Process Journal #2: Jessie, Joslyn, Rebecca

Our group decided to create an interactive web-app that engages secondary students. Its purpose is to encourage them to explore NTU Museum. To create motivation for the students, we decided to condense the number of pieces they have to visit is eight.

The major changes we made were:

  1. Removing the North vs. South competition.
  2.  Amplified the gamification by introducing an escape room idea: riddles and mini-games in the app
  3. The next location of the tour will be unlocked once the riddles and mini-games are solved.
  4. Each group will be given three hints.
  5. Controlling the flow of the tour: we are limiting each stop to 10 minutes.

Our next step is to finish the prototype and begin user-testing.

Pictured in this post are the mockup screens of the web-app.


Future World Reflection

Teamlab’s Future World exhibition was a beautiful showcase of the intersection between art and science. My favourite exhibit was Space. The use of LED lights and mirrors created a beautiful optical illusion that you were in an infinity room. The use of light and reflection was brilliantly used to make you feel like you were flying through outer space itself.

City in a Garden pays homage to the Garden City movement. It celebrates the flora and fauna of Singapore and how it is all part of an interwoven circle of life. I loved how Transcending Boundaries utilized butterflies to connect all six pieces and how if you touch the butterfly projection, it will die. It is an interesting narrative about how humans affect the circle of life. The room itself brings you into the circle of life; there is a constantly state of flow and harmony brought together by the blooming flowers, flowing river, and butterflies. Every time I looked around, there was a different rotation of nature being projected.

This was a wonderful experience that transported me into another world. It was a beautiful mix of artwork showcase and user interactivity.  Team Lab artistically used both visual and audio stimuli to transport you into the Future World. 


Chapter 5: Calibrating Your Cultural Compass

Jan Chipchase breaks down how you can go through rapid cultural calibration. This can be done in 30 minutes, hours, or even years. The first step is to “wake up with the city“. The typical city wakes up at 4 am. During this time, you can experience how the city starts up: how its infrastructure systems prepare the city before the first wave of commuters. It’s crucial to experience some form of local transportation, even better if during peak hours. At these cultural central points, you can see signs, breaching behaviours, and public tolerance towards behaviours. Transportation and commuting also affect how businesses are scheduled; for example, in Beijing, business calls are scheduled during car commutes to the office. The most important part of cultural calibration is to physically place yourself in a community to experience it. Chipchase made an emphasis on visiting a salon/barber. In this social situation, you are given 20 minutes to chat with a local about basically any topic under the sun. This conversation will give you insight into local opinions and attitudes. 

There is no secondary research that will compare to the first-hand experiences. 

Task 1B — Exploratory Research

My targeted audience is university students aged 18-24. I want to learn more about the routines of university students, more specifically their eating habits on/off-campus. University students are always on the go to their next destination on campus, and it is difficult to find time to sit down to have a meal. This results in an accumulation of to-go snacks, take out drinks and food paired with plastic utensils and straws. There is no doubt that single-use plastics provide convenience and make basic necessities every more accessible. A majority of the interviewees are part of the ADM faculty. The building is a 3-minute walk from the well-known, Canteen 2. 

Survey Questions

        1. How many meals do you eat on campus? 
        2. Do you recycle your plastic? 
        3. Can you recycle used plastic containers and utensils? 
        4. Have you heard of the movement to remove straws? 
        5. If there was a strawless option, would you opt for it? 
        6. What do you know about plastic pollution? 
        7. How often do you order takeaway/buy your meals during the day? 
        8. How often do you purchase cold drinks and use a plastic straw? 
        9. Do you eat at the canteens on campus? 
        10. When given the option of plastic or metal utensils, which do you choose? 
        11. Do you pay the extra $0.20 for a takeaway box?
        12. What container is your morning coffee/tea in? 
        13. Do you use a reusable bottle for your water?
        14. Have you heard of the 3 Rs? 
        15. Have you noticed the signs at Canopy Coffee Club to defer straw usage? 
        16. Have you seen signs around campus promoting sustainability? 
        17. Do you order from food delivery services?

Emerging Themes

The overarching themes from the majority of the answers centralized around efficiency, convenience and affordability. All the actions of the interviewees were influenced by theses factors. The majority of the students that were interviewed were exchange students. A lot of these interviewees came to Singapore with the mindset of buying everything they need here in order to pack light. 

The interviewees with early morning classes are always short on time in the morning and do not have time to sit down in the canteens for breakfast. Due to the constant heat, iced drinks are commonly consumed during meals and during classes. Students occasionally pay the $0.20 charge to take their meals to go. The interviewees are aware that climate change is getting worse and worse. But it is a distant problem. Students who live on campus eat a majority of their 3 meals a day on campus. These meals are between classes and limit the time to eat. 

Some of them were not aware of the plastic waste that they produce on a daily basis. On average at least one drink is consumed daily. The cups that are given are designed to be accompanied by a straw.  Their choice of stalls is influenced by the quality of the food. Those popular stalls do not always offer reusable cutlery and plates even though their customers are sitting down to eat.  

Only two interviewees occasionally brought their own cutlery and straws. The others would choose the metal utensils if they were sitting down to eat but sometimes accidentally take the plastics ones out of habit and proximity. However, almost all of the interviewees regularly used reusable water bottles. On occasion, students get tired of the canteen food and order food from delivery services such as Grab and Deliveroo. These services come with one-use utensils and plastic or styrofoam containers. The trace of plastic waste in canteens is quickly cleared away by the efficient staff. Students rarely see mounds of trash that are produced during food service hours. 

In conclusion, there is a clear issue with the single-use plastics on the NTU campus canteens. There is space for students to change their routines and to reduce their single-use plastic consumption.


Next Steps

How to introduce behavioural changes in students’ daily routines. 

How to teach the lasting impacts of single-use plastics? 

Create a guide that helps students sort their plastics. 

What incentives can be used to get students to switch to reusable cutlery and straws?