Locale; Research | Graphic Form


Locating my Locale

For this project, I had to create a visual experience (through any graphics means) that would showcase my chosen site’s unique selling points.

Here were some of my considerations:

  • Bukit Merah
  • Changi
  • Katong/Joo Chiat
  • Tampines

After much brainstorming, consultations with Joy and hosting a survey to ask the public for opinions I decided to go ahead with Changi; more specifically Changi Village. As the area is incredibly far and isolated, it felt like a treasure trove of ideas waiting to be discovered.

Research (Experiencing)

My first trip to Changi Village was purely focused on experiencing the locale for myself. Using my five senses; sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste to guide my research. Albeit not visually pleasing, I took some photographs to document the process. I also took note of any exciting textures/elements that I might want to incorporate into my zine! Here are some of the photos:


Research (Ideating & Conceptualizing)

After taking my findings back to Joy for consultation, I noticed an interesting trend about Changi Village. After thinking about it more, I realise even I was guilty of perpetuating this somewhat ‘unhealthy’ behaviour. Having spent a good year working nearby the Changi Village area (during NS), I often headed to Changi Village just to get good food. I never really took in any of the sites or appreciated any of its historical significance and origin.

For my second visit, I was much more purposeful. I focused down onto documenting and developing upon the perspective I had constructed, that is “Changi is a place of transience”. (I took some more photos to accompany my descriptions. Still not at all visually pleasing, but I took them for illustrative references!)

For starters, the famous Changi Village Hawker Centre is crowded, and jam pack the moment lunchtime hits! Office workers, Servicemen and even the elder come here to get a cheap and good meal. By 1 pm, the hawker centre is desolated as the lunch crowd dissipates as fast as it comes.

Changi Ferry Point Terminal is next on the list. “People literally come to Changi to leave Changi”. The Ferry Terminal’s waterway is lined with old fashioned bumboats. The bumboats take turns to transport passengers to Pulau Ubin; tourists, fishermen, nature walkers and cyclists are part of this usual crowd.

Probably the newest thing you’ll come across as you explore the area. Changi V Hotel sits in the heart of Changi Village; in between all the iconic landmarks that the local has to present. V Hotel is transient as the frequent guests who patronise its services are foreign airline workers (Pilots, Air Stewardesses & Air Stewards). Offering cheap and relatively closeby accommodations to the airport, foreign airline workers simply check in for a quick night before leaving the next morning again.

Changi Sailing Club was all the hype in the past with the waterways being used ever so frequently for sailing races and regattas. But with cleaner and more accessible waterways such as Marina Bay, Changi Sailing Club is now a shipyard where sailors come periodically to store or do repair works.

Last but certainly not least, “The Changi Transgender”. I was oblivious to this had Joy not brought it up during our consultation, and although this image isn’t representative, after more research and asking around, I found this to be the exact carpark where the Indonesian transgenders would congregate now and then. As they only meet at night, I was unable to interview them on my second visit.


For my presentation, I was initially unsure of what format to present in, as I am unfamiliar with infographics or how to layout an excellent presentation. I decided I would keep my slides concise and straightforward, focusing only on presenting the newly developed concept of “Transient Changi”. However, I was dying to share what I found about the place with the class too. I felt the best way to do that would be to give an interactive presentation rather than just presenting a visual vomit of photos that I had taken.

So, I opened photoshop, begun illustrating and compiled all the illustrations on wix.com to create an “Interactive, Virtual Changi Experience”. Even though I nearly died… after three consecutive days of drawing, I was quite pleased with the result!

Here are my presentation ‘slides’!

  • Click on arrows to take you to the next area
  • Click on architectures/landmarks to get a bite-sized description of the place
  • Click on humans to see their interview responses
Introductory Page
Cross Roads
Old Changi Hospital
Changi Point Boardwalk
Changi Sailing Club
Changi V Hotel
Changi Ferry Terminal
Changi Bus Interchange
Changi Village Hawker Centre
Changi’s Village HDB
Changi Air Base (West)
End Credits

For the sake of my soul, I will not disclose the entire experience here! However, if you are interested in finding out more,  you can click here to experience the journey for yourself!

Personal thoughts

Overall this research project was pretty fun because apart from having an excuse to go out instead of studying, it really challenged me to be meticulous and purposeful with the information I was taking in as I had to make sense of them. Completing the illustrative tour was an incredible feeling as the accomplishments transcended just drawing fast and delightful illustrations. I had to learn how to use Wix and to curate the information effectively; in a way that would be interesting, succinct yet reflective of what it would really be like if you explored Changi for yourself. Additionally, seeing the class participate so actively was a sweet treat!!