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This article was contributed by Singapore Polytechnic.
Kwan Shu Jun Josephine
Diploma in Landscape Architecture (DLA)
Awards: Low Guan Onn Gold Medal
Changing The World Through Nature And Kindness
Kwan Shu Jun Josephine grew up watching her grandmother care for a mini garden along the corridor of their flat. Spending her childhood tending to the plants, Josephine became attracted to nature. After the passing of her father when she was six, Josephine found solace in helping her grandmother work on the mini garden and they grew herbs such as chilli padi, basil and lime. Apart from plants, the design and structure of modern buildings also intrigued Josephine.
At the age of 14, the Woodlands Ring Secondary School student knew that a career combining her love for nature and architecture was the way forward. After hearing about Singapore Polytechnic (SP)’s Diploma in Landscape Architecture (DLA) from a church friend who was in the course, Josephine felt that she found her calling and was determined to enrol in DLA through the Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP). With that goal in mind, Josephine did well for her GCE ‘N’ Levels, and eventually earned a spot in SP. The tenacious young lady even rose up the ranks to become the PFP Chapter President, leading her peers in various student activities.
At SP, Josephine’s passion bloomed. During her three-month internship with international architecture firm, DP Architects, Josephine worked on several projects, ranging from building interiors to landscaping for shopping malls. Despite working from home during the circuit breaker, Josephine gained valuable real-world experience in the architecture industry with guidance from her mentors.
For her final year project, Josephine drew inspiration from the rainforest and married it with Singapore’s forward looking vision. She developed a modern vertical landscaping concept for the Marsiling-Kranji estate, which envisions communal spaces with safe distancing buffers for the residents.
SP also gave Josephine a platform to shine. Working with a multi-disciplinary student team, Josephine conceptualised innovative designs using 3D digitalisation, to breathe new life into SP’s campus façade. Her ideas were well-received by SP’s management and will be implemented in the near future.
Tapping on her creativity and love for design and nature, Josephine started an online business selling customised stickers. The kind-hearted lass used her platform’s reach to rally support and donations for the World Wildlife Fund and Red Cross to save animals affected by the Australian wildfires and to help those affected by the volcanic eruptions in the Philippines. Josephine has also donated some of her earnings to organisations providing aid to children and women.
The spunky youth plans to pursue a double degree in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning or Design at the National University of Singapore. Her ultimate goal is to become a landscape architect who can contribute towards Singapore’s vision of becoming a green city. Josephine feels that more attention should be paid to conservation and developing a culture of sustainability. At the same time, she hopes to help the less fortunate along the way. We are sure the kind and big-hearted Josephine will achieve her dreams!