Final Project Post – The Developers – Joey Ng & Wendy Neo

Here is the folder to our documentation for our portable darkroom prototype! (Our print document is only in hardcopy because it is done in a scrapbook style)

Some extra notes about our prototype:

Ver 1:
Materials used: Foldable umbrella, tray and thin black cloth
Presented during class in Week 5
The cloth was attached to the umbrella with tape and the tray did not have any straps. The cloth was also very thin and translucent!

Ver 2:
Materials used: Hand-held umbrella, tray, twine, reflective material
At this stage, we had multiple factors to consider. We originally thought of using an umbrella hat so that it would be wearable and more portable. However, it was difficult to modify the umbrella to make it an umbrella hat because the mechanism to open the umbrella is completely different. We were also not able to find an umbrella hat online with a diameter large enough for the project. Thus we decided on using a tripod.

We sawed off the handle of the hand-held umbrella so that we could attempt to attached it to the tripod

We used reflective material bought from Daiso for the “walls” of the portable darkroom, by taping and sewing it onto the umbrella. There were two problems: First, the reflective material was not lightproof enough, and second, the umbrella got very bulky when it was closed because we had to fold in the reflective material that was sewn on to it

We duct-taped twine to the tray to create two very thin straps

Ver 3:
Materials used: Foldable umbrella, thick heavy cloth, tray with straps, tripod
For the tray, we drilled 2 holes and sawed in between them to create a slit for the strap to pass through. This process was repeated three times to get 4 slits for each corner of the tray. One of the straps was reused from an old duffle bag and the other was made from the vinyl banner material (from the makerspace).

We decided to scrap the hand-held umbrella prototype altogether and use the foldable umbrella (from ver 1) so that it would be more portable. We also bought thick cloth from Mustafa so that it would be more lightproof. Velcro was attached to the inside of the umbrella and sewn onto the cloth to make the prototype more portable.

One problem we had at this stage was attaching the umbrella to the tripod. We drilled a hole in the umbrella so that it could attach onto the screw on the tripod, but the screw wasn’t long enough and the umbrella was unstable especially when the heavy cloth was attached onto it. Next we tried to glue to screw to the umbrella, then screw it on the tripod but it still was not strong enough. The last thing we tried was to attach a wooden rod to the umbrella, which fit into the hole of the tripod securely. Yay!

The other elements of the prototype were quite straightforward to make, as seen from our public documentation video. Overall, this was a fulfilling experience because we finally got it our prototype to work after failing a few times! Thank you Andy for your guidance this semester and all the best in Panama 🙂 

Small Design Decision – Wendy Neo

I’m currently watching Maniac on Netflix, it is a really interesting show about psychology and pharmaceutical drugs, starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. It seems like it is set around 1980-1990s, from observation of the surroundings and technology. One cool thing about the show is that the technology is “old” but the ideas and concepts behind it is very modern. For example, the characters played by Emma Stone and Jonah Hill are in a pharmaceutical trial that aims to cure the brain of all suffering 

One small design decision is that a lot of things in the show are neon and brightly coloured. 

Oral-B Blue Neon Sign in Maniac: The Chosen One! (2018) TV Show Product Placement
Image result for neberdine building

There is also a lot of advertising, as seen from the huge neon oral-B sign from the first photo. Kinda weird that you would need a neon sign for a brand that sells oral hygiene products. 

Share Your World – Joey Ng & Wendy Neo

Wendy & I are in the group called: Developers.
We have changed and improved our Storyworld from Week 8 when we received feedback and suggestions from the class and Prof Andy.
We now present to you our new Storyworld!

(New) Storyworld:
In the distant future 2984, cameras are banned for everyone except the government and the elites. The government has super high security surveillance everywhere, on everything, on everyone.

Art, creativity and freedom of expression is banned and deemed illegal. The government and the elites determine what is art and what can be learnt. They force what they think is art down on the public and persecute all artists. Fine arts are now fined arts.

A black market exists for works of art such as photographs. They are rare illegal goods that can fetch a high price.

Jody secretly loves photography and she makes her own camera and darkroom to take and develop photos. Her camera is made from a beer can and a pencil. Her darkroom is portable. She sells these photos in the black market to earn money for her family. Because photographs are illegal, she tries not to have too many on her in case she gets caught, that’s why she needs to develop them right before she sells them with the portable darkroom. After she has the prints, she would rush to meet her dealer to get the prints off her, exchanging them for money she needs for her family.

Jody’s family
Came from a family of artists, painters, photographers, directors. They were all persecuted in the Art Cultural Revolution of 2108. They now work in the art factories of the government, doing menial labour, producing art materials for the elites and their possé.
Mom: Was a post-impressionist painter, now working in a factory producing paintbrushes
Dad: Was a renaissance painter & photographer, now a runner in the admin of art office
Brother: Wanted to be a cinematographer until the Art Revolution of ’64 happened, now working in a factory producing photo paper

Tools & Technology:
Portable Darkroom – disguisable
Developing Kit disguised as a backpack
Photo paper
Film Camera disguised as a beer can


  1. Backstory on art cultural revolution & government: The StART
  2. Almost caught at deal: Found Art
  3. Background on her family: A family that art together stays together
  4. Special client/project: Developing Feelings
  5. Difficult project – brother can’t smuggle photo paper out: Out of Print
  6. Meets fellow developer: Developing Feelings Too

The Story

Jody looks up at the wall along the staircase, staring at empty frames that used to hold photographs of happy memories. A picture of mom and dad at the beach on a sunny day when they were younger, Grandma on her favourite chair in the living room, and Jody grinning with a chocolate layer cake on her 4th birthday. Jody knew which specific frames housed these photographs, but as the years went by, these images were slowly fading from her memory. It had been 15 years ago after all, since the The People banned photography for the masses.

Banning photography was just one part of the Arts Cultural Revolution in 2108. Drawing, painting, sculpting too, to name some from the list. Jody didn’t even know who The People were. She only knew that The People regulated the art all around the city, stamping a black shimmering emblem in the corner of every art piece to show that it was approved to be put up.

Jody’s mom and dad used to be printmakers. But 15 years ago The People in white suits barged into their home, taking away all their craft equipment and prints. The People then fined Jody’s mom and dad for making art. The only way they could pay off the fine was to work in a factory that manufactured photography equipment, something that wasn’t in their field of expertise so that they could not practice their art anymore.

When Jody’s older brother Jared turned 21, he too was sent of to the factory to work. Jody was about to turn 21 in a year, and she wasn’t letting her precious freedom go to waste. She was going to take photographs. A lot of them. And sell them on the black market for extra income for her family. It didn’t help that her mother was getting sick from breathing in toxic fumes at the factory everyday

Earning money wasn’t the only reason why Jody gravitated towards photography. She loved how she could capture beauty in a frame, how a moment in time could be immortalised forever in a photograph. As photography was illegal, there was no way Jody could purchase a proper camera, so she made one by herself. It was fashioned out of a aluminium can covered with black duct tape all over the exterior. A pencil was taped along the length of the can so that it wouldn’t roll about if placed sideways on a flat surface. There was a small hole in the middle, a few centimeters above the pencil which acted as the “lens”, and a slit where photo paper could be inserted into the can. Jared was able to help her smuggle photo paper out of the factory so she could carry on with this project.

Practice Storyworld – Wendy Neo

This story is set in the future in 2099. Humans have managed to create the highest level of AI, Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI). ASI outperforms the human mind by way of superior speed of thought, enhanced memory, untiring performance, and instant upgradability. Somehow, humans have found out a way to programme ASI such that it is extremely intelligent yet does not want to overpower humans and instead wants to help humans.
Thus humans live in a utopia where robots and machines do all the work and humans no longer have to go out and earn money and fuel the economy because all the robots are doing it.

However, it is not really a utopia, not every thing is perfect. This is because since humans don’t actually have to do much work, the obesity rate is increasing in the city. There are still people that are fit because they take care of their health, but the proportion of obese people to healthy people is growing alarmingly. 

The main character is a 27 year old man called Bill who lives by himself in a small apartment. ASI was just implemented in the workforce 5 years before, thus he never really had to enter the workforce and earn money to support himself. Bill was never into sports, moreover he had a bad back, as a result he grows very obese.

Even though there are devices that help transport obese people, Bill does not want to draw that kind of attention to himself and feels insecure when travelling out in the city because of his weight. He is also tired of being alone, he wants to lose weight and turn his life around. No machine or robot can loose the weight for him, so he is determined to exercise and get fit.


LG's exoskeleton suit could help to take the strain off factory workers (Photo: LG)
Back and leg support=

1. Back and leg support to help ease the load when he is exercising
2. Fitness trainer ASI (like a J.A.R.V.I.S that helps you improve your fitness) 
3. Exercise clothes — has a special thread that helps monitor heart beat and important information (i.e. like a fit bit but you just wear it as clothes)
– The sports gear works with the ASI to help create the best workout plan for the person wearing it
– The thread also send electric signals to heart and muscles to make it work harder (to loose weight faster) (non-invasive unlike pills, no side effects)

Comedy and coming of age story

How the story will be told:
Through prose with illustrations

Antecedent technology:
Machines, robots and AI

Explore Practitioners 1: Wendy Neo

I went for a field trip organised by one of our classmates Rachel. The  workshop was called A Craftsman Journey: From Dream to Reality and was held at the Singapore Visitor Centre. We learnt how to customise our own moisturisers and insect repellent with the help of Theodore from Theo10, a local company that makes skincare products from all natural ingredients. 

Process (Moisturiser):

First, we started on customising our own moisturiser with different essential oils. Everyone was given a small metal container and we had to put no more than 10 drops of any essential oil that we liked (we could also mix different essential oils). The wide variety of essential oils were displayed on a rack. Each bottle came with a laminated card attached with a string, which showed the properties and benefits of each essential oil. 

Small worksite at Singapore Visitor Centre

After that, Theo would scoop a ladle of moisturiser into our metal container. The moisturiser was already pre-made, and was a mixture of jojoba, extra virgin coconut oil, aloe vera and glycerin. The aloe vera was extracted from the plant using a spray freeze dry method using liquid nitrogen. This mixture was kept warm in a glass container which was placed in a hot water bath in a big metal pot.

We then had to mix the essential oils into the moisturiser using a glass rod. This process took a while because there was only one glass rod to be shared among the whole class. But once it was mixed thoroughly, we were done creating our own customised moisturiser!

Tools (Moisturiser): 

  1. Small metal container 
  2. Essential oils 
  3. Metal pot 
  4. Glass container 
  5. Ladle 
  6. Glass rod 

Process (Insect Repellent):

Theo also guided us in making our own insect repellent. The task was to come up with a mixture of essential oils that would mask the extremely strong scent of the secret Theo10 insect repellent formula. I think there was neem oil inside the secret formula but Theo didn’t elaborate much other than that. The formula smelt a bit like fish oil or something that would go into a Vietnamese dish (I love vietnamese food btw, just don’t want to be smelling like it). 

First, everyone was given a small glass spray bottle. We then had to measure 10ml of water (contained in a styrofoam cup) with a measuring cylinder, and 2ml of the secret insect repellent formula (contained in the glass jar) using a pipette. This mixture then went into our spray bottle, making it the base of the insect repellent.

The next step was to add essential oils to the base to mask the original smell. We could add up to a 100 drops of essential oils. It was really amusing as everyone fumbled through the essential oils, trying to add the right amount and mixture of oils to create the perfect smell for our insect repellent through trial and error. There was a lot of spraying and sniffing and adding of oils in the process. 

Tools (insect repellent):

  1. Essential oils 
  2. Glass jar 
  3. Measuring cylinder
  4. Pipette
  5. Styrofoam cup 
  6. Small spray bottle 


As this was a workshop held in Singapore Visitor Centre, I wasn’t able to explore the proper worksite Theo10 has in their factory in Mandai. However, almost 20 of us were able to make the moisturiser and insect repellent in the small space during the workshop (as seen from picture above). This was because the base product (i.e. the moisturiser and insect repellent) was already made, all we had to do was to add in some essential oils and mix it together. 

Overall, I had a great time making the moisturisers and insect repellent. Theodore was also very knowledgable and had a lot of facts to share with us. 

Wearable Research – Wendy Neo

Usherette Tray 

Practice it works in:

The usherette tray is used in several professions, to carry and sell a variety of items. It is more commonly used and seen in the past, at the cinema or theatre, where the vendor will carry snacks, drinks and cigarettes in the tray for sale to customers during the interval. They are also seen in the stadium grandstands or in the streets. 

It’s specific use:

The vendor can place items he wishes to sell in the tray, then wear the straps on each shoulder with the tray in front of his body. The tray can be customizable by putting in dividers or cup/drink holders to make it more organized.


The tray is carried in front of the body, thus it is important for the vendor to keep his back straight or else the items might fall out from the tray. Additionally, if the items in the tray are heavy, it might cause some strain on the back and shoulders.

Utility vs fashionability:

The usherette tray is probably more useful than it is fashionable. Due to its basic design it can be used to hold and sell a variety of items. It is also possible to decorate the usherette tray depending on the vendor and the items sold in the tray, for example in the photo below. However, the tray would not be used as a fashion statement because of how bulky it is. 

how cute are those candy necklace favors...and the tray embellished with sweet.



Image result for fit bit

Practice it works in:

Can be used by people in the health and fitness industry, or anyone who wants to keep and active lifestyle and take note of their health 

It’s specific use:

A Fitbit is a health and fitness watch that tracks daily activities, exercise, sleep and weight. It is able to track your steps, distance walked, calories burned, sleep cycle etc. 


The Fitbit is worn easily on the wrist. It is around the same size as a regular watch, thus is quite unobstructive. 

Utility vs fashionability:

As seen from the picture above, the Fitbit has quite a sleek and aesthetically pleasing design, which complements how useful it is to track personal health information.