So we went to the National Design Centre. I’ve seen the exhibition a few times, but I’ve never actually paid attention closely to them.

Some types of design practices I saw:

Product design


Graphic design


Fashion design




Over the years, I could see that in the beginning (starting from the 1965-1975), Singapore was still very focused on building the country. Design was made with a clear purpose to serve the needs of the people, instead of actually building the identity of the nation. However as time passed, design in Singapore began to take shape. A lot of design was made to promote Singapore’s national identity, especially when Singapore started to be noticed globally. As new technologies were introduced, Singapore slowly got modernized, but even until now the design in Singapore never really left the roots. Now the design in Singapore, I feel, is modernized, yet still really showing the national identity. Design is also not just “art”; it’s always used to improve other sectors such as economy and education.

I think even in the future, the goal for design in Singapore is to continue to develop fresh ideas that not only are aesthetically pleasing, but also contribute to Singapore’s growth and promote national identity at the same time. While that is not easy, I feel that Singapore designers are moving in the right direction. I can see some designs nowadays that combine some of the ideas – like, combining modernization and national identity.

Design continues to be of importance, and I feel like people’s awareness of that will only grow from now. Some things that used to just be functional, now can possess aesthetic values – a simple example is HDB buildings which walls are painted in pleasing colors or certain colors to create rainbow / gradient. And as more people see the significance of design, more people will be encouraged to think critically about it, and design in Singapore will hopefully grow to be better.

Here are the two posters that I find interesting.


Poster for Frankfurt exhibition by Kazumasa Nagai (from


I found this on Pinterest and can’t find who made it. (from


I will be talking about the second poster, the yellow one.

This poster is promoting a festival of industrial design in Sydney, and the slogan is “Ignored Everyday”. At first I’m really interested because of the minimalist appearance, with only yellow and black colors. My eyes were immediately drawn to the title due to the black highlights that contrasted the yellow background. After that, I shifted to the yellow paperclip, which didn’t blend with the background due to the outline and the shadow. It created a visual interest that makes people question, “Why a paperclip?” And that prompts the audience to read the information provided.

The information is written using sans serif fonts, which makes the whole look consistent and simple. All of them used black color, which contrasted the bright yellow background very well. I feel that the font size of the festival information could be a little bit bigger because the font is very narrow and thin, which compromises the readibility – but overall, I think it’s eye-catching, simple, and effective.

For this project, I worked together with Sabrina and Pei Wen. We decided to make a head gear and a pair of shoes.

Here are some of the sketches.

Shoes sketch

Head gear sketch










The head gear is supposed to represent our pleasant scents, while the shoes represent our unpleasant scents. Our pleasant smells are tea, candles, and hay; our unpleasant smells are carrot juice, damp clothes, and toothpaste.

Head Gear



For the head gear, the idea is to go “up”, so we made the components pointing upwards as much as possible. We used wire wrapped in black craft foam as the base to make it strong yet comfortable for the head. To keep the upper parts light, we used art card and thin wire wrapped in gold paper for the other elements.

The idea of going “up” represents tea and candle, which usually produce steam (which floats up). The strong head gear, which grounded the elements to the head, represents hay.




We tried it first using art card.

As for the shoes, we tried to incorporate the same idea, that is, to go “up”. Hence we made the corrugated board strips go high until they touch around the leg area.

The jaggy texture of corrugated board looks like flow of water, which represents damp clothes, and also looks like toothpaste when put on toothbrush. Meanwhile, the shoes are shaped with pointy end, which represent the shape of carrots. The plastic shoes were also kept together by strings to show tension and discomfort.


End Result


Although I feel that there is very little time, I am quite satisfied with the end product. It was challenging to combine different ideas into one and incorporate them into a product with interesting yet reasonable design, but it was a fun challenge to conquer. Here’s Sabrina modeling our accessories!


Lastly, thanks to Pei Wen and Sabrina for being great people to work with!

Bottle Sculpture


How is smell related to memories?

Our memory is triggered by a lot of things; what we see, what we touch, what we feel. What we smell can also trigger memories. In fact, scent is one of the greatest trigger of memory. The concept of recollecting memories with the use of scent is also called olfactory memory.

Image result for scent memory
My pleasant smell is the smell of Chinese tea…


…while my unpleasant smell is the smell of carrot juice.



Here is my bottle sculpture.

Front view

Top view

The base (dominant part) is supposed to represent a cup. The rest of the sculpture has the idea of going “up” because I want to portray a “steaming cup”, which represents my pleasant smell. At the top there is just a whole chunk of wrinkled bottle, which shows something very “cringy” and unpleasant for me, and even almost nauseating.

At first I wanted to make the wrinkly part by cutting some holes in the bottle and then heating it, but it didn’t turn out as expected.


Planar Model


A plane is an element with surface direction without mass.

There are two types of plane, 2D and 3D. The difference is, if you look from above, 2D planes fit in a rectilinear shape, whereas 3D planes don’t.

Types of planes

Here are my planar models.


2D analysis of my models

Model 1

I used a grouped plane for the dominant, broken plane for the subdominant, and bent plane for the subordinate. I tried to make the curves for the dominant at two-thirds and one-third of the total height respectively. I filled the void above the shorter curve using the subdominant. I put the subordinate at the same area as the subdominant to leave the bigger curve area empty, to contrast with the “crowd” at the other side. In a sense, it is also a form of counter-balancing.

From top view, I made the subdominant point away to kind of fill in the empty area at the top corner.


Model 2

For this one, I used twisted plane for the dominant, grouped plane for the subdominant, and a straight plane for the subordinate. I just realized that actually both of my models are similar in a sense that I made the subdominant go up and leave the rest of the area above empty.

From top view, the corners are generally empty while the center part is fully covered by the dominant and even the subdominant.

To me, this model looks like a snake in a playground for some reason. That was my initial idea for that, but I don’t think I convey it well enough.


I feel like I should have explored more with the ideas I want to convey, because although I did use different types of planes and different arrangements, they have similar vibes.

For the first F3D class, I brought my Artline Stix brush marker as a three-dimensionally interesting object.


Here it is.


At first I am only intrigued by its triangular shape, which is different from normal markers or pens. However it’s actually much more interesting than that. Let us analyze it one by one.



As I have mentioned above, the shape of the marker is like a triangular prism, not cylindrical like commonly found markers. If we draw the principle axis through the center of the marker, we can see that the marker is almost symmetrical. Almost, because interestingly, all three sides of the marker have different faces.

First, there’s the plain side. (Refer to the picture above.)

Second, there’s the side with small convex cylinders.

                                                Zoomed in.



Third, there’s the side with small concave cylinders.

                                                 Zoomed in.


Those different shapes add to the contrast in a single marker. In addition, the convex cylinders fit into the concave ones, just like Lego! So if you have a bunch of them, you can stick them all together and make a circle. (Sadly I only have one.)

The small cylinders are also uniformly distributed throughout the body of the marker, making it look like a repetition (cross-section?).

The convex-concave contrast is also apparent at the top and bottom of the marker. And yes, they fit too. (Wow.)

Bottom (concave)

Top (convex)

They fit!

I find it very interesting that in a single marker, there are so much contrast, yet they can complement each other as well. It provides some kind of visual balance.



The sizes of the convex and concave cylinders on the marker’s sides are small compared to the body of the marker, so for the relative proportion… I’d say those cylinders are XS while the pen is like M or L? Probably M, but I can’t be sure. It provides a pair of contrasting volumes within the marker, and cluster of similar volumes as well (because the cylinders are “repeating” on their own sides).

If you uncap the marker, you can also see the application of the rule of thirds! The length from the marker tip to the point where it’s supposed to be capped is roughly one-third of the whole body length of the marker.


Rough proportion.


Also, this might be wrong but I feel that the proportion of the positive-negative space is also applying the rule of thirds. As I have mentioned, the marker has three different sides, where two of them are covered with little cylinders (positive space?) and one of them is plain (negative space?). The presence of the plain side prevents the marker from looking too bulky and, again, giving balance to the whole look.



As for color, we can see the brand name in shiny silver against the all-black body clearly, hence straight away drawing our attention to it and putting emphasis on the brand although the body of the marker is actually pretty interesting. Well-played, I’d say. The silver shine adds “magic” to the marker, so I guess it is the subordinate whereas the all-black body is the dominant and the small cylinders on the sides are the subdominant. (I might be wrong about this.)

As for texture, when the marker is uncapped, we can see that while the body is matte black, the part between the tip and the body is glossy black. (You can see the difference from the picture above.) Although both of them are still black (which emphasizes that they are still one entity), the difference in texture emphasizes that they are of different parts. The glossy part is somehow smoother, so it is easy to slide your fingers there; but the matte part isn’t very smooth that your hand won’t slip easily while gripping the marker. They both complement each other not only in tactile experience, but also in function.

Moreover, the texture is a bit different between the marker sides (comparing the sides with cylinders and without cylinders). The plain side is slightly smoother compared to the sides with cylinders, so if you turn it while gripping it, you can actually experience slightly different feelings. Even the concave-cylinders side have a slightly different texture compared to the convex-cylinders side. I am genuinely amused by this marker now.



I know I might have gotten some things wrong, so please correct me if you find a mistake or a point to elaborate. Thank you!