GLP – Ordinary week with an extraordinary experience

25 Jul

By Yi Sheng

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In our architectural drawing class, all of us sketched a panoramic view of the scenery along Charles River, when viewed from Memorial Drive. It was a challenge indeed to combine together all our individual drawings, which are of different styles. We added a whole lot of interesting graphics to the final sketch, which comprises Godzilla, minions from Despicable Me and even a Pacific Rim robot. I realized that after the sketch was completed, it was a piece that conveyed so much vibrancy and movement, which were presented in a variety of styles. I really liked how we worked together to produce a single masterpiece.

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Want to take a look at the our masterpiece? Check it out at the SUTD Facebook page and give us your comments.

The E-Club session comprised two parts: a workshop on communication and a discussion on ethics and conflict. We really had fun during the workshop, where each of us expressed a statement in various tones of voice.

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I personally agreed to help as a “test subject” for Aarti’s research on whether sketching improves one’s ability to tackle design problems. During the 30-minute design challenge that I was tasked to complete, I was not allowed to sketch. This compelled me to visualise a few preliminary designs in my mind, from which I selected the final design. As the objective is to design a mechanism to vertically displace a ping pong ball as much as possible, I built a tower that has an axle on top.  The ping pong ball is then raised to a height of more than 40 centimetres by a simple pulley system that makes use of a 500g load. I had lots of fun, and this was far more valuable than the five-dollar Amazon Gift Voucher that I received.

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The Media Lab visit was indeed an eye-opener for most of us, as we get to see how designers who work there play with Lego and music instruments to create new and innovative products that have their unique relevance to our lives. For instance, the sensor attached to the basketball hoop that measures the amount of force exerted by the player during a dunk actually aroused the interest of the NBA. This technology has currently been used in some of the NBA games played. How fascinating!

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On the same day at night, we visited Rethink Robots, which has a famous product called Baxter, a robot of which arms have seven degrees of freedom of movement. This actually allows picking up objects to be easier and more efficient. We enjoyed testing the robot’s reaction to unexpected situations. There’s definitely a lot of high-level programming that went on in the development of Baxter’s “brain”!

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Terence, Dexter and I went to watch the MIT Summer Philharmonic Orchestra at the auditorium inside Kresge Building. They performed two pieces: Symphony No. 2 in B minor composed by Alexander Borodin and Symphony No. 9 in E minor, From the New World, Op. 95 composed by Antonin Dvorak.  The concert lasted for one hour, with George Ogata conducting the entire orchestra. I thoroughly enjoyed the two pieces, although I believe that the orchestra can improve on coming in together at significant moments of the pieces. That being said, I feel that it is really challenging to try to conduct a whole orchestra consisting of so many people.

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To supplement the learning that we have during ceramics lessons, Dexter, Jin Kai and I went to get our hands wet and dirty at the ceramics lab on Saturday. I managed to improve my skills slightly, in the area of centering my clay, although there is still much more room for improvement. Nonetheless, my interest in ceramics never seems to diminish; I will never give up in making more interesting pieces!

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