Zine : Dakota Final

In my last post, I made a presentation based off the first time I went to Dakota. Since then I have revisited the area a few times and have done more exploration/research. As needed, i’ll post the additional pics of my discoveries in this post instead. After exploring Dakota,I realised that there were many types of patterns,being repeated throughout the place I was inspired by the patterns and tessellations, to create my own collection of patterns and prints. I thought of making a catalogue, whereby each page is a pattern is dedicated to a particular observation and each catalogue, to a different location in Singapore.

Cover page and Back page – Map

My cover and back page will be my 2 page spread, which I chose to use to represent the map of Dakota.I thought since my entire zine is encompassing   my observations of Dakota as an area, it would be quite apt to use the map print to “Encompass” the content inside my zine as well. I got a screenshot from google maps of Dakota and marked out the route I took on both the days i visited the place.Black would represent the first day,and red the second. While the yellow would be the areas i covered within the clusters of blocks aside from the streets that are visible on the google map.Then i sectioned out the area i would be using to based my design off of.

I decided to use the lines from the path i marked to create this pattern.

After creating the original design (no pic), I realised the lines were too thin and the corners of the turns were too sharp , at 90 degree angles. I felt that because of the thin lines there was too much negative space which made the pattern look imbalanced and the corners made my design look to rigid/tense. I opted for thicker lines and more rounded curves, in the picture above,to make it seem more cohesive as a pattern. I also opted for a beige background, to give that vintage/nostalgic vibe that Dakota has. The circle at the ends of each line represent the start and end points respectively.I used triadic colours,red,yellow and blue to make the coverage more vibrant .The font  and placing was inspired by a few ikea catalogues I referenced,whereby the year would be placed vertically next to the bold yet minimalistic text. After consulting mimi, She suggested using a sub header, which would give viewers more insight into what the zine is about.I placed the text ‘Katalog 2018’ at the bottom right of the back page , so if it were on the shelf the viewer can see which book they’re reaching for. Also some fine print at the bottom of the cover page to mimic the ikea catalogue.

Page 2 – Metalwork/Dakota crescent

This page is represents the area Dakota crescent.I began by drawing out the shapes of the 6 types of designs I saw on the metal grills of the housing at Dakota Crescent as shown below. I chose the shade of orange as it was one of the most recurring shade of orange I saw in Dakota as a whole.Later I opted for a more muted shade of orange as I felt like the orange did not represent Dakota crescent as an area itself.It was not as lively and the colour scheme in that area was more subdued in nature.

After consulting Mimi,she suggested using a wider variety of colours. I used the colour of the metal itself as a background for each individual design out of the 6. The metals they used were mainly pastel pink and blue,the rest either brown or white.I generated a pastel colour scheme and used it instead.I decided to use this set of 6 as a repeated cluster throughout this page and proceeded to copy and paste them next to each other.I realised that the pattern lacked a sense of rhythm so it ended up looking messy.Hence, i aligned them in a fashion where the prints running diagonally alternate in colour.

Page 3 – Cats and tessellation

This page is also dedicated to Dakota Crescent.As the area is abandoned, many cats have occupied the area .Tessellations were also prominent in the area, the tiles on the floor, the patterns along side the buildings and within the decorative design of the neighbourhood itself. I combined these two observations together and came with a cat tessellation.I began sketching out a rough shape based of a cat I saw resting above an abandoned childcare and used this as my main unit in my design. I plotted the shape on graph paper to achieve more accurate/proportionate results.If one of the units were out of shape, it would not form a proper tessellation.Then I filled in the colours of the units based on the colours of the cats that I encountered,to achieve the final design.

Page 4 -Texture

There were many interesting and different textures all around Dakota, some of the few I decided to include in this pattern are listed below.

From top to bottom

  • Sand – seen at the dove playground , one of the few sand pit playgrounds left in Singapore (in dove pic below)
  • Blue mosaic tiles — these tiles covered the body of the dove at the playground                                                
  • Paint on wall – HDB blocks were  mainly white with hints of burnt orange paint                                                                                
  • Marble – Tiles on the walls of these blocks were white with a smokey grey  and partially mimicked the look and feel of real marble.
  • Gravel/pebbles -Tiles alongside the blocks
  • Weathered paint-Prominent in the abandoned Dakota crescent area
  • Vandalism – Some seen on the floor of HDB blocks

I wanted to compile these textures into a single pattern but was afraid that they wouldn’t look unified and maybe bit jarring as each texture has a lot of details. I layered the different textures together and used wavy distorted lines to represent the uneasy feeling i felt entering the location as well as to give some consistency to the pattern.Also the scale of each texture is based on the proportion of it i have seen at Dakota.

Page 5 – Cassia crescent

Exploring a little outside Dakota Crescent, I came across this area called Cassia crescent. What I thought was unique about this place is that the pillars of the each of the HDB block had its own unique design,mostly paintings of flowers. I wanted to stick with a floral theme for the next pattern, so I began to find images of the flowers I saw with transparent backgrounds and compiled them together.I arranged them in chronological order of them being seen following the golden ratio.

Page 6 – Crowd

When I went to Dakota during the night time, I realised it was much more happening and there was more human activity as compared to the day time.Inspired by the geometric shapes around Dakota,I used a circle paired with a square in the middle to represent a person.As the pattern progresses from the bottom to the top, the squares get smaller but the circles remain the same.This is to create a gradient effect similar to how the crowd in Dakota thins out from night to day.

Page 7 – Openness/Spaciousness

Since old Kallang airport used to be at Dakota, the blocks were built to be low rise to accommodate for the jets to fly by. As the area is also undergoing redevelopment,there are lots of open patches of land for future construction. The openness of the sky and the amount of space there was around me inspired the design for the next print.

I selected a brown-toned recycled paper background for this print as it gave off that natural earthy vibe that was present in the grass around me.I took a picture of the landscape from a high point and drew free form shapes of the land. I outlined them in orange to represent the land undergoing construction as the soil had a orange hue and the grass was destroyed,whereas the shapes in green had its grass intact. I added the smaller shapes to represent the trees and also to create more balance with the negative and positive space within the design.


  1. Improve on paper quality/Craftsmanship

Paper quality was too thin and flimsy, thicker paper similar to paint catalogues could have been used .

  1. Not site specific

I feel that my zine is mainly abstract images , So my perception of Dakota is based on my explanation of it. Although, the floral print could have been further improved as they were pretty literal as compared to my other prints. Maybe instead of using the flowers themselves, play with their colour or shapes instead.