The most phenomenal product in my life is definitely Whatsapp. It changes, I believe, millions of lives even when they do not realize it. Whatsapp is a well-thought design because of its ultimate function, simple and easy interface, high affordability. It creates revolutionary changes about communication as well as it has thought well about different kind of users. Whatsapp makes itself a versatile product for different types of users.
It is a great chapter that sounds like a mini tutorial/self-help chapter to me. There are concise step-by-step design processes, which I think is not only applicable to digital products but also other kind of products. I find the tips and steps are versatile.
I am a bit surprised how design can exist in a corporate world where everything the designer does, has to link back to the stakeholders’ desire and preference. It truly sounds like the typical corporate job. What if the stakeholders have unrealistic objective? What if they are unappreciative of designers and design skills? I know we will work with clients, but the term stakeholders in the design industry is new to me.
And I agree with this chapter on how important working relationship is to the success of the project. The business people, engineers and designers could not work like as separate entities but they should function like different organs in one body, each complements the others and would not work well without the other.
The problem I am worried about is what if those people we are working with are not appreciative of designs because they simply have the mindset that looks down on design? Because I had been in such an environment, and after getting out of that situation, all I want is to work as creative entrepreneur. It was not a sweet experience. I wish Singapore can appreciate art and design professionals as much as they appreciate politicians, engineers, doctors and all science field professionals.
This installation makes me imagining how nice it is if there is a curtain that follows me around, so whenever I want to do something that is pretty shameful in the public, I can simply do it as the curtain protects me from being seen: farting, nose digging, sleeping with my mouth open on the train, etc. I don’t know how that would be possible but it’s pretty nice to have privacy following me around.
But, yeah, with a ‘privacy’ whose physical feature is attractive to the public, it causes curiosity, and with more people are curious about what’s behind the curtain/privacy, less privacy we will have! This happens in the installation too, where public became attracted to the moving curtain, talked about it and even crowding the storefront. It ‘counter-attacks’ the purpose, an irony.
However, the irony reminds me of about “deceiving distraction”. The moving curtain can act like an attraction to distract people from realizing other things around it. So the ‘attractive privacy’ still can do its purpose to protect privacy because it distracts people from realizing the (whatever) real thing that the artist/owner want to keep private. So, I think this installation is not really fail. it’s not fail to me.
I cannot be more than grateful to be able to visit Future World exhibition as a class trip and being explained by the TeamLab member himself, Takasu. Overall, it was an eye-opening experience about how close we are to the ‘future’, where everything is third generation computing, and able to turn non-technological things into a piece of technology in an instance – in the exhibition, projections of animation on tables, walls and things react to our presence and actions. I feel like I was in the future, fully immersed that I almost forgot most of the world out there is unlike Future World right now.
My favourite installation for me is the Story of the Time where Gods were Everywhere, at the Park Session. This is the installation where the rain of ancient caligraphy could turn into ‘real objects’ when we touch it. For example, if we tap unto the caligraphy with double circle, it would become a sun in that ‘world’. Then, if we tap the animal symbols before there is food such as grass, they would die. Wrongly tap a fire symbol would burn the whole forest. It reminds me a lot about the creation of the world in the Bible, where everything is in its right order so that no creature suffers. It is so impressive to me too because different audience are able to create different world, and one could change the other’s world. We can become ‘gods’ in this installation, like literally.
The Story of the Time where Gods were Everywhere Photos
However, the most unforgettable piece is the last installation, Crystal Universe. Visually, it is really breathtaking that I thought they were all diamonds or stars. Such strong visual is forever embedded in my mind it create a very high standard for the aesthetic of installation art. Sadly, there were no enough time to really feel the entire 4D experience by supposedly ‘swiping stars and planets’ in the mobile app. But this is really the most gorgeous installation I’ve ever seen.
Crystal Universe Photos
At the end of the tour, there was a lecture that was short but sweetly revealed the art concept behind the whole Future World: the Japanese or eastern perception of beauty. Never I expect that would be the inspiration, because the installations are so futuristic – who gonna think it was inspired closely to the eastern traditional perception of beauty? The western beauty theorem ‘direct us’ while the eastern ‘surround us’. I must admit the beauty, feeling and experience of the exhibition are multi-directional that it feels like another world. This is one great lesson for me as an artist and product designer.
NATURE Section – Interactive installation where the ‘flowers’ we step on will die and more will grow in the place we do not stand on; animation of the sea. Both are inspired from Japanese traditional screen.
TOWN Section – Immediate urban planning; move the block and you move the whole infrastructure on the screen; draw your buildings and vehicles and you might see them on the screen; building blocks that change colors; interactive table
PARK Section – A place for you to play with other visitors; hopscotch!; create your own fish; become a god and create your world.
SPACE Section – Immerse yourself in the celestial space and cosmos.
This chapter reflects well about most people’s daily lives – including mine. I can imagine myself adjusting my range of distribution of my belongings whenever I go back and forth Jakarta and Singapore. In Singapore, I carefreely put my bags on the floor, or on the empty seat beside me (like right now, as I’m doing this assignment at Starbucks), without checking whether they are still there or not, because I trust the society in Singapore and the cameras here – I believe these cameras around me really function for security and not just display. I feel safe about my belongings and the city. However, whenever I am in Jakarta, if I do not travel away from home by car (just go to nearby mall or convenience store) but by feet, I would rather not to bring any bag at all. I would wear long pants with big pockets to insert my phone and just enough amount of money to survive that day. Just the sight of a bag may attract pickpocketers, and I do not want that to happen. Bringing around bag when walking at the pedestrian walk is really dangerous because sometimes, the thief is riding on a motorcycle and snatches our bag. Then, if we try to fight for our belongings, more often than not the criminal would physically wound or kill us. I just realize how extreme my change in the range of distribution in the city where I grow up and the city where I was born. It means, the level of safety in the two cities are really different – or maybe, I am a paranoid in my own country because of hearing other people’s stories.
“Remembering less, owning less” is definitely happening too. I remember the time when I still had to carry around air ticket, phone, handicam, and passport when my family travelled abroad. Now, all I need is my phone and my passport to fly from one place to another – thanks to the online ticket and phone camera. But I feel humans, by our nature, keep wanting to have more even when we have the option to own less. Even though they are able to own less with the help of advanced technology, some people think they still need more things for various reasons due to the availability of variations. For example, my parents have dual SIM Card smartphone, so they can use two numbers in one phone, which is very convenient for separating business and personal contacts. However, instead of just having one mobile phone, they have three. Their reason is they need ugly, outdated phone, so they are still able to make a call safely if they have to go to unsafe places full of thieves and far from the metropolitan centre. They also have phones that is big enough for easy article readings, and the other (with slightly smaller screen) is just for chatting with other people. From this observation about my family, technology gives a lot of varieties to our essential things such as phones. Such varieties make consumers think of not to have less, but to have more, because the varieties give different levels of convenience.
- Are true design and innovation about creating “remembering less, owning less” for improving people’s standard of living, or creating variety to cater to different needs?
- Is it better to keep everything in one device (with the chance of being ‘paralyzed’ when that device is lost) or to spread our everything into different things (with the consequence of lower level of convenience and efficiency?
I never realize how a sidewalk could be an important identity of a city, or a place until I read this passage. As I was imagining HCMC through the eyes of the author, I was reminiscing the sidewalk of the city Bandung in Indonesia. The sidewalk of a road called Cibadak is well-known for the night food vendors. And indeed, their existence has added irreplaceable color to the tourism of the city as well as the life of the people. It was pretty sad when a lot of the vendors have to move in into a special vendor space, near the original street but not at the sidewalk, but under a building. It feels different. It feels just like any other food court. I am thinking, did Singapore has any of this sidewalk scene too? I think Lau Pa Sat could tell a little bit of this story about Singapore sidewalk. At night, Lau Pa Sat ‘expands’ their satay vendor stalls to the street, where people would eat satay at the sidewalk. I think this is a reenactment of the past. I was there once, and it is very nostalgic but out of Singapore. Modernity of a city, if being ‘let loose’ like a wild dog, would kill the essence of what made the city. Modernity indeed often kills identity, because modernity in Asia is actually about following what the western culture perceives as good. it is like copying someone else’s identity.
- How to retain the sidewalk vendors without making it messy? Disorganized? When the disorderliness is the authenticity of the place but it opposes the idealism of a good city.
- How to keep the ‘mixed use’-ness of a sidewalk without losing the main use of the sidewalk: for people to walk?