Thursday, April 30, 2009

Humans! Creatures of relative.

This is an old entry i made in MySpace about 3 years ago. I'm interested in how people think and approaches stuff and this is one of my conclusion.


I have always been amazed by our bodies’ ability to adapt to its’ surroundings. About 2 years ago I was still listening to my discman, complaining about the quality of sound of MP3 tracks. Today I listen to songs delivered by my MP3 player, without a single issue with the quality of sound. Is it due to better technology or that I am more relaxed in the area of sound quality? The answer is neither of them. My ears simply adapted to a lower quality reproduction of music. It simply sounds way better than my fm radio receiver. I have forgotten how good music played from cd sounds.


Have you ever found yourself stepping into a room filled with unpleasant smell, only to find the smell disappearing after some time? Or wonder why someone you knew with body odour can realized about the smell? What happened is that you become adapted to that smell that you are subjected to…so much so that it doesn’t register in your brain anymore. Now think about this….if this can really happen…then is air really without scent? Or we have been inhaling it so much that we simply are used to it? I still remembered the time when I had my wisdom tooth extracted, I never knew I could feel my face until one side got numbed. That’s human beings for you. Creatures of relative and everything to us are subjective. I only start feeling my face when I lost the feeling of the other side.

I always believe as a designer, the most important thing is to understand human beings, how they think, feel etc. If you do not understand the existence of relativity and therefore subjectivity, you probably will think everyone thinks, feels, works etc like you…and thus u start designing things based on yourself. When that happens, you cease designing as you become more of an artist. What is really hard is to find a design that a majority of targeted audience can associate with. And sometimes you yourself are not the target audience. With holding personal experience and principle in judging this situation will often result in less than idea results.

At the end of year 2004, I took part in a youth expedition trip to Yunnan. We wanted to the people go over and offer help to the less develop areas of the world. At the same time giving us insights on that part of the world. Our plan was to convert a vacant building into a community center like place where people can gather and relax. Most of the plans had to be finalized, proposed and given approval of when we are still in Singapore itself. Talk about 闭门造车! We basically decided what we wanted to do before knowing the situation over there! I still remembered how the locals basically removed all our decorations and work during a celebration at the last night of our stay. The “community center” was never their need at that point of time. All of us if not most of us knew of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but we still make that same mistake. We believe what they need is what we need!!!!!! We are designing for ourselves!!!!! In fact when I was there, I felt the kids I got in contact with are really happy and cheerful. I envy them for not being in this stupid rat race that we are in. I do not think we are better than them! I do not think we’re happier! For many days I tried to find an answer between the poorer of two people, a villager who had to work hard in the field and a low income family in Singapore trying to make ends meet. I’m still not sure…I felt a person struggling living in a city is worst off.

This is agreed by a tour guide I enjoyed talking to. He used to stay in one of the villages. Work hard and finally got his wish in working and living in a city. I can’t help but asked, “So how do you feel now that you have achieved your dream?”

He replied, “ When I was staying back there (in village) I always wanted to be living in a city. Now that I am here, looking back, I realized it wasn’t that bad back there (in the village).”  He smiled, took a deep breath and continued with out tour.

Yes I agreed it ain’t too bad at all back there!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Retro Fossil Messenger Bag

I really like this photo of the bag, because it accentuate the "retroness" of this leather bag. Ha sorry for having my legs in the picture.


I got this bag from fossil shop about 2 and a half years ago, I really like the way it look because fossil is said to produce these bags exactly like those you find in olden days. This unlike my Casio watch is pretty pricey. I paid about $300 for this bag i think. However i bought it as i know it can last me through the years. The stitches are strong and leather feels sturdy. The buckle looks like it's made of tin, thus will not rust like some chrome plated ones. After almost 3 years, they are still in good condition. Fossil somehow did not use the same cut of leather for all of these bags, thus you probably have to take a look at a couple of the same model before deciding on which you like best. 

A friend who commented on this bag being too costly had since changed 3 bags because either the material are worn out or the buckle gave way. The cost of 3 bags together obviously cost more than this bag of mine. I believe this bag will last me a lot more longer so it is totally justifiable to pay more for quality product....well you first have to know are you paying for the brand, a fad or really the quality!


Hmm ASOS should pay me for linking them up haha.


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CASIO Watch


I'll start this blog by posting on things i own that i really like. Well you can only really review on products that you've used right? Along the way i'll be posting on products/ gadgets etc that caught my attention as well.


FACE
I've own this Casio watch for about 1 year plus now and it's still looking pretty fine. No real scratches on the mineral (my guess) glass. I'm really a minimalist, vintage and sporty person all roll into one, thus you will find that things i own are normally incline towards those style. In this instance, i'll think this is pretty much a minimalist design. Very clean lines with minimal distractions. Ok the 3 date telling "chronograph" feature basically makes this watch a little more sophisticated while adding a bit of distraction, but i think they actually have one without the 3 circles. The hour markings and hour, minute hands are thicken so they become the most easily read lines on the watch. This allows quick and easy general time reading for the users. You have to make a little more effort to read the minutes markings if you are keen on telling the exact timing. 

BODY
The chain is made of chrome plated stainless steel if i'm not wrong, they are hollow pieces thus feels light and a little cheap when held. I paid about $30 for this so i shall not complain about that haha. However i have to say on the looks department, this watch looks way better that the price i paid for it. I've received many compliments from people around me on this watch, people including designers! For around $30, i have to say this is the nicest watch i've seen around. 

CONCLUSION
Stop buying those lousy pirated watches that cost around the same price but doesn't do its job well. This watch looks good and keeps time well, i haven't tune it since i've gotten it. However i've forgotten about the model number of this watch. Anyway just keep a look out for some Casio gems out there!



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About This Blog

This blog is about looking at design from a logical point of view. Good designs are often good because of the thinking behind it and not because of pure luck. The colour, forms etc can all be and should be rationalised. This belief doesn't mean that any and everyone can design by simply following a formula. It is still an art to decide on the solution that best fit all requirements.


I will be posting on some everyday stuff that's more light hearted and fun. Reviews will be done on products that I’ve gotten my hands on!

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