Architecture and built environment, Student Stories, Thailand

Turning my design dream into a business reality

August 11, 2022 - 4 min read

I am Wallapa. I graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Design (Architecture) in 2017. Now I am a business owner where I manufacture interior products and also provide design services, such as logos, packaging and advertising materials.  

My passion for building design started when I was about nine years old. I had a dream of living in a big house. I told my mom about it and she made my dream come true. As we built the house, I talked to architects and interior designers as well as visited the site, which made me so excited and enthusiastic to learn many new things. After my dream house was finished, I was so happy to decorate my bedroom with furniture, curtains and a bunch of flowers like in fairy tales. This strong passion for designing made me aim to be a building designer.  

Surprisingly, during my studies at Deakin I found many talents which I never thought I had. I believe everyone has their special talents and it is up to us to understand those talents and make them shine.’ 

After I knew what I wanted to do for life, I studied very hard to make my dream come true. I met up with a Deakin University study advisor who advised me the best solution to achieve my academic goal of architecture. Finally, I got accepted in the Bachelor of Design (Architecture) in 2015. I was extremely happy and excited on my first day at Deakin in the name of an ‘architecture student’. The reason I decided to study at Deakin was because the School of Architecture and Built Environment is located in Geelong near the beach, where it is very peaceful and beautiful to relax after study. 

Learning architecture is not easy. You not only have to be physically strong in regards to working very hard on assignments, but also mentally strong. Why did I need mental strength? Because for me, I needed to have a new mindset about what the design community is like. It was very tough, such as getting negative feedback on presentations, after doing tons of works in the time limitation. In order to support me, my lecturers and tutors created such an academic environment because they wanted students to have good time management, be patient and brave and have confidence. This helped students create a new mindset so we would be able to adapt to the real work environment after graduation.  

An important thing that I learned is ‘our signature’, which is about bringing your own character to work, such as how you draw or design individually. It can also be called ‘our uniqueness’. After three years of studying architecture, I understand myself so much more, especially my talents and my uniqueness. Surprisingly, during my studies at Deakin I found many talents which I never thought I had. I believe everyone has their special talents and it is up to us to understand those talents and make them shine.  

I could not afford to continue into a masters degree in architecture right after my bachelor graduation so after two months I started to apply for jobs back home in Thailand. After my graduation ceremony, it was very difficult and sad for me to get to the gate at the airport to go back home, but this is how life is. I had to carry on my life in a new chapter.  

My first full-time job was in sales for luxury lighting products. Then I started in an international company as a drafter for stone countertops. But my family was in a monetary crisis with only my salary, so I started a new journey: a business about interior products and design services. Starting a first business from negative, not even from zero, was very tough. I had to learn many things, such as accounting. Luckily, my knowledge from studying architecture at Deakin helped me a lot. For example, I designed cabinet doors with a frame for installation in concrete kitchens or bathroom counters.  

Wallapa with her cabinet designs

‘I would like to say a big thank you to Deakin, from the study advisors, to the lecturers and tutors who shaped me to be ‘me’ today.’

Two and a half years have passed for my business and it is going very well. But I work more in a factory setting than in design, which has been my dream since I was nine. Due to many people relying on me, including my family and my staff, I would not be able to leave them and do the thing that I dream of alone. So, I mixed my dream to match with what my business currently needs to make everyone happy.  

For my next career move, I will definitely continue my business, but will expand. For my study, I do believe that there is no end of study so I am currently studying short courses. Most importantly, I am planning to come back to Deakin to finish my dream – my masters degree in architecture. 

I would like to say a big thank you to Deakin, from the study advisors, to the lecturers and tutors who shaped me to be ‘me’ today. 

Quick links

Learn more about Deakin’s Bachelor of Design (Architecture) 

Learn more about our student advisors 

Learn more about studying at Deakin University in Australia 

Ask us a question close

Make an enquiry

You can access our enquiry form here or by using the Learn More button at the bottom of this page.