawn into his pensive, contemplative and dreamy state.

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