Tag: Vernacular

Hawker Colours: Melamine Tableware in Singapore

They refer not to the green of chendol or the red of mee goreng, but the riot of colourful plates and bowls that many hawker dishes in Singapore are served in today. Red, green, yellow, purple, pink, and more! These tableware defy conventional aesthetic sensibilities and even colour psychology, but have become entrenched in our local hawker culture. Should tableware colours be considered as part of Singapore’s UNESCO-inscribed hawker culture? Do consumers associate their favourite hawker dishes with particular colours? Learn more and participate in our survey at: www.hawkercolours.com (mobile only).

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In Singapore, Residents Create a Social Distancing Wayfinding Language With Tape

Dots. Lines. Crosses. Boxes. They have popped up all across Singapore over the past few weeks. Plastered over furniture, floors, and more, the city-state renowned for its cleanliness and order has become a maze of symbols, in order to defend its inhabitants from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This “mess” is indeed a series of messages. They tell citizens to stay apart from one another as the city battles to control the spread of the virus. Such makeshift signs started appearing right after the government introduced safe distancing measures on March 20, in order to limit the number of people gathering in a space and keep them at least 1-metre apart.

With just two-days notice before the measures turned into law, and no specific guide on how to implement them, local businesses and organizations quickly found their own solutions. While some printed custom signage to explain the measures, the most popular method has been to use adhesive tape to construct symbols, from crossing out seats to drawing queue lines and cordoning off areas.

Read the full story in AIGA’s Eye on Design

Book Review: Lesser Designs

Lesser Designs Cover

In cities across Asia, design is largely understood with a capital ‘D’. A professional service that raises the economic value of things through the language of style. A modern high-end product only for those who can afford it.

But what about traditional crafts and vernacular creations found in everyday life? Are these also not designed? In his delightful book, “lesser designs” (揦西設計) (2013), Siu King-chung calls the inclusion of everyday inventions of ordinary people in his city of Hong Kong as part of our understanding of contemporary design. From modified street trolleys to simple pamphlets advertising money-lending services, the professor at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design picks out ordinary things found around the city and unveils the design wisdom behind each through photographs and casual explanations written in Chinese and English. In all, close to 30 collections of objects are divided into four themes to illustrate what “lesser designs” are and where to find them.

Read the rest at art4d.asia