The cultural probes I came up with were for my friend who makes earrings out of clay.
The cultural probes were made with the intention of getting to know the creative practitioner a little bit better, and also to better understand the creative process that the practitioner goes through as she creates her earrings, with a slight focus on how/where she gets her inspiration for the different patterns and designs that she comes up with.
Questions from the question booklet.
Activities from the activity booklet.
She mentions that her workspace is “always a mess”. Her love for nature is also emphasised through her choice of pattern, but definitely doing her craft in nature may not be the most feasible at the moment.
Gave us the idea for our story world, where people are crafting on the train. Also noted is the need for a flat surface.
There is extreme economic inequality in the nation, small industries are dying out at an extremely fast pace due to the nation’s push for the technology, machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc. Art is increasingly being overlooked and shunned, and practitioners such as clay jewellers are doing their best to survive such that they have to work 24/7, even when they are on-the-go.
Chilli has also become a staple in modern day Singapore and is found in every food item in Singapore. Being fully aware of this fact and the potential that it can bring, clay jewellers has decided harness the power of chilli even after its consumption – to use it as an indirect heat source.
What they did was to create a workstation that they could carry on their backs, deployable when they carry it on their front, allowing them to work on-the-go and even baking their clay jewellery through harnessing the heat source coming from their tummies – a result of their chilli-centric diet.
Microfiction #1 – Yukie Miyazaki
Staring intently at the piece of clay in my hands, I feel contentment rise up within me.
The coloured specks sit on the clay perfectly and look amazing.
I blink a few times, trying to ease my eyes from the strain of being too focused. I look up and the bright lights hit me a bit too suddenly. My eyes begin to water as they tried to adjust, and slowly, I’m aware of the chatter and the life of the environment around me.
Ah, life. Something I haven’t had the chance to enjoy in such a long time.
Opposite me stands an older lady, busy knitting away. The yarn is dangling off her arm and almost touches the floor. She sighs, her eyes fixated still.
*Ding dong* “Next stop, One North.”
One more stop to go. My tummy begins to grumble. It took me awhile to get used to all that spicy food, but it’s worth it. I’m finally adjusting, and I quite enjoy it actually. The tummy aches occur less frequently now. I may even be able to try outdoing myself this time.
I start packing up to get ready to alight. I look around once more and catch a glimpse of the lucky few, those that can afford to simply do nothing. They don’t realise how good they have it. But who do I have to blame? No one but myself. I should count my blessings while I still can.
Microfiction #2 – Johan Ng
“Hey mom, can we please have something else for dinner?”
“Honey, you know that this is all we have, now be a good boy and eat your dinner.”
“But it is too spicy and my stomach hurts….”
“That’s the point, you will have to get used to it eventually. Now, come over here, ill get that fixed up for you.”
Mom places a thin patch onto Thomas’s stomach. The colour of the patch turns rapidly from brown to bright red. Thomas heave a sigh of relief and mom gave a huge smile.
“Seems like today the output is good as usual.” Mom removes the patch and attaches it to the worn-out television.
Bzzt* Bzzt* ….. Bzzt* Bzzt* …. Static noises comes out from the television and colour slowly returns to the screen. The broadcast seems to be the ever so famous cooking show called C Padi’s kitchen, featuring all sorts of cuisine that could be made with the wonder spice of chili.
Microfiction #3 – Muhammad Hazzry
Life is good. Business is booming, money is flowing, food is always on the table, family is healthy and living without any stress. In fact, life is grea- *BAM*, someone walks into me at full speed. DARN IT, just when I was about to feel good about life in general, something had to dampen my spirits.
“Oh? Jewellery made of clay? Wow I can’t remember the last time I saw these, or any form of art, for that matter”, I thought to myself as I observed the lady hastily picking up her work; some of which did not survive the fall. I decided to set my anger aside and help her instead.
“Thank you, you’re very kind.”
“Hey don’t mention it, just watch where you’re going next time yeah? It’s a good thing neither of us got hurt.”.
“O-oh… okay, sorry. I should go. Thanks again.”, as she rushes off, continuing on her craft, or at least what’s left of it. After what just happened, you would think she would just focus on the commute no? No, she STILL decides to work on-the-go, as she fades into the distant crowd. Unbelievable.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, life. Life is great. I continue to stroll towards my workplace, just a two minutes’ walk away from the MRT station. Thank god for the fully air-conditioned pathway as well; I don’t know how I could survive in the modern heat, especially after that hotter-than-usual pancakes this morning. But it’s fine, that is how life is now, and it’s great.