Sarsenbek Hazken, Innovation Design Engineering, Abraaj RCA Innovation Scholar 2015 – 2017
Sarsenbek has a BA in Astronomy from the University of Science and Technology of China. Since graduating Sarsenbek has worked as a designer at Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan. His projects are primarily focussed on the design of clean energy products and energy-efficient buildings. Through various experiences, he has acquired the skills to design an astronomy themed golf course, hotel and business towers. At Nazarbayev University, he won an award for his idea of a National Innovation Museum in 2014.
Sarsenbek believes it is vital that Kazakhstan develop its own creative industry that represents the diversity of the country. He aims to establish the country’s first product design course and prototyping centre, and publish a textbook on industrial design for high school pupils in Kazakhstan.
In Conversation with Sarsenbek
Q: Take us behind the scenes on your final project.
A: My background is in Astrophysics and I worked in Nazarbayev University Centre for Renewable Energy as a Research Assistant. My inspiration comes from my Astronomy studies especially from physics, as well as biomimicry or culture elements. My final project is about Urban Air Transportation: eVTOL roadable aircraft and Vertiport. The aircraft wings fold back like a grasshopper and the (top view) shape of Vertiport comes from a Barred Spiral Galaxy. My IDE tutors and visiting tutors in RCA and ICL have really helped me achieved my goals.
Q: What is your most memorable experience in your two years as scholar and student at the RCA?
A:There have been many memorable moments as an Abraaj RCA scholar. The most memorable of which is the RCA internship/competition platform, which I won a “future attraction” design competition award hosted by Merlin Entertainments. For the award, I received a three month employment opportunity as a creative designer in the Merlin concept lab in London at the end of my first year at the RCA. I really enjoyed working with designers from diverse backgrounds.
Through this experience, I learned how the world’s second largest mainstream entertainment company creates and operates its brand in different countries and cities. Traditionally, Merlin hires graphic or other artistic designers, and I tried to bring my values and experience from a design engineering background.
Q: What plans do you have on graduating from the RCA?
A: In my long term career plan, I would prefer to look for opportunities in Mobility or Aviation Innovation or infrastructure development in International companies or start-ups. In my free time, I also want to establish an Innovation (Design) Museum in Astana.