Description: Deliverable 2 is a product of ‘Masak Time’ which is a cooking competition in the poster (Deliverable 1). It consists of a box to hold a sample of four recipe cards. The idea behind it is that they are recipe cards of recipes created by the participants of the competition. The recipe cards will be given out to residents after the competition as a little token from MY YEW TEE 2019. How the competition works is that residents are required to build a team with their neigbours to be qualified for the competition. They are then to create original fusion recipes. This way, it creates a platform that encourages neighbours to get to know each other by working together in something that everyone loves: FOOD!
Description: A day filled with events specially organised for residents of Yew Tee where they are able to come together and carry out exciting activities suitable for all ages. The poster also works as a map for the events held that day with very concise and easy to read information bites. The colours I picked are limited but I believe are eye-catching. One of the activities available is a cooking competition called “Masak Time” and will link my first deliverable to the second.
I made use of instagram’s poll and question feature for my survey as I figured that it would get the most outreach. Furthermore, since my target audience are adults and young adults, my followers were suitable for the survey. Attached is a look at my instagram survey:
Example of responses
I curated my questions to target the awareness on the importance of social cohesion between neighbours and the results are as follows.
Do you know any of neighbours?
90% YES10% NO
2. Do you know their names/have their contact numbers?
49% YES51% NO
3. Do you interact with them? If yes, when and how often?
Only acknowledgements when they chance upon each other
Once or twice per month
At corridors/lift lobby
Special events e.g; hari raya, chinese new year etc
4. What could be possible reasons neighbours do not communicate?
Arrogance and unfriendliness
Lack of common topic
5. Do you think it is important in today’s context, that we know our neighbours?
90% YES10% NO
6. Would you be open to getting to know your neighbours better?
92% YES8% NO
7. What are some of the ways in which we can improve social cohesion between neighbours in Singapore?
Gathering during festive seasons (eat together)
Conclusion: From my survey, I have found that there are indeed many Singaporeans who are open to the idea of getting to know their neighbours but it has become too much of a norm for it to be awkward or weird to interact with neighbours beyond a smile or a hi. Thus, in my project, I aim to break that stigma and normalise interacting with neighbours in hopes for a stronger social cohesion between them.
Briefly share your experience going through Dialogue in the Dark. What were some of the feelings, thoughts, challenges and insights gained while role playing a blind person?
The room was pitch black. The last time I experienced darkness like that was in Batu Caves in Malaysia but that was with some light still. When I first entered the room of total darkness, I felt like I could not breathe for a few seconds because my brain was not used to not being able to see while having to navigate my way through. It was in an instant that I realised how much I have relied on my sense of sight. I felt helpless as I walked throughout the tour as I had to rely more heavily on my other senses which I realised was sadly, not that good either.
What really hit me was when we had to cross the road without our sight, something I never took notice of. I had no awareness of how far the other end of the crossroad was and how long I had to cross which made me panic. Then, I knew I really take for granted my eyesight as I would always use my phone while crossing roads.
I have always known of the existence and struggles of the blind community but never have I thought to experience or empathise with them. I always just thought “Oh, blind people cannot see” but never have I gone beyond to think that the simplest daily activities are struggles to complete due to their blindness. Yet, struggling was not the case for our lovely tour guide. I found it heartwarming to know that she finds the beauty in being blind. Most of what she shared with us were positive experiences which made me realise that we should really be more grateful.
Drawing on your experience, can you think and list some of the benefits inherent in the design research technique of role-playing?
Being able to experience first-hand and empathise to thoroughly understand and uncover the needs of the target audience
Create more bespoke products that tackles more specific issues through better understanding
Create better user experience
Be more aware of things you would not have taken note of before without role-playing and later doing a more extensive research
Clear doubts and assumptions on the matter of research
Can you think of some contexts where role-playing can be useful to help discover and definition of design challenges or contribute to the development of design solutions?
Role-playing allows one to fully immerse in the certain experience which I believe design can only go so far to do so. Design more so communicates a message but not so much, the experience. Again, role-playing creates empathy to allow the audience to understand more deeply, the issue at hand.
In a fast-paced country, it is no surprise that the social cohesion between neighbours in Singapore is not very strong. Everyone is too caught up with getting by their days that they overlook the importance of getting to know neighbours, people who are physically closest to them, second to their family members. This is my topic of biggest interest as I would like to explore creative ways to solve this seemingly small but important and relatable issue and bring light to it.
Singapore has seemingly lost its ‘kampung spirit’ where neighbours would visit and interact with one another on the daily. Children playing with one another while conversations brewing between the adults were the norm. According to a study by HDB and the National University of Singapore Centre of Sustainable Asian Cities and Sociology department, interactions between residents today are ‘incidental and minimal‘. It goes as far as a smile or a hi only when they run into one another. Otherwise, everyone is behind closed doors.
This stems from the pride of being independent in today’s modern society. As such, no extra efforts are put in to getting to know neighbours that do not value-add to personal lives on the surface level. In fact, neighbours, being people living in the closest proximity to you, are likely to be of big help in emergency situations. Knowing your neighbours would be good for the sake of safety and security.
In a survey of 2,200 residents in five HDB towns, they were asked to score their frequency of interactions with neighbours, from a score of one (never) to five (daily). Overall, they ranked “exchange of greetings/ small talk” as the most frequent activity, with a mean score of 3.47. Safekeeping of house keys and borrowing and lending household items ranked the lowest at 1.11 and 1.25 respectively.
Undoubtedly, there have been efforts to counter the issue such as the Good Neighbour Movement:
In this project, I would like to adapt some of the current measures taken to improve the social cohesion while also tackling it in a creative viewpoint. This lack of interaction between neighbours proves to be a problem and I would like to create means that become catalysts for a heightened social cohesion in Singapore neighbourhoods.
My main target audience would be adults who I believe are largely the victims of the lack of social cohesion between them and their neighbours. In the busy school and work lifestyles, they do not see the importance of getting to know their neighbours but instead rush for their precious and minimal private hours. They put up a sub-concious barrier without realisation and eventually becomes a norm. Besides that, adults could also be a leading example of better neighbourhood bonds as their children would mirror their actions which would later follow them in life.
Sensing Punggol by Spang & Lei
Sensing Punggol is a collaborative artwork between residents in Punggol. They were from neighbourhood environmental data collected by Punggol residents of all ages. The data sculptures allow you to discover hidden life stories behind sensor data such as air particulate-matter levels, sound levels, and UV levels, as a way of quantifying the relationships between humans and their environment across a period of time. I believe it is a fresh and creative way to present connections in neighbourhoods that is interactive and suitable for all ages. It really targets the interaction between neighbours when they interact with the artwork collectively.
HDB Community Week 2019 Poster
The poster is very clear in presenting the available activities throughout the community week and has very simple and concise illustrations. The connecting lines helps my eyes move throughout the poster which makes it easy to digest. However, I feel like the colours used could be improved as it looks quite dull and not exciting.
Kejiranan by Toby Tan
This project involves residents from different neighbourhoods in Punggol coming together to repaint their neighbourhood basketball court. I believe that this project directly improves the issue at hand, being social cohesion between neighbours. It involves neighbours of all ages painting, which is a job anyone can partake in. I commend the inclusivity of this innovative and meaningful project.
For this project, we were tasked to make a brochure based on the poster we made for Assignment 2. Here’s my poster:
My “exhibition” revolves around the endangerment of species of frogs which was what I wanted to portray in my 3D brochure. I was very inspired by these layered cards.
I wanted to create an image through layers as such but I wanted mine to be simple and to the point. Here are my messy sketches for the brochure.
Time to illustrate it! I retained most of the frogs and plants as I wanted consistency between the brochure and poster.
A quick b&w test print:
Here’s my final brochure design:
It did not turn out exactly as I had in mind but I’m still okay with it. I don’t like the exposed white back parts on the plant and frogs that are sticking out and should have seeked assistance to counter the problem. Otherwise, I’m happy that it looks consistent with my poster which was one of my initial goals.
Perry Hoberman is an installation artist born in 1954 who works mostly around machines and media. He has taught in several art institutions and is currently an associate research professor in the Interactive Media Division at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television. Hoberman pays particular attention to the interactive character of technology and human beings in his works, namely Bar Code Hotel which demonstrates so which will be of focus in this hyperessay.
Bar Code Hotel is one of Hoberman’s works that really displays interactivity between computer technology and human beings. It is an interactive installation that generates a virtual world using an inanimate object Hoberman was intrigued by: bar codes. Hoberman’s inspiration behind this work are the bar codes he chanced upon while reading cereal boxes during breakfast.
“We are so familiar with bar codes that we hardly even notice them, just an unpleasant fact of contemporary life. They are ugly, plastered onto countless consumer products, defacing the design of packages, books, magazines. And they don’t seem to have any of the magical properties that often get attributed to advanced technologies. They are, however, one of the earliest infiltration of the digital infrastructure into the universe of existing objects. They represent a kind of alternate reality superimposed onto the physical world. This reality is not addressed to us, but instead directly to the computer.” Hoberman
This is so interesting to me because he transformed something often overlooked into something so of greater purpose. Using bar codes as a tool, he created a 3D virtual environment that transcends boundaries of the reality.
The artwork offers a series of objects, arranged on tables, covered with bar codes where a pen-laser manipulated by the participant then activates the codes. A representation screen follows by displaying the result of the “commands” determined by participants that interact with the object. On the screen, a series of everyday objects appear, interact, and die as seen in the images attached below:
For each simulation, an object is activated by a start trigger given by the participant who will wave the pen-laser over a selected bar code on the objects placed on the table. Just to briefly give an idea of the work, attached below is a video of it:
Interactivity in the artwork
Clearly, there is a “reciprocal exchange” between the participants and the work itself which is essentially what defines interactivity. The participants would use the pen-laser to scan bar codes that transmits messages to the computer screen which elicits a response being the imagery on the screen. When the participants wave the wands in different manner, it manipulates the objects on the screen as it enlarges or moves around which represents the back and forth action and communication in interactivity as suggested by Norbert Wiener in his essay.
Bar Code Hotel demonstrates entropy which is “the process of receiving and of using information is the process of our adjusting to the contingencies of the outer environment, and of our living effectively within that environment.” It is the indeterminacy and unpredictability as results fully depend on participants given that the bar codes can be scanned at any time and in any order. Graphics created then vary between the different groups of participants creating entropy.
This is also being discussed in Roy Ascott’s essay where he thinks that interactive art is, if not, should be behavioural. Outcome of the artwork is never fixed and will change from participant(s) to participant(s). Interactive art is a dialogue and not a monologue meaning the artists give up some control as to how the artwork turns out, leaving it to the interpretation and control of the audience. As for Bar Code Hotel, the outcome of the work I feel, fully depends on the decisions of the participants who determine what object is to be on screen along with its manipulations.
Bar Code Hotel in my opinion, is a good example of an interactive art piece that explores complete interactivity between computer and human beings. The artist created a space where the participants create a narrative that the artist has zero control over. This really demonstrates entropy, the undetermined outcome.