Reading this article, my first thought was if there was such a thing as universal aesthetics? I mean I would think that most of us, across cultures, would find a sunset beautiful. Perhaps we will never be able to pinpoint what exactly makes an object “good” but maybe being intuned with all our senses would make us more sensitive to what is good and design things more efficiently. As the article said, perhaps by reflecting the human soul in a form we would resonate with people more. Although I have no idea on how to do that, hopefully with time I will.

Reflections on Design Noir

The article makes me reconsider the role of electronics in our daily lives. In the first few paragraphs, the author claims that corporate futurologists dream up of futures with “no room for doubt or complexity in their techno-utopian visions”. Although I think it is unfair to throw whoever corporate futurologists are under the bus, I do agree with the point put across. We tend to have a mostly one-sided view on what technology is and can do.

The section on when objects dream further adds on to the point. It talks about electronic objects dreaming in the sense that they leak radiation. That in itself isn’t too exciting but acknowledging the subtle ways electronics influence our way of life is.

The last section that piqued my interest was on critical design, to see design as an effort to push the limits of our lived experience and not the medium in which we use. I guess my question would be if critical design could be commercial, although the author seems to be finding that a very bleak prospect.

exploration of outram park part 1/2/3 and random ideas I thought about as I walked around.

As I was driven to Outram, I did not start my exploration from Outram but rather at Everton Park. The first thing that could my eye was the mural by Yip Yew Chong, depicting a scene from olden time which add to the ambiance of the place.

I also took note of the fence pattern as I was thinking that maybe I could do patterns in my zine. I then headed towards Chinatown and basically took whatever felt interesting to me.

Like how the lanterns on the ceiling looks like little red balls floating on a golden sea. I guess I was unconsciously making up fantasy type  narratives in my head.

As I walk through Chinatown I was interested in the signboards that I was bombarded with and thought of making an original type like the norajima project.

                                                Besides I also took photos to get a general feel of Chinatown.


The next stop was to go to pearl bank.


Going there felt like we were completely leaving Outram as when I was going up it was surrounded by quiet spaces or building being torn.

I was scared to enter the first time so I just took photos of the outside and headed towards the MRT area

When I saw the construction as I was coming down I thought that maybe I could do something concerning time or progress as Outram was filled with shop houses, construction sites and shiny government buildings.

oh it was chingay period so there were some floats passing by.

Second Visit I concentrated on just going to pearl bank as it left the most mysterious to me.

I sneaked inside and ran up the stairs.

The placed was like a maze with many staircase

On my 3rd visit I tried to go back there by legal means.  But was rudely refused by the security guard. So I just took the facade of the building.

I proceeded to stand outside of Pearl Bank Apartment to interview people.

After a lot of hesitation I interviewed 4 people. I only managed to take picture of 2 of my interviewees .I took the back for the other two.

Here are some of the notes I took when I interviewed them.

China lady
Here for a few month
Finds in friendly
Likes how quiet it is
Also rented
Doesnt interact with the other residence

Us dude
Works at nhcs
Finds it nice and quiet
People keep to themselves
Hates walking up the hill
Very little amenities
Rented for one month
Most people doesnt say good morning

Mum and child
Live here for 20 years
Parents live here before
A lot of apartments are rented out
Strange people

Young Chinese couple
Woman wearing a nurse uniform.
Guy carrying goccery
Rented an apartment for a few months
It’s a very cold place
Not welcoming

What is product design and other musings

What is product design?

I would say it is a discipline that design products in a way that makes people’s lives easier by focusing on the user’s experience.

What do product designers do?

They are there to design objects which solve problems they find through observations, producing it in the most efficient way, ultimately benefiting people they design for.

What kind of designer would you want to be? And why?

I would like to design lifestyle products, but I would really just go for any project that interest me. I would like to design lifestyle products, because I am interested in the mundane interactions that humans do daily. I would also like to invent things that helps change the way humans interact with their surroundings.



For my first layout and idea I wanted to reflect how no one actually delves deeper into the history of Pearl Bank Apartments or how they never take pictures of anything but the facade of the building. Hence I was going to include my interviews to try and give a deeper perspective of Pearl Bank Apartment.


However I did not really have pictures that I thought were good enough I decided to just illustrate my zine and make it into a narrative.

So I first sketched out some layouts, but as I am not very good at drawing I decided to trace out some of the photos that I took.

I proceeded to image trace and paint it on illustrator. However I never did this before so I did not consider how tedious it would be to use a mouse to paint. Thank goodness my screen was a touch screen so I eventually used my fingers to paint.


I had some difficulty with choosing a style so I went to pinterest

I was quite settled for the background so I had to draw characters that matched the sketchy style.


I also had to thin out some lines.

Lastly I wrote out my words to complete the sketchy feel and then scanned it.



Wei Ming
Most creative or interesting
Everything was really well made.I like how many compartments there was in such a small box.
Maybe you could have made an more interesting form as I would say luffy is a pretty adventurous guy. Or maybe try rubber.
Something New
I would like to learn how you make things swirl.

Most creative or interesting
Love the face and how it portrayed a skin condition. And how it was made mostly of wall putty instead of like normal plaster or clay. Also like how you need to put the hand in the mouth to pop up the compartment.
you could have added more putty at the mouth area and gave it more expression. And smooth the insides to make it easier to pull out the compartments.
Something New
I found the use of mirror and putty combination pretty refreshing!

Most creative or interesting
Definitely the yellow paint. It is like the inner part of his person. oh and the fact that you used picture frames.
Maybe make it more cohesive by painting all the frames in the same colour.
Something New
The use of photo frames was something I would never think about! So that was new.

Most creative or interesting
I thought it was interesting that all the wood is recycled, but treated til it looks polish.
You could have made it more rugged or perphas use things that was possibly used in the prison.  And maybe thought more about the compartments of the box
Something New
The folding of the box.


Most creative or interesting
I loved how the indiviual items were made. It was very fitting of her whimsical character.
YI know that it was suppose to be a quick access box but I think that you should have had a enclosed compartment for the uncontaminated plants, as the forest might contaminated again. 
Something New
The cage was pretty cute. I would not think of the cage/ fruit thing.

The box

From the Bottom :

First layer:

It is the simplest one to do. I first made it out of wood but decided to like the vibrant colours of the shonen jump to show so I changed to acrylic. I measured the book so the box will fit the book exactly, I felt that it would make it neater.

2nd Layer and 4th Layer : money, hair gel and sugar (hair ge is syl’s so I dont have it when I was documenting)

The way I arranged the compartments like how action manga arrange their panels. I also sliced off the ends to have a more cohesive feel.

I first arranged it like a bento box cos I wanted to make everything food related. However after consulting Osh I decided that having a more fragmented looked would go well with the hidden box.

3rd layer The layer that’s covered up. The most complicated. It has two parts.

a) The part that house the wig 

b) The part that house the other 3 items close to him. 

a) For part a I had a lot of chiseling to recess the hinges so that they wont be so obvious. And also so that the sword could fit in the middle. I first used a hammer and a chisel but switched to a dremel halfway cos it was very time consuming.  

I also added a right angle wood piece to secure all the four sides together.


This also help stablise the top layer.

The top layer was pretty easy except for the sort of puzzle box.

It was basically three planks of wood secured together with a triangle piece of wood to support.

As for the puzzle box I searched up something called an unabox and simplified it.

The items


I wanted it to be as fake looking as possible as judging by his character, he would play a prank by giving fake money.

Hence I looked to monopoly money.

I looked to the anime for reference.

I then took the Japanese Yen and then image trace them.

Giving a semi realistic feel to it as it is after all a physical copy and not in the show.

I then printed it on monopoly-like coloured paper.

Sugar and Toothpicks

As per Osh’s suggestion I decided to combine both sugar and toothpick together.

I had to first figure out how to make hard candy and for that I look to youtube as usually. The ingredients were simple just sugar and water but knowing when to stop boiling them was the hard part. There were many attempts and I boiled about 3kg of sugar before getting a decent hardness. And as I did not have molds I used foil which could not hold the weight of the sugar and it bend which I had to chisel down.


Oh halfway through the production I decided to add his sword as I feel like that was the item that represent him the most. For that I laser cut it.


I had to have a book with Japanese binding and hence decided to make one.

Everything else was something I owned.