Baan Dek

Wen Duan


Q: Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Your background, your interests, your dreams?

As a child, I moved around a lot. We eventually settled down in Brookings, South Dakota my sophomore year of high school, when my dad started teaching at SDSU. After high school, I attended University of California Berkeley for electrical engineering and computer science. During this time, I started to develop my own online business starting with only with a handful of ideas and over the last three years it grew into a lifestyle business.

As for interests, I enjoy making things out of various materials (i.e. clay, paper, glass, resin, wood, fiber…) that can be functional or decorative. I also love consuming from all sources of pop culture film, audio, or written. I am also a total tech, math, and design geek.

My ultimate dream is to constantly create multi-platform projects and meet and collaborate with people whose work I admire.

Q: How were you first introduced to Montessori?

When I applied, I saw, “Montessori,” and some after some online sleuthing I discovered a teaching philosophy that seemed reflect what I had accidentally discovered as an adult through brute force of experience and decisions. My interest was piqued and knew this was something I had to explore!

Q: What was it about Montessori that resonated with you?

When I was in school I excelled at math and science, but I treated writing assignments as a secondary list of chores I had to do. That all changed when I took a college composition class during my junior year of high school. The class integrated general ideas with the relatable pop culture, I became inspired by editorial writing that I’ve never read before and started developing a passion for writing. I entered a lot of writing competitions, and worked on non-school writing prompts. A whole new world that I’ve previously dismissed opened before my eyes. Through this discovery, I realized that part of my education became a chore instead of an opportunity to explore and create.

I’ve always strongly believed that everyone has unlimited potential. From what I’ve seen and learned, Montessori nurtures the children’s natural passion to learn and develops the tools for independence. Something I’m still slowly rediscovering for myself.

Q: What brought you to Baan Dek?

Developing and maintaining good habits can be hard, but is great when you have a very positive work community.

After working for myself for the three years, I realized that I needed routine and structure in my life and was looking for a work community that embodied positivity, which I found in Baan Dek!

I now realize I was struggling with freedom of choice I had and was looking for more discipline in my day to day life and have found that balance here.

Q: What treats do you always say yes to?

Mochi, egg tarts, and ice coffee!

Q: What are your favorite colors?

Kelly Green and Candy Apple Red

Q: What is your favorite childhood book or movie?

Madeline, and Wallace and Gromit

Q: How do you like to spend your free time?

I am always learning and making something new, while consuming pop culture and podcasts. Currently I am learning to play the Ukulele, and making wood puzzles and 3d structures on laser cutters.

I also love exploring the world through a camera. So whenever I can I always take pictures!

Q: What is your favorite animal and why?

Mantis Shrimp.

They have 16 color-receptive cones in their eyes (humans only have 3). Their predatory claw embody the process of supercavitation, an underwater shock wave of air through water that produces heat and focus of force of 1,500 newtons. The reason why you do not see them at aquariums because they can break the glass.

Besides their seemingly ability to defy the laws of physics,  I really like them because they are a rainbow.

Q: What did you want to be when you were little?

I wanted to be an architect and a mathematician.  

Q: What’s a fun fact about your life?

I have a french bulldog named Chloe Tudor! She’s loves napping and adores attention.

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