Calendar : Creative Direction

After reading up Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene, I’ve gained some additional insights to time and relativity. We often regard time, the very moment that is in play right now the absolute “now” which is illuminated by a projector. The perceived “now” expires, becomes a dormant image and is labelled the “past” and the “future” gets illuminated and becomes “now” and the cycle repeats. Thus we perceive the world to operate in a one-way temporal arrow. While we always assume that this to be true because travelling backwards has not happened yet, physics indicate that it is not impossible. A cracked egg can potentially be un-cracked and spilt milk can be unspilt.


In this diagram we can clearly see the entirety of space and time which encompasses you and I sitting in our rooms typing our blog posts on OSS, the first Pyramid getting built (cliche) and the eventual heat death of the universe. IMG_1051

What does all these have to do with a calendar?

All that talk about linearity and time makes us think of how spacetime can be quantified within a certain framework, given how human beings always like to manage and solve things we can’t understand. We always manage to place ourselves as a bystander, an universal observer or a keeper that gets gratification from keeping everything under our control and having some sort of pre-empt to the vast forces of the cosmos. In a way, we want to be entities that are all-seeing and all-governing, the true masters of our existence through understanding.

While scientists are able to quantify and account for space and time in an orderly manner through relativity which accounts for the speed and distances between two subjects, the layman perceives time in a more psychologically driven way. This is partly due to our differences in terms of psyche and past experiences.

Time is one of the perceptions listed in our senses which is not based on sensory organs. Neuroscientists and psychologists studies indicate that human brains do actually have a system governing the perception of time which in particular is the suprachiasmatic nucleus that is responsible for the circadian (or daily) rhythm, while other cell clusters appear to be capable of shorter-range (ultradian) timekeeping.



In Singapore’s context, the lack of seasons can be both a blessing and a curse. The monotony that comes with the year-round heatwaves and occasion downpours can really put a ding in our ability to indulge ourselves in the atmosphere created by events throughout the year. The average person in Singapore would only hope for the monsoon to mark the end of a year.

So I mapped out once again some key points to the significance and meanings of passing a year here in Singapore. One of the ways that the majority of the working Singaporeans would choose to pass their time and making it meaningful is through work. Every day is a cycle and that cycle goes on to form an even bigger cycle. I wanted to focus on the mental manifestations of the ways people mark a year in Singapore.


At this point , there are various keywords that I’ve drawn out that I feel are important and crucial to my project.

-The Wet and Dry-ness of Singapore’s climate in a year.

-The dominance of digital information in Singapore.

-The Mundaneness of work culture.

-The perception of future based on past extrapolated data. 

-Our perception that with less significant events unfolding throughout the years,  each of the years feel shorter as we grow older.



An initial (silly? Idk) idea with the intent of creating a simple calendar that makes you work hard to use it. 


I used the Runic Calendar as a reference due to its format. It has this overview that’s quite similar to the conventional commercial calendar yet has this systematic approach that lets you lay out the entire year and see recurrences, patterns and allows you to draw relations between them.

I aim to create a calendar that merges rainfall datas from previous years/(months? Unsure and looking at the viability now) into a certain visual form that is comprehensive through a generative process. The calendar will be annotated with visual icons indicating important religious and national holidays. Through the visual datas, the user of the calendar will be able to extrapolate and determine the rainfall level on each day through a series of overlapping visual patterns. At face value these datas might not even be enough to predict weather without taking humidity, sea levels etc into account.  But is a way of instantly granting us the ability to account for something through a more analogous approach by looking into the past to determine the future. A rather old school approach that relies on your intuition rather than current digital technology like a fortune telling graph. 

As of now, I’m hoping to incorporate a textural component that improves the interactivity and in a way making it a traditional weather teller. 




Alexandra Roozen – Few

I couldn’t find any explanation for the intentions of the works yet but I am intrigued by the rows of paired squares that in a way correlate with each other to create a certain depth of the overall piece. I was wondering if there was some corresponding datas being input into creating this work. The placement of the squares seemed methodical yet random at the same time, as though there’s some relationships in play.

W- Typeflight - Sergi Delgado

W- Sergi Delgado

Similar to Alexandra Roozen’s work, I am intrigued by the generative look and feel of this typographic work which also does a number on your senses as well. The parallel curves are very much graph like and I’m contemplating ways that I can make use of this aesthetic.

Ancient Runic Calendar



Ancient Lunar Runic Calendar from Sāmsala (the island of the Sami or the isle of Ösel).

It is of 13 four-week months, consisting of 28 days each. The days read from right to left, like the Hebrew, and in every case the week commences with Monday and ends with Sunday.

Øsel is the name of the island when it was under Danish rule in the Medieval period, and the Swedish with the name Ösel. The ancient Greek – Phonicians and culture of the pre-christian Roman Empire likely influenced the Baltic and Nordic Runic scripts. People came to the Nordic and Estonian – Baltic areas with the Iron Age Indo-European people connected to the Early Roman Empire. This period is archaeologically named: The Roman Nordic Iron-Age. The people were likely the ancient Nordic Goths – a people that from early on merged with the indigenous people and that later were displaced from the areas they inhabiated in the Nordic by the Dacian people that came from Eastern Europe to the northwestern and the Nordic areas during the Medieval period.



Mind map, thoughts and baby steps to concept.


During the initial mapping, several palpable areas have surfaced.

Perhaps the most straightforward and elaborate method will be to engage the senses. Picking out senses other than the basic five that we’ve always been so familiar with. Therefore, I started looking into other ways that our bodies are able to navigate externalities. Why is this important you may ask. I feel that our senses are the only things we have connecting us to the vast unknown that is the cosmos and therefore it is the only thing that anchors us down to a certain spacetime and its fleetness. Hence I find it interesting if I can identify a motor or a reflect in our body that is not (or could be) one of the 5 primary senses to be put in focus and be utilised for identifying time.

  • Sight:  This technically is two senses given the two distinct types of receptors present, one for color (cones) and one for brightness (rods).
  • Taste:  This is sometimes argued to be five senses by itself due to the differing types of taste receptors (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami), but generally is just referred to as one sense.  For those who don’t know, umami receptors detect the amino acid glutamate, which is a taste generally found in meat and some artificial flavoring.  The taste sense, unlike sight, is a sense based off of a chemical reaction
  • Touch:  This has been found to be distinct from pressure, temperature, pain, and even itch sensors.
  • Pressure: Obvious sense is obvious.
  • Itch:  Surprisingly, this is a distinct sensor system from other touch-related senses.
  • Thermoception:  Ability to sense heat and cold.  This also is thought of as more than one sense.  This is not just because of the two hot/cold receptors, but also because there is a completely different type of thermoceptor, in terms of the mechanism for detection, in the brain.  These thermoceptors in the brain are used for monitoring internal body temperature.
  • Sound:  Detecting vibrations along some medium, such as air or water that is in contact with your ear drums.
  • Smell:  Yet another of the sensors that work off of a chemical reaction.  This sense combines with taste to produce flavors.
  • Proprioception:  This sense gives you the ability to tell where your body parts are, relative to other body parts.  This sense is one of the things police officers test when they pull over someone who they think is driving drunk.  The “close your eyes and touch your nose” test is testing this sense.  This sense is used all the time in little ways, such as when you scratch an itch on your foot, but never once look at your foot to see where your hand is relative to your foot.
  • Tension Sensors:  These are found in such places as your muscles and allow the brain the ability to monitor muscle tension.
  • Nociception:  In a word, pain.  This was once thought to simply be the result of overloading other senses, such as “touch”, but this has been found not to be the case and instead, it is its own unique sensory system.  There are three distinct types of pain receptors: cutaneous (skin), somatic (bones and joints), and visceral (body organs).
  • Equilibrioception:   The sense that allows you to keep your balance and sense body movement in terms of acceleration and directional changes.  This sense also allows for perceiving gravity.  The sensory system for this is found in your inner ears and is called the vestibular labyrinthine system.  Anyone who’s ever had this sense go out on them on occasion knows how important this is.  When it’s not working or malfunctioning, you literally can’t tell up from down and moving from one location to another without aid is nearly impossible.
  • Stretch Receptors:  These are found in such places as the lungs, bladder, stomach, and the gastrointestinal tract.  A type of stretch receptor, that senses dilation of blood vessels, is also often involved in headaches.
  • Chemoreceptors:  These trigger an area of the medulla in the brain that is involved in detecting blood born hormones and drugs.  It also is involved in the vomiting reflex.
  • Thirst:  This system more or less allows your body to monitor its hydration level and so your body knows when it should tell you to drink.
  • Hunger:  This system allows your body to detect when you need to eat something.
  • Magnetoception:  This is the ability to detect magnetic fields, which is principally useful in providing a sense of direction when detecting the Earth’s magnetic field.  Unlike most birds, humans do not have a strong magentoception, however, experiments have demonstrated that we do tend to have some sense of magnetic fields.  The mechanism for this is not completely understood; it is theorized that this has something to do with deposits of ferric iron in our noses.  This would make sense if that is correct as humans who are given magnetic implants have been shown to have a much stronger magnetoception than humans without.
  • Time:  This one is debated as no singular mechanism has been found that allows people to perceive time.  However, experimental data has conclusively shown humans have a startling accurate sense of time, particularly when younger. The mechanism we use for this seems to be a distributed system involving the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and basal ganglia.  Long term time keeping seems to be monitored by the suprachiasmatic nuclei (responsible for the circadian rhythm).  Short term time keeping is handled by other cell systems.

Reflection for Museum field trip: The Time of Others


The entire journey to the Singapore Art Museum was an extremely enlightening one. The spectrum of subject matters and potentials that could spring right out of this theme can vary from the physical material realms all the way to the spiritual realms.

One of the works that intrigued me the most was Ringo Bunoan’s Endings and No Endings. The poetic intentions behind the work made me wonder about the depth of time and space that’s created behind every single book. How our brains are able to gobble up all the words and spit out images and create a time and space capsule akin to a cinematic space. Book endings are things we always work hard to get to and are goals we always aim for at the start of each reading. But the lack of events leading up to the reading renders the end point meaningless and in a sense making each ending anonymous and applicable to almost any situation. This lack of progression in reading makes us ponder upon the process of reading and our brain’s ability to process information. The lack of context impacts the ending of the story and how our brains try to decipher the new syntax of reading ending after ending.

After the museum trip, I felt immensely inspired by the peculiarity of each work and how each artist dug into the constructs of the norms and pulled out meanings from there. From here, I realized that I feel like doing something that accentuate on the cultural aspects of our current society and create a form on commentary on time and popular culture at the same time.

It was an enriching trip in the midst of the chaos caused by the massive amount of works being piled up and I certainly did feel rejuvenated in a creative sense from this.