in My Work

Timber – The Date With Nature You Never Knew You Needed

Assignment Theme: Jurong
Assignment Objective: To present our researched story of Jurong in an interactive narrative.
Chosen Topic: Jurong Hill – Garden of Fame

After visiting Jurong Hill and realising that the lookout tower was under servicing, I decided to narrow my research to the Garden of Fame.

The Garden of Fame was a once well-known garden where foreign dignitaries would be invited to a tree-planting ceremony to commemorate their visit to Singapore. They would be brought to the nearby lookout tower to take a look at development of Jurong Town and the industrial estate.

After much research on-site as well as the Singapore National Archives and other online databases, I felt that the trees at the garden hold very special meaning and I wanted to get people to know their stories. The main challenge was figuring out what kind of narrative I wanted to use to tell the stories of the trees as well as overall experience of the garden and the hill. Based of the original idea of presenting the trees as people or tour guides of the park, I then decided to draw ideas off Tinder, the dating app, and added a few tweaks.

Like how Tinder is like a game of probability and chance, I wanted to use a similar structure of the “game” to tell the story. This presents the participant multiple possible endings and multiple opportunities for interaction. Timber is also meant to encourage people to actually visit the garden, bringing to life the story of their “visit” to Jurong Hill’s Garden of Fame.

Timber is an A2 sized physical map that will be set up like a board game, with characters, avatars and game cards.

Instructions of the game:
1. On your turn, throw the numbered and coloured dice.
2. Move your avatar according to the number you rolled on; draw a card according to the colour you rolled on.
3. Repeat step 1 & 2 until you until your avatar meets a tree. If you throw out the same colour as before, ignore it and only move according to your numbered die. Your turn ends and the next player proceeds.
What happens when you meet a tree:
Choose whether you would like to have a date with that tree.
If YES, you may end the game, but only if you have one activity and one observe card. If you do not have both, repeat step 1 & 2 until you return to the start point or receive the card you need.
If NO, carry on and repeat step 1-3 until you find a tree you like.

Just like Tinder, based on your geographical location, you are presented with profiles of people nearby for your selection. If you like them, you swipe right, if not swipe left. So based on that concept, participants, by the chance of the dice and where they travel on the map, are presented with an activity card, an observation card and a tree profile card. With these three card, whether the participants choose to follow them, is the rough outline of how the date will proceed.


The trees and avatars are held up with black binder clips..
Front & Back of the tree profile cards.

The Map:
The map would be fold-able.
Folded up, the map would have the name and edition in front, and a short description of the location on the back.

When open, the map presents a top-down view of the garden. There is an introduction on the top left, instructions on the bottom left, a mark for the cards on the bottom right and lastly a topographic map of the area on the top right. The topographic map was found from the National Archives and I chose to use that because it shows the altitude and the land formation of the hill and the park. A google maps screenshot would not have the same details.

Timber is meant to be an easy and fun game to get people to know the garden a little bit better and encourage to actually visit the park for the full experience. In the future, this could be digitised and maybe made for other locations as well.  I enjoyed this assignment till the very end but I am a little disappointed that I did not get to print and execute the game in reality. But I hope this presentation can present my ideas and hope for this project.

Thank you Prof Kristy for your guidance this semester!