School of Design - 23 Jan 2015

Alisa Parveen: Fusing Architecture And Henna Art

Alisa Parveen has two great talents - a creative knack for architecture and an intricate talent for henna designing. Alisa, TP School of Design Alumni (2009), has since pushed limits in her professional career and personal hobby - showing us that we can truly achieve our goals. She now stands as an international henna star with her recently launched book, The Henna Narrative, and come this December 2015, she will have completed her Master of Architecture at the University of Melbourne.



A bubbly and talkative individual, Alisa recalled her unforgettable times at Temasek Polytechnic. She was completely sold when she attended TP’s Open House. The unity and liveliness of students made her want to be part of the TP family - and so she did! Alisa applied for the Diploma in Interior Architecture and Design, making tons of friends in the process. In Design School, it is important to share ideas with your course mates and keep expanding creativity, according to Alisa. She was constantly meeting people through events and Temasek Poly helped mold her in order to prepare for the real world.

“I would have to dress up for presentations in school and actual architects would come in to look at my work. I think what prepared me for the outside world was building that ability to take critiques of my work,” Alisa added.

And when she’s not busy in the studio, Alisa is getting creative with henna drawings. With 15 years of experience under her belt, Alisa’s designs are no ordinary ones. They are unique, intricate and have an underlying story behind them. From Indian, Moroccan, Indo-Arabic, Gulf to Western, Alisa has crafted henna with an international inspiration. Alisa enjoys taking up challenging and new designs as they push her creativity.

What’s more - the cover photo (below) of her new book features TP’s very own third year Design student, Trishna Goklani, who is currently pursuing a Diploma in Apparel Design and Merchandising.

A popular face at the Hari Raya and Deepavali Bazaars for years, Alisa has taken her talent out to the art markets in Sydney, Australia. Every Saturday without fail, you would spot Alisa creating modern and traditional henna art on eager people from all over the world. She gets her design inspiration mostly from beautiful historical landmarks—the Victorian, ornamental and traditional places that Sydney has to offer.



Alisa even gets a henna design inspiration from her architecture lectures at times. She might be sitting in a café and suddenly have a light bulb moment on a new pattern idea. It’s so interesting to see how architecture and henna designing go hand-in-hand, and Alisa is able to connect these two.



Siobhan is the model pictured above - who is also Alisa’s friend from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Her neckpiece was so beautifully done that it could even be mistaken as a piece of lace fabric. As a designer, Alisa feels the need to break out of her comfort zone and experiment with new art constantly.

Six years after graduating from TP, Alisa continues to keep in contact with her friends from the School of Design; she could never forget them as they were a big part of her poly life - practically siblings! They would work in the studio, eat together, share ideas and spend a lot of time in school. She’s made some good friendships.

“TP Design is all about creativeness,” Alisa said. “As much as practicality kicks in once in a while, they like to push your thinking boundaries.”

Alisa continues to chase her goals and set higher achievements for herself. She intends to create more design books in the future, become a renowned architect and continue her henna passion.

Just like Alisa, we all have huge goals and dreams - don’t ever give up TP family!  

*Stay tuned for more inspirational stories as we venture into the lives of TP Alumni*

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