Our class trip to the Art Science Museum was definitely a worthwhile experience. I’ve actually been planning on going for quite a while now, so I’m glad I got to cross it off my bucket list at only a fraction of the cost. We got to explore Future World, a series of interactive installations curated by Team Lab, and also learned about how UX can be applied to every discipline/study. In terms of aesthetics, I loved Crystal Universe, but the most thought-provoking exhibit was the wall of butterflies. Essentially every time we touched the butterflies they would fall, and this was a symbolic representation of the negative impact humans have on nature when we interfere with its natural rhythm. I thought it was cool how Team Lab integrated art and science while incorporating lessons about human impacts on the environment.
Something I would suggest for the exhibit designers is to add more directional signs. Even though the exhibit was quite short, it was also very dark so I often saw people entering Crystal Universe through what was supposed to be the exit, simply because the path that led to the entrance wasn’t made evident. I also sat outside the exit for a while and saw that people would leave, look up at the posters outside and realize they missed something (especially Impermanent Life).
During an interview with InVision, the renowned exhibit consultant, Beverly Serrell, once said: “Good exhibit writing actually flips the rules: Start with the specific and work to the general; start with the present and work to the past. Often that means literally and figuratively taking out the scissors, cutting out the last paragraph, and putting it at the top… What visitors learn at one “station” is going to resonate with something they learn at another one, so that as they move throughout the exhibit, it’s building that gestalt as opposed to presenting a totally independent idea one after another—because after 25 new ideas, you’re just ready to quit.” Thinking back at the descriptions for each artwork I think they really did consider the user’s experience because each one was informative but yet concise.
I did some more research on Team Lab’s work and I found out about the architecture they do as well, here’s a link to my favourite structures built by them: https://architects.team-lab.com/projects/planets_bench
Group Members: Natasya A., Jessie Z., Rebecca Y., Joslyn T.
- What is the experience that you are going to map?
- Game/scavenger hunt split between North Spine and South Spine hunt (uphill and downhill)
- What challenges or problems have you identified that your map will address?
- Size of map is too large → section it off into zones (North spine and South Spine)
- Help students envision their future at NTU → focus on student/faculty art work
- Eliminate minor details
- Simpler phrases (less complex language)
- Need to indicate public bus stop (not familiar with NTU and NTU Shuttle Bus)
- Navigating the hills of NTU through the heat
- Include other activities to keep the attention of the students (e.g. dessert shop, selfie spots, etc)
- Prioritize artworks that can be visited during day time
- Who is your primary audience?
- Our primary audience consists of students from age 14 to 17 (Secondary School)
- How we came up with this idea: Many secondary students come to NTU for class field trips and campus tours prior to uni applications. With that in mind, we thought it would be interesting to make the compulsory visits into something more interactive and incentive based. That way the students can have an entertaining/enjoyable experience rather than strictly educational.
- What are the survey questions that you’ll need to ask in order to identify and verify the problems/challenges?
- What is the average size of the classes?
- What is the min/maximum duration of the trip?
- Are there any disabled students in the class?
- What core lessons/curriculums does the district want to emphasize? (ex. Sustainable Architecture – we could ask fun questions on how the exhibit was made and how it gets energy)
By: Nebin, Debby, and Rebecca.
One thing I always have on me and somehow seem to remember more than my keys or phone is my Casio watch (model: A159WGEA-1EF). I used to have one similar to this one back in 2013 but it broke during my baseball practice. I found it so useful that I just recently purchased it again this past winter. In terms of aesthetics, the colors are black and gold and it has a very chic/modern look to it. Like any device, there are certain aspects that I love about it and there are also some that I don’t. First and foremost, I love how lightweight it is to wear and convenient it is to store away. The strap is also adjustable and has a fold-over-clasp that is very secure. Another thing I like about it is that the date and time are written in a font size that is legible from far. Something that a lot of tech gear doesn’t have is a water-resistant layer meaning you can not go swimming with it. Whereas with this watch I am free to wash the dishes or swim, worry-free. I appreciate the fact that Casio has incorporated an LED light button for low light settings – I find myself using this quite often. Basic functions of this watch are the alarm, timer, and stopwatch. Furthermore, the dial window material is made out of mineral crystal, which reduces scratches. The band is comprised of smaller metal parts that are woven together and can easily be stretched. Thus, if you have any sort of hair on your arms or wear it while tying up a ponytail, it hurts! The dials on the side are not intuitive, instead, they are quite confusing. I feel like I’m always referring back to the instruction manual or watching a YouTube tutorial every time I travel and change time zones. According to Norman, discovery and understanding are two of the most important parts of good design. I would say that discovery, in this case, is intricate because it’s difficult two figure out what combinations of buttons on the watch to click, and in what order, to perform specific tasks. The same thing goes for understanding, unless you have thoroughly read all the parts of the manual it’s going to take many trial and errors before you get it right.
Some of my favorite works of art are chairs. I love going to furniture stores or even looking at books on chairs by famous architects. One of my favorite chairs is the “Womb Chair” by Eero Saarinen (1948) because of its biomorphic design principles and contemporary style. Almost every day after my classes I sit on the bar stools, located in the ADM library, to do my homework. In terms of design, this chair is padded, has a back and footrest, and is covered in black synthetic leather. Moreover, regarding affordance, this object affords sitting and is very intuitive. On the other hand, it is evident that this chair was not designed for prolonged seating times. Hence why the sofas towards the back of the library are used more. Students can be seen sitting on those all day, and some even sleep there. But that is exactly why I choose to sit on the bar stools, because of its lack of comfort it is less likely for me to fall asleep from getting too relaxed. I find that I am not able to study or take notes on things like bean bag chairs for instance. Take the renowned ‘watchman’s chair’ or the MTA benches in New York City into consideration, these chairs were both purposely made uncomfortable, so users don’t abuse them or get too cozy. I’ve studied human ergonomics before and based on my research I would say that the design of this chair might cause back pain because of where the backrest cuts off. Not to mention, it is quite high up so my guess is that they took less then the 50th percentile of anthropetric data in Singapore to design this – or perhaps these were imported from elsewhere.
Side note – if you also like chairs check out The Design Museums “A Century of Chairs: touring exhibition” (available autumn 2019)
JOURNEY TO IKEA_ THE COUNTER MAP
*separate from the no gps assignment*
My counter map illustrates the 5 stages on my journey to IKEA. Each hue corresponds to the emotions I felt, and the opacity represents how strongly I felt that emotion. For instance, when I was at The Arc I was quite confident then as soon as I got on the 179 I was a little less confident about directions, yet still calm. Right before the end of my journey I got lost because I ended up walking 7 minutes in the wrong direction then turned back. Hence, the bold red colour representing frustration. I’m both a visual and text-based learner so I incorporated both concepts and made an informal map.
By: Sez, Joslyn, and Rebecca
Destination: The Swimming Complex
Here are some pictures from my journey in order:
This past Monday after a long day of classes my friends and I decided to go swimming on campus. As exchange students, we’ve been trying to explore as much of this area as we can in the little time that we have. Unfortunately, I am only familiar with Hall 9 to the ADM building (off by memory alone), so this made it exceptionally hard to navigate without a GPS. Although, when I told my friends they were all up for the challenge! We all decided to meet up at North Spine, which was an anchor for us in terms of referencing our orientation.
In the center of North Spine, there is map outlining the facility and the departments within. The map had a “you are here” sign which we really appreciated because it allowed us to find our way to the bus stops. We figured the bus stop was the best option to help us move forward because there are maps near every single one. While walking to the bus stop I saw two exit signs; one near “Frank by OCBC” and the other by the “Global Lounge” leading us downstairs. There was a second orientation map while going downstairs and then again at the very bottom (at the bus stop). What I noticed is that the map at the bottom was flipped to the side, which was quite unusual for me because I have never seen it placed in a way that placed North Spine on the left side of the map. Regardless, we jotted down buildings with distinct features that could act as a reference for us while on the bus. For the most part, all I knew is that I had to be on the “red bus” for more than 5 stops because it was well past the Chinese Heritage Center.
While on the bus I noticed a sign saying Sports and Recreation Center, so I figured the Swimming complex must be in that direction. We got off the bus and proceed to walk up a hill, after passing the sign the road broke off into three possible routes for us to take. From my memory of the map, the path to the Swimming Complex was short so we decided to take the first left onto Nanyang Hill. While we were walking up I asked what seemed to be a construction worker who was coming down on the other side of the road what was up this street but there was a language barrier that made it hard to communicate. We continued to walk up and saw the building that said NTU Sport Shooting Club. We walked back down the hill and returned to the intersection. Then one of my friends saw another sign that said sports on it so we followed the next path along Nanyang Hill. As we approached the building there were three separate entrances so we went to the “General Office” to ask some clarification question on how to enter and the hours of operation. When we turned the corner the noticed that the general office sign was pointing to a gym of students playing sports. There appeared to be no general office on site. We decided to leave that door and proceed to walk to the next two entrances. This is when I saw a sign saying “Swimming Complex”. We were relieved, to say the least, because walking up Nanyang Hill had made us a little tired. I approached the front the desk and asked about the rules/important things to note while swimming here.
Finally, we were free to swim!
I felt that the signages were quite rudimentary and were not intended for a newcomer, but instead more of a person who has a general idea of their orientation. On the other hand, I do like how the design of the signages were all consistent – bold yellow font against the blue painted wood. My overall takeaways are that the campus is fairly confusing, there are lots of roads that meander, but I would not have difficulty if I studied the bus roots fully. I think by next week I should have everything memorized if I continue to keep touring around. One thing I would advise is having the maps along the bus root be identical to the orientation in real life (in terms of north, south, east, west). This was a very thought-provoking task and made me imagine what people back in the day did without technology – create a mental map with anchor points based on unique landmarks. This exercise also made me realize how dependent I am on my phone to navigate. It was nice to take a break from technology and analyze the placemaking design around campus through a different perspective.