Week 12: Final Revision

In the final revision, we decided to arrange the seats according to the spiral Fibonacci sequence ratio. Clusters of seats will be loosely dispersed around the space to allow individual groups of 2, 3 and 5 to gather within the space at a comfortable distance.


Fibonacci circular pattern sequence will demarcate the floor tiles to suggest the density of seat placement. This also gives a clean visual canvas to complement the main Fibonacci arc as illustrated by the overall seat arrangement.

Hidden Fibonacci arc can be found in the circle sequence.
Revised version (Top view)

Proposed Location:

Communal plaza of NTU North Hill, dimension at 6m by 11m.

Material Application:

  1. Frosted fibreglass shade for light shades / seats 

2. Assembling lamp shade to pole

We are currently working on the model rendering and poster layout. In the meanwhile, we’ll be printing model parts and construct the prototype over the weekend.

Stay tuned!


Week 10 Revised Design

We decided to review why our previous design looked very much like Peter  Opsvik’s Garden, here are the key ideas:

Analyzing Garden into elements
A. Thick and thin supports
B. Branching out from one main support
C. Multiple circles in the whole installation
D. Seats are very high off ground
E. Use of different pattern to differentiate leg rest/seats and backing

What we have in previous design
1. Branching out from main body
2. Multiple elliptical shapes in whole installation
3. Use of different form to differentiate leg/seats and backing
4. Seats are high off the ground
5. Have one really high light source
6. Almost similar size for all the support

We made this to compare what did we have in similar with Gardens so that we can fine tune our next version and make sure it does not look too much like Gardens but still echo the form of tree.

Form of Tree that we are echoing:
A. Branching
B. Thick Trunk VS Thin Branch
C. Crown-shaped canopy with center being the highest

Below are some sketches that we have done up in experimenting to change the forms for seat/seats:

The main concern was the form of ‘branches’. Curvy branches made it looks less like a tree, so we went for straighter cut (refer to second last rows).

Connectivity between seats is an important design element we’d like to emphasize on, as it brings out the characteristic of Fruitfulness.

Gradual height ascendance towards the center defines the characteristic of Positive Outreach.

Seat form/sitting posture was intended to represent the element of Nurturing. However, we are unable to visibly translate it into the composition (we’ll be reviewing the seats).

Here is the revised version –

Moving forward, we would like to explore

  1.  Contrasting thickness/tapering of the ‘branches’
  2. Enhance characteristic of Nurturing – form of seat backing



Week 8: Form ideation

This week’s agenda: Form ideation of seating sculptures.

The initial idea was to complete a series of seating sculptures inspired by the more prominent form in trees: Banyan’s vertical canopy, Tanjong’s long and wavy-edged leaves and Binjai’s fruit.

KS suggested that we redefine these elements into a singular piece instead. We also keep in mind of the purpose of seat is to invite social interaction.


Peter Opsvik’s Garden (1985) demolishes the typical sitting position and allow people to sit freely in their most comfortable postures.

Globe Garden (2014) with a more natural colour palette.

We find this piece of work inspiring as it allows users to sit anyhow they’d like to, just like how we behave in nature – we can choose to sit on the floor, a rock, or lying on sand by the beach for example.



In our case, we have a general idea of colliding nature (represented by the 3 types of trees) with human interaction (repopulating the communal plaza as main objective). Interactiveness is kept analog and simple, solar panel technology will be included as a providence of light source during night time.

Here are the primary sketches in form exploration (very random sketches that helped us think):

Integration of three elements into one is challenging and we found ourselves separating them as we further explored. We tried to simplify our form into:

*Fruitfulness from Binjai is changed from its fruits to the bundle of leaves (presence of collective mass), another characteristic from the tree. 

We formed simple sketching equations to steer away from our mindless combination of the three elements.

> adding two elements together: 

> adding 3 elements together:

Further explorations:

Proposed Materials:

Wood & Steel Chair by Garret Belmont (2008)

^ As example shown, planar cut wood and bent steel for possible organic curvy forms.



Here’s a quick prototype after this morning’s consultation.

Interpreting elements in an abstract way; kind of like a hybrid-like tree form that expresses positive outreach, nurturing and fruitfulness.

**Model scaled at 1:10

Till next week, we’ll be exploring more forms of seat, height, composition as a whole. A refined model will be done on 3D rendering.

Stay tuned! (☞ (͡◕ ͜ʖ ͡◕)☞

Week 06: Transposing design elements into forms

-Recap from last week –

PSD matrix was constructed based on the characteristics of the north hall heritage trees: Banyan = Fluidity, Tanjong = Vitality, Binjai = Transience.

This week we aim to transpose the three design elements into meaningful visual forms that represent its characteristics.

Multiple types of green are already scattered around the communal plaza. Positioning the actual plantation of  Tanjong, Binjai and Banyan via sculpture/installation may be seen as a common sight. The question we’d like to ask ourselves – how do we differentiate the existence of these trees from the rest while not making them look out of place?? 

The possible executions were narrowed down to:

A) Allows nature to grow accordingly to the form of sculpture(s) or

B) Sculpture that takes on the form of nature (e.g. growth of trees / seasonal process of leaves shedding / blossoming of flowers)

We found an artist who works on a similar concept that uses tree as part of his installation in a public space along Crown Street Mall, Wollongong, Australia. Mike Hewson uses misshapen palm trees and sandstones to create ‘tree seats’ and a children’s playground. He hopes to bring the city’s landscape into the mall, while providing identity-forming icons for the city. (source)

However, we want it being more than just an aesthetic ornament. There’s more significance value if we look into the environmental considerations of the communal plaza (space, current facilities, limited light sources at night etc).

We decided to drop the idea of involving the actual trees as part of our sculpture, as it does not serve to invoke the sense of common identity within audiences (i.e residents). Their characteristics will rather be expressed in an abstract form with a purposeful function. Our design focuses to facilitate more social interaction among the residents.

Site Observation

We find the seats were sparsely scattered around the communal space. Awkward placements of the geometrical seats make them less inviting to sit on as an individual or a group. Light source shines at the trees rather than the pathways.

This leads us to looking at comfortable seats that lights up during night time. Public benches that looks homely and comfortable enough to take a moment to rest on before heading back home.

Research References

Seats that looks invitingly comfortable to snuggle in ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°)

A Sculptural Chair for Relaxing by Nova Obiecta
Steam 12 by Bae Se Hwa

CHITCHAT: Designed to inspire social interaction – Strangers break the ice to interact as they join in to balance the seat.

CHICHAT by Teun Fleskens

Quick Prototypes of Seating Sculptures

*green marked tapes illustrate the seats

Extra thoughts:

  • lights will run at the bottom of the sculptures, shining on pathways.
  • changes colour of light when motion sensor detects the presence of physical movements from the passerby.
  • trail of light lights up as people walk along the sculpture (motion sensor too)
  • possibility of making them modular pieces to unify style, rather than random swirls.


Week 04: Discover Identity of Space with Nature

This week we dive back into the research of the three north residential halls: Binjai, Tanjong and Banyan. Our initial idea was to create a light sculpture based on the element forms of flowers from the trees. The purpose is to design a statement piece that people can identify with the NTU heritage trees.

The challenge we encounter was to integrate these three elements that is so diverse. Then we questioned ourselves, “why flowers??” What are the eminent qualities in them?

In addition to the last week’s insights on discovering nature through a medium, we first need to identify the characteristics of the representative trees of north halls.

Banyan Tree

  • Burmese Banyan (Ficus kurzii) species in Singapore
  • Strangler Fig that begins its life as an epiphyte (grows on other trees)
  • Envelopes and kills host tree as it decomposes. Banyan eventually leaves a hollow central core which is desirable for animals to take shelter in the wild.
  • Unable to germinate on ground but more on woodland
  • Leaves are large, leathery, glossy and elliptical
  • Circumference of 30 m and a height of about 35 m

 Characteristic: Fluidity/Adaptability in growth 

Binjai Tree

  • Mangifera caesia tree (Binjai in Malay) is native to Singapore, endangered species
  • Dome shaped crown, dense
  • Edible brown-yellowish fruit (part of mango family tree), used in sambal chilli and rojak
  • Grows on lowlands
  • Deciduous: Seasonal leaves shedding 
  • Leaves are rounded, large and leathery
  • Height of 30m tall

 Characteristic: Transience/Momentary 

Tanjong Tree

  • Tanjong (Mimusops elengi) tropical tree in SEA region
  • Evergreen
  • White star-like flowers produce sweet scent. Used as adornment, stringed them into necklaces
  • Red-orange fruits with velvety skin, eaten by birds
  • Medical values: leaves are used to ease headaches, the bark for the treatment of pimples and the roots used to sooth sore throats
  • Leaves are glossy, oval-shaped with wavy leaf margins.
  • Height of 20m, circumference of 1m

 Characteristic: Vitality 

We identify the design elements to be Fluidity, Transcendence and Vitality. To translate and communicate the elements into visual form.

The possible ideas to present the 3 elements are:

  • Interactive seat
  • Water fountain
  • Sheltered seating area
  • Light sculpture
  • Kinetic sculpture
Reference works 

We look into how nature themed installations/sculptures are used as a medium to represent/give meaning to places.

1. Warde by HQ Architects

Located in Valero Square, Jerusalem, the interactive light installation aims to revive a dead urban space that is lacking human crowds. They chose poppies as the form as poppies often thrive in neglected and disturbed environment. The poppies will open and close when there are any passerby, which will ignite the curiosity in them to come and interact with the space.

Warde by HQ ArchitectsWarde by HQ Architects

Warde by HQ Architects

Source: Can Art Revive a Dead Urban Space?

2. moistSCAPE by Freecell

The installation featured geometrical planes of steel structures with different species of mosses growing on it. The whole space provides an opportunity for viewers to walk in and experience the combination of nature and artificial materials.

moistSCAPE 3D Geometric Moss Art Installation by Freecell

Rear of moistSCAPE Moss and Steel BedMoss Surfaces Suspended in mid-air by Structural Steel Elements

Source: Moistscape – 3D Geometric Moss Art Installation

3. Living Pavilion by Ann Ha & Behrang Behin

The concept of this pavilion is to bring back nature into the city by adding some “green” into the space. This was constructed using milk crates and shade tolerant plants which enable the place to maintain cooler temperature and easy disassembly of the pavilion.



Source: FIGMENT 2010 City of Dreams: Living Pavilion


> Two ways of execution: Actual integration of three plantations, symbolic form of the 3 characteristics

> Cohesiveness of combining three different characteristics

> Hybrid tree?? Research!!

> Co-habitat space for the trees

> what kind of first impression you want to project upon looking at the sculpture/installation


Reference links:

Burmese Banyan in Singapore

The Banyan Tree: A tree of elegance, superstition and even murder

Binjai Tree in Singapore

Singapore Heritage Trees (Binjai tree)

Tanjong Trees in Singapore

Tanjong Trees – Tress from Seeds



The Infra-Ordinary by George Perec

Week 02 – “The Infra-Ordinary at North Halls”

GROUP 7: Weng Yayu & Lau Yi Wen

Reading the article The Infra-Ordinary led us to ponder on the every day happenings at NTU. What is something infra-ordinary about the time spent in NTU, something that is neither ordinary nor extraordinary?

Since none of us have lived in the school residential hall before, we were interested to find out the facilities and space provided for the students and staff. This brought us to the new residential halls named after by the NTU heritage trees: Banyan, Tanjong and Binjai.

Phyllicia Wang

Unlike the older halls, the newly furnished hall looks fresh and spacious. Three halls are connected by the communal space that encourages interaction among students.

The open space is cool enough to hang around, though we hardly see any residents sitting on the benches throughout the day.

At night, the space is even more deserted as the light projections are shone against the greeneries instead of the benches.

There seems to be a disconnection to naming with the halls with trees that are not planted within the halls. (our classmate Grace pointed that they actually just planted the heritage trees just opposite the road) We decided to create a sculptural piece that is inspired by the heritage trees; Tanjong, Binjai and Banyan to invoke sense of belonging and togetherness amongst the residents.

Prototype Ideation

The forms of the three types of flowers are extracted to piece together.

Flowers of Binjai:

Flowers of Banyan:

Flowers of Tanjong:

Prototype model

Proposed Idea:

  • Sculptural piece located at the communal space
  • Self-efficient night lamp with solar panel mounted on
  • Perhaps integrated into the seated area to provide shade in the day and light at night

Look into the Fibonacci sequence of the three flowers.

Find the common element that ties the three different forms together.

Avoid literal forms.


S P A C E B A R (2017)



Experimental Animation

3840×480 pixels



Spacebar explores into the boundless void to reveal the presence of space based on one’s perspective.

The visual alters capriciously to illustrate the infinite spatial quality of the nexus wall. Choice of colour palette and visual composition allude the mystic quality of the accompanied sound, presenting an illusional creation of depth.

Documentation: Nexus Wall @ North Spine

Photos by Solomon Quek Jia Liang


Theme : Illusion

// A dive into the mystique pockets of voids.

Joy Division, Unknown Pleasures album by Peter Saville (1979)

Graphic designer Peter Saville created the debut cover album for Joy Division using the pulsar signal, “what you’re seeing is this comparative chart of the frequency and the accuracy of the signal.” (Source: Rolling Stone) Pulsar is a neutron star that rotates as it emits powerful beams of light like the lighthouse.

ILLUSION OF MOVEMENT (moiré experiments) by Mathijs Delbaere (2015)

Animadoor by Sena Oh (2015) – An optical illusional installation door

I was fascinated by the abstract use of minimal elements to generate transcending effect of movements. Works of Delbaere and Sena utilised moire effect to create illusional spatial depth.

This became the main art direction, use of simple geometric shapes to compose as I try to figure out After Effects in the later stage of learning process.

Inspiration and Research

With the above ingredients to compose, I needed an atmospheric visual to spice up the overall look – glow of neon lights. My love for neon came from films that revolved around night city life,

Since the media wall situates in a rather dark space, illuminated colours will paint a strong and memorable mood.

Dan Flavin (1933 – 1996)

With that in mind, Ina recommended me to look into this American minimalist artist Dan Flavin (1933 – 1996). What I love about this series of art installation is its simplicity in form and the use of florescent bulb to speak as he explained, “It is what it is and it ain’t nothing else.” The work is sensitively infused into the exhibit space, he accentuated spatial depth to enclosed space with glowing lights.

Centro Cultural Light, Rio de Janeiro, 1998
Untitled; To Barry, Mike, Chuck and Leonard (1972 – 1975)
Untitled; To Saskia, Sixtina, and Thordis (1973)
Untitled (1970)

Flickr Photography 

Flickr has a pool of quality photos available to refer to, it is a great visual database for me to study neon light illumination and colours.

Photographer: Andrey Okonetchnikov
Photographer by Christian Noise
Photographer by Shelbel

iLight Marina Bay 2017

With luck, there was light installations along Marina Bay! I was able to see how neon light installations work at a larger scale, in terms of colour interactions.

Northern Lights by Aleksandra Stratimirovic (Sweden)

Inspired by the natural light phenomenon of aurora borealis, 100 horizontally aligned LED light lines are programmed to emulate the unpredictable flow of lights that interacts with its surroundings.

Horizontal Interference by Katarzyna Malejka & Joachim Slugocki (Poland)

With simple cord construction, the illuminated bands create colourful waves of excitement powered by the surrounding wind.


// Softwares used: After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro

  • Using Photoshop and Illustrator to construct main shape layers of key compositions.

  • Import to After Effects, generate animations and effects.

  • Music syncing: Premiere Pro to mark key frames of specific accent beats.


// Thumbnails > Song Selection > Animate

  • Creating thumbnails of design based on the theme, generally diverse in style.

  • Song selection was one of the toughest decision. I wanted to capture the mood of obscurity, yet something that’s upbeat.

Final choice of song: Numb by Brothel.

  • Animating with After Effects with simple effects – shape scale, position, blur, hue and saturation etc. Rather than creating a complex effects, I relied heavily on the song piece to visualise movements. We can dissect and analyse a piece of music with its following characteristics:
    1. Texture (high pitch/heavy bass)
    2. Tempo (fast/slow)
    3. Articulation (short/long note)

Use of colours and thicknesses of lines/shapes to associate with these aural effects. Eg. bright thin lines to accompany a high pitched melody


First screen test was my first attempt to navigate around After Effects. It was a mix of everything I could compose, from abstract forms to typography. Quite a mess but it set me to what I can expect to produce for the remaining weeks to come!

Final work (working in progress)

Spacebar explores into the boundless void to reveal the presence of space based on one’s perspective.



Explore: iLight Marina Bay 2017

Travelled downtown on a Friday night to check out the iLight installations and carnivals at Marina Bay. Here are some works (sorry about the quality) that I found relatable to what we are working on:

  • Northern Light by Aleksandra Stratimirovic (Sweden)
    Location: Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade, along Marina Boulevard
Source: iLight Marina Bay

100 LED lights hung across the Marina Bay skyline emulates the natural light phenomenon of aurora borealis. Direction of light flow interacts with the human movements.

  • Very Glowing Exhibition – Very Glowing River by Lee Wei Lieh, Amelia Lee and Jeffrey Lim (Singapore)
Source: iLight Marina Bay

Lit with UV lights, the glowing pebbles illustrates the moving flow of river that is free to roam about and interact for the children.

  • Horizontal Interference by Katarzyna Malejka & Joachim Slugocki (Poland)
    Location: Mist Walk
Source: iLight Marina Bay

Held by the trees, the cords jump in cohesion with the wind, creating a colourful rays of illumination. It is definitely one of my favourite installation.

  • Social Sparkles by Toer Studio (the Netherlands)
    Location: Mist Walk
Source: iLight Marina Bay

Sensor buds are activated by when someone stands or walks under them. The lighted spinning buds are especially amongst children!

Seeing how all these installations became everyone’s favourite shot on Instagram recently, I can see how some of our works on the Nexus wall to be a great step to start creating our own digital wall installations someday (maybe?)!