Recently, an alumna of The One Academy’s School of Interior Architecture & Design dropped by to give an insightful sharing session with the students. Cammy Aw, who is now the co-founder of DOS Design Studio in Ecuador, was in town to receive the prestigious Malaysia Top 10 Outstanding Creative Youth Award. During the session, she shared with the students how stepping out of her comfort zone enabled her to not only win numerous competitions, but also allowed her to network and work with some of the top players in the interior design industry abroad. She emphasised the importance of collaboration and advised students to always share their ideas, expertise and knowledge as this would help them grow by leaps and bounds.
One of the key advices she shared with the students was to always be ready to step out of their comfort zones. She recounted her schooling days where her lecturer would motivate her to join multiple competitions and projects. She did so despite having hesitations and doubt on her capabilities. “Those competitions that I joined helped shape me into who I am today”, said Cammy. Her passion in arts and drawing and arts started early on as she was always drawing or sketching in her free time and her talent in hand sketching proved to be useful in other areas of her life as well.
After graduating from The One Academy, Cammy moved abroad to the United States to pursue her future in interior design. A bold but nevertheless a fruitful move, it was here that she built a strong foundation for herself. While pursuing her higher studies, she regularly took part in competitions in the hopes of improving herself and learning. It was through one such competition during which she earned herself the coveted ASID Georgia Chapter Design Excellence Award. The competition required her to conceptualise and come up with an interior design sketch. “I knew that most participants would use numerous programmes to produce their design, therefore I decided to hand sketch mine out. It was a bold move, but it paid off”, she said. Her hand-drawn sketch landed her a Merit Award. Recently, she emerged as champion in the Ecuador National Interior Design Competition, a truly impressive feat.
This accomplishment was followed by a string of others including the opportunity to work for the Computer Museum of America in Atlanta. She worked on SCAD, a Collaborative Learning Center to develop their interiors and lend a hand in setting up exciting showcases of computers. It was here she learned another important lesson which she shared with the attendees of the session. “Two is always better than one, when I was brainstorming for this project with my partner, we came up with exciting ideas that truly impressed the panel, landing us the project and many others after”, she recounted. Her other projects include the revamping of a cafeteria, working on several public places such as parks and hotels and designing the landmark Cruise Terminal in Manta, Ecuador.
Today, Cammy Aw is the co-founder of DOS Design Studios in Guayaquil, Ecuador where she and her partner, architect Adrian Ramirez, undertake many projects to design, build and develop large-scale projects, urban plans, buildings, parks and more. When asked how does she combat being stuck in a rut, she replied that she if a particular project or design is giving her a creative block, she puts it on hold and immerses herself in other activities. “Putting it out of your mind allows you to get away, refresh your mind and return to it with a new mind set, this truly helps me”, she advised. The informative session wrapped with a Q&A session with the head of The One Academy’s Interior Architecture and Design department, Dr. Eric Leong. The attendees left the venue motivated and ready to step out of their comfort zones to reach for success.