Student Spotlight: Bryan Lee

Posted on July 13, 2010

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A very personal word (964 words actually) from a promising industrial designer, Bryan Lee.
If it’s too wordy, just skip to the video, that’s the best part.

“Hello, my name is Bryan Lee. I graduated from Monash University Australia with Bachelor of Industrial Design (with honours) in 2009 and left with a distinct passion for automotive design.

Since young, my parents encouraged me to pick up a pen and draw. Through grade 3 to grade 10, the desire to draw quirky objects and characters became so common that I would occasionally get in trouble with the teachers because of the constant ‘graffiti’ on textbooks and homework. However, it was not till grade 11 did I discover that there was a way to bring my creativity to life: Industrial Design.

Like many amateur designers, my initial goal after highschool was to design something that looked ‘cool’ but without a deeper meaning. With this mindset however, I was rejected from Monash University.

I realized that Industrial Design was about a deeper connection between the user and product, and began to understand the heart of design. I focused on my goal and enrolled in a TAFE course, studying Applied Design and built up a more meaningful folio while experiencing the nature of a design environment and workload. After a year at TAFE, with a new mindset and motivation, I was accepted into Monash University.

Monash was a mind-blowing and life-changing experience, and has alway encouraged me to design with emotion; giving meaning and direction to a design, whilst relating the form with its function, beautifying it with styling techniques.

I only realised a further passion for automotive design during my third year at Monash. I picked the automotive elective hoping to challenge myself in something I knew I was not great in, and to further learn the techniques of styling. Monash had a fantastic automotive design history which enveloped me with a desire to design vehicles, not only through styling but the way it could affect society and our future.

Graduating from Monash, I left with a mindset to improve our future through what I now live and breathe. Design.”

The Good Stuff: (nope, there’s no sound)

Aid Necessities Transporter
Everyday, we witness unavoidable effects of the global climate crisis. Disasters caused by this phenomenon are impacting all parts of the world. Due to this, there is an urgent need for quick and effective aid response in these areas. The A.N.T (Aid Necessities Transporter) is designed for humanitarian organizations such as the United Nations for transportation of food, water, medical supplies and housing units to disaster-stricken areas. Having swift and all-terrain capabilities, the A.N.T incorporates a new and efficient distribution system.

A.N.T is designed to enhance the abilities of international aid organisations, allowing them to reach more people in less time, as well as delivering packages that are a compact solution of food and accommodation distribution. The package allows for the storage of food, temporary housing as well as electricity and clean water generation.


The A.N.T, a 6-wheeled vehicle with an abdomen-like supply unit, adopts styling cues from the aesthetics of ants.


Quick and efficient travel over any terrain.


The vehicle’s carrying and distribution purpose relates to the ant’s ability to carry 10-50 times their own body weight.


The A.N.T travels back and forth to transport their food and supplies to their ‘nest’.

The Design Critic: Bryan, tell us more about how you got to this project.
Bryan Lee:
The idea came from a scenario where we will be tackling the increasing numbers of natural disasters caused by global warming, but instead of the typical direction of solving global warming, I decided to design something to efficiently address the after effects of it.

I began researching the current response procedures of natural disasters undertaken by organisations such as the United Nations. I was fortunate enough to get in contact with a United Nations solider/photographer who supported me throughout my design process, answering any questions I had. From the research, many problems were discovered and thus strengthened my design objectives.

Many truck-like sketches were generated, however it was not until I came across an ant documentary did my vehicle start looking like it is now. Inspiration was taken from nature and the form soon came together through its function and purpose.

TDC: Tell us more about the A.N.T distribution system. That sounds pretty interesting.
BL: The A.N.T runs on a unique system specially designed for a more rapid response in transporting supplies. In its transport mode, the A.N.T will carry slightly less supplies than current conventional trucks in exchange for increased mobility over harsher terrain .

Travelling in groups, the A.N.T will leave the headquarters toward the disaster stricken area. Upon arrival, the vehicle will efficiently deploy the supply unit. Once deployed, the A.N.T will then rotate its front 90 degrees downwards, transforming into its Rapid mode. In this mode, the vehicle will then quickly travel back to headquarters ready to load up another supply unit. In addition, the deployed supply unit at the destination will expand, creating an instant temporary housing for medical shelters, distribution points or shelter for people in need.

TDC: Why did you choose to stick to ‘boring’ colors like black and white?
BL: Deciding the colour and trim for this vehicle was a difficult task. I had to choose between a more logical aspect or something more concept game like. Colours like charcoal, orange and blue were experimented with and turned out quite cool and unique, however, the final decision was made to use white and black to stay true to the United Nations vehicles. Choosing these colours also made the A.N.T seem more realistic and portrayed a more authoritative sense.
TDC: That’s great, these vehicles look very futuristic, yet very feasible. Could also imagine these vehicles in a computer game with camo prints all over them.

TDC’s Summary for Lazy Busy People: Bryan Lee has designed an ultra-cool ant-like vehicle, coupled with an ultra-efficient aid distribution system for the United Nations. That alone would make anyone want to volunteer to pilot (the word drive just doesn’t do justice) one of these bad boys.

What we think: Bryan’s A.N.T concept is central to the ecology of ants, and although not every aspect of that is applicable, he has managed to adapt the relevant characteristics into design guidelines. This level of resolution is impressive for a one-man show, and could be taken much further (e.g. refinement of the temporary shelter, development of a mobile and base communications system) if he was provided with the necessary support. In short, probably the best work we have seen this year, in every aspect. Well done Bryan.

-The Design Critic

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