Malaysian senior designer offers RM1 virtual classes to help students with their projects and thesis

At 72, designer Zainal Abidin is still passionate about his work and is offering affordable classes for design students. — Picture via Zainal Abidin
At 72, designer Zainal Abidin is still passionate about his work and is offering affordable classes for design students. — Picture via Zainal Abidin

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PETALING JAYA, July 21 — Senior designer Zainal Abidin Abdul Rahman, 72, is not letting his age get in the way of helping students with their design projects amid Covid-19.

Zainal Abidin, a former LimKokWing University of Creative Technology’s design lecturer, wants to share his love for design to students struggling with online learning through his guided classes worth RM1.

 

 

His aim is to reach out to as many students from diploma level right up to Doctor of Philosophy level with their coursework and thesis.

So far, a total of 45 students have shown interest in his classes while eight of them including a few masters students have already had online sessions with him.

Speaking to Malay Mail, he said that the efficacy of any design project is through physical lessons where teachers are able to see a student’s progress and offer immediate feedback.

“Having a teacher by your side is important as a design student so that he or she can correct your mistakes and observe your work.

“But with the pandemic, everything has shifted online and I’ve noticed some students are just so uninterested in producing their work to the best of their abilities.”

“One student who sought guidance from me showed me her sketchwork and it was far away from expectations.”

He added that although the student was clueless as to the concept taught in her university’s online class, she managed to seek help from him and will be showing him her new designs.

Apart from the student, a school teacher and even a florist had approached him online to ask him for his feedback to generate ideas and ways to create other floral designs.

Asked as to why he offered cheap classes, the senior designer said all he wanted was to share his skills, experience and knowledge to the younger people without profit in mind.

With the multiple lockdowns imposed, he added that many students were unable to leave their homes to meet people from the industry, and he wanted to connect students with industry leaders.

“I’ve had over 40 years of experience in design and just imagine if the people I’ve worked with can also help university students with their projects, how successful can that collaboration be?

“Connecting students to the right industry leaders for substantial feedback is important for their growth as future designers.”

As someone who takes pride in his work, Zainal Abidin said that students needed to be extra motivated to utilise and learn various tools online.

“One needs to dedicate their time to their students and take the time to learn various tools online.

“Even for me, at my age, I’m still learning how to use various online platforms and video calls but it’s possible and my love for design is driving me to learn all these tools,” he said.

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