Response: Past years’ iLight Installation

My favourite piece of installation from past years’ iLight installation would be (ULTRA) LIGHT NETWORK (featured image) by Felix Raspall, Carlos Bañón, Manuel Garrido and Mohan Elara (Singapore).

This piece of installation made use of geometrical arrangements, incorporating lights within. With more people nearing the installation, it would produce different patterns of light strobes, as well as increased light intensity.

In context to sustainability, this could be used in a way to increase the awareness whereby us as individual could actually do a big part in sustainability. Material usage could also be taken into consideration, whether to make use of environment-friendly materials, or other alternatives.

Image retrieved from:

Week 4 Response: You Are What You Carry

After reading this chapter and also having to watch his TED talk earlier on in class, I can better understand his point on how technology has benefited us. He has used the three most important things to elaborate several new terminologies which I found was very interesting: Range Of Distribution. This is a very good way to observe a certain culture at the particular place, in terms of security and trust level an individual has to his/her surroundings. In Singapore, there are also different range of distributions at different places. When we are at the coffee shop for a simple meal, we tend to leave our bags at our seat, only carrying our valuable items with us. In contrast, when we are out in town, we do think twice when we want to leave our bags at our seats due to the increased crowd level at town.

Another point to note about this chapter would be the point of reflection. I believe most of us, if not all of us, will tap on our pockets to make sure we brought what we need to bring, pausing for a moment to recall if we have missed out any essential items. These are little things we do often but fail to actually notice them. I feel that as designers we should train and equip ourselves the ‘eye’ to look at the details which other people could not see. This would then in turn make us better designers.

In the later part of the chapter, Chipchase talks about how technology could actually do more inconvenience than convenience. I feel that in this tech-savvy era, we should intelligently tap on technology as a bonus and not relying on technology so much so allowing them to control our lives, eventually.

All in all, within the past years, technology has advanced so quickly, everything is getting a piece of technology infused in them. All that we need would be available in a smartphone. But what if we lose our smartphones, how would we then survive in this world?

Week 3 Response: The Anthropology Of Mobile Phones

In Jan Chipchase’s talk, I couldn’t agree more to the points he mentioned. Out of all the things that we own, he managed to filter 3 most important items that we have to bring when we leave the house. These 3 items are, keys, mobile phone and money.

If I were to weigh them in terms of importance, I would say that money would be the most important element to actually survive the day out.

If i left out my keys, I could wait for someone to get home and I would have access.

If I were to leave out my mobile phone for a casual outing, it might be a good thing, in a way that I can observe my surrounding, people, and what other people do when they are not on their phones. People nowadays are obsessed with technology, so much so that out of 5 people I see on the train, 4 could be on their mobile phones.

However, if I had to leave house without any money, it is basically having access to nothing. No food, no transport, nothing. Without money with me when I am out there, I would definitely feel like part of me is missing and I cannot do anything about it.

I also find that the strategies which Chipchase mentioned did apply to me. With my center of gravity being my bedside desk, I would place all the things that I have prepared to bring  at the table, so I will not miss anything out. After which, the very last moment before I leave the room, I would tap on all the pockets that contained my essential items to ensure that I did not miss them out.


Week 2 Response: Jan Chipchase – Calibrating your Cultural Compass

Jan Chipchase has a very interesting way of studying local culture, at least to me. I strongly believe that through activities of a particular timing, it can show how a community behaves, and also functions. Us as designers, we sometimes tend to overlook certain details. Designers sometimes would just do a simple research off the web, at most a simple survey and there they go on with their sketching etc.

However, I feel that we as designers should really get to the ground, to interact and blend in with the local culture so as to gain a deeper understanding of the specific target user, or market. Through understanding and observing the local culture, we can actually see the vast difference between two different countries.

Scene of Singapore MRT when a breakdown occurs.

The above image shows the crazy amount of morning commutes trying to get themselves a space at the platform in Singapore (during a train breakdown), in hope to hop on a train which brings them to their destinations. Train breakdowns in Singapore are getting more and more common, and they can happen in the morning rush hour, usually 6am to 8am.

In my trip to Taiwan a year back, I actually made the MRT my main form of transportation from places to places (buses there were just to confusing). At 6am, I went to the metro station,  there was not much of a crowd, but what I saw was that commuters were lined up orderly, with a clear path for other passengers to alight before boarding on. As compared to Singapore’s queue system, well, there is a path for alighting passengers, but it just gives an impression that the exit path is reasonably narrower.


With this little observation I made as a local in Singapore, and a tourist in Taiwan, I could surely feel that different culture that they have, like how Chipchase has done as to calibrating to many different cultures. Having said so, I believe that we as designers, while designing products/ services, should take into consideration the behaviors of the target market. This would prevent any misunderstandings, which could possibly lead to the failure of our design.


  1. Would it be actually possible for one person to do the research on his own or it would work better in a team?
  2. What difference would it make from experiencing cultural behavior personally to getting a local to fill you in on the minute details of their culture?


Response on: The Design Of Everyday Things – Don Norman

Chapter 1

From the first chapter of the book, I could understand a few of the key points the author is trying to bring across. Firstly, would be the experience of handling a door, having the typical “push/pull” problem. We all have encountered this problem in our lives, pushing a pull door, vice versa. Even though design itself have advanced a great deal, I feel that this problem has not really been solved, in a way, where there are people still pushing a pull door, up till today.

This brings me to the next point. Us as being human, are used to getting things to work through the method of trial and error. However, this trial and error method would mean that a design was not well-thought of and hence needing the user to encounter difficulty in using the product and learning from it.

The differentiation of Design Specializations was something new to me as it clearly allows me to understand the differences between the three design specializations when it could be easily mistaken for one another. When compared to HCD, it also gave me a clearer picture on what all these mean and how they relate to each other in terms of user experience. Beside understanding these differences, I benefitted from the examples given throughout the chapter and the dialogue between the student and mentor. Simple examples allowed me to understand confusing terms in regards to signifiers and allowance.

While it was insightful and enriching to me as I read the first chapter of the book, however, I would like to ask:

  • How is experience design different from ergonomics? Or are they the same?
  • Leading from first question: If I carefully design my products with human ergonomics and fulfil the needs of the target user, does it also mean that I have given a positive user experience?

Harvey Norman Trip

Comparison of SMEG’s toaster and Kmix’s toaster.

Toaster designs do not appear to stray too far away from the norm. Both SMEG and KMIX toasters features a simple and straightforward design, with easy to understand buttons. Aesthetics of both designs lean more towards function due to its simplicity, although the choice of colors are also probably meant to invoke pleasant feelings in the buyers. Personally, I like SMEG’s toaster more because it looks less intimidating than Kmix’s.

Trends observed includes a vintage personality adapted to look modern, contours, minimal and simple buttons, and the use of bold bright colours and pastels.


Form. Function. Emotion

All products come with aesthetics that attract consumers to make their decision to purchase the product. However, different product comes with different target users in mind, as well as the story behind the product.

There are 3 different factors influencing the aesthetics of the product: Form, Function, Emotion. These 3 different factors would then allow the product to have a characteristic of its own. Let’s look at some examples.

Human Factor


First, we have a product which has been designed with aesthetic values based on the human factor aspect. Having said so, this product would have to provide a comfort level fit for most consumers, given that every adult are of different body build and size.

Aeron Chair, Herman Miller

The Aeron Chair by Herman Miller would be a good example. Herman Miller has been making chairs that are of superb comfort as well as quality. The aesthetics of this chair allows the user to do multiple adjustments to the chair according to their preferences. I believe that this product would have been designed to fulfil the comfort needs of consumers who are health-conscious and would be the ideal product to be catergorsied towards ‘Human Factor’ node.


A product which allows user to complete a task in an easier or faster manner would be what I believe to be ‘function’ dominant. I feel that a ‘function’ dominant product should be straightforward, and allow users to know how to use it even without any instructions or directions.

Joseph Joseph, Nest™ Storage

One example would be the Nest™ Storage by Joseph Joseph. Known for their colour coding their products with bright colours, this product in particular, caught my attention. At first glance, this product is merely a set of stackable containers. But after looking further into this product, it is not what it seems to be.


There are also other functions that were designed and incorporated into the final product. Colour coding which serves a meaning, different sizes for different types of food to be stored, modular stacking, as well as reversible lids. These different functions allows the user to have have flexibility in using the containers, which I thought that this should be the way a ‘function’ dominant product be designed.


Last but not the least, another important factor which embodies a product, the ’emotion’ factor. It is not easy to design a product which effectively allow the user to feel good when they use the product. Hence, a product like that could possibly be a lifestyle product.

Sonos Play5

Sonos has been making their name known in the audio industry with their wireless home systems. Back in the past, audio have been corded and when wireless audio was introduced, Sonos took the chance and they have changed the way how audio works since.

Their wireless audio system allow users to have flexibility in configuring their audio products without the hassle of managing wires. Adding on to their wireless function, users can control their Sonos products right from their smartphones. Users would then feel that they have control over the whole sound system in the their apartment which I feel that is very much an emotional satisfaction,  given that we live in this technology jungle.


PD02- Best Product Designer identified to me.

My mantra is: ‘Good design accelerates the adoption of new ideas.’
-Yves Behar
The designer which I can best identify with is Yves Behar. He brings across fresh ideas and makes them aesthetically and visually pleasing, which is something we can learn from.
I am especially attracted to the Jawbone series which he designed. In these design, he creatively added simple patterns to lifestyle gadgets and it gave the product its personality.
Yves, also the man behind the design of the Jambox delivers the same concept with repetitive patterns which gives off a sense of style and characteristic to the traditional bluetooth speaker.
The combination of simple geometric shapes to form patterns and applying it to consumer electronics, is to me, a simple yet a ‘why didn’t I think of this’ concept.
Jawbone- Yves Behar
Product Sketch

Being a product designer, we sometimes tend to overthink and complicate things and as such, we miss the ‘simple’ and ‘why didn’t I think of this’ solutions. In order to be a better designer, we have to develop the ‘eye’ to look at creative solutions in a fresh perspective, as well as having the sensitivity to make sound decisions when designing products.



Monochrome To Colour (iii)

Okay, this is going to be a long post. So prepare your popcorns, the show’s starting!

PRESENTING TO YOU: Monochrome to Colour!

IMG_008x5In the front cover, a very simple layout is adopted. The title is framed up by a rectangular outline. It was initially a bold straight line, but taking a step backwards and looking at it, it felt very rigid and boring. I went on to trying out different stroke styles and finally decided on this one. It gave of a very sketchy impression, which totally fit into this cover page.

Also, in the front cover, the splatter-like background is actually taken from the first project we did in 2D, Lines. What I did was to scan in the works, and then selected a few to develop on by making it into a vector file, so as to eliminate the possibility of it being pixelated as I will be playing around with the scale of the texture.

In the previous post, I mentioned about using ‘handwritten’ fonts instead of clean and formal fonts. Indeed, using ‘handwritten’ fonts fits into the zine better as compared to using san serif fonts. However, I have also tried out different kind of ‘handwritten’ fonts before deciding on this simple ‘handwritten’ fonts.

IFC & Page 1

IMG_00a86Moving on to the IFC, it is kind of a mini introduction about myself. Laying then into three panels, with round text boxes placed at the thirds of every panel, it leads the eye from ‘text to image, down to text then image, then to the large image dominance of the last panel then to the text’. I post-processed the images to be de-saturated, near to monochrome, as I did not want it to be the main focus of the zine.

1st Panel (ALCOHOLIC)

If you haven’t known yet, I LOVE to drink but I AM NOT AN ALCOHOLIC.

This is the text which is in the description box:

People might call me an alcoholic, but the fact is, I’m not! Personally, I just like to try out different brands of beer, as well as appreciating the aroma, fragrance and the after taste of beer.


I love photography, and I believe a majority of creative people love it too. However, I have a side hobby other then photography, and that is to photograph super cars around town.

I have a part time hobby, and that is go around town and hunt for supercars.

3rd Panel (SNEAKERS!)

Well, I LOVE SNEAKERS. Do I need to say more? 13 pairs should explain everything I guess?

Since young, I have been obssessed with the beauty of shoes, and how shoes can complement a set of outfit. Till date, I have a range of collections with 13 pairs of shoes.

Page 1

Moving on to the first page, it is about me going into university after polytechnic ans National Service. The background in first page are actually the sketches I have done back in Poly days, while I was in Product Design. It fades in from the IFC, so that it leads the viewer to the first page after reading the IFC.

The text box and heading is centralised as it is sort of an introductory description about me enrolling into university for further studies. I did not really want to clutter the page with images as the background is already one with plenty of sketches, which was sufficient to fill up the page. The heading and text in the middle would supplement the page and it feels complete just like that. Again, it is in monochrome, and I used white font on a grey text box, such that it separates with the cluttered background.

Here’s the text:
After spending three years in polytechnic, followed by two years of National Service, it was time for me to further my studies. Hence I applied for university.

All that i have achieved in polytechnic would now become a thing of the past, a fond memory which will always stay with me.

Moving on to university, it would be a whole new exeprience i would say. From meeting new friends from different backgrounds, learning new skills as an undergraduate, to looking things at a whole new perspective.

IMG_0s087Page 2 & 3

Right smack in the middle of the zine, pages 2 and 3, talks about the transition I have into university. This spread would be the last pages that are in monochrome. Shall not bore you guys with the words, as I will be putting them below.

In terms of the layout, I chose my 3D project to fill up the whole spread as it would be interesting to have a huge image to showcase the details in my model making. I also felt that this model was very nicely done and I liked it a lot, hence including this into my zine. Before deciding on this orientation, I actually did a lot of rotating in illustrator, just to look for the correct angle which complements the layout and also look aesthetically pleasing at the same time. This orientation of the image has the spiky parts pointing towards the right of the spread, which was perfect for me to add in my heading and text information. In this spread, I also used white fonts on grey text frames, as my background was dark and the texts will feel like it is floating on nowhere if there was just the texts and no frames.

Here is how I feel when I first started University:
Initially, I thought university would function like how any normal polytechnic would.

I have never been so wrong in my life.

University studies felt more independent, where one has to plan his own timetable, and take responsibility for his own education. I have to admit it was quite a culture shock for me at the start. However, as time passed by, things took a turn for the better with the help and advise from my friends.

If one were to ask me how I survived the first foundation year, I would say it was my friends who motivated me to push on.

Why circular text boxes in my pages?

In my IFC , pages 2 and 3, used circular text boxes as I felt that the images used were not very ‘loud’ and it would look super boring if I were to use rectangular boxes to frame up my texts. By using circular text frames, it would make subject more interesting to read and it is also pleasing to the eye.

IMG_0s088Page 3 and IBC

-Page 3-

Finally some colours! This the last part of the transition, which is me, currently in university. By monochrome to colour, colour means the new perspective I have seen in University as compared to my past, and also the things I have learnt in the foundation year itself.

In this spread, it is a shared spread. The layout style is similar to the previous page, but this spread has a strong separation. In the middle of the page is from a 2D project, Typographic Portrait, where I am a bottle opener. As a product designer, naturally I will like things related to products. Another reason for selecting this to be in the middle is the symmetrical aesthetics it has.

In Page 3, the man with angel wings is actually me, popping out from the corner of the page. By having ‘me’ popping out, it symbolises ‘me’ reflecting on my foundation year and my experience in university.

So how do I feel about the upcoming years in Uni?
It has been a very fun and interesting foundation year for me, despite all the whining to each other about the lack of time we have for our projects. Well, these experiences are just part and parcel in the life of a arts/ design student isn’t it?

I find it amazing where so many different designs can be produced, when the same brief is given to everyone. This is one of the reasons why I chose to continue doing Product Design. I feel that through different design outcomes, one can actually see the thought process of an individual.

Looking forward to the upcoming year in university, it would definitely be rewarding in terms of experience, and I would certainly be excited to meet new friends and learn from their experiences.


In the IBC, there is a lightbulb vector again, popping out of from the corner of the page, with a rectangular text box on top of it. It talks about the different people I have met in University, and my excitement to meet new people and gain new experience. With similar styles in the two pages/ one spread, there is a focus on the text boxes, which leads viewer to the images below it. I felt that this composition is more of unique? Usually I have images leading to texts, now I have texts leading to images.

Do I feel excited for the upcoming years?
In this foundation year I have interacted with people from different disciplines, made friends who had strengths in different education aspects. It was really an eye-opener for me as I was able to step out of my comfort zone, allowed myself to observe and learn these valuable skills from them.

Graduating from this foundation year and advancing to specialisation, I believe that I would meet more people from even more interesting backgrounds, as well as gaining more exposure to the real working world.That being said, I am also prepared to step out of my comfort zone to accept the challenges I have in the upcoming years of university education.

*Fun fact: The background is also taken from the ‘Lines’ project!*

Realised that it isn’t circular text frames on both pages anymore?

Reason: These two pages are very heavy on imagery and graphics, I felt that it could actually strike a more balanced composition using rectangles. It could work with circular frames, but it worked BETTER in rectangles.




So how do I look here? Yes this is me, holding up my shirt. Before this image was a more cropped off image which didn’t sit well in the frame. After which i found this image which luckily, fitted well in this frame, creating a stable triangular composition. I took the image, posterised the images and brought down the saturation.

Having the hand extending out of the frame as an extra touch gives a more dimensional impression. I felt that it was necessary as it would actually feel very constrained if i were to fit the image into the frame entirely.

Again, the frame is also done using a sketchy stroke, and the background pattern is in sync with the front cover which actually shows a consistency in terms of style. Being front and back covers, having consistency in styles gives the zine a sense of character which I feel that is very important in any publication.

With this, I shall sign off as a graduate from ADM Foundation 2D!
I have made some awesome friends in class which I believe to be very important in the future as I would never know when I need their help with anything. I have also seen how creative my friends are and I believe that I can also be like them one day.

It has been an exciting and fun journey with Shirley, and I would have her to thank to be able to pull through this 2D module. Without her guidance and teachings, I would still be stucked in my comfort zone, not willing to try out new things in my work.

Thank you Shirley.

Monochrome To Colour (ii)

Right, as mentioned in the previous post, I have done up some rough sketches for my zine and here goes.

img030 img031

The same concept remains, in terms of minimal layout, clean fonts and bold typeface as seen in the sketches. I felt that this was the style which I really like as I have seen a a few inspirations online as well as in real life, at exhibitions and shows.

What I did next was to source for all my works in the past, be it hobbyist photography, works done in polytechnic, and also works that are done in ADM foundation.




sketch compiles

20151022_154142-01 ME-01-01-01



Wonder why are there no explanations? Well, they are all in the FINAL post where everything is put together, and proudly presented to all of you!