Enriching experiences through design

Design graduate Hans Kim gained the skills and confidence to believe in himself and the courage to chase his dream.

What designers do

If you want to get on the wrong side of Hans Kim, tell him designers make “pretty things”.

“It’s a common perception, but it’s completely wrong. As industrial designers, we’re on a journey to make the world a better place. Everything you design is really an extension of yourself—it portrays your philosophies and your world views.”

Leaving Disney World

Hans was working at Disney World in Florida when he found out about the industrial design programme at Victoria University of Wellington.

“It seemed to be the most creative school in New Zealand. It was certainly the only one trying to do something different, trying to push the boundaries, and I really liked that. The University has a fantastic reputation as a leading design institution. I knew I had to try it.

Paper and scissors

“I came in to school expecting exams and cramming and text books but it was the complete opposite. I got blank sheets of paper to work with and a pair of scissors and I was expected to make something completely different from anyone else.

“I had to learn a whole bunch of new skills. It was hard but I looked forward to it every day and relished the challenges the lecturers set me. I knew I had found my calling.”

Local, national, global

Hans says he was constantly reminded of how big the world is while studying at the University “We were encouraged to look at problems on many different scales—locally, nationally and globally.”

Planet design

Hans has three priorities for life after university: build his own design firm, make things he wants (and have other people pay for them) and design a planet. Lofty ambitions aside, he vows his working life will be focused on communicating his vision of a better life.

“I want to enrich the everyday experiences of people, regardless of who they are.”

Know Your Mind

“To Know Your Mind means knowing what you want and, regardless of pressure or other people’s opinions, having the courage to go after it.

“If you let others influence you then it’s no longer your mind. Trust yourself that you’ll know what’s best for you.”

See other students talk about their university experience and what Know Your Mind means to them.