University Awards

Outstanding Educator Award

I like telling students about my failures, folly, uncertainty and successes. In a relational and safe atmosphere, they clarify their strengths and weaknesses without despair. We can then stretch their capacity with challenging real-world projects. Mr Donn KOH
BA (Hons) (NUS)
Division of Industrial Design, College of Design and Engineering (CDE)
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  • Created the Launchpad design entrepreneurship platform project which, through crowdfunding, launched and sold more than 280,000 units of student-created products and resulted in nine spin-off start-ups
  • Developed pedagogical approaches to creativity and idea creation that are demystified and systematic, even for “non-creatives”. This was deployed for Design Fundamentals modules, and has now been extended to the CDE Common Curriculum under the Design Thinking module
  • Module lead for Design Entrepreneurship and Creative Leadership. Developed a unique type of “responsive” module for final-year students, where the teaching content is re-curated yearly based on learner demand (through polls and interviews), faculty-judgement, and industry advice. These six to eight timely workshops are in high demand by final-year students, as they create a link to relevant career pathways
  • Steered the final-year Design Thesis Project through the incorporation of increasing variety in topic areas and teacher specialisations. This fostered an environment of exchange and mutual learning among the teachers who were involved, while preserving the synergistic identity of the combined final-year output
  • Deploys an innovative method of high-touch, bi-directional video messaging with students for disarming, coaching and feedback. This was shared at the Design Teaching Symposium in 2021, organised by the Department of Architecture and supported by the NUS Teaching Academy
  • Inventor of the bend-and-snap mechanism of the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse, one of the most iconic input devices and commercially successful tech products that has been a bestseller for more than a decade
  • TEDx invited speaker for “How can good design impact our future”, at TEDx Inaugural SE Asia Collaboration
  • Juror for the Taiwan International Student Design Competition 2019; International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2020; IDEA 2021; and the Singapore Good Design (SG Mark) Award 2021
  • His work titled “MATr” was selected by Lidewij Edelkoort—one of the world’s most famous trend forecasters—for Rado’s “Designing Lightness” Exhibition in Basel
  • Annual Teaching Excellence Award (2012; 2015) and Honour Roll (2021), NUS
  • Teaching Excellence Award Honour Roll (2012 – 2018), School of Design and Environment
  • 2020 SkillsFuture Fellowship
  • His works have won numerous accolades including the President’s Design Award, BraunPrize (Grand Prize), The Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award, IDSA IDEA Gold & Silver, iF Design, and multiple Red Dot Best of the Best awards. Notable works include the Leapfrog Cerebral Palsy Walker, the AIR+ Smart Mask, and the HTC Evo 4G
 Honour Roll Recipients