More Motifs + Layout Experimentations

From last last week: Finished the rest of my motifs, through my tracing method (should post pictures of them soon, took me freaking hours for just one imagine.. ANYWAYS)

From last week: From the consult to current progress, the first four are what I had for the stand up and the comments were mainly about layering and deciding on the colour palettes.

I’m lazy to save all the different tries, but here are some at the moment. The first 2 are just my initial layout with the leaf patterned overlay at the back. Colour wise, I was going with more fun pop of vibrant colours, with the crows and the moths in the lightest to attract the most attention, after all they are the “badluck” that we see, and the “goodluck” plants are a supplement to the whole piece. Then tried with different background colours. In 3 and 4, I changed the layout, adding more branches, and playing with opacity in the motifs itself (not sure if it’s obvious here), and I have 2 sets of colours, for branches – more black at the bottom and more blue at the top, and etc with other motifs, wanted to try for a gradient. It looks messy, I’m not sure if that’s nice or in line with the “chaotic pattern” like of thing. Hmm.

Right now I’m working on more colour stuff. I’m more concerned with that, I think the layout can work itself out once I got my colours. 

Motifs and Experimentation

Talked to my mom abit about my project and she told me more about why we have potted plants around the house near door or at the window. “Different plants are for warding off spirits or to balance the energy of the house,” she said. I got onto the idea of creating a balance in my motifs.

Thus, I spent a bit of time researching into which flora or fauna had superstitions attached to them, and the shortlisted animals/plants are as follow:

Unlucky/Other world animals: Raven, Moth, Black cat, Snake
Lucky plants: Money plant, Snake plant, Jade Plant

First, I found photos online to copy its form. To achieve the images, I printed them out on A4 paper and traced the outline and basic shapes, then adding on my own textures and fine lines as inspired by Mazzoni’s drawings. Next, I scan them into my computer at 400 dpi and images trace the files to edit and clean up the lines. This whole process was to retain a hand drawn effect, but also making it easy to clean up the images.








I also wanted to experiment with more textures than just lines and managed to come up with a few gray swatches using a water tub, gauche, some paper, and alot of testing. Here are the results:


They don’t look much, but with a bit of cleaning up and photo editing etc, these are a few works I’ve come up.



(Post to be finished)

Pattern – Moodboarding

The supernatural is a sensitive subject for me as I grew up with conservative family, specifically my mother, who will tell me to avoid doing certain things for fear of angering or attracting spirits. Its something that I will have an irrational paranoia over, and do my best to not break these rules.

However, I would like to consider this fear aside from the topic and instead add my own touch of imagination, using interesting visuals to beautify and mystify. After all, the supernatural might not be scary to everyone, but it sure does mystify and leave us wondering.

My concept ideas are selected from some of my favourite graphic artists, as their works and motifs create the same atmosphere I would want to portray the supernatural in. The subject matters are likely to be animals and most likely paired with intricate line work.

Artist 1: Henrik Uldalen – Human portraits, usually with the subject matter eyes closed, unaware and floating. Always has an interesting texture going on, either misty and smokiness, or wrinkles and blotches of paint.

Theme: Existentialism, Human and Spiritual Realms, Fading/Wasting away

Artist 2: Marco Mazzoni – Animals or humans hybridized with flora of sorts. Colours are intense but muted and have a fantasy element in their design. Subject matter are rendered softly and have a flowy quality in their shape and lines.

Theme: Fantastical creatures, Spiritual Realm

Artist 3: Archan Nair – Bright colours and rough outlines pattern the subject matter. Heavy filled character against a plain background makes it look rigid and strong while the strokes of colour provide a magical quality about the animals.

Theme: Fantastical creatures, Spiritual Realm

UX Recess Week – Looking into the Final Project

Idea 1

In line with my final project for my Visual Communication 2 module, I began to research about user experience in art museums and galleries. This is something quite close to heart as I have grown up loving museum and gallery trips, but have always felt that many people did not get it as I did. My project deals with bridging the “knowledge gap” of the viewer and artist, without the use of the traditional write ups. 

For the project, I did surveys that tested the general art knowledge and ability to respond amongst my friends and their friends, mainly aged 18-25. The following part is excerpts from what I have written for the research part of my VC project.

Point 1 – There was a general and expected trend that people who thought about the works more did talk about them more often. (I had them rate how much they thought about the works and how much they talked about them.) In these instance, they were common enough, not much to be thought about until I notice a 3-5 point gap in between mind and mouth. While it is one’s own personal choice to speak out and share their ideas, doing so would be beneficial as any art conversation is always rewarding and promotes art in one way or another. In other instances, there were people who spoke more than they thought, of which I consider those who took more time verbalizing their thoughts, be it to describe more or struggling to find words. There were 6 such participants.

Point 2  For the final part of the survey, I had surveyees write down anything about 2 artworks I showed them, and took note of the time from when they see the image to when they stop writing. The aim was to see how and how much they would respond. We have several “profile types” based on the answers given and the amount of time taken by each participant. 

The most common type would be those who tried and would give “feeling words”. These are the ones who make up most the participants, and they make up most of the people who answered “Hard to understand” in response to write ups. They are also the ones who give feedback about write ups needing to be more concise and are asking for more simpler terms. Its nothing to do with “smartness”, to me, they just do not know art jargon.

In contrast to this, we have people who can churn out words that point out theme and even specific terms to identify era or influence (eg surrealism, performance art) and they are the ones who might be a bit more into the art scene and know more of the art terms used in museums and in the art industry.

Conclusion – My response to these findings is that we need to bridge the accessibility of art to everyone, those who speak in art terms and those who do not. The direction I am taking to solve the issue to engage everyone in sharing and learning together, through provide platforms where everyone can contribute and learn from.

Ideas for a screen-based experience
This is sort of an interactive projection of reviews on the different art exhibitions going on. Personally, one of the main feelings I get from large scale galleries or museum all the time is that their size and space may get me a little disorientated. I have a map and brochure but I will most definitely get lost, or be a little too overwhelmed with where to start. The idea here is that, people who have gone to perhaps Exhibit A will get a sense of what it is, what they like or don’t like, and they can submit it on a touch screen located at the exit of each section, and their short review will be projected onto the outside facing walls of the room/floor/partition that contains that exhibit. This will enable other visitors to see the review on the wall, and if they like, all they have to do is find a way to reach that wall. The aim is to share and give a direction/aim to the experience of museum going.

Idea 2

The idea of online dating nowadays is so common, boundaries have been reset and the idea of strangers are not what they used to be. But it seems that the idea of Singaporeans being in kind and friendly just isn’t becoming a thing. Inspired by the idea of “The Hole in Space” as well as the “Call a Swede” programme, I would like to recreate the experience of sharing and striking up conversation using the help of technology. However, we do this the old fashion way.

The set up can be done in an large screen around and about town. When people walk pass to linger and look at an ad or maybe a video playing prompts will appear and follow them, randomly connecting them to another person and asking them a question, pushing them to talk to another stranger in real life.

Idea 3 


Week 7 – Interactive Environments & Experience Design Response

Part 1: Write a response to one of the projects shown in class on “Interactive Environments & Experience Design.”

A Hole in Space

Head-to-toe, life-sized, television images of the people on the opposite coast appeared. They could now see, hear, and speak with each other as if encountering each other on the same sidewalk.

To think that this was the height of technology at a point in time. I thought the title of the project was relevant, given that this was the first time humans could “skip” so much distance to see one another, we created a loophole in space.

 No signs, sponsor logos, or credits were posted—no explanation at all was offered.

I thought it was interesting how the people who created this project left nothing to explain the situation, it was testing the reactions of the people who passed by it. There was nothing to limit them in terms of how they can use this opportunity to see someone from miles away. Of course there was the chance of meeting someone they haven’t seen before, to strike a conversation and to establish a connection – reduced by hours, or there was the chance to meet someone who they haven’t seen in a long time. By 1980, the telephone has been around for sometime that people would have relatively easy access to it, but that was limiting the connection to purely a verbal one. This face to face virtual reality might be known as something “less intimate” than real life now, but back then it was definitely more intimate than a phone call.

UX Week 7 – Diary of Behavior

DAY 1 – create a diary of when, why and what you use your mobile device for. Observe how others are using their mobile devices. What are the most common uses and where do you see these behaviors?

27th Feb – Today I’ll be heading to school for a consult and meeting, so we have abit more to write about. Oh and, my phone: iPhone 6.


My alarm goes off, which of course, is my phone. I have quite a few “sets” of alarm pre set. One thing that I’ve been constantly paranoid about is not hearing my alarm, or it not ringing, so prevent this, I: 

Do not switch my phone to silent mode.
Always keep it by my bed side
Charge it an hour and two before I sleep

So, I snooze it couple of times around 9am, and I finally get up. This is when I charge my phone while I brush my teeth and get dressed. It takes me about 1-2 hours to get done, so my phone has its own time to get to full battery before I use it. I’ve heard that charging your phone overnight is not really good for it, so after a couple of years, I’ve settled into this routine.

I use the phone to switch on Spotify on the telly (oh the wonders of technology) and I make myself some food. While eating, I look through my phone to check the following (and strictly in this order)

Messages – Mom, Boyfriend, best friends, school friends, others

Social media – Instagram, Youtube (to see what’s new, I don’t really watch anything for now), Facebook, Twitter

Before packing for school, I checked my phone for the bus schedule, contemplate ubering because 2 hour commute, check my bank balance, tell myself that I need to learn to save, and then check the bus schedule again. This happens almost every time I commute I school from home. I HAPPEN TO FIND THIS REALLY FUNNY BUT TOO REAL. I then pack according to how much time I know I have to the next bus.


Alot of people “plug in” on the train – listen to music or watch videos etc. But today I had more things to do, so I didn’t. I wanted to do some planning of my week cause my boyfriend birthday was coming up and I was organising a surprise. I took out my notebook to do that, but after roughly writing everything out and sketching my plans, I used my phone to enter everything neatly and concisely in the Calendar and Notes app.

Then I put my phone away again and I started writing down notes (pen and paper) for my meeting and consult later, and this sufficiently passed my time till I reached Boon Lay, and then ADM. I would occasionally check my phone for messages but I typically would not text during long commutes cause I get motion sick from screens easily, surprisingly not with paper.


While I was having my meeting and consult, I would generally keep my phone away, and used my notebook or laptop to work. So nothing much to note, except that I realised how I feel like having my phone out was kind of rude or disrespectful to the people I was talking to. So I would generally keep it out of sight, either on my lap or in my pockets.

I know it’s common to have your phone on the table near you and visible (my group mates all did) but one thing I realised about myself is that I tend to not do that if its a proper sit down or a meeting. I would just rely on it buzzing for me to know that it needs my attention.

DAY 2 – Do not use your phone, computer or electronic device for 24 hours. Create a diary documenting and describing the difference in your behavior patterns. How did you do the things you would normally do with your phone? What other alternative behaviors did you develop? What else did you notice about the difference in behavior?

28th Feb – Lets be real here. I didn’t make it through the 24 hours. But I did my best. We good? Ok.

But to be real, there was way too much work I had to do that I couldn’t leave my laptop alone, that probably the tipping point. I realised most of my school work + outside projects involved the laptop and its softwares (cause visual comms) and it was virtually impossible to get things down without it. But I tried for the most part. I was in my room, with my notebook and pens, sketching my poster layout, totally gangsta as I hustling it out. There were so many limitations, backspace, delete, searching up the internet for information and references. Most importantly G R I D S. Computers changed the game for us versus straight lines.

Secondly, communication. My mom was quite annoyed that day because she had work and she has this habit of checking up on me when I’m home, asking me if its raining and if the windows are closed, if I bathed, or taken my lunch, or if the house is still standing. I was glad to be off the grid for that, but she wasn’t haha. But I did allow myself to go to my phone (I placed it in a drawer) once every 4 hours to check her messages (only hers). For me, I think this is fine as I’m not really the kind to need conversations 24/7

Thirdly, generally having something to do. I played the guitar alot that day (after I gave up with my poster layout). I even wrote a tune. Then I went to the gym (I usually do at least twice a week) but it felt so weird without my music, and it was abit uncomfortable for me as I couldn’t block out the noisy guy at the row machine.

I kind of gave up after feeling that I wasted too much time not doing anything productive. It really does show how much we rely on electronics and machines to make things easy for us or to entertain us.

UX Week 6 – You Are What You Carry

Chipchase Chapter 4: 

Whilst reading the beginning of the chapter, it got me thinking about how everyone has their own unique system of handing their belongings, as well as my own. Then I decided to do a little analysing with my own, depicted through some doodles from yours truly.




Range of distribution – The distance that people are willing to let physical objects stray when they are out and about. Criteria: perceived risk of danger, actual risk of danger, perceived and actual need and convenience.

Of course, the criteria for consideration is subjective to the individual – whether one is habitually paranoid or relaxed, they will perceive risk of danger or need and convenience differently.


I find the concepts of centers of gravity and point of reflection intriguing as I have never thought of it beyond just being extra mindful of one’s possessions. Also, to note that I did not intuitive pick up the habit of practicing point of reflection, and instead was taught by my mother to “look by at your seat when you leave”.


With regards to the story of police officers in Afghanistan, the highlighting of the people’s mind-set of “if you can’t see it, you don’t own it” telling of the suspicious attitudes, behaviours and the kind of life they live. This contrast with the average citywalker, for at the touch and a swipe, we can recover our account balance through a phone app, and will readily accept the numbers we see as indicative of how much we still own (so long its not far off from what we expect).

I’ll end with a quote from the chapter that concludes everything.

“…we could try to either reduce the risk of losing things, reduce the cost of recovering or replacing those things, and/or make it easier to live without carrying those things around. One of the simplest ways to accomplish all three is to allow people to use more while owning less.”

UX Week 6 – Response to “Future World”

19th Feb 2017 – Art Science Museum

“ArtScience Museum collaborated with teamLab, an award-winning Tokyo-based art collective of “ultra-technologists” that includes artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, architects and designers. The result is Future World – Singapore’s largest interactive digital playground.”

Looking back at the works, the first thing that came to mind was the extensive use of sensors throughout the different exhibitions, and then the coordination of information that was scattered, then collected, analyzed and then answered – all in the matter of a second.

As a Visual Communications major, the most I could do was tag along and listen to the third year Interactive Media seniors talk about the different software used, along with a handful of jargon thrown into the conversation, more or less lost through the technicality of it all. But one thing was clear, there was most definitely a complicated system behind the magical inflatable sound ball pit.

The one exhibition that stuck out was exactly that, but not for the exhibition and the great time I had running around with the kids in the ball pit. It was when we sat down to listen to team Lab-san that I truly understood how much I did not know. It was not just normal motion sensors that were in the balls, instead you had machines that detected gravity, movement, as well as to calculate speed, acceleration and position in the pit, all of which contributed to the sounds created. To think that all that technology was packed into one flat package, stuck to the surface of the inflated ball.

UX Week 5 –

“Advances in digital technology have opened up new possibilities to enhance the way we live, work, play, and interact.”

First, they mocked us for being small. So we pushed ourselves to work, and we worked hard. We got a bunch of smart people to do smart work in the economy, they made some smart decisions, and BOOM you got yourselves a fast growing business hub. Then they said, y’all are boring, there’s nothing to do here. Okay, we started building fun places like parks and themed parks with kinda fun rides, sprinkled resorts and malls here there, all for you to play with. Then its “you’ve got no culture, little history, and no heart for any of it either”. Fine. We channeled more money into the arts and we made Singapore Arts Museum, National Gallery and other places happen, we called it “Renaissance City Plan” – and the history part, we are working on it, but you literally have to give us time.

Rant over.

After 50 odd years, you have a relatively stable country, small in size but big in ambitions, however, constantly mocked by outsiders and our own people for our efforts at it. But this time, Singapore’s got a new fancy name for a new fancy project, and we’re gonna make it work.

Through the catchy slogan of “Connect, Collect and Comprehend”, for what I have understood, the plan aims to study the way people behave and go about reacting to certain situations, and then use this data to create public initiatives that blend seamless into everyday life to help improve it. With the help of technology and, of course, multiple trial and error kinds of situation. The focus are in five domains, namely: Transport, Home, Health, Business and the Public Sector.

In my opinion, it is time to look inwards and see what the people really want. Currently, there is definitely a focus on the ageing population, which makes a good start, and followed by perhaps developing a more green friendly nation. These do not have to immediately create new and never-seen-before initiatives, it could just be ones adapted from success stories around the world.

On a side note: something I’ve been noticing is how a lot of these plans kind of backfire and then get scared into hiding in shame at the corner of some government building. Our people get really critical and a bit shitty when it comes to new initiatives being rolled out. Yea it doesn’t work now but not all of us could get riding a bike the first time right? Geez.

“Singapore strives to become a Smart Nation to support better living, stronger communities, and create more opportunities, for all.”

My input to the Smart Nation initiative is by no means new to the world. Cities in China, France, US, and England have seen in works, improving its feasibility, and its time we had it too.


A bicycle sharing system

The bike-sharing systems works with smart-cards, allowing the bicycles to be returned to any station in the system, which facilitates one-way rides to work, education or shopping centres.

Why do we not have it??? I cannot figure out how this isn’t implemented yet. We have literally the cultural and behavioural habits that shows that it will almost guarantee that it will work.

  • We love bicycles.
    We love them so much, we made it legal for bicycles and people to share lanes in some areas of our land, and in places where we can’t, we paved bicycle lanes just for them. Many of us have the habit to ride wherever we go, and more than often you have bicycles cramping up racks. Plus, look at East Coast Park on a weekend, wheels > feet. And the bike renting kiosks there charge a whooping $10/hr. WE STILL RENT THE CRAPPY BICYCLES. If we can had an alternative to taking the bus and a more convenient access to bicycles, no doubt we would make the jump as well.
  • We are small but also not that small
    We are around the same size as New York (SG: 719 km²  to NY: 789 km²) and they could manage the system and find space for the bicycles, I’m pretty sure we’d do a good job too.
  • We are so law abiding, it is a joke to others
    Yes, I get it. NO CHEWING GUM? HAHAHA. Anyway, if we can abide to that, I’m pretty sure we can rent and return a bike by ourselves. We’ll be angels on wheels.

Lets revamp the stations too. The design is inspired by the car lifts in some really swanky condominiums where rich people can have their expensive sports car tucked away safely in their homes.


Furthermore, I propose pairing the system with an app (because everyone loves apps), except that this one is going to stay on your phone because it is going to be right next to your bus timing app.

The app will work similarly to bus apps, they will have

  • A map with all the available bicycle sharing stations
  • Available bicycle and available empty rack count at each of the stations
  • Distance to the next station + GPS guiding

Ideally, this can also be paired with Google Maps, or Apple Maps.

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UX Week 4 – Hawker Centers

Where this at: Bedok Mall Hawker Centre

Hawker centers are the best, they really are. They sell inexpensive (well most of them) good food, and yes you can even find some healthier stuff like fish porridge or skinless/fatless chicken rice… if you can exercise enough self control to skip the mouth watering cha kway tiao (“fried noodles”) or the savoury, but spicy as hell, laska. But why would you?

img_7234Moving on.

Hawker centers might seem similar to coffee shops, but consider them the bigger and more varied cousin, with around 20 food stalls compared to the latter with around 4-7 stalls.

Thus, to account for the then larger number of crowds, you usually get a whole building dedicated to it, filled with rows of tables and chairs in front of the stalls. These stalls usually work on a “self-service” basis, with customers queuing up in front, and the really popular stalls have queues snaking into the sitting area.



The cooking is done within the little cubicles, usually manned by one person, and the cash till by another. They share the same space when it comes to displaying food, serving it and paying, and sometimes even cooking, though that would be done in the back of the cubicle if space allows. The environment is relatively well controlled with vents installed to pump the oily and sticky fumes away from the stall, upwards to the top of the building and into the air. Note: For some reason, it never really smells that bad, or too strongly. Just, y’know, yummy food smells. I’m guessing that the vents might have filters as well.




Most hawker centres have cleaners who tidy up tables after diners, and push around carts that are sectioned of by “shelves” and “bucket” that hangs on one side. Unfinished contents of the dishes and discarded tissues go into “bucket” and the dishes, now empty, go onto the shelves. They go to the back of the building, which is where the cleaning stations are situated, or sometimes, back to the stalls themselves for cleaning. However, in recent years, hawker centers have been trying to get diners to return their plates themselves, indicating one shelves for food from halal stalls and the other for non halal. This ensures that the cutlery and dishes do not mix, and makes cleaning up more efficient halal food stalls. Another thing to take note: dishes are usually of different colour and design to differentiate from one another, however some stalls might use the same bowls or plates, they either share them or they mark it out on the ends of cutlery or with indelible ink on the sides of their bowls and plates.


Finally, I would like to end off with a question: DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT THIS IS? THE BLUE LIGHT THING BELOW THE FANS? I see it around at hawker centers, coffee shops and even some bakeries (the ones found below shophouses). I’ve asked the cleaners and hawkers about it, and even googled but no one knows for sure what it is. Some said it was for insects but like.. how?