Response to Designing For Digital Age

The inherent aptitude – the drive, even – to imagine the desired end result and express it in a tangible way is what separates designers from non-designers. 

What designers must excel at is looking at a blank surface and filling it with believable representations of an end product, so that other people can seem to understand and eventually built it.

Building it is a separate task; designers don’t build products any more than architects build houses. Instead, they provide precise instructions so that builders can focus on accomplishing the end result.

The reading is very methodical in the way it describes the process of designing. It mentioned having an “inherent aptitude” in order to reveal the expected outcome. Also, it is able to express it in the form of a “tangible” product is a good way to differentiate between a designer and non-designer. The author has a point in mentioning this because designers have a lot of room to explore their boundaries when it comes to product-making, but at the same time once they create an output, it is necessary that the output is sustainable and works well in the long run. In cases such as 3D printing for example, understanding how the designs work and function well is very important, which is why it is necessary to look into dimensions in the software program, make the necessary adjustments and ensure trial tests are made long before the actual product has been made.

The structured procedure of designing is also essential in making sure our works work the way they are supposed to. The overview of Goal-Directed Process is structured in such a way that is applicable to process that I may find applicable, such as for Final Year Projects which include an art installations. If there is chance that I might work on installations that involve laser cutting of gears for instance, that would mean I need to plan in accordance to this process that is rather procedural. I would consider the sizing of the gears, the type of teeth I would want to put in the design software I would use (Adobe Illustrator), and as mentioned before, the diameter, teeth number, the length of rack & pinions etc would need to be measured accurately, before the process of laser cutting takes place. This would not only save time; it saves costs too, especially as a university student. However, as much these Goal-Directed processes is useful, in my opinion, there could be an experimental stage one can in the beginning of the process. Since my familiarity with electronics grew since few semesters, I find that it is necessary to make time to experiment on materials and electronics before finagling on a plan for our Final Year Project. I believe that would fall under Modelling or Research stage.

In conclusion, the Goal Directed process can be a useful way to structure projects such as our Final Year Projects. At the same time, in order to maximise our learning process, adding an Experimental stage can also help to ensure that we make full use of the resources available, make time to play around with materials and electronics in order to see what works and what may not for you as a designer ( or in my case, Interactive Media Designer). With that being said, planning is crucial part of the process because designers need to execute their works in a timely fashion, given the industries we are surrounded by in modern times today.

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Response To Social Practice Art

Based on my understanding of the reading, there were several points highlighted which were quite significant. The meaning of art making should not necessarily bring out social problems or issues that have already existed or known to the community. It may close the gaps for those who are unaware, or those who deserve to recognize the existing problems that need to be resolved. Instead, what the author is trying to redefine with artmaking is to introduce possible solutions which are creative, innovative and sustainable in the long run. Most importantly, they are social solutions that helps to bring a change to the communal environment that are affected by social issues (homelessness, drug trafficking, prostitutions, single motherhood) and what more can art do than to relate to people, communities then through meaningful art making.

The article also mentioned how Political Art in this day and age are presumably made to get profit out of their works. This is understandable considering art industry, like any other industry aren’t always set out to produce forms of appreciations, awareness but it works the same way businesses work – to make money. At the same time, art works which are heavy with strong influences from political theories, political stands and political figures, and given the internet with its resources, allows many forms of opinions and personal stands to be formed. With that being said, art can go both ways – to influence or to profit.

However, the article seems to point towards how “today’s ruling class” aren’t necessarily in it for the profit. Instead, they seem to avoid “commercializing” their art and prefers to make “outwardly avowed political solidarity as part of its defining trait”. From my understanding of this part, it suggests that political art is independent of any systems such as capitalism and instead an alternative forms of capitalism are made to influence a new mass of people – preferably a system that doesn’t constrain them the way capitalism has been (even though enough liberty has been offered to places such as USA, where this was written). This shows how influential art can be, and it takes on a whole new dimension in this age where people with wide access to Internet, and resources such as their communities and people are able to un-learn what the current system taught them and re-learn a new form of political system that can be a part of a new political system, as an alternative to the system they are under. That mean it hasn’t necessarily been defined as legal. This would ultimately be defined as “social practice” as written in there.

The artist Maureen Mullarkey seems to criticize this idea of social practice. She seemed reluctant with the idea of “social practice” which is quite predictable given author’s description of being “arch-conservative”, someone resistant to changes, perhaps even in her stance towards contemporary art of today. He seems to suggest contemporary art is trending with artists who are “soi-distant promoters of their own notions of the common good”. It seemed like she did not like the idea of how artists can appease to an audience by portraying themselves as the Good Samaritans of society, and possibly used as a tool to manipulate masses simply because they can. Perhaps, she, herself would know such creations of political art can be influential for reasons which are far beyond the “common good”, being an art critic herself.

In conclusion, I find that political art in general are rather questionable, especially with the artist’s intent. It is hard to unpack an artist’s intentions because there could be many. And with an artist’s ability to gather resources such as communities, especially vulnerable ones such as those who seek out shelters in Third Ward, Public Row Houses residences, may easily be trapped into thinking they are helped by Good Samaritans, when in fact it could be the opposite. However, I do think there are real good causes that are in support of looking after the not-so well off. It seems to be that in manipulation of people seems to be a recurring theme through contemporary art of today – whether it helps or “uplifts” the society and makes it progressive; only time will tell.

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In-Class Assignment


Written by *

She is a designer learning the ropes of interactivity and art and turning them into piece of work in School of Art Design & Media. In this school, she specialize in Interactive Media. With the projects she have done so far, she have explored different materials to work with, combined with electronics, put together to form different kinds of installations.Prior to majoring IM, she was formerly a Digital Animation student. But after much thought about whether Animation would befit her interest and career path in future, she made a switch to Interactive Media instead.

The learning curve for IM has been very steep for her but her interest in conceptual side of making art installations remains, which she finds very important even though School of Art,Design,Media emphasizes a lot on usage of modern technology and devices to produce contemporary works of art. This is possibly due to foundation of artistics concepts which were taught during her Art classes in junior college back then, where analysing artworks, artistic backgrounds and purpose behind usage of mediums were heavily emphasised back then.


Written by *

Technology opens the doors to a better future. As a forward-looking person, Najiha is a conceptual designer who is greatly aware of this truth. As someone who cares greatly for society, she is willing to persevere through any difficulty to create a better society. This is what gave her the courage to shift away from her former training in traditional art and animation. Yet, this training has not been lost. Instead, she has adopted it into her current pursuits in Interactive media. Some of her works include

Recently, her efforts towards social causes have also begun to bear fruit. As the Publicity Officer for Nanyang Technological University’s United Nations Students Association, her illustrative works for Sustainable Development Goals have raised awareness amongst the student body Publications’ Wing under United Nations Students’ Association.

A Sample of Najiha’s Work

Title: The Tree

This is an interactive installation of a tree that is personified. When one walks towards or around it, the tree draws it’s branches in and out as if its ‘calling out’ to the viewer.  But if the person is further away from you, it withdraws.   

When you walk around the grass, the sounds of birds chirping and the crunching of leaves can also be heard, inviting people to surround themselves around the lone tree. 

Title: Complexity of Relationships Through Representation of Gears

This is also an interactive installation where the movement of a family of gears move in accordance to distance. Using in-built sensors, viewers are the main subject in affecting the movement based on close and far they stand around these gears.

As a result of one movement of a gear, leads to other gears moving too, causing a ripple effect.  This artwork is meant to showcase gears as personified, with human elements such as being a part of a family (hence the term “family of gears”, and triggers that create conflict factors outside of reach such as people, intimacy and emotions.

This would portray the idea of how people who approach these gears, whether near or far would trigger certain outcomes from these gears. The clip shows how family of gears can be triggered by factors such movement of other neighboring gears, or even people. Additionally, unknown to visitors, their presence around these gears creates a sense an unpredictability,  an element that we see in relationships in general.



Phone: +65 9023 2450 | Email:
Portfolio URL:
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore             AUG 2016 – AUG 2021
Bachelor of Arts, Interactive Media
Specialization: Interactive Media

Videographer                                                                                DEC 2018 – JAN 2019
* Worked alongside lab technician and professor for filming of lab presentations and experiments for students’ e-learning purposes
* Operated video cameras and sound recording equipment on-site, producing segments of video clips edited using Adobe to meet specified requirements

Publicity Officer, Singapore                                                   JUL 2019 – PRESENT
* Created publicity materials for UNSA’s upcoming social events
* Collaborated with Public Relations Officer in managing content, and providing updates on UNSA’s latest events and projects on a weekly basis
* Contributed to the team’s discussion blog “Watercooler Series” through personal writings and commentary on topics of interest, followed by interactive discussions on topics proposed

Project Meraki 3.0, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Financial Committee                                                              MAY  2019 – JUN 2019
* Raised funds selling merchandise, food and beverages at discounted prices to achieve target of $1500 for Project Meraki 3.0
* Achieved $2727.82, which is 182% above target which were funded towards expenses across 4 committees within team
Lead Translator
* Led closely with volunteer tutors in direct translation of Malay to English to reduce language barriers during English-spoken Academic and Enrichment lessons in two schools – with 13 and 44 kids respectively
* Planned out a shared document containing up to 25 commonly used words/phrases in using voiceovers; operated by in-built app Kaizena as reference material for future use
Refurbishment Manager
* Structured workplan with two team members on assigning tasks to members to clean and decorate interior of kindergarten school
* Assisted in rearrangements of reading materials to introduce a borrowing system for age range from 3-12-year olds, resulting in systematic way of borrowing and returning materials
* Created school’s first large scale banner using Adobe which is on display at school’s entrance

Graphic Design Director                                                        JAN 2019 – MAY 2019
• Created designs as add-ons to team’s written article, including topic on NTU’s S/U Policy
• Generated up to 930 views and 558 visitors on month of February on our website, comparatively higher in views and visitors in previous months

Project Meraki 2.0, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Head of Academic Team                                                        JUN 2018 – JUN 2018
* Managed alongside 4 members and planned yearly lesson curriculum for primary level English, Math and Science subjects based on IGCSE standards and referring to assessment books
* Planned English, Math, Science and Enrichment lessons customized to children’s learning abilities in a school of 23 children

* Led 15 team members and children across two schools in translation of Malay to English in reducing language barriers between non-Malay speaking members and students during lesson time in two schools – up to 23 and 30 students in two schools respectively

Head of Programmes                                                       NOV 2016 – MAY 2017
Led a team of 3 in planning and execution of two events – a workshop based on dispelling religious
myths on public speaking for women and mass lecture on discussing social roles of men and
women in Islam – resulted in turnout rate of 15 and 20 audience members respectively
* Led a team of 3 in planning of two events resulted in turnout rate of two events – a workshop based on dispelling myths on public speaking for women and mass lecture on discussing social roles in Islam – resulted in turnout rate of 15 and 20 audience members respectively

* Digital skills: Proficient in Adobe Software Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, Powerpoint, Word
* Languages: Proficient in English and Malay


A Link To A Sample of Work – InfluentiAl

“Relationship Carrier”

Short Description

“The Relationship Carrier” is about the journey of relationships and how temporary and fleeting they are. Every relationship is like a story: it has a beginning, the good, the bad and most importantly, an end. Buses are a common mode of transportation in Singapore the different parts of buses are

As the “carrier”, buses take passengers who share a similar ride with others and form some kind of relationship with them. As time passes, there will come a point where people will depart from their journeys. This leaves the ones they cared for behind, moving on to their own personal journey on their own. While some relationships are lost, new ones are formed. But new ones become old, and even newer ones are formed. This repeated cycle of coming and going is a cycle.

Mediums used: Colour pencils/pastels on black canvases ,Video projector, videography/filming

Location of video: Bukit Batok Bus Interchange

How did the work impacted you?

The process of working around filming and working around medium of colours to bring out the place where I filmed was quite an interesting for me. Never had I considered using both traditional and technological forms of art as ways to portray an art piece. This was started off through having an art teacher observing the traditional  mediums I meddled with and giving advise as to how my artwork can be better improved. In this aspect, this work was like a transition, especially with growing use of technology to produce art. And the use traditional forms of arts such as using paints, colour pencils, chinese ink etc are becoming less common, because other digitized forms of art has made our work far more efficient and popular these days.

But what struck me, was this work seemed like a precursor to the use of technology, or electronics that I would use to produce artworks/installations in the coming years.  In a way, this was the work that made it influential, because of the change of mediums we use to day.

Narrative For Interaction – Similar Works Done in ADM