Week 3: First Concept

School, to us, cannot be called what it is if it does not consist of the most important element: students. The school do not make the students, but rather, the students make the school.

With this as our concept, we realised that the idea of this is very similar to the spine. The spine is the main support for the human body, much like how the students are the main support for the school. With the spine as our inspiration, we wanted to create something sculptural as well as functional for the students. Thus, we decided to design a bench that is inspired from the form of the spine.

All the designs are similar in the way that the seats are flexible and able to move in opposite sides, where the user gets to choose which side he/she wants to sit on. They are also S-shaped to give a resemblance to the original form of the spine.

However, idea 5 (second image, right) incorporates tables as well as chairs and it gives an idea of the users having their own privacy but still having a sense of shared space as they are being connected to each other.

Initially the idea of these benches would be able to convert kinetic energy to electricity using weight and movement, but it seems that not much movement will actually be converted as the users will be seated.


Thoughtful Interaction Design: Response

This reading was quite insightful for me. As time passes and technology develops, we can all agree that we will continue to develop products that uses technology for a very long time. In this chapter, Lowgren discusses what good and bad design is, and what designers should go through to develop a good thinking process and design.

In a way, this chapter reminds me of the project I’m currently doing in Product Design 3, which is an IoT (Internet of Things) product. Though the process of designing something that requires technology, I realise that many products do require new technology for it to be a better user experience for the consumers, and that the design process and situations that the users will encounter is indeed very important.

To me, a good design is not only something that is aesthetically pleasing, but also a design that is able to serve its consumers with convenience. I agree with Lowgren too that to a certain extent, we do need to adapt to the product but something has to attract the users to buy and try out the product in the first place. A good design attracts its potential users, thinks about the situation in all ways, gives the user a good experience and good feelings of using it.

One good design that I’ve come across is of course, smart phones. Every year, we are able to update the software of the phone and this shows that they are constantly reviewing the user experience of their product. The portability and countless apps that we have in our phones makes us feel that we can be connected to people all the time and that gives us, as consumers, a sense of security. Not only that, it entertains us and keeps us in the loop of everything. It considers every situation that we might be in, for example in the iPhone there is a ‘Find my phone’ app to track our phones in case we lose it, which is why the smart phone is a thoughtful design. The fact that almost everyone is using it already proves its worth.

Another good design that I feel is the Taihi bin, which is a kitchen compost bin that converts food waste to liquid that is able to fertilise plants. This bin counters the continuous problem of food waste and turns it into something that can be useful for users. It might seem as a new technology, but in fact it is inspired by the century old Japanese method of composting, which I find is interesting as a method that has been there for a long time can also be developed into a current product. This product does not require new sets of habits for the user, as they can just dispose their food normally, which is quite thoughtful as people would be hesitant of a product that disrupts their normal routine. It also makes the users feel fulfilled, as they turn the act of wasting into conserving, which is why I feel that it is a thoughtful design.

Diary of Behaviour

Day 1:

I remember that when I first got my personal mobile phone I was 12. It was the rise of the Nokia phones and all of my friends had them except me. After months of bugging my dad gave in and bought me my first mobile phone, but he told me that the reason why he got it for me was for him to keep in contact with me after school ends. Both my parents were working so usually I would go back home by myself and he wanted to make sure that I was safe wherever I was.

As I grew up, the experience of having a phone changed. At first it was to contact my parents, but after it became a social norm for me where I would use it to chat with my friends and download games to play whenever I was travelling from a place to another. After many years of using the phone, it got stuck and my phone and I were inseparable.

Now, I use my phone to check instagram or my social media in the morning, and a thousand times after throughout the day. I do everything from playing games, to watching videos on my phone but the one thing that I don’t do as much on my phone is contacting people though phone calls or messages. Even though I do check my messages, I don’t check and reply often, unless it was for something important. Eventually, having and using a phone is more of a habit or an addiction rather than needing to contact a person.

I guess that is true for most people. As I sit in the train and observe the people around me, only 1 out of 5 people are texting or talking on the phone. The rest of them use their phone to watch movies, scroll on social media, read the news and play games. Wherever I go, be it in public transports, restaurants or in school, my observations were similar. I realised that nowadays people use their phones for entertainment more than using it to contact people, which is ironic because mobile phones were first invented as a means to contact people on the go.

Day 2:

To be honest, it was an extremely hard day for me. The day felt so long and at first I felt that there was just so little to do. Usually in the morning when I wake up I would run through in my mind about the things that I have to do, which was to check my messages and games on my phone and emails on my laptop. But today my mind was chaotic. I had a mental to-do list in my head and as I started to assess them, I realised that I needed to use my phone and laptop for most of them so I had to mentally strike them off the list and when I was done, the list was empty. Strangely, starting on my schoolwork was not part of the list and I realised that I was so distracted with being entertained by the internet that I had pushed back my work.

As the day went by, I started to be more motivated to finish up my school work (which thankfully did not require the internet) and I did many things that I usually do not do on a daily basis like cleaning up my room and reading a book that I had bought months ago (they were still wrapped in plastic). There were times in the day where I did not know what to do so I just sat on my bed and did nothing for a while. There were other times where I had forgotten that I was on an electronics ban and I thought that I had lost my phone so I was looking for it frantically. While I was waiting for my parents to knock off from work and my brothers to come home from school, time passed so slowly and honestly I felt quite lonely.

At night, I got to spend more time with my family after dinner and had a proper, long conversation with them.

Even though at the end of the day I felt that I had the most fulfilling day in the longest time, there were many times I felt empty and I was worried if there was anything important that I needed to know.

Interactive Environments & Experience Design: Response

Coming from an Electrical Engineering background in my previous polytechnic, Timothy Nohe’s presentation was really an eye opening experience for me. Never have I thought that engineering and art could come together hand in hand to create an interactive experience in which audience of all ages could appreciate.

Back in my polytechnic, whenever we work with waves, it was in a serious and dull environment, where we had to identify and observe different types of waves. It was interesting how it was possible to turn something so mundane into art which is enjoyable and participative. The audience do not need to know about waves and the different types of input to play with the waves. It was such a spontaneous activity and that was what attracted me.

It also gave me a new perspective of art. Much like the previous exhibitions that we went in the Art Science Museum, these kinds of interactive art seem so innocent and childlike, and it really proved that it was such a good user experience as it managed to reach to a wide range of audience. The young and old could experience it, and you don’t have to know about the technicalities or knowledge behind it to appreciate the art. This is what I really appreciate and like about Electron Drawing – Visual Music.

ADM-DIP White iLight Proposal

ADM-DIP White iLight Proposal


Show the harm of non-biodegradable materials and the seriousness of our actions through an immersive interactive experience.

  • Step
    Reminds us of our existence on the earth
  • Butterfly effect
    A single step will shake nature’s balance
  • Ripple effect
    A single step will impact the whole earth
  • Chaos theory
    A single step will bring our delicate earth into chaos
  • Theory of synergy
    Multiple steps combined will cause a chaotic mess

We want the audience to realise that they are making an impact on the exhibit, which represents the cause of using non-biodegradable materials

Source of ideas for concept:

  1. 1.Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGTOq4RGMP4&feature=youtu.be
  2. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGTOq4RGMP4&feature=youtu.be
  3. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGbhp6Y_7d0
  4. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKABrimxZiw
  5. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MECLeOFJqoM
  6. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9Fta-96V7Q


-Steps for audience to interact with: each contribution/action causes a reaction

Initially there will be minimal wind

-Have a signifier to show what turns on when you step on it

-Steps can be made of non-magnetic metal or acrylic, rubber material that doesn’t bend easily when there is pressure

-LED lights hanging on the material



-Fans will turn on, speed varies every time someone steps on it

-LED lights will change colour KIV

-2 layers of material

-Possible non-biodegradable materials (material that is able to bend and flow with the wind/durable/hold LED lights):

  1. Plastic bottles to thin strips
  2. Plastic strips/curtain (or a lighter version)
  3. Fabric wire mesh
  4. Shower curtain
  5. Cling wrap
  6. Chiffon (silk chiffon/polyester chiffon)
  7. Organza
  8. Organdy
  • Sheltered area → enclosed space around the site?

Some things we can consider:

-different part of fabric – different colour

-combining materials (consider durability)


Future World: Reflection

Though I’ve been to this exhibition a few times, every time I step in and experience the installations it feels like I’ve never been there before. This time, the immersive experience that I felt was so much more as compared to the previous times that I’ve been there. I was able to take my time and soak in each installation and I guess this was what made me feel so much during this visit.

The first installation that I experienced was called ‘Crows are Chased and the Chasing Crows are destined to be Chased as well, Transcending Space.’ This immersive installation made use of a 3D space, video and audio and it felt real when it was ongoing. In some parts when I was focusing on a certain spot, my mind and body began playing tricks and it felt that I was floating in this virtual space.

Another installation that I experienced was the Black Waves. It depicts the movement of the waves in the sea and this effect of repeating the waves was just so calming when I was sitting and enjoying the movement of the water. What I felt was important as well was the use of audio. The music was calm, soothing, and it really fits the image of the waves, making the waves feel as if they were alive.

Lastly, Crystal Universe caught my attention and was my favourite amongst all the installations in Future World. This installation uses audio, lights and human interaction to immerse you into a space where you find yourself walking and existing in the center of universe, while the movement and effect of the lights make you feel as though you are travelling through it. This installation is made unique as the audience are able to participate in it, by changing the motion and colours of the lights through their phone. This makes every experience a different one.

Personally, what I’ve learned in this exhibition is the importance of how space, audio, and visualisation should work together, and can work together if we want to create an experience that is alluring, exciting and immersive. It is also important to find a balance between these three aspects, and when we’ve learned how to do this, there is so much more potential in creating something for people to experience the extraordinary.

Sustainability In The Form of iLight

Sustainability to me means the ability to be maintained at a certain rate and to use minimal energy while producing the best results. It also means for something to be able to withstand a long period of time and to be able to be passed down from generation to generation, for example an authentic piece of wooden furniture, a technology or design that is able to be relevant in the present as well as in the future. In the iLight festival, I find it interesting to combine the use of light and art to get people engaged and become more aware of the importance of sustainability. This method is more influential in the future generations, as we value art and design more than the older generations in Singapore.

The Urchins (iLight Festival 2017), is one of my favourite pieces this year. Using traditional methods of crocheting, the results of the surface is intricate yet it creates a sense of harmony and tranquility. In the day, the interaction with natural light causes a play between the physical object and the shadow that is casted on the floor. It absorbs sunlight, and retransmits and reflects it. At night, the Urchins illuminate and glow, creating a sense of enchantment and magic. The glow at night are created by spotlights, which shines onto certain parts of the surface and the rounded shape of the object and material of the surface (white double braided polyester cord) causes light to bounce and reflect within themselves, which makes the objects seem brighter than they actually are. The designers behind the Urchins have been successful in using minimal energy and light while at the same time producing maximum luminosity, and also incorporating sustainability with art.

You Are What You Carry (Chapter 4): Response

I do agree with Chipchase that we carry items that give us a sense of security, and sometimes this sense of security causes us to carry more than we need. This results in having many things in our bags, pockets and wallets and it can be a burden to carry, but if it is essential to survive and for us to go about our daily lives without any hiccups, why not?

An interesting example in this chapter is the life of Meili, where Chipchase accounts that her handbag never leaves her sight, and she was even upset when she realised that she had left her bag unzipped. In countries like China or India where theft is frequent, people become more vigilant and sensitive to their surroundings and belongings. On the contrary, in a relatively low theft rate country like Singapore, you would realise that leaving your mobile phone and wallet on the table while you eat is very common. This can result in forgetting about them when you leave the area after you have eaten because we are not being ‘forced’ to be sensitive about our belongings. This is similar to having all our information and essentials in our phones. Knowing that we have everything at the tip of your fingers would make us less aware, because we know that our devices will remind us of what we need to do. Being humans, we adapt to this instant lifestyle quickly and could make us be impatient if we cannot get things we want quickly and conveniently.

In relation to this where the future moves on to storing files and money in clouds and abstract or intangible places where you know it’s there, but you cannot see it, people start to be less aware and watchful of their items. For example Chipchase mentioned about having credits in your fare card and not tracking how much you have, resulting in carrying more cards than what you actually need. Of course, it is useful when your credits are combined and made available in a single physical form like the mobile phone, where you can link your fare card to your credit card, and you do not have to worry about insufficient credits. However, with everything combined into a single device, there is still a high risk of system failure or theft. One moment you could have everything in there and the next moment it’s gone.

With this in mind, people are starting to come up with ideas of owning something without it actually being yours. For example in a local context, we have the Obike, where you can rent a bicycle anywhere and ride it to anywhere you want. Like what Chipchase says, ‘There’s no way to steal something that has no owner.’, we do not have to worry about our bicycle being stolen because it is not ours to begin with. That being said, however, we cannot forget that out there it is the business that is losing money.

Lastly, as technology develops, our lifestyle changes and human behaviour will evolve. Like the vending machine in Japan, where we can check our credits to see if we still have enough to buy a soda or not, it is important to consider the endless possibilities of the human behaviour and experience when we want to design for the future.

The Anthropology of Mobile Phones: Response

In Chipchase’s 2007 TED Talk video, he pointed out three items that he felt was essential to us in our daily lives- wallet, keys and phone. Till this day, I believe that these three items are still as important as we go about our everyday lives and sometimes to the extent that we’ll panic and worry if one of these go missing.

I find it interesting that even in developing countries such as Ghana are also strongly dependent on money and mobile phones, which essentially proves that these are methods for survival. The method of transferring money using prepay cards reminds me of the term ‘reserve innovation’, where less developed countries or industries innovate and then these innovations are distributed into developed markets. From just a small business in transferring money through mobile phones as a means to survive, this proves that even with few resources people are able to adapt and come up with ideas to make life easier, which I feel how designs should be. In this case, Chipchase has correctly predicted the future of transferring money, which is now what we call iBanking.

Even though having a one-fits-all tool like iBanking that can be useful for people in both developing and developed countries, some technology may not necessarily fit the needs of everyone. For example, for someone who might only need basic applications like instant messaging, a universal phone like the iPhone would seem like a waste of resources. We get too caught up in having entertainment in our phones and we end up developing applications that do not serve the basic needs of some people who are suffering from real life issues like mental illnesses or starvation. I feel that to create something of worth, as Chipchase has mentioned, we need to move towards listening to people and get down to creating something that helps us to survive.