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I thought I’d write about something we can all relate to in this current pandemic. An item that has quite frankly been seen as one of the most polarising objects in recent years; one that has divided opinions between the east and west; one that have been seen as both essentials of everyday heroes and symbols of oppression.

I’m talking about none other than the facial mask.

To understand why this seemingly unassuming facial covering has had such massive implications and divided opinions, we first have to understand a branch of linguistics known as semiotics, or more specifically the Saussure…

I remember my dreams of being a designer before I stepped into design school. The process of creation and building has always fascinated me ever since my dad bought me my first Gundam kit at the age of 5.

Even though it came pre-coloured and with a fixed instruction manual, that has never stopped me from slapping on my own paint and modifications. This, together with Lego sets and other building blocks allowed me to immerse myself, swimming into the flow of my imagination. …

I remember my time as a kid, eagerly waiting for the clock to strike 8 pm as I sat excitedly in front of the television waiting for the airing of nature documentaries in the early 2000s, back before Netflix was a thing. I vividly remember this episode on eagles, the magnificent bird of prey soaring high above forest canopies and amongst the great peaks. There was a scene where they mentioned the eyesight of these birds are eight times greater than the human, while simultaneously being able to see and distinguish more colours than human beings can comprehend. My curious…

In design, we often need to take distance to provide a balanced evaluation of a project brief or exploration. Outcomes are similarly derived after careful consideration from multiple stakeholders in order to provide a holistic solution; not just for the end-users but also for all other parties.

Image source: Pexels

In this regard, designers often innovate by jumping across the 1st and 3rd person, putting ourselves into the shoes of the users and stakeholders while also allowing ourselves to leverage on our expertise to think from the macro perspective. …

After much contemplation, I begin this essay with the title of ’What is the role of a designer in strategic design?’. I had trouble naming the topic due to the need to establish a good balance between the human and structural approach in framing this article.

From my perspective, there seem to always be 2 general categories of designers especially within the design course I was in, ones whose works seem to be more ‘artistic’ and others who lean toward the ‘pragmatic’ — designing for the masses. Upon reflection, I personally see design as a marriage of both which makes…

Shawn Ng

Designer living in sunny Singapore. I enjoy exploring new perspectives that can shape creativity and design.

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