Red-nosed Rudolph’s Christmas Gift Guide

Welcome to the Culturepush Christmas Gift Guide week. To skip the festive hassle, we have compiled four gift guides for you arranged by colour. So whether you’re buying for a special snowflake, yo cuddle nuzzle mama or a Camo Chameleon, we got you covered (sort of).

1. Mama Tabi Sock Tasty Snack by Supermama. 2. Good Citizens Of Singapore embroidery designed by Sokkuan Tye. 3. Watermelon Necklace by thepigbakesclay. 4. Laksa Cushion Cover by WHENIWASFOUR. 5. Super Chiobu T by Singapore Wet Tee Shirt. 6. Ang Ku Kueh Girl and Png Kush Girl Clutch bag. 7. The Adventures of Fatman & Superchub by Stephanie Raphaela Ho.

Six hankies for Good Sweat 2015

There’s a certain reverence reserved for a man who can take out a handsome hankie with a hit of visual interest in lieu of a paper tissue. Neighbourhoods‘ 2015 Good Sweat hankies, will help you make a fine first impression.  Made from 100% pure linen, each design incorporates a phrase favoured by six of Singapore’s top creatives.

沒有你 哪有我 by Kenny Leck, BooksActually
‘This is inspired by my mother and father. Like a typical family, we have our fair share of ups & downs, but I know that without them, there will be no “me”. Their teaching, scolding, tears, laughter, and especially their work ethic are my guiding beacon. Pa was a taxi driver and ma was a stay-home seamstress. Pa would drive his taxi 364 days a year, resting only on Christmas day, and Ma sewed everyday. She was paid per completed piece, and the more she completed the more she earned. I know they did this not because they wanted to be rich, but for their children to have a better standard of living. So yes, my hardworking parents in their humble jobs gave me a “road” & “foundation” upon which I have built my dreams. And I know my dreams can only be achieved through hard work such as theirs.沒有你 哪有我 (trans: “Without you I am nothing”) is also from both my ma and my favourite song “酒干倘卖无” by Su Rui, the most poignant part is “没有天哪有地, 没有地哪有家, 没有家哪有你, 没有你哪有我” (literally: “Without heaven there is no earth, without earth there is no home, without home there is no “you”, and without you there is no “me”).’

不怕路長 只怕志短 by Theseus Chan, WORK
‘I have learnt that it is important to adapt and work well with any given situation, especially when it is not to your expectation or in your favor. This will push you to use the circumstances to find other ways that will not be taken if not for the limitations or changes that have been imposed. This change can be for the better, I discovered. So when we are faced with problems, the question to ask ourselves is not how tough or long the road has become, but do we really possess the ambition to push on or will we simply give up?’

拿得起 放得下 by Tan Pin Pin
‘拿得起, 放得下 (As easily as one attaches, one can detach) is a phrase I find wise to remind myself often. A friend once told me this while trying to console himself after a breakup. I find this epithet applies to most things, not just to breakups or spring-cleaning, but to art making too. I am currently in the throes of editing a documentary I had spent two years collecting footage for. Some of the footage I shot is spectacular, I love it, but it is also spectacularly out of focus so the footage cannot be used. It has to be tossed. It is too painful. But detach and move on I must. If there is a bright side, ditching footage gets easier with time, like a muscle that gets better with use. Meanwhile, the film is formed by whatever is left behind. Art-making is a process of coming to terms with remnants of one’s initial vision.’

一見忠情 by Edwin Low, Supermama
‘The phrase 一见钟情 (Love at first sight) is like the perfect love story. It speaks of the first encounters between lovers in which time stood still. It is passionate, romantic, momentary yet eternal. However, while we enjoy entertaining such ideas, 一见钟情 is not always realistic. I replaced the character 钟 with the similar sounding 忠 (loyal), to remind ourselves of the commitment and sacrifices required to keep love alive. To love is to commit.’

不要浪費 每滴眼淚 by Carrie Yeo, The Freshman
‘This phrase is a line from a song that I wrote with Diya – 眼鏡矇矇的. The song is about getting lost in the struggles of life and losing sight of where we are headed to. There are always tears and sweat in life, life can’t be a bed of roses. Well, even on a bed of roses, there are thorns. I have also come to realise that I secretly enjoy the “emo” moments. They just make life fuller. So this phrase is a reminder that we should cherish and learn from every tear and every drop of sweat, and not waste the lesson or experience. In a way, it’s also a reminder that we can turn every negative emotion into positive energy towards something good.’

練習每一天 by James Teo, Ampulets
Some years ago in a crowded train in Taipei, my wife and I overheard a granddad asking his granddaughter to give up her seat to an elderly lady. When the little girl refused, he chided her gently: “這樣是不對的喔。你沒有練習禮貌啊。”(“This is not right. You didn’t practise courtesy.”) I remember this encounter vividly. I was struck by his use of the words練習 (to practise and drill). He reminded me that courtesy is not just an ideal or aspiration but is about practice. And like courtesy, many things in life, whether big or small, starts with this deceptively simple練習 – deceptive because simple is often the hardest. It is the practice of everyday living that makes us the person we want to be.

Each design is available in an edition of 100 and can be pre-ordered via at an early bird price of $38 each (usual $42). Each hankie comes with a limited Good Sweat 2016 calendar-poster and part of the proceeds will go to charity. 

LEVIT8 – a Portable Standing Desk

“It’s heartwarming to see more and more people believe that an ideal work environment should be one that allows our bodies to follow its natural rhythm through adapting to movement. Our bodies are incredibly dynamic and so should the way we live out each day! We think that objects we own and use should allow our bodies to follow its natural rhythm.”

A trawl through kickstarter turned up another nice project by three Industrial Design Undergraduate students at the National University of Singapore. Designed by Letitia Lim, Adriana Justine and Poh Huiqing, the LEVIT8 is a no parts, no assembly, ergonomic, stable and slim portable standing desk that slips right into your laptop case when collapsed.

“Its functionality and form stem from its simple mechanism, an age-old box-twist folding technique. LEVIT8 gives us the flexibility of transforming any ordinary desk into a sit-stand desk anytime, anywhere. A cool and affordable way for anyone to start off his journey towards a healthier (and more fun) way of working.

The kickstarter campaign ends on 4 December. Check it out!

Pickpocket – The Slimmest Pick Holder


Never loose your picks again with Pickpocket, a super slim pick holder conceived by Industrial Designers Kenneth Yip, Grace Ng, Winky Chan and Christoffer Jonsson.

“Some of us play the guitar and we face problems keeping our picks. Many times, we keep them in our wallets but have to go through the pain of searching and digging for them only to find that they are gone. Even though picks often are easily replaceable, it is a real pain to find that you are out of picks, and some of them hold sentimental value that cannot be replaced. Therefore, we felt that a slim pick holder that could give necessary protection, would be the best solution, and designed Pickpocket after much research and prototyping. Precision made of stainless steel, it is a pick holder in the form of a card. With three slots snuggly securing any guitar pick, there is no need to worry about finding or losing them anymore! At 0.5mm thin, Pickpocket is slimmer than an average credit card, adding negligible bulk. Simply insert your picks, store Pickpocket in your wallets and you’re good to go!”

Pickpocket is available on Kickstarter at a basic price of USD$10. The campaign started on November 4 and will run for 30 days.

AL, The Fanning Wallet

If you run a quick search on ‘minimal wallets’, the results are overwhelming. One would think there’s only so much you can do with a wallet, but Industrial Design students Lee Han Xi, Lim Jun Jie and Lynn Ho Xin Yi pumped out a design with a ‘fanned’ push mechanism that makes access to your cards and cash quick and easy.

“Yes, you have to press AL to fan its contents out. Not a sideways slide, a true outward fan. This makes accessing your cards and cash so much easier. Forget the fiddly nuts, screws and bolts, AL has no additional mechanisms, so it will never bail on you. Made of two stainless steel plates, a spring steel bend and an inner pouch, AL comes in Steel, Noir and Bronze finishes. The beginnings of AL definitely stems from an industrial designers’ tendency to solve problems. The market was definitely over saturated. However, all of them failed to solve one singular problem … Being so engrossed with the eventual outcome that the wallet had to be slim, they forget the human part of using the wallet – to be user-friendly. Starting from scratch we played around with various mechanisms, sliding, pushing, twisting, flipping … and finally settled on fanning.”

AL is available on Indiegogo for a basic price of USD$29. The campaign will run for 30 days from 1st November 2015.

The NOAH Desktop Cable Organiser

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Sometimes it’s the simple things that change our lives. Such was our surprise with NOAH, a functionally clever desktop cable organizer devised by Industrial Designers Kevin, JY and Ryan.

Kevin tells us what the organizer is all about (apart from looking terrific) …

“NOAH houses your cables with a simple twist. Designed with basic necessities in mind, it can efficiently store, organise and shorten laptop and phone cables on the tablescape. The secret lies in both the internal zig-zag structure and a quick looping gesture. Combined, this is the key step that gives NOAH the magic touch to extend or retract your cables. The internal zig-zag structure is cleverly designed to perform more. The taper form first organises cables on 3 distinct levels. It also doubles as a springboard that pops the lid off when one nudges the structure. Last, even when flushed against a flat wall, NOAH can still support cable storage with ease thanks to the tapering. All this, in a small package.”

Visit the Indiegogo campaign page for more details.

Eugene Tan’s Dandy at ARTEFACT

There is nothing simple about this bicycle. This is an experience of its own which will force you to indulge in comfortably riding. The design is by Eugene Tan, and you can check it out at ARTEFACT, an exhibition of product design works by the Class of 2015, NTU School of Art, Design & Media (Major in Product Design).

Eugene about his project …

With Singapore’s population growth over the years, transport systems have been tested to their limits, seeing increased cases of breakdowns. Solutions perhaps could be found overseas where countries with established cycling culture, successfully rent bikes to ease congestion while going green at the same time. The Dandy Project therefore seeks to investigate the feasibility of a bike sharing system within NTU, starting with terrain specific bicycle designs.

The usage of bike escalators installed at the sides of the hills to sling riders up hill for more convenience. This idea was initiated in parts of Europe will hilly terrain yet was still successful in encouraging the cleaner mode of transport, cycling. With the introduction of the bike escalators along these grueling terrain to cycle up, it not only makes going up hill a breeze but would also mean that once the cyclist is up there, he or she could practically cruise down hill to anywhere else in campus.

Having this opportunity to throw aside conventional design and reconstruct a bike from the ground up, it is essential that every single aspect be specifically chosen to live up the expectations of a sharing bike in campus. Components would have to be designed with each other in mind, ensuring that their key roles do not hinder one another. The final outcome of the campus bike would then have to be able to meet these requirements as listed below. The solution eventually came in a form of a swivel chair with its pneumatic adjustment pump. The pump was able to solve the intuitive and highly adjustable issue while adding the extra benefit of absorbing road vibrations and also eliminates the need of a seat post hence eliminating the problem of it every getting stolen. A new seat post design has been thoroughly thought through to be able to accommodate the three main issues of high adjustability to fit 95% of the population, intuitive adjustability as well as eliminating the need for a seat post, increasing its anti-theft abilities. The parallelogram structure was then added to ensure that the seat post is always horizontal to the ground, thus delivering the most commonly comfortable saddle position for any height of riders.”

Frame Design
The initial design took a minimalist approach to let the function control the form of the bicycle. The main aim was still to allow the bike to be built to incorporate the rear parallelogram while keeping the pneumatic pump hidden within the frame and out of sight. Upon further development, lighter materials and newer production processes were being looked into for the final design. To produce a highly complicated form for the campus bike, the ideal process of manufacturing would therefore be hydroforming aluminum. Adding the faceted designs to the frame not only adds aesthetics to the frame but it also where form meets function and serves to strengthen the frame.”

ARTEFACT  runs until 27 September at the National Design Centre.

Spotted! Huiyuan Li

Story Teller

Dust Dance

Breaking Point

Donut Ruler

Huiyuan is only a few weeks out of her BA Fine Arts (Visual Communication) course at Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design & Media, and today she here to inject some happy colours into your grey brain with her FYP titled D:AMTWOTP, which stands for “Distraction: A Mind That Went Out To Play”.

“D:AMTWOTP presents a range of playful and light-hearted distractions that fit into a fictional workstation. Through diverging user’s attention to seemingly mindless activities, the project intervenes the tendency to constantly seek after a desired outcome (objective). This project hopes to trigger user’s curiosity as a form of motivation through this intervention. Ultimately, it questions existing negative connotations of the word “distraction”, and invites users to rethink their expectation of “distraction”.”

More of Huiyuan’s project can be (and definitely should be) viewed here.

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