Week 11: Sound & Spaces

Considerations & developments for this week:

Track 1: Are the concentric circles are really necessary?
Explore a mediation between the organic shape and the candies
Smaller organic items that are colorful and re-arrangeable?

Track2: Looking at how we can reimagine and repurpose the queue poles

Track 1

After consulting with KS & feedback from Fabrizio we decided to see how we could make this set of public furniture more fun and delightful for users while still retaining the proxemics matric.

Our exploration lead us to the Memphis design movement.

The Memphis movement was initiated by Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass​ in the early 1980s, who gathered a group of fellow designers with a vision to start a revolution against the sober and functional era of modernist design.

Characteristics of Memphis designs often include geometric shapes, bright colors and loud patterns.

The Dune Bench
We were inspired by how the negative space informs the user how to attach the modular pieces together.

Sketches & Renders

Exploring different candy forms

  Initial renders of a fun and vibrant public space oozing happy vibes.

The tubular seats are designed to be rearranged and reconnected into different permutations so that groups could also create their own private spaces.

On the idea of making the furniture movable yet retaining its ideal distance. We also thought of using a rail and ball bearing to limit and direct movements.

Track 2


We found this project, Playne which aimed to create a playful form of public seating which greatly resembled our queue pole idea. Having the stretchy fabric would also mean that this set of furniture would be unobtrusive in public spaces.

Sketches & Renders

Furthering our discussion with KS, we worked on reworking the queue poles into something familiar for Singaporeans. This could look like incorporating the retractable dividers into a frame of a chair to indicate that these structures can be used for seating.

Editorial design: Trial & Errors

 V1: The bottom text was so unreadable, so we tried zooming out the illustration.

V2: Text still unreadable, didn’t really like the empty spaces and the new perspective.  

V3: Tried a different text color, adding to the text outline as well. Still unreadable.

V4: Tried making the text thinner, still unreadable.

V5: Added a border, didn’t really like the way it truncated the design.

V6: Changed the text color and tried to use a gradient background to help make the text more readable without needing to edit the illustration. But it was ugly!!!

V7: Relented and moved the illustration. Better but a little messy at the top

V8: Final version! Lesson learnt, work with the template when planning the illustration.

Assignment 3 research


Samu Rai Sushi box takeaway

I love love love how fun and functional this sushi takeaway packaging is.

Coffee to Go 

I love how this fun illustration can translate so easily from a standee print decal to a menu. I want to create a series of fun characters that tells the story and character of the brand.

Gimme Coffee 

I really love the four seasons theme that is going through the print which aren’t too gimmicky that can keep the designs relevant and applied to different contexts.

Squeeze & Fresh

I love how fun this packaging design is, and how fun it changes as the consumer uses it.

Bento set packaging

I love how this simple sleeve effectively communicates the item they’re selling as well as elevating the disposable plastic box. Also I felt that the neutral color choice helped to lend a sophisticated air to it.

Week 10 : Sounds And Spaces

To follow up from last week’s progress, we asked ourselves these questions to further our explorations in the new frontier of proxemics.

What materials are we considering ?
How can it be fabricated?
Does it require electricity? And if so, how can we generate it sustainably?
Foam mockups of the installation?
Which locations are we considering? Does it accomodate the scale?
Geometric or organic?

We also wanted to justify and showcase the use of proxemics so how we communicated the distance without text was important.

Story/ dimensions / places
After consulting with KS, he left us to continue developing both our ideas:
1.. A shared working space/table
2. The queue pole divisions

We started working on foam models of our clay mockup just to have a better feel of the scale and form.

After trying really really hard to model this out in Rhino, we felt our hearts getting less satisfied with how this looked AND less convinced this could work.

SO we decided to re-think on how we could express proxemics with sculptural furnitures and this was our first iteration.

So this sitting area was informed by Intimate Space, Personal Space and Social Space deliberately leaving out the Public Space as thats the location where the installation would be placed. The distance from each area is measured according to the matrics.

The innermost platform was designed to be elevated thus separating the person (or persons) who would be using that space from other users. It can be used leaning, perched or seated (High enough for swinging legs, score!!!).

The second ring is personal space, also good for a person for the ~alone~time, or for two people who prefer to have private conversations. Each mini bench is situated an appropriate distance apart that conversations can be had comfortably. Most notably, the back rest was designed so that whatever is happening in the surrounding environment would not be too much of a distraction.

Lastly the outermost ring- the decreasing height of these pieces were intentional to demarcate the varying levels of privacy. These low benches were designed for pairs or groups of people to share or use seated or straddled (or even on the floor cross legged using it as a backrest).

Possible material considerations: Fibreglass plastic + fun vinyl prints!

SECOND TRACK-Queue poles!!!

Expansion of the queue pole idea to do a pyramidal representation of the space.

Spaces marked out by color to give a feeling of the space, different blinds to also give function to the space (i.e: they can be extended to provide seating) . Cross blinds that acts as both seats and backrests.

Possible material considerations: Rope or nylon (for the bands), plastic poles.

Looking forward to see how we can further refine these ideas.

Week9: Sound & Spaces

Working thesis: Rethinking existing study spaces in South Spine, and how the re-division of that space could facilitate different activities better for various groups of people. (Eg: mugging alone vs group meetings alongside people having lunch and taking a nap.)

From last week:
Q1: How do you contextualize such structure?

Q2: What kind of qualities are you looking for in your place selection?
A: We are looking at shared spaces in school that are frequently congested which limits usership.

(Eg: study benches outside the lecture theaters in North Spine. )

Q3: what do you expect the people to behave? Sitting and relaxing like the “superfurniture” or forcing into a path like in Serra installation?
A: A “Superfurniture” with divisions that maximizes limited space ie: allow more people to use it, and at the same time ensure that these shared spaces would not result in an uncomfortable experience for everyone.

This week we are going to focus on testing the mechanics of our installation before the form. 

Following the proxemics matrix:
Intimate Space: 45 cm
Private Space: 120cm
Social Space: 370cm
Public Space: 760 cm

If we let the Intimate Space =x, the approximate ratio of the distance between these spaces would be about
Intimate space=x
Private space=3x
Social Space= 9x
Public Space=18x

(This ratio is a radial comparison, because very rarely do people congregate linearly spontaneously. Linear congregations are usually intentional & directive (eg: queueing up for food, seating on a train))

How this could look like:

Test 1: Having modular, customizable “queue poles” as divisions
We tried modelling some prototypes of how we envisioned it to be. Poles that could be erected in spaces allowing users to customize the space for their own needs.

Observations: We felt that although it gave us the freedom to place it in any location, it looked rather awkward and counter intuitive. more like a foreign object than an installation.

We tried imagining the same mechanism within a context and it felt rather unnatural and linear. Almost look like a human parking lot. Also we couldn’t imagine how the sharing of furniture could take place unless we redesigned all the furniture as well.

Briefly inspired by: 4Habitats @ Seoul, South Korea

” After two years of research, we decided to tell one story at a time. Spunbond was our material of choice. Printed off the roll and hung, 160 layers of Spunbond create 4 ‘habitats’ of repeated human profiles that evolve and transform, one person at a time. Each explores the range of selves we inhabit as solitary and social beings. These habitats are transportable and reconfigurable, designed to adapt to its host venue”

Test 2: We tried thinking of doing a commentary on the proxemics matrix by testing the scale of the ratio to see how much space this would take.


The placement of sticks represents the number of people within each category and how they affected each group.

Conclusion: Though it works in theory, the scale proved to be too big. For example, the Public Space would take up the size of 2 rooms and we couldn’t see how this could pan out in NTU. Also since proxemics is an observation of a (somewhat) unseen phenomenon, it has to be made very, very obvious for the audience to get it and the large scale might come in the way of communicating that.

3.  Trying to make an interpret the idea of shared spaces in our version of a “Superfurniture”
(V rough test!!!)


Trying to use the form of the furniture to inform users of how they can best share this space. The idea was to make a huge piece of furniture that can accommodate multiple users creating a vibrant hub, reducing awkwardness of sharing tight spaces.

Observation: We realized that it didn’t achieve our goal of maximizing space and realistically, this scale might not work out. Also taking into consideration the way Asians use shared spaces, this might not work out so well.

We felt that although it was good to be testing all these different outputs and strains of thoughts, we really need to recalibrate and looked through all the developments we’ve gone through and see which ones have the most potential with the given limitations.

Perhaps we have drifted a bit too far from our initial idea of creating spaces of serenity as we explored how we could include the proxemics matrix.





Week 8: Sound & Spaces

Direction: Using proxemics to create quiet enclaves within public spaces

What is proxemics?

Proxemics—”the study of the spatial requirements of humans and the effects of population density on behavior, communication, and social interaction” (Proxemics 2016)

It could be a linear division, just like the matrix above or it could be a carefully designed installation to provide multiple areas to experience the full spectrum of intimate space to public space (of course this would depend on the location).
It also can also be seen in public furniture eg: armrest on benches, a cup holder in cinemas, chairs with desk arms, indents on the mrt seats etc.

on personal spaces: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/16/fashion/16space.html

A study of how proxemics can be applied to public transport systems to improve the quality of how people commute.

Reference & Inspiration
1. Richard Serra

His sculptural pieces have a way of dominating places and separating spaces.
Particularly the last installation at Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the way the form directs how people experience the space is something we hope to achieve with our installation as well.

2. Luna, Superfurniture by Claesson Koivisto Rune/

Location scouting

a.South Spine

b. Above Nanyang Auditorium

c. North Spine

Form exploration

Creating nooks and a pathway

Exploring a division of space, sheltered + unsheltered, for groups and individuals.


Sizes of entrances to direct crowds. Also a fully enclosed spaces would have louder acoustics or may be too claustrophobic?

A bridge like structure to divide space vertically

Idea 1: Conveyor belt


two versions, one with a clearer diagonal division.

Idea 2: Tiny people.

I wanted to try an isometric illustrative style for this concept

The second layout has more breathing space around it, keeping the graphics smaller .

Thumbnail sketches + artist reference

Continuing from my previous post on my idea of an almost obsessive emphasis on keeping in trends, I’m using the metaphor of production lines and disproportionately sized arbitrary objects to bring my point across. The uniformly dressed workers are totally emotionless as they paint all these objects the same shade of paint to keep them on trend yet rendering them similar and ultimately giving consumers boring products that are one and the same. These are my thumbnail sketches:


L:  Vertical lines, orderly, top view.
R: Horizontal lines, frontal view.


L: Deeper perspective, with an organic leading line. Extra bit of information from the trend board
R: Symmetrical side view with a pantone color board


L: Close up on facial expressions with a triangle composition. A little bit more chaotic
R: Faceless workers. almost pattern like. The repetition and distant view makes the image really cold, almost portraying an image of unethical employment.


L: Giant objects and tiny workers. Need to work on different compositions as well as being selective with the products featured.
R: Inspired by communist propaganda posters where the use of diagonal lines create dynamic movement. Not sure if this would work with my existing color palette/mood board.


L: A more central image with breathing space on each side. Also giving faces to these objects to attribute an almost human character to them?

R:Include stop button as well as shipping boxes to suggest that this obsession can be stopped as well as drawing a link to consumers


L: Giant objects being pumped out by machines; workers painting with both hands
R: U shaped production line, focused on the faces of the workers


L: A background of boxes
R: Machines to resemble a ticking time bomb? With newly minted objects all dumped at the end of the production line


A cleaner look with a plunger dynamite box like machine

Artist reference/ style reference:
1.Rami Niemi

Clean, bold outlines to keep the patterns and colors contained. I like how simple it is yet how a depth is created through the layering of objects.

2.Isometric illustration

Nuria Madrid

Coen Pohl

This 3d style is the opposite of the first artist reference. Not sure which direction would be more suitable but I am keen to explore either for this project.