Future World: Where art meets science

This was my second time visiting the Future World. As this was a permanent exhibition in the Artscience Museum, I was quite surprised that they actually changed up some of the exhibits. This approach attracts people that have already been to the exhibition to go again. However, the main concept of the exhibition still remained the same. The exhibition includes four parts, themed Nature, Town, Park, and Space.

One of the most popular installation is the Crystal universe. It is made up of more than 170,000 LED lights, with a simple concept: to give the viewers an illusion of stars moving in space. Other than the impressive programming of light to simulate planet, galaxies and even gravitational force, I noticed that the artists and engineers made good use of the mirrors and the reflective floor surface.

Crystal Universe

With the reflection, the installation appears endless and is able to encircle viewers in the centre of the universe. This shows that the creators are fully aware of the space and environment they are working with. This inspired me to use the environment as a part of our installation during the iLight project.

Another design that I really like is this “Black Wave” in the “Nature” section. The reason that I like it is also space related. The installation includes not only the screen that’s playing the wave motion but a big space in front of the space, that allows visitors to sit down and chill. Since the installation is supposed to bring the water ‘alive’ and engage with people, this arrangement helps deliver the concept of inclusiveness and relaxation.


Upon observation, I noted that the more popular installations usually possess some characteristics. First, they need to be visually stunning for people to notice it and stop by to take pictures of it. Second, the concept of the artwork needs to be easily understandable by common public, but also at the same time not superficial. The few points will be taken into consideration when we design our iLight project.

Group 4 – iLight Proposal 2


Group 4 iLight concept proposal 2

Inspired by artist Akinori Goto’s dancing light sculpture, we aim to focus on the concept of “regeneration of energy and circle of life”. The sculpture paints a narrative of a life cycle frame by frame. As the sculpture spins, the frames join together to illustrate a story. Each time, there will be one user that spins it by just pushing the zoetrope, and multiple viewers can view it at the same time.

[Video: Dancing sculpture by Akinori Goto]

3D-Printed Light-Based Zoetrope by Akinori Goto

Theme: Lifecycle, regeneration

# of Users: 1 user interact with it each time and multiple viewers at the same time

Input: Users just need to push it and it will start spinning

Output: Lights and Sound

Possible Materials: Acrylic or 3D print, Zoetrope-like sculpture

Current questions and future considerations:

  • Scale of the sculpture, it if is too small it might be feasible
  • Design of each frame: might need a lot of manpower to illustrate the story
  • Should the narrative be more “literal” hence easy to understand, or should it be more open for interpretation?
  • How to get users to understand the concept relating to sustainability better

Research on iLight festival 2017

Figure 1Figure 2Figure 3

I did not have the chance to attend the iLight Festival 2017, so I found some pictures online. But the pictures do not do them justice because I couldn’t see them in action. The year’s topic is nature, the artworks I prefer usually shows a big contrast with the urban landscapes.

Picture 1 and 2 show the artwork done by a Stockholm-based artist Aleksandra Stratimirovic, the artist called it the Northern Light. The artwork was showcased at many places. And this time the artist brought her version of ‘northern light’ to  Singapore iLight festival where people has no chance of viewing the real aurora.  Right as Marina Bay’s Waterfront, it creates a dreamy scene that contrasts with Singapore’s cityscape.

Picture 3 is an artwork called ‘Urchin’. It was set against Singapore’s Urban skyline. The motif on urchins reminded people of Chinese paper cutting. To me, the big scaled sculpture represents the nature and traditional culture, that still remain in the modern society of Singapore.

Chipchase – You are what you carry

It is interesting to see Chipchase’s research on people’s carrying behaviours carried out in different countries.

What we carry is very much dictated by the environment we are in. Within NTU, when I’m in the ADM building, I would leave my bag, wallet and even phone everywhere and leave to do other stuff, because I know the place inside out and I know that nobody would touch my belongings. When I go outside of ADM building, I would probably carry my bags all the time. And when I was in China, my mother would always warn me that I should carry my backpack in front and do not carry my phone by hand.

If you don’t pay attention to others’ behaviors when you go to a new environment, you will probably make mistakes. My cousin was on an exchange programme in Denmark, a country that was also known for its safeness. So he assumed it as a matter of course confidently left his wallet and bag at the seat to “reserve” it, and when he was back, the wallet was gone. We could thus infer that “choping” seats with your bag is not something usually happened in Denmark, people probably just assume the bag was abandoned.

Chipchase also stated that the advanced mobile technology had changed people’s behaviour in many ways. From carrying less, remembering less to owning less. Electronic and biometric lock are replacing the traditional lock and key, purchasing and transferring money can be easily done by phone. With the new bike-sharing and car-sharing system, no one needs to own a bike to use it. Mobile technology is renovating the ways people do banking, education, entertainment and so on. It also means we are experiencing a never before vulnerability. If there a minor breakdown with the system, we could lose all the essentials for survival. As designers, we need to take the risk, but also beware and pay attention to it.