Inspiring Designer – Naoto Fukasawa


  Japanese industrial designer, Naoto Fukasawa was born in 1956. He started Naoto Fukasawa Design in 2003 and was known for his famous works for MUJI. He also cooperated with many other world-leading design company over the world and gained a great reputation. Products designed range from electronics, furniture to lighting and wearable, etc. His distinct design style definitely has influential impacts over the design industry.

  Personally I truly appreciated his clean yet elegant design. They are simple but well thought of and provide pleasant visual aesthetics as well as user experience, just as stated on his website, “Designing shape is to give form to values that people tacitly share and wish for.” He aimed to approach essential values of things and promoted his concept of “Without Thought”. He observes and finds subconscious behavior of users and shares his thoughts through workshops.


 CD Player/1998/MUJI

  This is probably one of his most representative designs. This CD Player is so easy to understand that almost everyone would react immediately to it by simply putting the CD in and pulling the string. This design incorporated our common understanding of a fan and subconscious intention of pulling down the string. It was a truly brilliant expression of his own observation and understanding of people. In comparison, many electronic products tend to get too complicated and overwhelming with their buttons and icons. This resulted from lack of confidence in their design, in my opinion. Good design should be true to themselves and have no need to eagerly show the users all the functionality of them .

Project 1 Walking Home 2

Video Link:

Honestly, I wasn’t familiar with video editing at all so this project was quite challenging for me…but here was my concept:

Following up part one of the project of home being a feeling rather than a place, I created a narrative between the protagonist aka me, and a cat(my pet/friend back in home)

It was like letters from protagonist, who left home starting new life in new place, to the cat. Through the letters, the viewers can understand the journey of getting used to a new place and feel at home as well as the protagonist’s idea of home:

Home is being comfortable and feel safe, familiarity of the surroundings and importantly, some company e.g. friends, whether they are there or not, and in this case,the pen friend cat.

Though I tried to differentiate two sides of the conversation by varying the text colors…audience seemed to view it as a cat perspective’s monologue, which was something I needed to work on more and improve.

Also, even though I was rethinking the sounds for the video, I still decided to go without it. I would prefer it to be silent to make the viewers feel that they are actually reading letters and photos attached with the letters rather than some audio book where sounds can be quite distracting.


Singapore Diary Research


“What is like living in Singapore for you?”

A senior said that she usually takes public transport around, has meals at hawker centres and wonders around casually. Even though she goes to shopping malls, things are too expensive and it is crowed during peak hours.

A student said that he has very busy school life and many classmates worked very hard. They were finding balance between school and cca, waking up early and staying up late.


Seeing so many ongoing construction everywhere made me wonder:

How the old buildings co-exist with the modern architecture? 

So I went on to research on news on construction in SG as well as preservation program by URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority).

Some of the questions popped up while I was researching:

What’s relationship between the place and people with so many new buildings coming up?

How are the buildings  different now and how construction affects people’s life

What do people feel about the old and new buildings?


Then I thought of the Singapore Red Dot Museum and that it was a Colonial-era building so I decided to work on that and did some research…For me personally,this is the place where I started my design journey. Almost four years ago, and as I went there several times more, I found it very fascinating. The bright red color of the whole building makes it distinguish from the street.

Red Dot Museum is the first contemporary design museum in Asia and is housed in the former Singapore Traffic Police Headquarters, a colonial-era building. It was converted in 2005 into a creative hub known as Red Dot Traffic, whose facade was then painted in its now signature red hue. Besides the Red Dot Design Museum, the Red Dot Traffic building also houses food and beverage outlets, creative agencies and a bar.

The building was given conservation status by the Urban Redevelopment Authority in 2007.

Progress does not always have to mean that all things need to be shiny and new. A passion for the past, a bit of imagination and some careful reinvention has allowed some of Singapore’s conservation buildings to take on new lives through adaptive re-use.




Sound Art -World’s quietest place


An anechoic chamber (“an-echoic” meaning non-reflective, non-echoing or echo-free) is a room designed to completely absorb reflections of either sound or electromagnetic waves. They are also insulated from exterior sources of noise. The combination of both aspects means they simulate a quiet open-space of infinite dimension, which is useful when exterior influences would otherwise give false results.

The picture above is earth’s quietest place: The ‘anechoic chamber’ at Orfield Laboratories, which is 99.99 per cent sound absorbent and capable of giving the visitor hallucinations. It was constructed with fiberglass acoustic wedges, double walls of insulated steel and concrete.

Visitors are challenged to sit in the chamber in darkness and the longest record now is 45 minutes by a reporter. We would thought that silence is quite nice and yet when it is so quiet, you can hear your own heartbeat, your stomach and many many usually unnoticeable noises. As they said”In the room, you are the sound.”

The experience is said to be very disorientating and visitors will have to sit down to feel less disconnected. Only when you can’t rely on reflection of sounds, echoes to define the space and orientate yourself that you realize how much you usually move around. It is absolutely fascinating to experience that.


Project 3 The Library



The installation includes a pillow case with a speaker inserted inside that plays the sounds softly and constantly. 

The pillow was placed at the sitting area near the magazine racks. And a picture of the night sky will be placed above the pillow using blutac. (Refer to above image)

Final Installation

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Artist Statement

乡音 (Xiang Yin ), The Rural Sound

Xiang Yin is an installation project that expresses the artist’s memories of the soundscape from her rural hometown in China. The sounds from life in the rural area such as rooster crows in the morning, cries from children playing in the yard, etc. are sounds that make her feel at home and at ease.  She hopes to share the soothing qualities of her home town with her listener. Through the images and sounds, the listener may start to picture the simple and peaceful rural life, all of which now though distant, remains a wonderful memory for the artist.



The night sky picture attached above the pillow



Screenshot of the soundtracks

Clik here to listen to soundtrack!!

Project 2 Singapore Diary-The Book of Red Dot

Project Title: The Book of Red Dot

The pictures were hand drawn with reference to photographs. This media was chosen for it appeared more personal and almost like a story book instead of a way too serious publication. It contains both historical facts about the place as well as my personal view on it.

“Red Dot” can mean Singapore and also at the same time implying the red dot museum. The reason for choosing the Red Dot Museum was that it was a great example of a well preserved building highly associated with design. Also, there was an interesting twist of how the former traffic head quarter, a place with regulation, is now a contemporary design museum, where rules are constantly challenged and broken.

The concept for this project is conservation, specifically how a colonial-era building was occupied by different organization, well preserved and converted into a contemporary design museum nowadays.

As suggested by Mr. Tan, the place was not revealed at first but rather the introduction of it being the former traffic headquarter, which created a surprise element till the reader found out that the place was in fact the Red Dot Museum. A “Do You Know?” sort of arrangement of the content…

Below are the images:


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Art History Final Presentation Reflection

Group members: Andrew, Chen Yue, Fern, Ziyu

After discussion, our group decided on doing a visual respond to a Chinese ceramic plate and we were very much inspired by paper plate arts as well as some artwork with combination of both antique design and modern context. Eventually, we each did two paper plates with existing antique pattern to demonstrate the following statement:

The function of Chinese ceramic plates has changed from decorative items to common utilitarian wares over the years.

Two of the plates by me were:


This plate was one of two Chinese export eggshell porcelain ruby back saucer plates decorated in Famille Rose palette enamels with three cockerels and flowers, c. 1730, Yongzheng reign, Qing dynasty.


This one was the saucer from the set of Chinese export porcelain coffee can and saucer with applied decoration of branches and leaves, decorated in Famille Rosa palette enamels with flowers, c. 1735, Yongzheng/early Qianlong reigns, Qing dynasty.

These patterns were quite intricate and not easy to paint. Though the making process I understood and can image how difficult it would be to create such patterns on ceramics and what efforts were put into them, thus adding values to the plates. However, with mass production technology nowadays, plates with nicely designed are hardly appreciated.


And here was our final set-up of a picnic scene with our painted paper plates. This was a very fun project for me. We learnt something in a more initiative way, planed and set up the display.


4D Project II 1 Walking Home 1-Home Is How You Feel


For me, home is not a location or a specific place. Although home is often associated with hometown and family, for me, home is more of the feeling. It’s the feeling of being at ease and no pressure.1

The comfort of the warm and soft blanket is home. Home is where you take a rest and recover from the outside world.


The warm and yellowish light reminds me of home as well. The refrigerator light is always very soothing.


A bowl of rice means a meal. Having food is satisfying and brings good mood.


The stripy bag is from my hometown for traveling package. It being there is telling me that I have a place to go back and it gives me security and confidence.


The steamy and dreamy atmosphere is also homey for me.


The water drips. When I am feeling at home, I enjoy observing small details around me and experience the passing of  time slowly.


Being at home means relaxing for me. Lying down on bed and starting at the rotating fan and hearing the sounds of it is homey as well.


Being able to do things that I enjoy is also great.

ADM Library Ideation


Layout of the ADM Library

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Activities: Reading, studying, printing, resting, watching videos, working etc.

The ways people interact with ADM library are various compared to traditional concept of library being a place with book collections. In ADM library besides reading books, people use it more as a place to do homework. There are many seats and lazy bags for resting. The obtain of knowledge can be done both through physical and virtual databases.

Possible directions/interesting aspects:

  • New ways of displaying books, magazines and etc
  • Unconventional objects in a library (objects from a park, a coffee shop etc)
  • View of the outside through windows
  • A corner for sharing

Art History Essay Introduction(revised)

Topic: Chinese Tomb arts and Shang bronzes


Ancient Chinese tombs are valuable historic evidence of the life in the past.  The belief in afterlife prompted the royal family to build tombs as their palaces in another life. All sorts of objects, animals and even human beings were buried with their owners as to provide a comfortable afterlife. Among them, bronzes were commonly found in various types including ritual vessels, tools, weapons, musical instruments and etc. Chinese bronzes dates back from the late Neolithic era 2000 BCE, matured in late Shang dynasty (C. 1500-1050) and this period is called the Bronze Age due to its advanced & sophisticated standard in the world. “In China, as in other societies, the mechanism that generated social cohesion, and at a later stage statecraft, was ritualization.” The ritual bronzes served multiple purposes and reflect various aspects of the society. Development in technology, military and economy strengthened the ruling powers and enabled the bronzes from early to late Shang dynasty to change in shape, technique, design and etc. These changes also indicate the royalties’ pursuit of aesthetics and ideology for the ritual bronzes. Image one is a bronze vessel with beast face pattern from the early Shang. It is a ritual vessel used for heating & pouring wine, called ‘Jue’ in Chinese. In image two there are the famous square vessel with four rams from late Shang (1300-1046 BC) and the close-up of the patterns. It is called “Zun” in Chinese, it was also used for libation and it is the largest square bronze wineware intact.