Author Archives: Xie Xiuyun

Watercolor Critique


Painting 1: Autumn scene

Painting 2: Dusk with contrasting white walls

For both paintings, I worked on the same image but creating different moods.

Working on a big piece and on Arches Rough paper, I find it rather difficult to control my brush, watercolor, drying and color. As I work on one area, I also make the conscious effort to work on other areas too, for harmony; in case each area gets segregated as I work on small sections.

Feedback was that more drawing is needed to define and hide some edges so we know what we are seeing. Also, the brush strokes need more control.

Watercolor Painting (Studies)

Artists Inspiration: Edward Sterling & Frank Webb

I am interested in the use of shapes and colors in the artists’ works and find it interesting how Webb used limited palette in his color study below: 


Photographic References, outskirts of Philadelphia, USA in the fall:


Tonal Studies

 ( I tried building on layers like Webb did, however dull colors due to insufficient pigment)

Feedback was that the tonal studies work well, but not the shapes as I was working on the photograph, as it is not yet designed.


Shapes Study; deconstructed

Tonal and color studies


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  • In its heyday, Big Splash was known for having the tallest water slides in Singapore.
  • Though the flumes and water park were demolished a decade ago, the attraction has retained its name and still pulls in 300,000 visitors a month with its dining and recreation amenities.
  • But after 40 years in operation, the establishment is going out.
  • It has closed its doors on Oct 21 this year, to make way for a new development on this plot of land, details of which are yet to be revealed.
  • Fans of the park, including those who remember its original format, are sad to see it go.
  • It is a place with collective favourite memories of many Singaporeans who got to play at the colourful water slides. Back then there was no Wild Wild Wet or Adventure Cove , so Big Splash was very adventurous and exciting.


This special installation will be implemented on the underpass connecting to the former Big Splash area.

How it will work is that as user walks from one end to the other, light will be projected from the peripherals and continues the light play as he progresses, creating this gradient of colors inspired by the water slides.

Using the colour palettes of the the old BIg Splash slides— it is as though the user is going through a tunnel to the past.

On top of that, sounds of Big water splashes will be played when the users intersect and passes by each other.

Depending on the traffic flow, the water splashes can be as frequent as one would hear at water parks.

This simple light and sound installation would possibly reminds users of fond memories; Contemporary take to commemorate the Big Splash

Moving on, Bedok jetty is one of Singapore most popular salt water fishing spot. Being 300 meter extended out to the sea, it is a rare deep water place to fish in Singapore.

Because of its wide appeal, it attracts scores of fishing enthusiasts, of various levels of experience, pitching their lines daily.

Since Bedok Jetty offers both shallow and deep water fishing, the potential catches are naturally diversified. More ‘exotic’ marine life are up for grabs.

It is said that with experience, you may even catch barracuda sharks and stingrays.

It is a place with legacy and history. There are many huge catches over years with small and big catches up to as heavy as a person, 63 kilograms.


At the underpass leading to the jetty in Area F, an interactive game installation game hopes to document and educate the users of the rich biodiversity in ECP, celebrating the huge range of species of Large fish caught every year.  


How the game works

Life-sized fish is animated on screen and “living” in the screens. As the user walks by, the fishing rod baits follows them. Therefore, the user can choose to guide the bait to the fishes, attempting to catch them. After they successfully bait the fishes, a different species of monstrous fish will then generate along the way again.

At the end of the walk, a kind reminder: (Be A Considerate Angler) will be generated to remind users to care for the environment.

With so many people fishing regularly in parks, it’s important to keep the area pleasant and clean for all users.

This site-specific installation involves the user to ‘bait’ fish using new media, and showcases the of monstrous fish caught over the years, who says Singapore doesnt have a rich biodiversity?


At the other side of the underpass, we noted that there is a different form of user experience for the cyclists. Instead of a route, cyclists actually have to move with my turns. We walked and observed on what they will see as they navigate the space, and noted how the dual directions actually sees different panels of the walls.


The usual signs we see are these usual “no-riding or else you will be fined” signboard in an attempt to scare the cyclists into complying by warning them about the consequences, we would suggest a more encouraging tone to “dismount and push” instead.



If cyclist did not dismount and cycles on the bikes, the narrow width of the bike would not activate the sensors.

Instead, it encourages users to dismount and push and enjoy the beautiful graphical projections that will be activated by them as they walk.



Dual Direction > Different, but complementary graphics projected & animated on flat walls



Catering to different location & context, the user experience for each underpass would be different;

We hope that the engagement of local artists to capture and reinterpret the space, sounds, meaning of space, into multi-sensory way-finding systems can improve the experience of 9 underpass usage in East Coast Park, Singapore. 

ECP Underpass— Survey Results, Insights & Approach

Project Development Update


  1. We conducted a survey of 61 respondents to further investigate the general feelings of using the ECP passageways, problems faced, and their interest on improvements.
  2. Survey Results gathered showed underlying common problems and themes we would like to address and qualitative answers also gave us a better understanding of problems highlighted.
  3. Several Insights and observations lead us to our Approach for solution—On top of ambient lighting improvement, we would also propose to incorporating graphic and illustration into a cohesive way-finding system.
  4. Moodboard
  5. Stakeholders & Possible Collaborations with Public Art Fund
  6. Storyboard and script for proof of concept film (Work in Progress)















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City-planning (Street-use & cars)

Of walkable city, filled with markets, sidewalk cafes, and bustling street life

I found this interesting video showcasing Barcelona’s approach to designing the city, integrating the use of side-walks, public spaces, and implementing a new system for car use. It is a rather interesting concept that they are testing out for their grid-like city landscape, and I thought I would like to share this with you guys.

It somehow reminds me of the reading Sidewalk City: Remapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City by Annette Kim; but in this case Barcelona transformed some of its’ sidewalks and roads into public spaces as alternative system to get around, even facilitating economic growth. The question is then, would this idea or an adaptation of it work in other cities?

Perspective: tensions & complex behaviors

Design Fiction (Challenges of smart home devices) 

We live in an increasingly technologically mediated world; this project looks at the challenges of smart devices that are designed to deliver to replace human care givers.

The ubiquitous future of the application of smart objects are gaining popularity; many devices are designed as objects/robots to connect, network and promote and keep track of tasks and certain behaviours. In this research example Superflux Lab explored the context of elderly healthcare and remote tracking. The concern behind it is to reflect on how some of the more complex human behaviors affect the effectivity of these design experience and address some of these questions:

  1. As physical objects in the home become embedded with increasing smartness and autonomy, what relationships do we form with them? 
  2. What role does human agency play in a world where mundane objects and environments begin to gain a level of agency and autonomy? 
  3. How will smart objects and devices influence the rhythms and routines of our lives, and ours to theirs, and how will this in turn change our cultures, beliefs and preferences?

I thought that the key questions they raised for their research are interesting and might be applicable to our projects, if not they are stimulating to think about too.

Research —

Find 3 examples of a product/project that you think are good examples of thoughtfully designed user experience. Be prepared to support your choices.

  1. MEMO — Medication Memory


MEMO is a simple approach to turn daily medication into a more pleasant experience, using light, motion and sound as guidance. It finds a good balance between having proper medication on time, maintaining an independent life and also de-stigmatise as a medical device with thoughtful user experience, integrating into daily life.

MEMO also notifies relatives in case the person did not take his/her medication through an app; allowing them to keep track and intervene in cases of emergency.

2. Paper Planes World


an experiment that seeks to bring people together by sending digital paper plane(s) around the world, strangely giving users some sense of connectivity in this digital world.

One of the best multi-platforms and mobile-compatible project; the developers and designers looked into many aspects and enhanced user experience with its tilt sensor function, fullscreen, multi-touch, vibration, sound. The experience is quite calming and doesn’t drown one in an overflow of information. It also gets strangely addictive after a while of folding planes, catching others’, feeling connected and throwing it out again.




Week 7/8 Response— Future World Exhibition

Write a response to the exhibition “Future World”.

Future World exhibition opened up our perception and the tremendous possibilities of responsive environments from concept design, production methods and beautiful and quality execution. On top of having 360-degree and multi-dimensional experience in the exhibit spaces, TeamLab also integrated interactive and sensory experiences in each work. They are visually stimulating, used beautiful sound design, tactile, playful, thoughtful, engaging and may even stimulate sense of smell.

Main takeaway from the exhibition, TeamLab looked into:  (and executed well using cutting edge technology and close collaboration with their engineers)

—exploring the delicate balance between humans and nature; and also reflect on our own position relative to the natural world, other people and the universe

—bridging the digital and physical realms

—interactive, ubiquitous technology

—immersive experience

—ever-changing canvas

It is worth noting that the works are being rendered in real time by computer program; they continuously change their appearance in line with the influence of external data such as the viewers’ behavior among other factors and parameters.

On a side note, I enjoyed how the exhibit was planned in such a way that we intuitively would move along the space, although mesmerized by and would interact with almost everything that was projected/happening, and finding little trouble in the way-finding.

Experience design are optimally designed by the design team and engineers, and would require input from the users’ attitudes, behaviors and perceptions into design situations. We would have to constantly think about how people interact with their environments and continue to refine the production as technology evolves and thereafter optimally execute design concept. I look forward to going back to Future World exhibit again.