The annual NUS Division of Industrial Design (DID) Graduation Show returned to the National Design Centre on 1 June with 49 innovative projects by DID’s graduating cohort and undergraduates, intended to make everyday challenges a little simpler.
Speaking at the launch of the exhibition, Associate Professor Christian Gilles Boucharenc, Head of DID at NUS Design and Environment, said that designers today are being confronted with new obstacles, domains and technology. “Since the beginning of our programme, DID has relentlessly tried to understand these new challenges in order to adapt our pedagogy and prepare our students for the reality of the industry…our strategy to challenge our students with a variety of projects through our various domains of expertise offered have birthed thesis projects covering a large spectrum of design fields,” he said.
The design works were organised around four main themes — Healthcare, Social, Lifestyle and Experimental.
One of the projects on display under the Lifestyle category was graduating student Alvin Low’s Buddy, a versatile children’s toy that is able to transform into a push toy, rocking horse, skateboard, scooter and stool with ease.
“I wanted to maximise the function of minimal parts to create a toy that could grow along with the child according to his or her age and developmental stage…this makes better use of resources and helps to save parents money as well as space in their homes”, shared Alvin of his design.
Another project was U+U, a tool that offers a personal touch to wedding celebrations of the digital age. Designed by graduating student Jolyn Kang, U+U boasts features such as an augmented reality code for quick online access to the celebrations, an album that syncs photos taken by guests in real time, and a custom preset filter that processes photos taken during the festivities.
“My research showed that rituals are becoming more digitalised. For example, you could send someone a birthday card but you could also write them a birthday message on Facebook. This brings convenience but when it becomes too easy it can also seem quite insincere. Weddings are often one of the most important days in people’s lives, hence I wanted to blend the digital and physical to enhance the entire celebratory experience,” said Jolyn.
Among the projects showcased under the Healthcare theme was UnafrAID, a modular and colour-coded first aid kit compartmentalised into common injuries such as cuts, bruises and burns, to reduce the learning curve for children to master basic first aid skills.
Graduating student Fiona Tan was inspired to create UnafrAID after trying to use a first aid kit herself and finding it difficult. “Research has shown that children are generally more predisposed to injuries due to their developing cognitive abilities and their physical stature,” she explained. Hence, she wanted to design a first aid kit that would instill confidence and independence in children in times of accident.
Other projects at the show included the likes of Finpro, an affordable and functional 3D-printed prosthetic finger for amputees; Rewind, a visual and audio therapy programme for elderly with dementia; Passé Composé, an electronic photo frame that uses contextual information from the present to show related memories of the past; and PEEK, a series of accessories to help users live harmoniously with their “organised mess”.
The DID Graduation Show 2018 will run until 5 June at the National Design Centre.