ARC Headgear by Alex Teo




ARC Promo Film

Another stand-out project we spotted at the NUS DID Grad Show earlier this month is the ARC headgear, featuring  a responsive mechanical metamaterial that absorbs and redirects impact forces. “This headgear offers up to 2.77 times better protection against linear impacts and 2.52 times better protection against rotational impacts than conventional headgear designs,” Alex Teo goes on to say. “This design rides on the developmental trend of Additive manufacturing towards mass production, as observed from big players of lifestyle brands like Adidas. Adidas had announced their plan to release up to 5000 pairs of Futurecraft 4D shoes with Carbon 3D, an American based 3D printing company.

ARC headgear also wishes to break the paradigm that additive manufacturing is meant for personalization and customisation of one-off products. In fact, the manpower and expertise required for personalizing a digitally designed product is the reason behind the much higher cost incurred by the end user. Hence, ARC is designed to have an adaptable fit that comfortably conforms to various head shapes and profile, a move to ensure additively manufactured products can be made for the masses and cost lowered by achieing economies of scale.

The invention of a new lattice structure design in this product is key to its success, which replaces the usage of conventional foam as protective padding materials. Conventional padding materials (like polyurethane foam) when designed to be highly protective (denser or thicker) inevitably comes with usability tradeoffs (ventilation, an undesirably thick profile etc).

The invented lattice structure was digitally conformed over a head form to create the bespoke ARC Headgear. Such a design can only be achieved by highly technical and iterative digital processes in 3D CAD, which is then eventually tangiblized via additive manufacturing.”


Bead by Bit by Audrey Chua






For Industrial Designer Audrey Chua, Peranakan beadwork has inspired her final year project, Bead by Bit.

“I came up with a canvas for Peranakan beadwork, enabling beading on 3D forms. Leveraging 3D printing technology and algorithmic design software, the grid on the canvas can be customised to suit different bead sizes yet retain the densely beaded Peranakan aesthetic on a wide variety of forms. The Bead by Bit canvas is sturdy enough to withstand the pressure of glass beads as compared to a traditional canvas.

Jewellery, heels and a vase were chosen as they embody the ornamental nature of the beadwork craft. By re-adapting the beading process to a contemporary context, it evolves the craft to increase its relevance and sustainability in today’s digital world.”


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.”



Folks by Chiam Yong Sheng Kevin

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Folks-Stove ring

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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.


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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