Dr Nyein Chan Aung is an internationally award-winning Industrial Designer, Design Researcher and Artist. He has positioned himself as a design expert at the intersection of mobility and med-tech.
Nyein completed his PhD in Industrial Design where he looked into improving the in-flight sleep of economy class passengers through the design of the aircraft cabin. Nyein is currently a Senior Design Researcher at Monash University’s Design Health Collab, where he oversees the design methods and outcomes of medical design interventions. He is also a lecturer in Industrial Design at Monash Art Design and Architecture (MADA).
What does being awarded a Creators Fund grant mean to you?
In professional design practices, we have a saying; Good, Fast, and Cost-Effective - you can pick any two but not all three. It's called the Iron Triangle. The Creators Fund Grant allowed me to break the iron triangle and select “good” only for the first time.
I now have time, funding, and freedom to design something in an area that I am deeply passionate about. I can schedule and plan various phases of the project according to best practice. I have funds that can be directed toward generating the best outcomes. And, lastly, I can employ methods and processes that are aimed to enrich and elevate design thinking as well as solving problems.
How important is 'time' to you, as an artist/creative professional?
Time is critical and must be budgeted just like money - but the difference is you can't just go and make more time. Good design takes time. I am an Industrial Designer; my work is meant to live with you in the real world at some point. That means some things will take time, and you have to let them. Some material must be cut very slowly - adhesives and paint must be given the time they need to dry. In a broader sense, new ideas take time to be embedded and embraced. So to me, “time” is the most necessary and precious element in design resources.
What are you most looking forward to over the months ahead?
My wife, Dr Thinn Thinn Khine and I are partnering on a project for the first time, and I'm looking forward to working with her. I'm also looking forward to experiencing what designing for “death with dignity” looks like. In my application and proposal, I wrote that, at it's most profound, this project is asking what the role of art and design is in dying. I'm curious what the answer is in the sense of the work we'll be doing.
Where would like to see yourself at the end of this process? How do you anticipate your career will develop as a result?
I see myself sharing our findings with the world. I see this project becoming the first in a series of design pursuits that will change the way we die. I anticipate that my position as a designer at the intersection of mobility and health will be reinforced and further recognised.