3 Field Trips Summary – Allison Kapps

I went on 3 field trips throughout the semester, the first being an Artist Talk by Nguan, the second being the Food Rescuers volunteer mission, and the third being a Watercolor observation at NTU. Here are some pictures from the three events:

Artist Talk by Nguan:

Food Rescuers :

Watercolour Observation NTU:

Small Design Decision-Allison

I decided to watch Arrival, which was an absolutely amazing movie. Arrival is a movie about a set of alien pods landing on earth out of the blue, and causing mass hysteria internationally. It becomes the goal of all nations to find out why they are here and linguists must race to learn their language in order to understand them.

Image result for heptapod spaceship

My favourite design decision from arrival were the alien spaceship pods themselves, called heptapods after their alien owners. They are not necessarily a small design decision, but they are not the core focus of the movie (the language is), so I consider the actual design of the spaceships useful for creating a believable environment. Everything in the movie made things feel like they were happening not far from the present, and I think this was intentional. Even the pods themselves did not feature any super high tech insane designs, they were simply oval shaped and grey. This made the movie more realistic because it didn’t take a giant leap to believe that aliens that are very different from humans would have spaceships that humans themselves couldn’t understand. High tech for humans and the way that humans imagine aliens to be is not necessarily how they will be. So making the alien arrival experience confusing and very nondescript made things more realistic. 

Image result for heptapod spaceship

Share Your World – Allison & Vashon

Practitioner: Food Rescuers 

Current Trends:

By 2050 humanity’s ranks will likely have grown to nearly 10 billion people. In a scenario with moderate economic growth, this population increase will push up global demand for agricultural products by 50 percent over present levels projects The Future of Food and Agriculture, intensifying pressures on already-strained natural resources. (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2017).

Key Takeaway

  • Scarcity of food may become a reality in an extrapolated timeline towards the future.


  • The world has officially run out of actual Food.
  • Former agriculture and food industries have turned towards manufacturing a processed substance called Blobs that have become the staple diet (only for sustenance) for the everyman. This is provided for free, but contains little nutrients and tastes very bad.
  • To make these blobs taste good with flavors and to add essential nutrients, people purchase and add Additives (Adds) to the Blobs after which they can be called Food.
  • Therefore, these Adds also contain special properties that replicate essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, etc. and due to their compostable nature, they also expire over time if they are unused.
  • Adds vary in price, so some poorer members of the population cannot afford them all.


  • Ecological Problem
  • Social Problem

Revised Story

The Rescuers entered the marketplace, and Jaime their leader, started to give her orders.

“All right everyone, thank you for coming today. Before we begin, let’s check our equipment,” said Jaime, as she took out a random Add vial from inside her coat and scanned it with her CON-VIAL device.

Some beeping noises, and then the data appeared on her device’s screen.


Edibility – O.K.

Magnesium — 20%

Zinc — 40%

Iron — 40%

Perfect, mine’s working, she thought to herself. She walked around and ensured that everyone else’s machine worked too.

“Alright, everyone has their inventory?” she asked. They nodded and gave a thumbs-up to her, waving their list of necessary nutrients the team was to collect that day.

“Perfect, let’s spread out and cover as much ground as possible!”

And off they went, with each Rescuer going towards a store of their own.

Jaime approached a storekeeper whose signboard read, “MUSHROOMS & OYSTERS”.

“Hi there, do you have any vials that will be expiring soon?” she asked politely.

The Storekeeper looked at her and grunted. “A Rescuer, eh?”

“Yes,” smiled Jaime. “One of the nutrients we need today is Zinc, so your store sign kinda screams that.”

“Yeah, yeah,” grumbled the Storekeeper. He walked around the back and came back a few seconds later with a few Add vials.

“These are the ones I couldn’t sell because mushroom flavours went out of vogue recently with the higher echelons,” he shrugged.

Jaime began to scan the Add vials one by one with the CON-VIAL to ensure they contained the nutrient they needed, and to check  if the contents within the vial itself were already rotten.

After proceeding carefully, she concluded that the entire box was safe.

“Thank you sir, we will be putting these to good use,” beamed Jaime.

“Be sure to say hi to them for me,” said the Storekeeper as he sat down and went back to reading his paper.


“Jaime!” exclaimed a little boy dressed in ragged clothing.

“Hey Andy!” replied Jaime as the little boy rammed himself into her. Not one to waste time, Jaime began to test the boy with her SKINSENICAL device by tapping it on the boy’s skin.

The device read: ZINC DEFICIENCY.

“What did you bring us today?” asked Andy, excitedly.

“Mushrooms!” Jaime responded, as she prepared the Add vials she collected with her team earlier that day. “Give me your blob, Andy.”

Andy handed Jaime an odorless, grayish matter. She took it gently, then swung her machine bag around and placed the blog into her TRANSMUTATOR. A whirring noise occured and then a resounding ‘ding’.

“It’s ready Andy!” said Jaime as she took out the blob again, this time with a different color; it was a brownish-red. She handed it over to Andy.

Andy immediately chomped down on it and remarked, “MUSHROOMS ARE AMAZING.”

Share Your World; MicroFictions – Allison Kapps

Story 1 (My edited selection)

From my tiny and mostly bare apartment, I can see the hoards of them.

Lining up along the street waiting for their turn to get what they need from the Shapeless Shack.

I fiddle with a tiny vial, the ruby red liquid shines against the sunlight coming through my window. My jacket feels heavy, lined with dozens of other multi-coloured vials. I adjust the long trenchcoat again and sigh.

The reminder system in my apartment lets out two quick beeps. 15 minutes left until the Shapeless Shack closes and there will be hundreds of hungry, unsatisfied souls left walking the streets.

A large electronic billboard flickers to the right, overlooking an overpopulated square. “An add a day keeps the doctor away,” reads the sign in bright, crisp yellow letters. An apple sits proudly in the center.

I feel a spark of frustration. In tiny, black letters the ad reads $100. Expensive, I think.  

I turn from the window and go to the door, where I put on my shoes. Then I pick up my converter, a large oven shaped device that I hang on my neck. The weight of the vials and the converter make my back ache, but I have no choice. I walk to the elevator and it makes a quick sound as it arrives.

Outside, a sour smell permeates the air. I make my way over to the Shapeless Shack, and as I do Anderson recognizes me.

“Jaime!” He exclaims, running towards me “Finally!”

Anderson’s tiny frame hits my leg. For an 8-year-old, he’s light as a feather. “What do you have for us today?” He asks.

“Let’s take a look, what are you in the mood for?” I ask in return, with a smile on my face. I open my jacket just a bit and show him all the vials inside.

“Wow.” He breathes, eyes bright with wonder. “So colorful!”

“Yep!” I tell him, “Do you want to see what you need?” I ask.

“Test me!” “Test me!” He chants. So I pull out my SkinSenical from my pocker and touch his skin with the cool metal tip of the long hand held device. ‘Citrus’, the monitor reads. “Some oranges, then?” I say.

“Hurray!” Anderson exclaims, excited to eat oranges for the second day in a row. He holds out his share of the glob. “Better than plain Glob,” he says in a half-whisper.

“Agreed,” I laugh, and take out a vial with bright orange liquid inside. I take his glob, and place it inside the large rectangular metal converter that hangs around my neck. Time to make some oranges, I think.

“Delicious,” I say, as I pour the bright orange liquid all over the glob, and it slowly transforms into an orange.

“Enjoy, Andy,” I say with a smile as I hand the orange to him.

Story 2

My shoes make loud, clacking sounds as I walk the pristine white aisles of AddCentral. Not a speck of dirt in sight, or a vial out of place.

I think about Anderson, and how thin he looked the other day. I make a mental note to get more Citrus Add since I know its what he needs the most.

“Ouch!” I hear someone exclaim from below me, followed by the sound of a wailing child. It’s a boy, perhaps aged 8 or 9, sitting on the floor of the store. I take note of his chubby cheeks and his clean blue overalls. “Mommyyyyy!” The child yells, disrupting the silence of the large store.

I hear the fast, relentless click-clack of heels approaching. “What happened, baby?” A lady asks, worried.

“He stepped on my hand!” The child exclaims.

The woman whips her body toward me, her beautiful white leather purse swinging around to follow. “Excuse me, but you should really watch where you’re walking,” She exclaims with a scowl.

“Right, sorry,” I say, distracted by the vials in her hand. I’m familiar with them, they’re some of the most expensive anyone can buy in the store. They’re each valued at $2000 dollars a vial.

It’s no wonder her son looks far from hungry, I think to myself.

Story 3

I observe the shopkeeper from afar, contemplating my approach. He’s talking to a client, having a conversation about the contents of a vial.

I hope he’s in a good mood, I think to myself.

The lady purchases the vials, and the shopkeeper smiles at her. He’s approachable, I decide.

I walk over from shelves nearby and approach him. “Excuse me,” I say, to get his attention.

He whips his head up from his computer and focuses on me. “Can I help you?” He asks, expectantly.

“Yes, actually. I’m from an organization called Add-Me-Too, and we collect expiring or unsellable vials. Do you have any that you don’t plan on selling?” I ask, hopefully.

“Hmm…I think I might in the back. You’re here at a good time, we haven’t done a dumpster run for the day.” He replies

Great! I think. Hopefully, this batch has some good content.

The shopkeeper returns with a big cardboard box. “Here’s all we got, be careful they’re delicate.”

“Amazing!” I exclaim. “Thank you so much for your help!”

I look inside the box and see 10 vials. Not too bad for one store, but no Citrus for Anderson. I make a mental note to visit Henry at Add supply after packing up these vials.

Cultural Probe: Design and Findings – Allison Kapps

My cultural probe was based on a practitioner that was a chef.

I created a cultural prove that was simple and easy to engage with because it seemed like a lot of the people I wanted to engage were very busy. I create activities that would combine probes into the personality of an individual, their preconceived notions, and their distinct preferences. I asked three people to partake in my probe concepts, one of which was an avid cook. I could not probe the original practitioner since they were not in the country, so I found a replacement I felt could be similar.  


The activities were provided to participants in person, but they were given privacy and little to no guidance as they were completing them.

Probe 1

I used three exercises, one of which was based on Denise Anderson’s exercise for building a personal brand, whereby participants are asked to select 10 words that they feel succinctly describe who they are. This part of the probe was meant to get a good understanding of who the participant is, as well as provide insight into their behaviours.  

Probe 2

The second probe was some space delegated to the participant for writing down their favourite recipe. This was cultural probe meant to focus on a  who taught me to cook; a chef. As such, this part of the activity was meant to force participants to reflect on what they favourite type of thing to make is, which is different than simply a favourite type of food. The experience of being a chef is limited to how well and what a person can cook. For this reason, I wanted to make participants write down only what they could cook themselves, and so they had to remember their favourite recipe.

Probe 3

The third probe was an easy and fun activity, where participants had to colour in parts of the world they felt had the best food. I had participants do this last so that their reflections here would not influence their decision for their favourite recipe to make. Here, participants had to reflect on where they felt the best food was from. They could base this on their previous experiences, or just on the preconceived notions, they had in any circumstances. Their preferences would provide some insight into the type of food they preferred.


It seemed that for some participants, the types of recipes that they selected for their favourite tended to come from places that they felt had the best food. While for others, they perhaps felt there was only one dish that they liked and it did not necessarily come from any place in the world they felt had the best food. One girl indicated that she liked cooking a lentil-leek curry, an Indian dish, but she did not pick India as being a place with the best food.

Image result for lentil leek soup

Exploring Practitioners: Veggie Hunt Cristine – Allison Kapps

Learning about how much food is wasted in Singapore and how to conserve and recycle it so that it is still used. Collecting this food as well.

Worksite Documentation

I participated in a volunteer group led by Cristine and other practitioners that approaches shopkeepers and asks them to give vegetables and fruits that they no longer want. This food hunt was done ta Pasir Panjang at late morning, while food producers were preparing the food they were planning on selling for the day. The centre was filled with people, everyone was constantly moving from place to place and the entire building smelled of fish.


  • Identification Cards
  • Trolleys
  • Large Boxes and bags
  • Delivery trucks
  • Closed toed shoes
  • Cellphones

Process Documentation

The experience began with an information session, where we all explained the dos and don’ts of interacting with vendors and the businesses. There was language that we had to adhere to in order to be more persuasive, and some overall tips to make the experience go by more smoothly. It was explained that often vendors would not sell food products that looked imperfect, either too small or too large or if they were bruised or did not fit specific standards.

We were each assigned to teams that focused on different food groups — some for vegetables and some for fruits. I met my team leader as part of the vegetable group. There was also a communications coordinator that was responsible for letting the rest of the team know about our progress, meeting places, and keep us on time. The entire collection period couldn’t last more than an hour and a half, so someone had to be keeping us on track.

We brought a large trolley and began approaching owners and vendors by asking if they had any food they wanted to give away that they did not plan on selling. Immediately vendors began giving us massive quantities of vegetables that appeared in perfectly eatable besides not looking standard.

Store owners were friendly, especially because many recognized the organization and understood what was needed. Some even helped stack boxes for us despite being very busy planning for the day’s work.

PAIN POINT: We would quickly fill up the capacity of our trolly and have to return to the truck to unload and then return to collect more.

At the end of the collection process, we returned to the area where the loading truck was and debriefed our session. There were so many products collected, all received for free and many in great condition! Our group could now select the products to bring home for ourselves, and the rest would be used to provide for charities or the poor.

Exploring Practitioners: Salsa Instructors: Group of Leaders – Allison Kapps

The practice: learning salsa from a group of professional salsa dancers and understanding how they teach.

Worksite Documentation

I went to attend a salsa class held at NUS in one of the many dance rooms. These rooms have hardwood flooring and are surrounded by mirrors. This is to allow all dancers to see their positioning and make sure they are doing movements properly. The instructors in the class also wear specific dance clothing so as to make their teaching and dancing experience better. While the participants were not required to wear any such clothing in the instance that I went, it was likely that later on they would be required to wear proper dance gear.


  • Dance shoes (with a heel)
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Hairpins
  • Music player
  • Music
  • Microphone for speaking

Process Documentation

As I first entered the class, I saw the instructors practicing with each other and showing whoever was interested in various dance moves. The class began with a performance and demonstration of the skills we ultimately hoped to learn.

Sorry about the blur, they were quite far from me. 

I had always been confused by how dancers managed to think so quickly on their feet and come up with a combination of dance moves in a moment. In fact, watching them was astonishing because I could not split up one dance move from the other.

PAIN POINT: hard to learn new moves when you don’t know what you’re looking for. Could be cool to have an AR device that names the moves as they happen.

After the demonstration, we began the lesson by getting into a circle. The women formed a larger circle on the outside and the men formed a smaller circle on the inside. This was to create easy partnering, as the men would shift down the circle each time the instructors asked them to do so.

Learned the first move was basic since it was the most beginner step. However, for some people, it proved confusing once it started to be integrated into the rest of the dance. This was because the basic step needed to continuously be done even as dancers turned and moved along the floor.

PAIN POINT: remembering what foot to use next was difficult, and is a common problem in dance. A good solution would be a device that lightly zaps the leg that is meant to be used in the case of confusion.

As the class went on, we switched from partner to partner and continued learning new moves. These moves were ultimately grouped together into larger combinations in order to imitate the performance we had all seen at the beginning of the class.

Ultimately, we finished the class having learned many new combinations, and met lots of new interesting people. The members from the class could continue what was called “social dancing” in which they could dance freely with each other and practice the moves they had just learned. I decided to try and practice with an instructor to see what I had learned, and it turned out quite well!

Exploring Practitioners: Son Bath Orn – Allison Kapps

Learning how to cook from a professional chef was a wonderful experience, especially because I got to experience everything almost exactly the way he would have done it.

Worksite Documentation

I went to visit Son Bath Orn at one of the locations that he cooks at, he is not just a chef but also a cooking teacher.

Tools Used/Works

Specifically, I learned about Asian cuisine which uses tools that I had never tried before in Western cooking.

  • Apron
  • Chefs Hat
  • Knives
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Long Wooden Table
  • Circular wooden chopping block
  • Wok
  • Edible Ingredients
  • Spices
  • Chefs Garments
  • Stove
  • Plastic to cover food from bugs
  • Metal Bowl filled with water

Process Documentation

He explained each element of his cooking station and how to use everything to make sure that you are an efficient chef. BUT FIRST, he took us to a local food market where we looked around at fresh ingredients and how he sometimes picks out his food.

He moved from stand to stand and explained the difficulty of creating each type of food. He also showed us where each of the ingredients we would be cooking with came from, from rice paper to spices, to fish ingredients.

PAIN POINT: The entire environment was overwhelming, there was so much to choose from, so much movement going on around us, and it was difficult to tell which ingredients were good or bad.

Then we came back to his cooking station and began prepping all of the ingredients we wood need.

  • For the Spring Rolls
    • Peeled the ingredients
    • We chopped all the vegetables
    • Prepared the shrimp
    • Rolled all the ingredients inside of the rice paper

He also explained the correct way to soak and roll rice paper, which I had never done before. He showed us the technique of carefully dipping the rice paper in a bowl of water, before rotating it so that all sides were covered. Then, he told us to place the rice paper on a pre-moistened wooden chopping board. Then, we added the vegetables and noodles to our spring roll to roll them up one by one.

PAIN POINT: Once we finished the spring rolls, we needed to set them aside to continue cooking but the flies were attacking the food. We didn’t want the food to get dirty, so we had to wrap each individual plate with plastic wrap. This is a downside to cooking somewhat outside.

  • For the Fish Amok
    • Chopped the ingredients
    • Added oil and cooked the fish
    • Added the ingredients one by one
    • Added coconut milk
    • Stirred until everything reduced

Cooking this dish was somewhat challenging because the chef wanted everything done very quickly one after the other. Also, this was done using a Wok, which I had never used for cooking before. Cooking things quickly is hard to do when you are not an experienced cook or when you get tired easily, and the Wok is very large and gets very hot so maneuvering it is a lot of work. The most important part of this dish was to continue reducing the liquids in the Wok until it became a thickened curry of ingredients.

PAIN POINT: Wok is very large, and the fire is very hot. Cooking this dish takes a long time and you get very tired.

  • For the Banana Desert
    • Add butter to the Wok
    • Cook the Bananas
    • Add some coconut milk
    • Take the bananas out
    • Pour the remaining sauce into a sauce holder and enjoy!

Cooking this dish went by very quickly, and it was far easier than I assumed it would be. Picking the bananas out of the Wok was frightening because, again, the Wok was very hot. But once the bananas were out the dish was practically done, and then pouring the sauce was really easy.

Learning to cook from a real local chef was a really interesting experience. It taught me how easy cooking can be, and make me feel motivated to try new techniques that seemed intimidating before. Using a Wok, for instance, is interesting because while it serves the same purpose a pan in western cooking, it is essential to Asian cuisine and brings about a totally different cooking experience.

Practice Storyworld – Allison Kapps


  • Galileo (Leo)
  • Mom (Tilly)
  • Assigned Space Partner  (Jeremy)
  • Space Mate (Sasha)
  • Space Travel Trainer
  • Director of Space Program

Important Technology:

  • Living Pod
  • Anti Gravity Belts
  • Spacesuits
  • Communication devices
  • Food on mars (All food looks grey and boring, but you wear AR device to make it look yummy)


Sci-Fi, near future


  • Movie
  • Need certain actors to provide context
  • Space gear
  • Video editing to create the AR experience



We see Leo in his room sleeping next to Sasha. Through the window, the viewer can see light red dusty surfaces, but not much else. The scene is intercut with shots of the pod, empty and quiet. Suddenly a sharp alarm pieces through the silence.


“Attention all residence of quarter 52, this is your 6am wake up call for the day. Please get dressed and ready to begin your work day.”

Sasha groggily shifts, and nudges Leo behind her.


“Leo… its your turn…” She grumbles.

Leo shifts restlessly.


“Leo! Come on,” Sasha says more loudly, and shoves him more intensely.

Leo shoots up in bed, startled


“What!” He gasps, and then looks around him, perturbed. “Oh…” he says, when he notices the alarm blaring. He pulls the covers back, steps out of bed and moves over to the window near his bed.  He hits the “Acknowledge Dispatch” button, on his side of the room. “I hate that alarm,” he mumbles.


“Tell me about it…I’ll go set up the gear for breakfast. Can you bring up some more nutrient packs? We ran out yesterday night.” Sasha asks.


“Sure. Maybe I’ll bring up jam, we haven’t had any in ages,” Leo proposes.

Sasha stops at the door, considering.


“I’m not sure…I think we should save it for special occasions. We still have 6 months until the next ration.”


“This is a special occasion, new job!”


“Fine…” Sasha sighs, “I guess we can have a bit today.”


There are two headsets sitting on the kitchen table, alongside plates and spoons. Leo comes in the kitchen with plastic packets of a gooey grey substance.


“Still can’t get used to this stuff, can’t believe they couldn’t have at least made it a better color.” She grumbles


“Would you have prefered bright green?” Leo grins, “It is your favorite color!”


“Somehow that would be worse, I think,” Sasha grimaces

Leo opens the plastic packets and tips them over the two plates. The grey thick goo slowly oozes out of the packets. The two watch, slightly disturbed.


“Okay,” Leo sighs, “Let’s put on the gear and get this over with”

They two put on their VR kits and they immediately see something very un-grey. Leo sees that the gooey substance has transformed into delicious looking leek soup.


“I’ve got soup today! What have you got?” Leo asked excitedly.


“Leek soup? It’s breakfast. Your settings are so weird. I have porridge, like normal breakfast.” Sasha rolls her eyes.


“Who are you to judge, you like to simulate carrots for desert,” Leo cringes


“I like to see healthy foods, makes me feel better.”


“Please prepare for your first work set, it will begin in 10 minutes”


“Crap! Gotta run!” She runs up to leo and kisses him on the cheek. “Have a good day, see you soon!”


“Bye!” Leo exclaims, “Good luck with everything!”


“Thanks!” Sasha’s voice carries out the door, as she runs out.


Documentation for Prototypes vs Models – Allison Kapps

Creative Practice
Waltz dance class

Tools used
Body suit
Safety Pins
2 belts

The idea for this “solution” was to create a device that would restrict the movement of a dancer’s arms. I attended a Waltz class, and in this class we had to keep our arms up in a specific position for long periods of time. Dancers use elastic bands to stretch and train muscles, so I decided to create a prototype for a device that would serve to help dancers train their arm muscles by forcing them to have a harder time keeping their arms up. I mimicked the position of the elastic band that would go around the arms of a dancer using two belts attached to a body suit.