The crux of my project intends to focus on bridging the relationship and communication between caregiver and person with dementia through storytelling and to remind them not of what they cannot do anymore, but of what they can. We often forget or do not realise even, that whenever we communicate to a person with dementia, his or her reality is not the same as our reality. In order to provide a better quality of life for the person with dementia and for them to still maintain social activities instead of retreating to isolation and seclusion, we need to encourage them to be empowered, and for them to be seen as active social agents.
The purpose of transforming them to be storytellers is to invite the person with dementia to open up again, with the goal of providing them, a valued role. To remove the pressure to remember, it can significantly help with their levels of engagement. This can change how communities see them — they are no longer invisible, but they can become storytellers.
Design to me, is capable of opening up alternative routes of possibilities for society. I see myself as a conduit, a crystal goblet, who mediates and communicates to societal needs. My initial process to design is to always ask myself, “How does this benefit and add value to my viewer?” I try my best to offer a voice, a common and mutual voice which would (hopefully) resonate with many, amidst the noise.
Through a trifold transit map, I am bringing you on this journey to piece and bridge together my completed projects. The narratives of each project promises clarity of myself as an individual, then a designer.
Where is Home? Are we all immigrants? Who demarcates a country and what makes a nation? Where do displaced communities belong?
18th December was proclaimed as International Migrants Day by the UN General Assembly in 2000 — a day significant for Singaporeans as most of us are descendants of migrants, labourers who worked long hours for low pay. But how much do we know of our roots and where we come from? As of June 2016, foreigners make up 64% of Singapore’s population. What is the difference between a Migrant, a Foreigner, a Refugee? Why is there the notion of a social class associated with these terms?
To close the disparity and create acceptance, to shine light on the wonderfulness of all our similarities instead of differences. To investigate that our home was once not this home we know of — that we are here by chance, and we should give that same equal chance to everyone.
This is a problem because change is the only constant, yet we don’t like change. We don’t like it when Little India is unusually crowded on weekends and we attempt to implement barricades to fence off these workers from resident spaces. How can we, once a migrant, tell another migrant, that they do not belong here? Ma (Mother Nature), where’s Home?
“The results showed boys and girls aged five both viewed their own gender positively, but girls aged six and seven were markedly less likely than boys to associate brilliance with their own gender.”
The article has conveyed a worrying concern over the results of girls as young as six who were already affected by stereotypes. In an experiment, the children heard a story about a person who was “really, really smart” and were asked to guess who it was about from a selection of male and female characters. Boys and girls aged five both viewed their own gender positively, but girls aged six and seven were less likely than boys to associate brilliance with their own gender. This results came after a researcher from the University of Illinois, Lin Bian, noted a growing trend of women in society who push away jobs that are perceived to require brilliance.
I am interested in investigating how girls age seven and above, view themselves in this world. Do they believe that they have the power to change? That they are brilliant in every way? Do they fuel and surround themselves with positivity? Do they boldly say, “I can”? What is their voice, their story? What is their Brilliance?
It is a problem because we exist. We exist in every home, every house, every office, every nation, every country. Our aspirations and dream careers should not be diluted just because of a stereotype we have somehow bought into.
I believe that the true meaning of Visual Communication is to open up alternative routes of possibilities for society. The manner in which we design a particular poster or a particular brochure, is profoundly capable of forming endless bridges of interpretation despite revolving around a fixed theme. Tracing back, my initial process to design is always to not ask myself, “What do I like?”, but instead, I ask, “How does this benefit and add value to my viewer?”. I try my best to offer a voice, a common and mutual voice which would (hopefully) resonate with many, amidst the noise. The philosophy I try to adopt is a user-centred approach to design. I like to observe and study the behavioural patterns of society and then ask myself, where can I help?
Social Design fascinates me — creating design solutions that benefits society AND the environment. I see design as a two way traffic: firstly, the process in which I partake to execute my design benefits me. Secondly, the materialisation of my design when it is complete has to benefit others. It then becomes this eternal time loop of positivity.
However, there is a lack in issues of practice and research for Social Design. Little attention has been given to charges in the education of a designer today, despite the apparent shift towards Design for Populations, rather than just for the Market alone. There is a lack of research to demonstrate what a designer can contribute to human welfare. More often than not, design is understood by the public as an artistic practice that produces dazzling lamps, furniture and automobiles. Design, I believe, is a form of argument and persuasion for ideas about how the world should change and progress for the better.
I hope to someday create design which can target people’s psychological needs. To create better living spaces in communities and neighbourhoods, to increase feelings of pleasantness, excitement and relaxation. To decrease feelings of fear and stress. To create a cocoon, a shelter, a safe haven — and most importantly, a home in a house.