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Sarah Tan

Google ‘fiver’

You’ve got to be a pretty special person to make it into Google’s Creative Lab. Sarah Tan is one of the lucky ‘Fivers’ – Five multi-disciplinary creatives with heads chock-full of ideas that drive Google’s creative vision.

This year, Sarah brings her skills in design to the team, and is learning to code in the process. She’s a former freelance graphic designer, with a personal interest in HTML and CSS.

“In high school, I thought I was going to be an artist, just painting all day!” she admits. It wasn’t until entering entrepreneurship and mentoring program, Hacker Exchange, that her interests in tech grew.

The Hacker Exchange pairs bright and ambitious youngsters with industry mentors around the globe. Sarah and her cohort got to visit America’s Silicon Valley, meeting entrepreneurs and successful start-up founders in the heartland of American business.

“Hacker Exchange showed me how tech is changing the industry. I got to learn about how businesses work and what innovation really means. It definitely sets me apart.”

Working at Google has been one of Sarah’s lifelong dreams, but it’s not all been smooth sailing. Sarah applied many times in the 2 years prior to the Creative Lab, with no luck.

“Funny thing is, I never really knew about Google’s Creative Lab 5 until my friend told me about it. I did a bit of digging and I discovered they do really cool projects.”

The team gathers together for a year to breathe fresh life and new perspectives into ways we can use Google’s existing technologies.

“To put it quite simply, Google’s Creative Lab 5 is trying to bridge the gap between technology and reality. We create experiences where users interact with tech, like in a museum or at an event. One of our assignments might be, what can we do creatively with Google Maps?”

Working with Google has given Sarah a new appreciation for interactions between art and tech.

“With technology you can bring art to life, put a whole layer of interactivity and make it much more interesting!”

“With technology you can bring art to life, put a whole layer of interactivity and make it much more interesting!”


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