Squeezy Peasy by Edmund Zhang

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Just in case you’re kicking yourself for missing the NUS DID Graduation show,  we’ve prepared a roundup of some fine thesis projects we came across in the last couple of days.

Today’s pick is Squeezy Peasy by Edmund Zhang, featuring a table lamp and a portable speaker operated through the gesture of squeezing.

“Much of the tactile interactions in our daily lives center around tapping and sliding. It led me to wonder if I could propose an alternative and ’softer’ way of interacting with everyday objects through squeezing, which though familiar and instinctive seemed to be relatively undertapped as a product interaction.

Drawing metaphorical relationships between interaction and function, the objects conjure satisfying and engaging user experiences. The series of two objects features a table lamp that increases in brightness the more it is squeezed, and dims when a plug at the rear is pulled out. It also includes a portable speaker that increases its volume the more it is squeezed, and gradually quietens when it is set upright.

The body of the products are of resin plastic, while the squeezable parts comprise of a flexible silicone outer skin with a soft foam core within. This combination of materials was chosen after numerous explorations with various materials as being the most optimal for its “squishy” properties while being comfortable to the touch.

All in all, I was ultimately trying to see how I could encapsulate an emotive experience (in this case, the sense of innate joy which is inextricably linked to squeezing) into a physical product.”

 

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Folks by Chiam Yong Sheng Kevin

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On display at the NUS DID Grad Show 2017, Folks presents Kevin’s year end project, a set of 5 kitchen tools for the visually impaired.

“Cooking is a challenging ritual for the visually impaired due to the lack of sensory references. To overcome the steep learning curve, “folks”, a series of familiar kitchen tools, leverages on natural, sensory feedback and tactile cues such that they can prepare food safely with convenience, confidence and dignity. At the moment, the system consists of 5 products: The knife spots a retractable (and detachable) guard that safeguards the user’s hands during cutting transitions. The chopping board affords modular arrangement of trays that facilitate with ingredient transfer. The stove ring allows the user to effectively recognise the burner’s boundaries. It also centralises and secures cookware in place during the cooking process. The pot lid provides a convenient nesting spot for kitchen tools and helps the user to identify the steam outlet with ease. It also prevents hot content from over spilling. The teaspoon’s integrated float informs the user of rising liquid levels while eliminating the contact between the liquid and the user’s fingers/thumb.”

The NUS Grad show 2017 runs until 8 June at the National Design Centre.

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KUURO by Adonis Toh

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Designed by graduating Product Design student Adonis Toh, KUURO is an attempt at an alternative system to provide sound input to the hearing impaired by means of vibrations.

Fashioned like a stylish neckband, KUURO possesses the capability to “detect the location of a sound, and determine if the situation is regular or dangerous by means of built-in electret microphones.”

“They then relay the information to the wearer, through specially positioned vibration motors and convert auditory signals into tactile sensations,” Adonis continues.”The core neckband is sleek, and elegantly designed to give the hearing impaired a “sense of security”, also allowing them to “feel” sound. KUURO‘s design to translate sound into coloured lights relies on the wearer’s situation and surroundings.”

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Project Hex by Gerald Chin

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Government plans to expand Singapore’s network of park connectors to 360 km by 2020 and a call for stricter laws on reckless driving. That is exactly what inspired Industrial Design student Gerald Chin. The result, Project Hex, Gerald’s futuristic take on the plans.

Gerald: “Project Hex is the gamification of the mobility device with a touch of futuristic elements in the design and engineering concepts. The project has three components; The Arena, The Board and The Game. The Arena is a dynamic platform that is able to generate various obstacles such as ramps, walls and slopes on the fly. This ever-evolving arena pushes the player’s extremes and creates an unpredictable and refreshing game play every time. The Arena provides a safe and conducive environment for users to push the limits of the sport and themselves. A virtual reality simulation of The Board and The Arena was created to bring the experience to life. The Board is an omni-directional hoverboard that has a spherical drive system allowing it to achieve maximum maneuverability, providing it with the ability to transverse the obstacles in The Arena. With it’s unique hollowed-out design, The Board retains its strength but it is light at the same time. The Game is the strategy game play the arena is built around. Two teams of three will compete against each other in a game of Capture the Flag in The Arena. The teams consists of the Overwatch, the Blocker and the Rider. The Overwatch will lead and direct the team strategy, while the blocker executes on the strategy by creating the obstacles and the rider focuses on capturing the flag.”

“The VR simulation of the project was done in collaboration with Asia Fusion Technology (AFT) to come out with the Game Design Architecture and the entire VR simulation system. My project is also funded by Autodesk with all the 3D assets was designed on Autodesk Fusion 360.

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Mapping the Invisible by Goh Shuhui

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Mapping the Invisible: Transforming Singapore urban data into art through effective colour palettes by Goh Shuhui, focuses on the role of new urban media as a tool to unveil invisible information on the diverse aspects of urban life.

“Think air quality, the intensity of sunlight and transportation patterns,” she explains. “Given the various technologies in current context, new media art has the ability to provide a collective sense of the environment. Thus, this project exposes and raises awareness on the invisible harmful presence of ultraviolet radiation and air pollutants in public urban settings through a prototype that uses effective colour palettes to introduce new experience of reading data.”

Shuhui’s project is displayed on Media Art Nexus (MAN), a fifteen meters by two meters large media LED wall at the North Spine Plaza at NTU. MAN is a part of the Art on Campus initiative by the NTU Art & Heritage Museum and a permanent public art installation. “For this occasion, it is transformed into a mapping platform of Singapore to enable Ultraviolet (UV) Index and Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) data to be visualised across the different island locations and time of the day.”

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