From SDS to LAB: Waka’s journey

Oct 30 / Elina
Waka Yasuda from Japan was accepted to study Product and brand design at LAB University of Applied Sciences. Read more about her journey and get to know her works and insights.

Waka’s dream was to study design abroad, particularly in the Scandinavian countries renowned for their design. Her family’s affection for Scandinavian designers and brands such as Alvar Aalto and Iittala furthered her interest. Despite her self-taught design knowledge from books and online resources, Waka knew she needed more. With only a couple of months left before university applications began, she enrolled in SDS’s entrance exam course to improve her skills. During the course, Waka immersed herself in sketching, ideation, and prototyping exercises. She tried to do everything to the fullest extent to get as much feedback as possible.
“Teachers’ feedback was always on point, clear, and constructive, and it helped me a lot! She always pointed out something that I didn’t even think about.”

Her teachers’ guidance was invaluable, providing constructive insights she hadn’t considered before. The teacher showed her that design is more than just the final product; it is also about the journey and process behind each creation.

“She taught me it is important to talk and show my work process and that a presentation does not only evolve around the final product.”
Waka underwent a challenging selection process when applying to Aalto University and LAB University of Applied Sciences, which included essays, assignments, interviews, and timed tasks. However, she confidently approached each challenge with her gained experience at SDS. Her teachers’ advice to transparently showcase her creative process proved vital, ultimately leading to her successful application. She got accepted to LAB: University of Applied Sciences and was 12th on the waiting list for Aalto University.

Looking back, Waka acknowledges her only regret: not starting her studies at SDS sooner. The flexibility of the self-paced online course allowed her to organize her studies effectively, but she wished she had more time to delve deeper into the material. Through SDS, she realized that design was not just about aesthetics but about honestly expressing her ideas and perspectives.
Waka’s journey with SDS proves that anyone can do it and is only a matter of dedication and professional mentorship.

“It is great that at SDS, you can get advice from professionals with enough knowledge and experience regarding Scandinavian universities.”

It’s a story that resonates with aspiring designers who value skill development and real-world application. SDS provided her with a platform to refine her skills, gain expert insights, and cultivate a transparent approach to design. 

We are proud of Waka, and we wish her to have successful studies at LAB University of Applied Sciences!
Created with