1. Briefly share your experience going through Dialogue with Time. What were some of the feelings, thoughts, challenges and insights gained while role playing an elderly person?
  2. Drawing on your experience, can you think and list some of the benefits inherent in the design research technique of role playing? 
  3. Can you think of some contexts where role-playing can be useful to help discover and define design challenges or contribute to the development of design solutions? 

1. I felt that the experience did not feel grim; the reality of ageing may seem daunting but the design of the exhibition made it feel otherwise. The challenges seem trivial at first, but seeing things from a different point of perspective made me realize that there was so much I had not known, or rather, had not paid much attention to. I also felt that I had to be careful with my words, somehow being called ‘old’ can have a negative connotation as I accidentally said ‘you guys’ while conversing with our guide, and some people had caught me for my words and laughed. Being pulled away from the focus of attention in society(feeling almost sidelined) and having to sit out on most activities, I can’t help but notice how an elderly person would feel in that situation. Dialogue with Time provided me with fresh perspective of how healthy aging people can be stay positive and have a happy life.

2. Role playing uses first hand experience to allow users to empathize with elderly people. Placing the users in simulations aided by machines, they are challenged with similar problems an elderly faces. I was able to understand the severity and constraints of the disabilities that come with ageing, provoking me to think further on design that would be of possible benefit to our elderly. Role playing was also a clear and effective method to impart knowledge about elderly people to all age groups, regardless of race and language. This design research technique benefits both the participant and the audience, as it incites imagination to ‘think out of the box’ and provide creation solutions to the existing issues. Role playing, with the correct context, will greatly benefit the design problem as it reveals the intrinsic and encourages designers to be proactive to think further about the issues.

3. As I am working on obesity as one of the social issues, discovering how obesity can be tackled requires one to put him/herself in the shoes of someone suffering from obesity. This way, designers could empathize with them and come up with viable solutions that may not be too difficult to achieve. Instead of presenting figures, creative solutions can include benefits or rewards given to them as they complete each task required. Role playing is able to reveal both functional and emotional aspects to a design problem. Another context could be designing something that represents a certain group of people. For example, I designed a vest for PTSD veterans in one of my previous projects, which required not only extensive research on what PTSD is like, but also how one would act in a situation of a PTSD trigger. This gave me better perspective not only on their behaviour, but also understand how they might feel with each attack.



1.Current Issues


Most Singaporeans are unconcerned with obesity or commonly known as being ‘fat’. Being slightly overweight does not count as being obese; it is having too many fats in your body that will lead to many health problems, including deterioration of joints and bones, to diabetes, heart attack and increased risks of stroke.
Potential health problems:
Heart disease
Liver disease
Many types of cancer





Mental Health

Depression; the common cold of mental illness. It is diagnosed as a brain disorder, and there are still many who do not understand what it is like to go through depression. In today’s society, cyber-bullying in the case of Korea has lead to many k-pop idols taking their own lives, as it exacerbated and worsened their depression.




Visually/hearing impaired in Singapore

Despite having many considerate designs on MRTs, LRTs and buses, Singapore still lacks in many aspects the consideration for the impaired in common spaces. In fact, most Singaporeans are clueless when it comes to how to communicate and help the impaired. 


Gender Inequality

Gender inequality is still prevalent in our society. Despite claiming to be unbiased, we still possess many gender stereotypes, social norms that are prejudice against women. In Singapore, the gender discrimination when it comes to leadership in the workforce and society is severe, and as much as we choose to not acknowledge it, it is only fair that facts be presented to support gender equality.





2. Why is the Issue important? Who does it affect and how?

Obesity has been constantly addressed by Health Promotion Board (HPB), events such as Walkathons and food pyramid infographics, healthier choice options made available throughout Singapore in schools. This issue affects more people than we think, as it is not limited to people who are obese, but also those that may be in danger of becoming obese. Tackling this issue in the earlier stages of life and educating the youths about the importance of being fit/healthy would reduce the risks of being obese. In recent studies, 36.2% of Singaporeans aged 18 to 69 are overweight. Obesity affects not only the person, but family members around them as they provide emotional and financial support to them as they fall ill, which highlights how this issue is much bigger than it seems. 

3. Who do you need to communicate to, and why?

The target audience are youths around 10 to 18. As teens, they are able to make their own conscious decisions on their food choices, and change their diet and lifestyles to prevent falling into the risks of being obese. This includes all teens, whether obese or not so that I can educate them on the dangers of obesity. Being obese has became socially acceptable, and that might contribute to why people who are obese might not feel any pressure or need to change their lifestyles to be healthier. According to National Health Group (NHG) report in May, 2019, 7 in 10 children are likely to stay obese through to their adulthood. As their BMI increases, it is absolutely crucial to educate them on the dangers of their diet and lifestyle as obesity, unlike other medical issues, can be prevented. 

4. How has visual communication contributed to address the cause?

Singapore Cancer Society on Obesity and lifestyle management


Pros: Direct; call to action that provide a solution to people suffering from obesity.

Use of colours red and green to indicate ->

Red -> Danger

Green -> Positivity, the change needed.

Cons: 150 minutes appear to be a daunting task, using fear factor may or may not work in this case as people tend to think that they can find other methods to stay healthy besides exercising as it is a mentality.

Hypertension, The Silent Killer, Singhealth (healthexchange.sg), Poster, Ng Hui Hui


Pros: A persuasive infographic which provides a call to action and lists down the facts of hypertension, coupled with how hypertension could be tackled.

Cons: The use of colours are very minimal, the orange and black infographic may seem dull and uninteresting, and the uniformity of the poster makes it seem wordy and hard to read.

Singapore Heart Foundation, Poster on Obesity and Overweight

Modifiable Risk Factor: ObesityFor a person whose body weight exceeds his recommended weight range by 20% or more, the…

Posted by Singapore Heart Foundation on Friday, 22 March 2019

Pros: Poster is posted on a facebook group belonging to Singapore Heart Foundation, where the moderators will reply facebook users who have any enquiry on the call to action. The platform is a good way to actively keep tab and provide support in any way, shape or form. The colours used are red and green again, with the same intentions as mentioned above.

Cons: Unlike the poster by Singapore Cancer Society, the call to action is not as straightforward but instead, it presents facts and information on obesity, where one can spend time to understand more about the issue and raise awareness such that a change can be brought about.