Income inequality manifests itself in vastly different life experiences and opportunities. It results in educational inequality, where the amount of extra enrichment opportunities one has access to is dependent on the financial capability of one’s family.
Wonder Deck is a community and volunteer-based alternative to expensive school holiday programmes for children from lower-income families. For the past year, a group of primary school–going children have been exercising their creative muscles at weekly “Make n Play” sessions organised by Beyond Social Services. Gathering at the void deck, they draw, paint, cut, tape and create anything and everything from cardboard, duct tape, paper, string, and other recyclable materials.
Wonder Deck aims to expand the potential of their organic creativity with a framework for problem solving: the design thinking process. The empathy stage teaches them to design with understanding; and the prototyping and testing stages encourage them to think critically through the making process. For this introductory workshop, the children get a taste of the whole design thinking process through designing a gift for their friend. The prompts and games in the activity book were designed concurrently with the workshop to suit the children’s aptitude and interests. This introductory workshop is the first part in a series of workshops that will hopefully empower the children with the skills to share their ideas with people.
In modern society, brands and companies leverage on impulsive behaviours of consumers to sell their products. Luxury brands in particular, produce ordinary items disguised as “premium” products, then marking them up to exuberant prices. The ever obedient consumer can only wait by his wallet, ready to purchase the next big thing, whatever it may be. This breeds the social psychological problem of Affluenza, also known as “extreme materialism”.
A commentary on the absurdity of consumerism today, this project aims to help the viewer view spending from an objective, third person’s point of view. Infused with a sense of irony, it hopes to inspire more reflection on one’s “ridiculous” purchases, and perhaps a tighter grip on their wallet in the future.
The project will feature advertising styles of the 1800s, mainly encapsulating their nature of irony and deceit. This old school way of advertising ceases to exist in society today (or at least in ways which are far less succinct), as advertisers are more subtle with words they use due to increasing regulations tackling misrepresentation.
‘Kembali Ke Pangkal Jalan’ (Going Back to the Right Path; working title) is a mixed media installation that highlights the trauma queer Malays face when negotiating their identity pertaining to culture and Islam, both major facets in forging the Malay identity.
The title is an oft-used phrase by non-queer Malays attempting to bring queer Malays back to the “right path” but this path is usually a one-way road where queer voices are subverted. This installation gives agency to queer voices through visuals and sound, and for non-queer Malays to understand and empathise the trauma their queer peers are facing, in order to create a pathway towards healing and understanding.
Singaporeans often live stressful lifestyles. Through research, play has been found to both mitigate the effects of stress and build resilience to stressors. This project has been designed to help young Singaporean adults in identifying opportunities to play in their everyday lives. It takes into account the barriers to play that the average young Singaporean might face. The project uses a mobile application and interactive spaces that have been designed to reframe the minds of the users and encourage them to play. The goal of this project is that to help Singaporeans achieve a higher standard of living through having less stressful everyday lives.
Taking a break is an essential part of our life. It helps us get through the day. We may plan the steps to accomplish our goals but to reach them, we need to stop, evaluate and reflect. This is when taking a break helps to clear our minds becomes essential. It also helps us avoid burnouts. In this competitive society, millennials are facing pressure from societal expectations, keeping up with rapid technological change and maintaining a perfect image. This results in prolonged stress. The project aims to bring a new perspective as to how taking a break does not require a large chunk of your time.
A break is as simple as doing something we enjoy, being away from our schedule and spending quality time with our close ones. However, Millennials, in particular, can’t seem to get a break in this competitive society. They are forced to be perfectionists because they are continually being evaluated. They are very aware of their performance, status and image because they want to outperform their peers. That point or goal where they’re supposed to hit at a certain age keeps moving. To reach this goal, they think that they have to work all the time. They find it difficult to take time away from their busy schedules to enjoy the free time, sometimes even feeling guilty for doing so.
Thus, this project serves to educate and remind millennials to relax and unwind to slow down life. The research paper first focuses on how life changes as we grow up, the importance of a break in life and why millennials should have a break. Subsequently, the conceptualization of “Let’s take a break” interactive exhibition and lastly, the design process and deliverables.