Hope: Research and development

What is HOPE?

  • something that is hoped for: her forgiveness is my constant hope.
  • to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence
  • to feel that something desired may happen: we hope for an early spring.
  • a particular instance of this feeling: a hope of winning

HOPE (my definition)

  • A leap of faith
  • A new beginning
  • Sunrise, a brand new day
  • Colours
  • Flowers blooming (cherry blossom)

Initial Sketches

Cherry Blossom

Sakura are also revered as a symbol of rebirth. The Japanese, believed that sakura represented the mountain deities that transformed into gods of rice paddies, hence cherry blossom trees signified agricultural reproduction.

Idea one; initially I wanted to emphasize only on one sakura, the simple form of a sakura. I wanted to portray hope by using the idea of flowers blooming in the sense of a rebirth, a new life. My first exploration was to have a part of a sakura tree growing out of the circle instead of containing them within it, sort of portraying it’s growing “out of the box”. Second exploration was to have a sakura within a sakura, where a flower is growing within another flower, to portray another new life is soon to blossom.

Sunrise represents a start of a brand new day. A fresh new start, that gives hope for the person. A heartwarming sunrise, and looking at how the sky slowly changes colour.

Coloured pencil shavings

Colours often represents like ‘adding life’ onto something dull be it drawings for kids or metaphorically.

Idea two; initially I only thought of purely just sunrise and how to develop a simple form from it. While I was also exploring into colour pencil shavings, I realised the semi circle has the exact form of a sun viewed below the horizon. For the first exploration, I have tried integrating a the skyline into the sunrise to create the foreground and background effect. Second exploration was to have the colour pencil shavings in the form of a sunrise. Third exploration was to have the outline of a pencil inside of a circle which represents the sun.

I have tried exploring the sakura into the colour pencil shavings. Also different types of sakura motifs as well.

The fourth sakura motif was the most applicable out of the rest, and it fits really well into the pencil shavings.

Idea three; I played with the simple form of flying doves. Birds soaring up in the sky defines freedom. First exploration was the idea of “yin and yang”, having to doves placed side by side and playing with the positive and negative space.

The feedback was to explore more of the doves and how they can be integrated together with the flowers instead of hanging on individually.

The doves were then even simplified into individual doves, black and white. As I was exploring with the placement, when the two individual doves comes flying together, they form into a flower. Also creating the foreground and background effect.

Colour explorations

The green and the orange didn’t really work out with the other two palettes. So in the end the final colours I chose was,

complementary colours of red and blue,

analogous colours whereby I explored the different shades of red and blue.


I integrated the sunrise pencil shavings into the doves as part of their wings as well.


The concept behind Supernormal is to eliminate any “extras” from the object and focuses more on the functionality. The object is then reduced to it’s most form of simplicity. Instead of being completely disappointed and shocked by the fact that the aluminium stools Naoto Fukasawa had designed for the Milan Furniture Show in 2005 were plonked on the floor for people to sit on rather than being displayed on pedestals like the other new products , he embraced it fully which started the new art movement “Supernormal” with Jasper Morrison, a product designer. Where his views were much different on the whole incident at the Milan Furniture Show where the designer’s set of well designed aluminium stools could seamlessly blend into the environment. Jasper did not only praised about the furniture but also raved about how the stools are so subtle, yet distinctive. This is where, they started the movement of Supernormal together. This is also where the two designers share a common commitment to reinventing the principles of early modernism: technological innovation and fitness for purpose.

The design world has drifted away from normality; it has forgotten its roots and the basic notion that we designers are supposed to take care of the man-made environment and try to improve it. Super Normal is a bridge between the two worlds, an attempt to reunite them. (Jasper Morrison, 2006). In order to achieve Supernormal, the object’s visual aspects have to be less emphasized and the interaction between the object and the environment. One category is when you look at something normal and say, “That’s really normal”; these are the things that have permeated daily life, things in which we don’t find any element of design. (Naoto Fukasawa, 2006).

Naoto Fukasawa mainly focuses on the impacts on it’s users with solely it’s functionality. As his philosophy would state, “Achieve simpleness as a way to achieve completeness and harmonious relationship between users, objects, and environment.” (Nedgis, N.D). Fukasawa’s theory is basically, “Without Thought”. Where he puts mindfulness in the typical, commonplace ways individuals connect and live in the environment (Fukasawa, 2007). In this manner, his plans regularly spin around the oblivious, agreeable accord of individuals and things in its condition (Fukasawa, 2007). He regularly utilizes the expression “planning the oblivious”, gathering the need to center around our “center mindfulness” (Fukasawa, 2007). Perceptions at that point transform into expository separate of the each activity we make, having a “functioning memory” of each progression in our day by day errand (Fukasawa, 2007). His plans fuses human characteristics that plays with our normal learning of critical thinking. He utilizes shape, shading, surface in its most dense way in his design in the improvement of his shortsighted mechanical outlines for clients to have an instinctual learning of how and what the object is utilized for, stripping the requirement for a guideline manual (Fukasawa, 2007). He regularly utilizes the expression “planning the oblivious”, gathering the need to center around our “center mindfulness” (Fukasawa, 2007).

Jasper Morrison, empowering thoughts to surface, abstaining from making an “exterior” for the object, making things out of nothing. Rather, it is by monitoring what is as of now in the encompassing (Fukasawa, 2007). He portrayed Supernormal design as “absence of issues” (Fukasawa, 2007). The outline itself appear to have a facilitate that propose that the issue never truly existed, particularly lined up with Marcel Duchamp’s thought of “there is no arrangement on the grounds that there is no issue” (Fukasawa, 2007). There is a reasonable thought tapped onto the possibility of Supernormal design. They have positive climatic impact and naturally, they look intensely typical (Fukasawa, 2007). They are objects that we are so much familiar with and that we utilizes them without any consideration or hesitant. Supernormal design “plays on a more profound level of human sensibilities” as it charms to a regular information we as a whole have, in light of our mutual encounters. It is the experience of making sense of things with what we have and attempting to get by in our regular living environment (Fukasawa, 2007).

One of the most prominent work by Naoto Fukasawa was the CD player designed for MUJI in 1998. The CD player is such a simple appliance in home where no one else would give a second look to it, be it innovation or improvement to it. It’s just a CD player, but not for Naoto Fukasawa. He incorporated the design of a domestic extractor fan, the simplicity of the structures, the positioning and the operating system, a straightforward pull-cord which is used for on and off of the CD player. This creates an interaction between the CD player and the user whereby the user has to pull the cord for the CD player to play music. This is to guarantee that clients intuitively realize what the utilization of the item is. This, thusly, has turned into a standard outline factor filtered into modern plan in making electronic products and home appliances (Fukasawa, 2007).
I strongly believe that a good design does not only have to look good also be practical. A good product doesn’t always look that good and ugly products are usually more practical and useful in a way. Supernormal movement teaches us that a product’s functionality powers over everything. Like what Naoto Fukasawa would say “The objects that really make a difference to our lives are often the least noticeable ones, that do not grab our attention. They are the things that add something to the atmosphere of our homes that we would miss the most if they disappear. That is why they are supernormal” (Rawsthron, 2006).  Simple yet to be very user friendly.
Nedgis, N.D. Naoto Fukasawa. Retrieved from: https://www.nedgis.com/en/designers/naoto-fukasawa
Bhan, N. (2008, March 23). ‘Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukasawa discuss Super Normal Design’ Core77. Retrieved from: https://2021supernormal.wordpress.com/dialogue-defining-super-normal-jasper-and-naoto/
Fukasawa, N. (2007). Naoto Fukasawa. Phaidon
Rawsthorn, A. ( 2006, June 11). Celebrating the beauty of ‘super normal’ little objects of daily life, International Herald Tribune. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/11/style/11iht-dlede12.1944160.html


Glitch Singapore | Fans Do My Makeup

Idea – Through instagram’s live platform, we allow the audience’s to decide what’s the next step for our individual avatars where their hands aren’t theirs.

Setting  – Room in hall

Group members – Naomi, Nok Wan and Joey


Our final idea came about after we came across various famous youtube vloggers having their boyfriends/girlfriends to do their makeup. Also Not My Hands Challenge and make up tutorial games. Using of instagram live, we are able to interact with the audiences in real time.


Before coming to a conclusion for our final project, we had various ideas, tried and tested. Our very first proposed idea was;

Episode Drama Live!; This idea was to station one ‘drunkard’ actor and his ‘friend’ at clark quay. We chose clark quay as our location is because there are more relatable strangers located there. And we will have people down at ADM, watching facebook live, giving instructions on what the ‘drunkard’ actor has to do/interact with strangers there and completing challenges that are set by us.

The setbacks; we are worried that the casts would be called out by the police for public nuisance as Singaporeans are more conservative and not as daring to complete the challenges. Budget was highly sought of as well, as we are not as equipped as we want to be.

Collaborative Concert; This idea was to have 4 musician avatars with 4 different musical instruments; 5 glasses with different water levels, rubber chicken, right in front of them awaiting for a conductor (a player from our friends). The player is given a song and they have to instruct the 4 musicians and try compose and replicate the song with the given instruments. We did a trial run using facebook live and skype call. Skype call was for the conductor to give instructions to to the musicians and facebook live is for the conductor and audiences to view the musicians in real time.

The setbacks; facebook live had a 10-12s lag time where it brought much inconvenience to the both sides. Skype call had many interferences which kinda of interrupted the call multiple times. We couldn’t get enough conductors that are willing to give instructions and the replication of the song given was not in our favour. Also having the location at ADM it kind of defeats the purpose as this idea is not location specific. 

Fans Do My Makeup; our concept is that 3 different personas are preparing their make up for a date but none of us has the experience on the individual make up products let alone the steps of putting make up. We chose our location to be in a hall room whereas in a room, it is meant to be very personal and private kinda thing, where people don’t usually share to the public.  But as an acting vlogger, we chose to share it via instagram live. There is also a time limit where the ‘uber ride’ will arrive for us and that is where we end each session.

Our project involves DIWO  where the audiences had the control of what we have to put the make up on by contributing on the live chat, giving us instructions or mainly suggestions. The second layer or DIWO is that instead of using the main persona’s hands, we planted in another person’s hands. Nok wan was the our first kick start and the audiences weren’t as hyped up yet so the sugguestions they gave was rather simple and towards the safe side. Here comes the glitch whereby the the main persona had no control of their own ‘hands’.

The person at the back is not able to see at the face and can only rely on their hearing and what the main persona is saying/ giving instructions. Therefore the end result is unpredictable and definitely not beautiful. As till Naomi‘s turn, the audiences are much more warmed up and they started giving suggestions like; “Slap her face!”, “Draw gentials on her face!”. So naturally for the hands, it is just grabbing any possible make up product and start drawing. The imperfections is also a kind of glitch whereby in our head we have already perceived that how it will turn out normally as it is but to our horror it’s not. And due to the natural 3-4s lag in third space platforms, we are unable to keep up to the comments and ended up having “NOTICE ME SENPAI!!” in the chat. After all our ‘vlogs’, we did up a instapoll whereby allowing the audiences to choose who wore the make up better. And also a perfect wrap up for our performance.

I won the hearts of the audiences


Having ups and downs for this final project, we have learnt that nothing is perfect. Not everything would go the way we want it to be. We were to the point of giving up after we had the downfall for our 2nd idea. We didn’t know what else to proceed but only to remind one another not to give up. The end was satisfying, the responses for our final idea were overwhelming! We didn’t expect this would come into a perfect full stop for our experimental interaction. Therefore we are here to embrace the imperfection perfections. We had a very good laugh too. :’)

Locale – Project 2A (Research & Process)

I have always wanted to explore designs that has the traditional chinese influences. Hence I have decided to work on Chinese Garden for this project.

The moment I stepping into the entrance, I was greeted by the 7-storey pagoda. It is the most prominent building in the garden, it is noticeable even when you are in the train at chinese garden station. Out of curiosity, I went up the tower and counted the steps along the way. It has total of 180 steps!!

Walking away from the pagoda, eight statues placed along the pathway. Each statues has it’s very own significances, eight different heroes for that very point of time.

Aside from the 7-storey pagoda, here are 2 miniature pagodas. They have the identical look, as if there is a mirror placed in front of them. Fortunately, the steps are much much lesser than the 7-storey pagoda. As I noticed the opposite’s view when I viewed through the window inside the pagoda, it… was… spectacular…

Moving on to the bonsai garden, the windows are more prominent here. The bonsai reflected from the windows replicates like a piece of painting on the wall.

Apart from all the old chinese buildings, large numbers of lattice patterned windows can be seen all around chinese garden.

The patterns on the windows really intrigued me as like I am viewing Chinese Garden in a different way. It is like looking through a pinhole camera, looking a far to the scenery. Capturing and framing the scenery like a real-life painting.


The style I will be exploring is a fusion of chinese and english text. My initial idea was to extract all the lattice windows and create long continuation throughout the whole zine and a tiny character following through. But I scraped the idea after multiple consultations and lastly I came into conclusion of doing up a poetry book.

I explored towards a parody poem book instead of having a serious feel to it. I wanted my poetry book to replicate the old chinese kungfu book. With the tradition blue cover with a huge chinese title at the right corner.

Initial Sketches

Some of the parody poems;

  • Money is not a problem, problem is no money.
  • Others can be so handsome, and yet I look like shit.
  • Others have background, and all I have is backview
  • In my whole life there are only two things that I don’t know, I don’t know this, and I don’t know that.
  • Life is like toilet paper, if there’s nothing much, don’t pua so many stuns.
Initial cover page

Replicating the old chinese kungfu book, I did up my cover looking exactly like it. I have titled my book as ‘Window to you soul’. But to tie down with my parody theme of a chinese poem book, I have tweaked the chinese translation of windows into hemorrhoids instead. The chinese pronunciation of 之窗 and 痔疮 is very similar.

After much consultation, it was said to be a little too boring and predictable for the cover. Hence I tried to incorporate the lattice patterns into the cover and explore a different positioning for my title.

The title is being interlocked with the patterns and the different in size which creates the visual hierarchy. As for my inner spreads, I chose the best of the few from my initial sketches.

Instead of having a static; one window per page, I spread the one of the window across the next spread. The different in sizes of the window creates the emphasis on the window that I want to focus on.

A title of the poem is introduced for every poem in the spread. It ties in very well with the poems. Diagonal lines were introduced as well. It leads the eye of the reader on how the flow of the spread goes. I still feel the spread has too much of a white space that I have to add some window shapes into it.

I positioned my english text vertical to match up with my chinese text.

Middle spread

I have contrast of the two very identical window in a yin and yang position. This layout is also somewhat asymmetrical.

The blue added on the right page gives a higher contrast on both of the windows.

Last spread

The overlapped windows gives the layout a foreground and background instead of plain flat. The main octagon window is positioned across the next page. It is also slightly off centred which breaks away from the norm. The numbering of the poems are intentionally placed from right to left to replicate the olden chinese way of reading. Windows outlines are constantly appearing in every spread to keep the consistency.

All in all, this zine project taught me to always stay away from my comfort zone and trying out new stuffs. And always to pay attention to really small details. Constantly checking  for errors here and there.