Explore Practitioners 1 – Johan Ng

My desktop encountered a problem last weekend and I went to find a technician to fix the problem. I took this opportunity to ask the technician whether I could observe and had a little chat with him as well. Thankfully, he agreed to let me sit in and observe his practice while he tries to identify the issue with my desktop.

Process Documentation
The process begins with the problem, in my case, I could not turn on the power on my desktop occasionally. The problems may vary, from power issues to the dreaded blue screen of death. Upon the request of the client, the technician then goes on to identify the problem. For my situation, it was a simple failure of the power supply unit, but he needed to test it out to make sure that the problem was indeed the power supply unit. By replacing my power supply unit with his testing kit, my desktop was able to power up and the problem was identified as a faulty power supply unit. The entire process lasted roughly an hour long.

Trying to identify the problem

Steps

  1. Listen to client problem
  2. Diagnosis of problem
  3. List down options of repair (replacement of part, change wires etc)
  4. Removal of problematic part
  5. Clear the unit of dust
  6. Replacement of problematic part
  7. Test and see if the PC runs normally.

End result of the replacement of the power supply unit in the top left hand side and fully dedusted desktop.

Worksite Documentation

The area used is rather small and messy with a lot of different spare parts to use and diagnose the problem of the PC. There is a small working space to place the faulty desktop and work on it at the same time.

Workspace to repair desktop

Tools Used

Spare part to identify the problem – It is dependent on the problem of the user, if the technician suspect that it is an issue with the power supply unit, he would use a replacement power supply unit to check whether the computer is able to power on normally with another power supply unit.

Air cleaner – This tool over here is to clean the dust that accumulates inside the interior of the PC unit. Unsurprisingly a lot of dust gathers inside the unit and by cleaning up the unit before the actual replacement of tool

Other tools include a monitor screen, many types of screws, screwdrivers, pliers, mouse and keyboard.

Pain Points

Due to the wide range of problems the client may have, it is impossible to have all the different type of spare parts at hand in the same space to test for the problem. Space is a large issue as there is limited space in the workspace but many possible problems. Another issue is dealing with the small screws that secure the desktop. As these screws are fairly small, a possible problem would be missing screws. Another pain point is during the diagnosis of the problem. As mine was fairly simple, a one to one replacement of the power supply unit would be sufficient, but there could be other problems that may take many more days to diagnose and solve.

Practice Storyworld – Johan Ng

Faceless

Set in the year 2330, no one knows why but it is prohibited to leave the house with their bare face. People are now required to put on a mask called the Identity passport or IP for short. With the IP, everything that you need to know about a person can be put on display through your IP. Life still goes on normally thou no one knows when exactly the IP was created or made. People just came along with it. Throughout the different ages, people go to the place called the Centre to maintain their IP.

The world is now determined by their IP standings. Since it is public, people know how each other fare and treat each other according to their ranks. A class “A” citizen is entitled to higher education, priority treatment and many other benefits whereas a class “F” citizen is only entitled to public housing. These rankings are determined from birth and are dependent on the parent’s status. Though it is possible to change classes, it is uncommon for people to pursue change as the life that people live are predetermined and everyone has a role in society. No one ever questions the system as the world now has no problems and people get by with their classes.

Genre: Adventure / Identity

Story: Tim, a class “B” citizen has nothing but issues with his IP. He hates how uncomfortable it is, but still put it on whenever his parents tell him to. He goes around the house bare-face but has never seen his parents real face before. He once took off his IP in public by accident and saw things that he had never seen before. The siren rang, and he never dare to take it off ever again. By a stroke of luck, he spots someone with a mysterious IP, one that he has never seen before. It was different from the rest, almost as though the person was not wearing it. Curious to find out what lies beyond the IP, Tim decides to follow that person in search for an answer.

Method: Through a comic or an animation.

Explore Practitioners 3: Scrapbooking – Teo Zi Lin

My friend is an amazing scrapbooker. She never fails to add smiles to people’s faces by gifting them beautiful handmade cards full of sincerity. To sum up, scrapbooking is a conventionally method of preserving, presenting, arranging personal history in the form of a book, box, or card, or as a gift to others. Scrapbook albums are often decorated and frequently contain extensive journaling.

Tools used

Basic tools and inks/stamp models/sponges.

Coloured pens and coloured/decorative tapes.

Decorative stickers and decorative postcards/bookmarks/pegs.

Decorative papers and scrapbook/journal/planner.

Sketch of tools used in scrapbooking.

Worksite documentation

Scrapbooking is usually done in the practitioner’s room, where he/she keeps all her scrapbooking materials and tools. Thus, scrapbooking is a really convenient practice that you can do in the comfort of your own home.

Example of desk in practitioner’s own room (image courtesy of IKEA). My friend did not wish for her room to be photographed, so I took a sample room desk picture from IKEA.

Process documentation

I got to play around with the distress ink and stamp models. The idea behind the distress ink is to “stress” the paper, such that it looks aged with a vintage look. Below is a video of how paper distressing is like.

Process of paper distressing.

My process of making a card was heavily focused on trying to find inspirations online and from my friend. It sucks how I lack creativity juices. I looked through her past works to gain inspiration.

My friend’s past scrapbooking/craft works.

While I was trying to finish my card, my friend finished decorating and conceptualising 2 months of her planner (talk about need for speed).

I love how she comes up with a theme for each month. She did these pages using coloured pens and markers mainly.

After a couple of hours, I managed to do up the card below. I used the distress ink to make the paper cutouts look aged, along with vintage stickers I took from my friend. Why “Say cheese!”? I have no idea… It just came to mind haha.

Pain points

I think the main problem I had was really with the creativity part. Also, because my friend had so many scrapbooking tools and materials, it was hard to decide and find what I want to use. Thus, a sorting or organising system would be great. Distressing the paper was also a challenge because it is difficult to make the aging look natural. Maybe a distressing time machine to speed up the natural aging process of the paper would be apt to compensate for my lack of skills.

Teo Zi Lin (A0160163R) – Practitioner 3/3

Explore Practitioners 3: Ceramic Pottery – Brenda Tan

This afternoon, I participated in a ceramic pottery class. In particular, today’s class taught us how to trim a pot. Before the class started, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down for a short interview with the practitioner, Alvin, who gave me a crash course in ceramic pottery making. 

Practice Documentation and Tools Used 

Step 1: Preparing and centering the clay, and creating the shape you want 

Tools used:
– Clay
– Potter’s wheel

First, the practitioner has to prepare some clay and place it on the wheel to start moulding it into the shape that he wants. This process is also known as throwing, which refers the entire activity of shaping the clay on the potter’s wheel. 

Vessel-shaped clay on the potter’s wheel

Step 2: Raising the walls

Next, the practitioner needs to pull the clay apart to create a dome and start raising the walls of the dome. Once it’s done, set the clay aside for it to dry a little. The clay shouldn’t look perfect, in fact, it should look very uneven. The clay should look something like this:

Step 3: Trimming 

Tools used:
– Loop, wire and ribbon tools 

Practitioner’s toolbox containing loop,
wire and ribbon tools 

The third step is trimming the clay to even it out. Once the clay is almost dry, place it back onto the wheel. Use three small wedges of softer clay to hold it in place. Get the trimming tools and gently shave away layers of clay until the shape is perfect. Once the top is done, place it upside down and do the same until the bottom has a nice, even foot to stand on.

Alvin teaching the students how to trim

Step 4: Firing

Tools used:
– Kiln 

Kiln used for firing

When the clay is completely dry, it will be placed in a special oven called a kiln, which bakes the clay at very high temperatures. After the clay is baked, it will turn from grey to a slightly peachy colour as shown here: 

Step 5: Glazing 

Tools used:
– Paint brushes
– Glaze 
– Measuring cups and mixing tools 

Different coloured glazes to choose from 

Measuring cups and mixing tools

After the clay is fired, colour can be added to it using glaze, which is a special mineral-based paint that turns into a smooth, glossy surface for the final product. 

Glazed clay

Step 6: Second round of firing 

After the glaze has dried, the clay needs to be fired again in the kiln to make the colours hard and glossy. Here are some final products made by the practitioner and other students: 

Worksite Documentation

The worksite was generally messy and cluttered, but the shelves which stored the clay, tools and unfinished products were quite neatly organised. Each practitioner also had their own toolbox which contained pottery tools such as trimming tools, paint brushes and sand paper. 

Photograph of worksite

Pain Points

Since I only had the chance to try out trimming, I could only document my experience for that portion of ceramic pottery making. In my opinion, trimming is one of the most challenging steps because it requires a lot of focus and hand stability. If you are not careful, you may cut off an uneven portion and you will be left with a slanted piece of work. Also, if your hand loses control after a while, you may drop the trimming tool in the potter’s wheel. In summary, trimming requires a lot of patience and determination. 

Explore Practitioners 2: Studio/ Photobooth Photography – Karin Lew

Photography comes in many forms, from photojournalism to portraits to a selfie with friends, today’s digital world is very much a hotbed for photography. People cherish capturing their moments and being able to keep them forever. Photographs do this for them and serves as a clearer, more accurate memory of the events they have been a part of. Thus, knowing the popularity of photos, for my second practitioner I reached out to the photography company I worked in and followed them for one of the shoots. 

Process Documentation

Usually, when there is a shoot, we prepare for it the night before by packing the equipment that we need. If it is a studio shoot, then the backdrop and light box are already in the office and nothing much is needed to prep. However, if it is a photo booth event, then we have to reach 1 hour earlier to set up the stands backdrops, laptop, adobe lightroom, props and the camera. The process usually goes like this: customers come to the booth, their photos are taken by the photographer, the sd card containing the photo is passed to the photo editor, the photo is edited on Lightroom and fitted to the right dimensions, before it is sent to the printer that we have on site. 

Steps

  1. Extend stands and set up backdrop
  2. Set up Light box 
  3. Set up printing and editing station 
  4. Connect light box, printer and laptop to electrical outlet
  5. Set up props
  6. Test shot
  7. Adjust camera settings
  8. Sd card to laptop
  9. Edit photo on Lightroom 
  10. Print it out 
  11. Attach backing to it 
  12. Display and tada

Tools Used

  • camera
  • laptop
  • printer
  • extension wire
  • backdrop stand
  • backdrop
  • light stand
  • Light box

Components making up the Light stand

Backdrop stands

Camera

Quite useful for a photographer, the tool belt allows for a camera to hang by the photographers side and store small things like spare batteries.

Light stand after fully set up

Utility belt with camera attached to it

Studio with photo booth backdrop and other basic color backdrops.

Worksite Documentation

Quite a large space needed for this practice as there has to be a proper backdrop and enough space for the photographer and light stand to be stationed at. There also has to be enough space for the model/subject to pose at. Aside from these there is also a separate space needed for the printer and laptop. In general the tools used are quite bulky and stationed in their own areas. 

Pain Points

One key factor is how if one tool malfunctions, the entire system is affected. We have had cases where the laptop was not functioning or the printer was too slow that it affected the production. If one tool backfires, the rest goes down with it too.

Also another pain point is that because the tools used are bulky, one has to be careful where it is placed or how it is set up so that it does not affect people navigating through the space.

Lastly, all these are reliant on electricity so if there isn’t a charging point, the process will be affected as well. 

World building— Shelton Chang

toryworld (Inspired loosely by Fallout): 200 years after the nuclear war between China and USA, the dust has settled, but the Earth glows in an eerie tinge of green, perhaps from the radiation. Most of the population were wiped from extinction the moment the bombs were dropped. Those who survive either mutated into Mutants, an orcish being, with superhuman strength that feeds on human flesh or Ghouls, that lost their minds and succumb to the radiation. But however, there are still people, or vault dwellers, that were privileged upper-class citizens who had the power and money to get themselves into nuclear-proof bunkers known as vaults, built by Vault-Tec, a giant tech conglomerate in the US. Vault-Tec was commissioned by the United States of America to conduct various tests in their vaults, with cruel agendas ranging from nurturing a breed of superhuman soldiers from a community of test subjects to understanding how radiation affects living subjects.

Genre: Dystopian, Sci-Fi

Story: The story follows a pre-War veteran who was cryogenically frozen after the bomb dropped for 200 years. His wife, and baby son had gotten themselves a slot at Vault 101 in the small town of Sanctuary. However halfway through the cryogenic sleep, they were woken up briefly, only to witness his son stolen from him and his wife shot by a mysterious mercenary through the glass of the cyro chamber he was sleeping in, before going back to slumber as the mysterious stranger walks away with his son. The next time he wakes up, he finds himself in the vault 200 years later. With everyone dead and his child’s status unknown, he sets foot out into the wastelands in search of his missing child and a score to settle.

Method: Through a first-person role playing VR simulation.

Exploring practitioners 1 and 2—Ann Marie and Rose Marie Yang: Shelton Chang

Being in the fashion media industry, I’ve always been on sets of shoots with photographers, hair and makeup artists. But I’ve always been busy assisting shoots, from steaming clothes to dressing models that I’ve never really taken the time to observe what goes into capturing an image.

I’ve known the Yang sisters (@challecreatives on Instagram) previously from my gigs and they were so incredibly lovely and talented with their craft that they didn’t hesitate when I asked if I could tag along to observe what they do for a living. Ann Marie does the makeup for the models while Rose Marie photographs, which is probably the dream sister team that anyone would want to have.

The shoot began at 2 pm, at Gardens by the Bay, which I have never stepped foot on. It was an outdoor shoot and boy the weather was not the most kind to us. Ann started applying makeup for the model for the first hour at the outdoor area of Macs.

That’s when I realised that it had never occurred to me how do makeup artists do their jobs in a non-studio setting where there is a proper workstation/ dressing table for them to layout their kit. Even if there was a proper station, the tables will soon be overspilling with products and tools as they start pulling out items left and right.

Ann Marie mentioned that one biggest concern was hygiene during shoots. Due to the job nature that requires a lot of skin contact and hands etc, she needs to make sure that her storage, her tools, and her products must be sanitary to prevent cross-contamination with different models. She says that she prefers using samples sizes so that she could dispose of them after she is done with the shoot. 

After that, we finally help the model change into her clothes. We had a total of 5 outfits to shoot, but it started pouring out of the sudden and we had to make do and shoot indoors. Weather also played a big part as the lighting and sky changes with the weather and could be really frustrating for a photographer who is trying to churn out beautiful pictures.

The worksite as mentioned is extremely flexible for the sisters. Anywhere could be their studio unless they are in shooting in an indoor studio. 

Tools of the trade

Rose: Camera, lenses, reflectors, batteries, Manfrotto tripod, flash, memory cards and more.

Ann: Makeup storage, brushes, palettes, bottles, q-tips, wet wipes, tissues, makeup, tweezers and more.

Explore Practitioners 2: Clay Jewelry Making – Yukie Miyazaki

My friend has an online business making earrings with oven-bake polymer clay. She explores the medium through different colours that can in turn create different patterns, and through different shapes as well, allowing her to create a myriad of designs. 

Process documentation

My friend usually begins with an idea of what the end product of the earring will look like. With that idea in mind, she selects the colours of the clay that she will be using and sets them aside. She has a piece of baking sheet set up on her table for her to roll and flatten the clay on so that the clay will not stick to the surface of her table. She then rolls the clay into her desired design before poking holes into the pieces of clay (to attach the earring hooks) and baking them. 

The marble designs are made by mixing the clay of different colours together and rolling them into a ball before flattening it. 

Tools Used

The tools that she uses varies from formal tools meant for jewelry making to make-shift ones. 

Tweezers and Pliers to manipulate the jump hooks in order to attach the earring pieces together, and a penknife as well as a painting knife that is used to help flatten the clay pieces and cut out bits that help to shape it. 

She uses this colour pencil box as a pin roller in to flatten her clay pieces. 

Jump hooks and earring hooks.

Oven-bake polymer clay! She also mixes colours in order to get the colour that she wants should they not be available. 

She also makes use of toothpicks and satay sticks in order to poke the holes in the clay, and the oven in her home to bake the clay.

Workspace 

Her workspace exists on her marble dining table. The surface of the marble aids her creative process as well as it is cool and smooth and is suitable to place the clay on without it sticking. However, it is quite messy as she stuffs all her tools and materials into two plastic boxes, which can make it a bit difficult to find the specific tools that she needs at times. 

Pain points

Another particular issue that she faced was that she found it tough to work with pure white clay as dust got caught on it easily and was very visible (which is why she often had to mix it with other colours). 

Sometimes, due to air bubbles, the clay would also crack after being baked. 

Explore Practitioners 1: Korean Rice Wine Making – Karin Lew

Makkoli 막걸리  is a traditional Korean rice wine that has been passed down in the Korean culture for generations (fun fact: it is the oldest alcoholic beverage in Korea). The milky, off-white and lightly sparkling rice wine has a slight viscosity that tastes slightly sweet, tangy, bitter, and astringent. It has many steps involved in making it and is considered a dying tradition that Korea has been trying to revive. I participated in a workshop to make it as part of my Korean class.

Process Documentation

To make makkoli, a lot of preparation has to be done before. Rice has to washed 5 times and cooked the day before. When making the makkoli itself, the bare hands are of essence as it is part of the process to let your hands bacteria and “taste” intermingle with the yeast and water. There also has to be a time period of at least 1-2 weeks of fermentation before the aforementioned mixture is filtered out and becomes drinkable. 

Steps

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Tools Used

  1. Urn and accompanying lid 
  2. Hands
  3. Empty Bottle 
  4. Filter Bag
  5. Secondary Filter Basin
  6. Large Mixing Bowl
  7. Scoop
  8. Wine Cup

Tools used for making Makkoli.

Worksite Documentation

In general, the worksite for makkoli making requires a good amount of space for laying out the tools as well as a cooling and shaded space for fermenting the makkoli mixture. The good thing is that once you have a set of basic tools to make the makkoli (an urn, sieve, and ladle), you are pretty much set to be able to make makkoli. It must also be understood that makkoli is made in large batches so as much space as the worksite needs is only temporary. 

Pain Points

As mentioned before, the “pain” comes in the tedious process and preparation beforehand. One has to be patient enough to endure through the entire process.

Also, the sourcing of the ingredients has to be done right. Different origin of ingredients can affect the taste of the end product. However, this is also interesting as it is only through experimenting and exploring with different types of rice, water, hands etc that one can cultivate their ideal taste of makkoli. 

Lastly, the knowledge and tools used should also be good enough. if one has only a brief clue on making the makkoli, then their attempt might affect the taste severely. If the tools used are not right, then the essence behind Makkoli is lost as well. 

Practice Storyworld – Clare Chang

Genre:

Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Thriller

Story:

In a utilitarian world in the Year 2374, this philosophy has been advocated for years on end. In this dystopian reality, criminal punishment is dealt with in a different way. 

Instead of sentencing these criminals to life in prison, death sentence or even in inhumane penitentiaries, they are placed in a whole different ecosystem. Since technology would be incredibly advanced, criminals are rehabilitated here to before coming back to society as functioning members.

This device is inspired by snow globes. With technology, these people are shrunk and placed within each snow globe. Each contains an entirely different ecological community from the next. 

The first – represented by floral and fauna is to bring inmates back to basics and to live primitively. This is where they are re-learn basic human interactions and fundamentals such as caring for the environment, and to deeply connect with nature. This is the first stage as they are extracted from the unavoidable fast paced world of technology and innovations. Here, there are no other man-made and technological distractions. 

Once they have completed all the requirements in the first globe, they are transported to the second globe – where basic technology, more modernised sights and surroundings are introduced. At the same time, everything that they experience while in these environments are closely monitored by a group of authorities that act as their carers. 

Finally, once they have adapted to life in the second globe and have picked up more advanced socialising and living habits, they would be transported to the third. This third globe represents what I see the future world to be. The third and final globe is a microcosm of the reality in Year 2374. Inmates here would adapt and learn to be fully functional, contributing and respectful citizens before they can be released from this 3 snow globe system.

The City of Mizu

Important Technology

  1. Shrink Machine Technology
  2. Advanced Ecological Technology 
  3. Advanced Monitoring Devices 

Method

Visualised and narrated through a short film/video