Students' creativity on display at graduation showcases by three polytechnics here

Wheelchair fashion, a film about rhinos and a book that works like a game. These are some of the 882 final year art, music and design projects on display at the graduation showcases of Temasek Polytechnic (TP), Republic Polytechnic (RP) and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) running this week.

The projects were completed by 1,108 students from the TP School of Design, NYP School of Interactive and Digital Media and RP School of Technology for the Arts.

The Straits Times highlights 10 projects.

Temasek Polytechnic

Animal-themed asthma inhalers

Five-year-old Layla Pereira comparing the grip between two asthma inhalers - one created specially for children by design students Ms Nur Syahidah Bte Roslan and Ms Tay Jing Ying (left) and the normal one used by asthmatics (right).

Aspiring pre-school teacher Nur Syahidah bte Roslan, 20, realised it might be difficult for young children to use asthma inhalers, after observing her grandfather struggling to press the canister containing asthma medicine in his own inhaler with enough strength.

Together with 20-year-old classmate Tay Jing Ying, the pair of Product and Industrial Design students created an inhaler casing for children aged five to eight years old with an easy to press button that activates the nozzle.

The casing's three designs - a monkey, panda and tiger, are rounded to fit small hands and come with a mobile app that alerts parents of the remaining medicine dosage in the canister, as well as the location that triggered the asthma attack.

"Currently the only way children can use the inhaler is with their parents' help. With this casing, children can not only use it themselves, but may be more willing to take their medication because the device doesn't look as scary," said Ms Syahidah.

She added that the team is considering producing the casing through kickstarter funding.

Fashion for wheelchair users

Ms Denise Gow demonstrating how the accessible pants with zip closures designed by teammate Ms Dorcas Lum would be worn by a wheelchair user.

A gap in the local market for accessible fashion inspired Apparel Design and Merchandising students Ms Dorcas Lum and Ms Denise Gow, both 20, to design a fashion store concept for female wheelchair users.

The potential store and its fitting rooms will have enough space for wheelchairs to manoeuvre comfortably, as well as automatic doors and clothing racks positioned at eye level.

In addition, the pair created a sample of 11 smart casual garments to be sold in the store. Designed for women aged 25 to 65,the clothes are fastened with magnets and zips, and can be worn by wheelchair users without help. These were created after they polled 60 women on their fashion preferences, of which 20 were wheelchair users.

Able bodied women can also wear the garments.

Said Ms Gow: "We realised that there are wheelchair-accessible buses and stair climbers, but when it comes to fashion, there aren't many options for wheelchair-bound people. We realised this was a niche market, and the clothes we designed was more than just about fashion."

Floating void decks

Ms Xing Li posing beside mockups of the modular design units she created to fit between HDB blocks, which will function as community spaces.

The space between Housing and Development Board blocks in the Tampines estate inspired Interior Architecture and Design student Xing Li, 21, to design modular units that can be inserted between the blocks to serve as community spaces, much like void decks.

In these spaces, lessons will be held to teach residents to make art and furniture from materials such as plastic bottles and old cardboard boxes.

Her project was selected to show at the Singapore Design Week earlier this month, and she plans to pitch the idea to the National Environmental Agency.

"I think the fact that these things they can make, which are useful and free, will really attract residents to come to this space ," she said.

Nanyang Polytechnic

Saving the Rhinoceros

Mr Edmund Chen and Mr Ang Wen Jie with their award winning "WWF-Inspire Action for our Planet" video.

To raise awareness on the poaching of rhinoceros for their horns, two Motion Graphics and Broadcast Design students, Mr Edmund Chen, 20 and Mr Ang Wen Jie, 21, produced a video in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund on the endangered species.

The video, which won the internationally acclaimed Design and Art Direction Award in 2015 - a first for any polytechnic in Singapore, shows a young girl drawing the animal. When her mother offers her a medicinal soup cooked using the horn of the rhinoceros, the sharp end of her pencil breaks, signifying the rhino's lost horn.

"Through the video, I hope more people will realise that the rhino's horn is not scientifically proven to have medicinal properties," said Mr Chen.

Chope a seat

Ms Heather Ann Abeyasekera and Ms Hana Asyiqa gave a humorous take on the local practice of ‘chope-ing’ seats in an animated film. 

A six-month-long project by 10 Digital Media Design students, "Chope" is an animated comedy about two people finding a seat in a crowded hawker centre. When the chope-ing becomes competitive, the protagonists will stop at nothing to get a seat.

The idea for the film first came about when team leader Ms Heather Ann Abeyasekera, 19, could not find a seat at the school canteen . She thought it would be "comical to animate an exaggerated form of this local practice".

The production process was tedious, said team member Ms Hana Asyiqa, 23, but the students hope that the audience "can relate to the film and have a good laugh".

Bringing games to life

NYP students developed their senior's winning prototype into a full-fledged game - Illan: Shades of Memories. 

Illan: Shades of Memories is an action adventure PlayStation 4 game made by five Digital Media Design and Digital Entertainment Technology students, that won the Microsoft Imagine Cup Singapore last year.

In the game, the player follows Illan, the guardian of his universe, in a quest to restore colour to the world. Developed by the students from a senior's prototype, the game will be launched on Steam platforms next year.

Said character designer Ms Tan Hui Xian, 22: "Just like the main character Illan, who gains more abilities as the game progresses, I have learnt so much from applying what I have learnt in school into designing the game."

Republic Polytechnic

Music works for Soul Food

The final product, an attractively packaged CD of music to be used by Soul Food Enterprise.

Employees of Soul Food Enterprise might soon find themselves more productive, with the creation of a music album by five students in the school's Sonic Arts programme.

Featuring seven soothing songs , the music can be played at the restaurant to improve productivity and calm employees with special needs, who might experience bouts of agitation.

Said team member Muhammad Tawfiq, 22: "The music is meant to be an inspiration for the people who work in Soul Food. It is our way of giving to the people with special needs."

Project supervisor Mr Hayashida Ken, 35, said the students' work pleased Soul Food Enterprise. "It was their first time negotiating communication with a real-life client, but I think overall they did a good job, and the clients are happy."

Fun learning about food handling

(From left) Mr Ahmad Fauzi, 21, Mr Muhammad Izwan, 21, Mr Muhammad Masadi, 21, Mr Syafiee Sairi, 20 with their soulfood app. PHOTO: REPUBLIC POLYTECHNIC

Also working with Soul Food Enterprise, a team of four Design For User Experience students created a Web application to let restaurant employees learn more about personal hygiene and food handling in a fun and interactive manner.

The team collected relevant food handling information from a 72-page Workforce Skills Qualifications book and put it into an easy to use app with abundant visuals.

Team member Ahmad Fauzi, 20, added that the app uses colours like orange, green and purple, which relax the employees. Fruit mascots, like Passionate Pear and Awesome Apple, featuring common fruits, were created to motivate employees to complete the game.

Hi5 series gets an interactive book

Hi5 related merchandise, along with the colourful starting screen for the interactive game.

Working with Hi 5 World, which manages the popular children's television series Hi 5, five Media Production and Design students created an interactive digital book for parents to bond with their children. With colourful graphics and images of the recognisable Hi5 cast, the book takes children on an adventure through the Amazon Jungle, where they can watch videos, and play games.

On the book's potential for promoting parent-child bonding, 21-year-old Nurul Syazwany said: "Children may not be able to spot everything in that game, so it is better for parents to be there and help them."

Added team member Serene Pang, 21: "Making the book required animation, which we didn't really learn , so it was something extra we had to pick up on our own."

Active ageing with music

Part of the music documentary, which shows students and the elderly working to create musical instruments. 

Created by five Sonic Arts students, a 10-week interactive music programme called TechGRAMS introduced elderly to music-making and music technology. The elderly learnt to make musical instruments with the aid of common items like wineglasses.

In collaboration with Care Community Services Society, the programme included a live performance and a music documentary creation that the elderly had to complete.

Programme creator Ng Xin Le, 20, said that the team realised that many elderly did not learn music in their youth, and wanted to use it to promote active ageing.