Collage of Thoughts

23Nov08

One thing I’ve realised while studying for this exams is how I do have a short-attention span (thus this post) because I do not like to cram in information. When it comes to exam preparations, I take a step back and amass whatever I have or am supposed to have learnt and start drawing mind maps, relating and reducing everything to concepts on a page. When it comes to the exams, I let my understanding fill in the rest, thus I always realised I studied a lot less than I should.

Anyway, in between feeble attempts at studying, I’ve come across random bits of information that I put up here like a collage of things — knickknacks for the brain.

A useful way of looking at design or art in general is the Design Criticism Model proposed by Edmund Feldman who boils it down to: describe, analyse, interpret and evaluate. In terms of input, one is moving from handling facts, deconstructing, making sense and judging. Combined with knowledge of the principles of design and its elements, it becomes a very useful tool for looking critically at design.

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“Memory is only a travelling Prince Charming who happens to awaken the Sleeping Beauty.”
— Michel de Certeau

A very poetic way of looking at memory proposed by this French scholar who was writing about walking in the city and how in our travels, memory becomes a tool for us to re-imagine the city. In a broader sense, I was looking through some of my artifacts (yes, that’s how I term my junk) and it amazes me sometimes how much memories we all have.

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I was a friend’s place the other day and it struck me how more and more around me enjoyed this notion of having their own apartment and staying away from their parents. It was also probably more than pure coincidence that the apartments I have visited of late might well have came out of the IKEA catalogue, after all the furniture there is cheap and familiar due to popular culture.

Most apartments come modeled for the family and a certain way of life and what embodies this the most is the kitchen and the dining hall. Yet, many of us today eat out instead of cook and live alone so these spaces become reappropriated not as something functional but purely aesthetic. We will have that beautiful-looking cabinets and stove — the ideal kitchen — but we never use it and behind those cabinets is probably not food either.

This whole thought inspired a little idea that is to start recording dinner conversations and package them into albums to sell to the millions of Singaporeans in the future who often eat alone at home. They probably do not want the hassle of a family or having to get people over then clean up, so why not just simulate the experience? If the conversation gets boring, instead of trying to zone out the conversation, just fast-forward! In fact, I should also do a series filled with hawker centre and restaurant ambience so that we can simulate them in the comforts our pad all by ourselves!

Anyway, talking about IKEA, I bought this wonderful thing to organise my growing pile of loose notes. In Singapore, the Strikt comes in the primary colours (when light is a medium) of Red, Green and Blue, although there was only blue available then. The real beauty of it lies in the texture and a pair of them is selling for $19.

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Well, it’s time to head back to the books, and my attempt to finish this fascinating book — Histories Of The Future — in the present.

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One Response to “Collage of Thoughts”

  1. I need a trip to IKEA soon too. I too, have too much “artifacts” at home.

    I think the dinner conversations idea has potential. A multimedia derivative will really resemble the work by Chang Chien-Chi, drawing on themes of family, loneliness and reunion through domestic chatter. like a combination of Double Happiness and New York’s Chinatown.

    “Familyar Voices”.


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