From a disappearing souvenir to a device that inflates when you consume too much energy, there was no shortage of talent or inspiration at this year’s NUS Division of Industrial Design (DID) Graduation Show. More than 50 innovative creations by current and graduating DID students at NUS School of Design and Environment were on display at the National Design Centre from 21 to 24 May.
The students were challenged to go beyond aesthetics and function to develop holistic solutions that are sensitive towards human perceptions, behaviours, emotions, psychology and cultures. Many of them worked with industry partners such as the National Museum of Singapore, National University Hospital and Nirvana Memorial Garden to explore greater commercial potential and relevance of their ideas.
“The showcase is impressive. You can see good, innovative, user-centric designs that improve the well-being of people,” said Mr Jeffrey Ho, Executive Director of DesignSingapore Council.
The projects were grouped into three themes — Health and Wellness, which addresses social challenges and healthcare needs; Lifestyle Products, which explores functional designs that fit into everyday life; as well as Work and Education, which seeks to improve current work practices.
Under the first theme, graduating student Chia Guo Xiang invented B-MAT, a smart map and accompanying app, which helps seniors monitor their balance and links them up with healthcare professionals to effectively prevent falls.
Lifestyle product Oneware by graduating student Loren Lim showcased a set of three modular units that helps individuals with only one functioning arm perform household chores such as food preparation and dish washing with greater ease.
Riding on the green agenda are the designs of Kelly Yap and Poh Hui Qing. Kelly’s project Unfold is a visually intriguing artefact that inflates or deflates according to a family’s energy consumption in real time — an aesthetic representation of data for homes. Hui Qing designed 金纸 (incense-paper) in collaboration with Year 3 student Anthony Yu. It is a type of incense paper coated with chemicals that burns and disappears without a trace, allowing people to hold on to familiar rituals while being kind to the environment.
Quirkier highlights include Esther Lim’s disappearing souvenir, represented by a miniature Merlion made of water-soluble PVA plastic. The material can be dissolved once the novelty value has worn off, leaving behind just a small token as proof of its existence while preventing wastage and the accumulation of junk.
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