One small design decision I noticed in Click the movie was the use of a simple remote control. The basic utility of the remote with all its’ buttons is taken to another level where it becomes a time control gadget. It amplifies how a design does not necessarily always have to be something elaborate and it can be an adaptation from an everyday device.
Here are the 3 field trips I attended, 2 of which I organized!
- Red Dot Design Museum
- 1+1 DM Staff Show 2018
- In-Process A collection of the making-of.
Red Dot Design Museum
Steph organized this field trip to A Preview Of The Future at the Red Dot Design Museum. There were many different categories of designs and ideations that all won awards. These categories included lifestyle to healthcare to tech. It was great inspiration for our final designs and also gave us ideas on how to construct our prototypes. There were also really good examples of wearable studios.
1+1 DM Staff Show 2018
This exhibition showcased Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts’ (NAFA) Design and Media programme’s full-time lecturers and adjunct lecturers’ work. I organized this because I thought it was an interesting insight to some of the more unorthodox works that helped as design inspiration for all of us.
In-Process A collection of the making-of.
The second field trip I organized was also at NAFA. This exhibition was put together by 3D Design Programme at NAFA. It showcased the design process of their students. I felt that it was useful in looking at others’ sketches, models and presentation boards.
In the year 2500, global warming is now almost fully eradicated. In order to stop the accumulation of heat, governments worked together to eliminate not just carbon dioxide emissions, but all greenhouse gases. Deforestation and other harmful land uses have been successfully reversed. As a result, the Earth is experiencing drastic climate change and now has an average temperature of -18°C. The Earth’s daylight savings time is out of whack and sunlight is sporadic. In attempt to revamp a cleaner way to generate energy, other energy generating ways have failed and things now run on only music-powered energy. In this world, music has become a drug of choice and people are becoming more anti-social. They have high reliance on their earpieces and are not able to leave their house without them. Train stations provide free earpieces as all public transports announcements are made through them.
Ceramic art is now at risk of banality. The chemical reactions between the mineral contents in the clay bodies during the throwing process is not controllable by the human hand. As the climate on Earth started experiencing drastic changes, clay can no longer withstand the low temperatures and started to harden very quickly during the throwing process.
Our protagonist, Emma, is a passionate street ceramic artist whose biggest dream is to bring ceramic art back to life and she is unwilling to send it down the lane of banality. Emma carries a one-of-a-kind ceramic art music backpack around with her to conduct her ceramic art on the streets.
- Electric Pottery wheel
- Music sensors
The backpack contains a portable pottery wheel, a portable stool, a speaker and two slots to insert earpieces. There will be two layers in the backpack as follows:
For the first layer, the top compartment will hold the portable stool which she can unfold easily. Under the first layer lies a compartment that has optimal moisture and an atmosphere that keeps the clay at optimal room temperature to prevent it from drying up.
For the second layer, it will be a pottery wheel board that functions using music powered energy. There will be a sound sensor at the bottom of the board that detects music and the pottery wheel will turn based on the tempo of the music. In a scenario where there is no music playing in the background, it also allows Emma to insert her earpieces and play her choice of music through the speakers embedded at the bottom of the board. There will be lights that line the circumference of the pottery wheel to assist the user when there is no sunlight.
In the Year 3029, exploration science and environmental efforts have ventured one step too far that led to genetic engineering and technology to become out of control. In attempt to revamp a cleaner way to generate energy, things now run on music-powered energy.
Our protagonist, Emma is a passionate ceramic artist who finds that powering her pottery wheel with music playing out loud is alright when she is in her own space. However, when there are other people around powering their own devices with music playing, it becomes a distraction for her to work since it requires a high volume of concentration.
She also desires to work on the go because the earth’s daylight savings time is out of whack and sunlight is sporadic. Due to man’s failure of the environmental efforts to save the earth, doing work in the night/dark is close to impossible because everyone is listening to music to keep all their other electronic devices working and even light, would consume too much music to power anything else.
Therefore, there is a need to create specifically for this avid ceramist a device that employs:
- Mobility/Portable wheel
- Functions include:
- Throwing wheel
- Individual Music Headset
- For concentration
- To power devices
Ceramics and pottery have been around since the Neolithic period. Moving into the 21st century, it has definitely evolved into a much more refined form of art. The techniques, process and tools alike have also evolved to become more sophisticated. Additionally, the uses of ceramics/pottery pieces have also progressed from solely practical uses to artisan pieces.
The practitioner I followed was giving a lesson that involves making wheel thrown ceramics.
- Wheelthrowing – this first step is using clay to create the shape that is desired.
- Trimming is the second stage that Alvin (the practitioner) went in depth into explaining. This process is to transform the piece into different shapes and sizes and can also alter the texture.
- When the trimming is complete, the third step would be allowing the piece to dry before it goes forbisque firing. Letting it set would allow the moisture in the clay to evaporate. At this stage, it would be bone dry.
- The next step would be bisque firing. Here, the clay piece is put into the the film and the clay is dehydrated to prepare it for glazing.
- Glazing (to add colour/texture to the piece)
- Following this, it goes into the kiln again for a second fire before completion.
At Alvin’s workshop, he went into detail on step 2 which is trimming and here are the tools that are used at this step.
- Ribbon Trimming tools
- Hook Trimming tools
A ceramic artists’ workplace is definitely not portable. This is due to the high amount of heavy equipment that is used such as the pottery wheel and also the kiln. Additionally, to carry smaller yet bulky items like the glazes would be a hassle. The worksite also houses a large number of artwork both finished, in process and also the actual clay itself. The worksite also requires a water outlet and many power sockets to power the kiln and potter’s wheel.
At the worksite, there were other ceramic practitioners. They said that the difficulties of practicing ceramics in Singapore is that it is not a super affordable or accessible practice. Also, the transition from a newbie to a master takes many years and also a lot of patience.
In the technical aspect, creating “successful” clay works also involves plenty of trial and error – what you expect may not always be what you get. For example, in the process of throwing, you may end up with another shape that you have not anticipated. Or when you glaze, the colour and texture might be different after coming out from the kiln.
Also, precision and steady hands are needed while doing refinement works like trimming. This is difficult and only comes with hours of practice.
The practice of jewellery is one that involves an artisan that uses a variety of materials to create wearable pieces such as bracelets, earrings, rings, and necklace. However, they might also expand this practice to creating jewellery pieces for bag adornment (like key chains). Jewellers are also skilled craftsmen in repairing and appraising jewellery pieces.
For a jeweller, the process of creation starts from ideation. This means that the jeweller has a to brainstorm after drawing inspiration from his/her environment. The jeweller I observed mentions that she feels that in her day-to-day life, she is able to draw inspiration. Such as from the weather, like rain drops or the shapes of clouds. In the following stage, is idea finalisation and then the technical work comes in.
- Preparing the materials needed by gathering the related materials (the gem stones, wires etc.)
- Experimentation stage/Assembly: this is where the skeleton of the piece comes together
- Modification and refinement: this is where the piece of jewellery is almost in its final stage. The jeweller makes the choice of editing her initial design and testing it physically since it is now in full scale and completely tangible
- Final Touches and Polishing: as the jewellery piece is finished, the jeweller is now ready to end all wires and buff the piece with a polishing cloth to ensure that the piece is free from any unwanted working materials.
The main family of tools that a jeweller utilises are:
- Wires (of different thickness, materials and colours)
- An assortment of cutters (Pictured Below)
A jewellers worksite as I observed, is also portable. However, the main important thing that has to be available is.a sturdy, stable working surface. The jeweller usually keeps all her items in a large tool box that she individually packages her different stones/beads. She uses a premade and store-bought tool box to segregate her items such as wires from ring moulds to beads and also keeps the cutting tools together.
When asked, the jeweller mentioned that this is a craft that is honed over time. There are many minute details that someone first starting out would find tedious and difficult to pick up, let alone master. These are things like the technical skills to being an ideation to life. Wiring is something that is not easy to the beginner.
Also, the jeweller mentioned that with age, beading or jewellery work could becomes more difficult. She compared it to the practice of sewing, where having to thread the wire through a small opening in beads might become tough for older people who have shakier hands and declining eyesights.
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
- Shrink Machine Technology
- Advanced Ecological Technology
- Advanced Monitoring Devices
Visualised and narrated through a short film/video
DJ-ing is a practice that has grew in recent years alongside the advancement of technology. I love how music connects people through our auditory while the whole process of DJ-ing extends to our visual and even somatosensation (from the vibration of beats etc). Therefore, my first practitioner of choice is a DJ. I reached out to an acquaintance who is a self-taught DJ.
For a DJ, a majority of prep work is done before performing live. This involves creating a playlist that is carefully curated according to the upcoming event and also to showcase teh DJ’s personal style. To put simply, the DJ has to take into consideration the BPM (beats per minute) of every song. From there, they adjust and sequence songs accordingly. As the DJ suggested, transitioning from one song to another smoothly, is quintessential. This can only be done with a prior knowledge of the beats of the song and if they do not match, then it has to be adjusted with the many tools and functions of a DJ set.
- Preps through background work of set/playlist
- Uploads playlist into a third party application on their laptop – a Record Box software
- Set up the tracks and plug into an audio system
- Live manipulation (with different effects) begins!
The main tools that a DJ utilises are:
- CDJ with vinyls
- DJ Mixer
- Audio Cables and Speakers
- Microphone (optional)
- Table (to place entire turntable setup on)
A DJ’s worksite as I observed, is portable. However, the main important thing that has to be present are electric sockets/plugs. The DJ set (namely the CDJ and mixer) can be folded and portable as a luggage. This aids in the mobility of equipment and the protection of these highly expensive tools (one entire set could cost around $10,000!).
As explained by the DJ, the practice is one that has an extremely steep learning curve. The mastery of using the equipment and ease of it only comes with practice and experience. Also, we went through some of the rookie mistakes that are commonly made when one starts out:
- Not mixing properly (meaning that it is off beat or off BPM)
- Failure to sync BPMs during transition from one song to the next
- Can be rectified through use of the vinyl (if error is not drastic)
- Forgetting to shut audio going out to the house while prepping for the next song (meaning, the sound from the headphones intended only for the DJ is played to everyone else)
- Usage of wrong part of the song to transit
Prototype Creation Process Creative Practice
- Wooden Modelling Tool
- Trimming Tool
- Loop Tool
- Ribs and Scrapers
- Potter’s Needles
- Shape Tool
- Cut-Off Wires
- An organiser
Ideation for Prototype
The idea for this prototype derived from the potter’s difficulty in using an organiser to store their tools and also use during their practice. This is because the organiser would get dirtied easily with bits of clay. Additionally, there is also a hassle in pulling out the tools when all of them are jumbled up in a pile on the work table. Therefore, for this prototype, it aims to help ease these two difficulties.
Firstly, the arm band that I sewed together is using an elastic strap, this is to ensure that people of different arm sizes will be able to use it with less discomfort. The placement of having it on the upper arm instead of other places such as the lower arm, leg, or even waist is because the upper arm is the least obstructive area. The lower arm would get in the way of the potter’s work, the waist would also be an obstruction and safety hazard if the potter decides to sit or bend down. Lastly, the leg would be the furthest and most inconvenient for the potter to access.
Also, the prototype is also created with water resistant pockets that are not sewn shut at the end so the potter is able to easily wash the tools and let the water drain out. For this first prototype, there are only 3 tools available. In future iterations, I hope to redesign this to be able to fit more.
Model Creation Process
For the model, I challenged myself with another creative practice which was Yoga. This was a challenge because yoga is a practice that requires a lot less tools.
- Yoga Mat
- Yoga Blocks
These are the two basic tools used during a yoga practice.
Ideation for Model
My inspiration, and uses of the model grew throughout the creative process. The starting point was to be able to make the yoga mat and yoga blocks into a miniature size so I did not have to carry them around. It then evolved into creating a Handy Imagine box which would be your one stop box that you could carry around with you that provided you with everything you need.
The strap of the box would be slinked on your shoulder and this contact with the users’ body would send signals of what the body desires (e.g. food) or what the user needs at the point in time. The box would then create a miniature version of what it predicts the user wants and alerts him/her. The user would see the item in the box, and if it is what he/she wants, then they would press one of the coloured buttons on the cover (each representing a different item category). Upon pressing, the user would then open the box, where the item would become full size and fully usable.
Practice it Works In
Catch is designed by a British product designer Hans Ramzan. It is a pocket-sized device that allows for people to test for HIV from home. Therefore, it is branched out from the practice of medicine and healthcare.
Its Specific Use
This mechanism was invented because people sometimes do not notice the signs of HIV and hence transition into AIDS, which is the final stage. This is designed for people from developing countries, to solve the problem of people there also not being able to afford and access healthcare aid. This device is specifically designed to extract blood and check if HIV is present. It is done in a few simple steps:
- User inserts finger into sleeve
- Pipette on the top (which is linked to the needle) is pushed down
- Needle enters the finger, and when pipette is released, blood is extracted and sucked into the device
- Press the latch button at the side of device and needle is removed and blood flows onto absorbent strip
- The indicator shows results – one line means test works, two lines means HIV antibodies are present
This device is extremely lightweight and portable, being slightly smaller than the length of an index finger. This is also attributed to the material it is made of. Catch is made from a composite of recycled polythylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles and regular PET.
Utility VS Fashionability
Ramzan has kept the design of Catch extremely simplistic. Instead of undergoing a more rigorous procedure of doing a blood test and waiting hours or even days to obtain result, Catch produces results almost immediately. This is also useful because it saves on manpower for this healthcare service. It is also profitable since it is made from recycled material (with an estimated production cost of ~SGD7). The visual design in also appealing because of the sleekness and minimalistic details.
Practice It Works In
The fishing vest is made for those who participate in the sport – both recreational and competitive. It is to keep all the tools organised and close to the users’ reach.
Its Specific Use
The vest is designed with multiple compartments in order for the user to store different items separately. The compartments are also made of different sizes and also with different closures (either zip, button, or zippers). It is meant to keep the fisherman’s tools neat and dry, especially since there are various small items that could be easily misplaced. The vest is also double-sided meaning that storage compartments are not only on the outside but also on the inside, maximising the amount of space.
The fishing vest does not restrict the movement of the fisherman since it sits only on the body’s torso, allowing for a free range of movement of the arms and legs.
Utility VS Fashionability
Overall, the fishing vest is very practical and acting as a mobile storage space. It is also useful because it acts as an indirect fishing tool checklist for the user when one of the compartments are empty. As for fashionability, it is definitely not suited for everyday wear since it may not be that lightweight and also the conglomerate of items in a single vest may look bulky and unflattering.