End of ALP – Back in Singapore

7 Sep

By Chun Yong

*click*

*Deleted 10GB worth of files from ALP folder*

Finally, back in non-40 degrees Singapore. So much to wrap up, so many people to thank, where should I start.

Hmm… I think I’ll start from the end then. We designed fans. Like, absolutely cool leaf-blowing arduino-controllable epic whothehellcouldhavethoughtofthis fans. I don’t have many photos of the actual prototypes that were made (even more awesome, by the way), but here are the equally amazing 3D renderings we did:

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Pretty cool huh? Okay, I’m exaggerating, but still! We all learned a lot about 3D modelling and rendering and the pain one’s computer will have to go through every time it has to render one of our works of 3D art.

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Doing these 3D models really take up someone’s time! They can be very challenging since it’s like you’re drawing in 3D space. Here’s a 3D model of a sports car that I tried to do.

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Not all renderings turn out as nicely though. (Notice how I show you nice ones) If one does not have an idea of what he or she wants to create, it becomes quite the abomination. Thankfully, our skills in sketching for quick idea generation and communication has vastly improved (or at least the interest has been sparked).

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Tip: Draw with thick marker pens on big A3 paper. That way, whatever you draw looks nice. On a more serious note, it really did take a lot of drawings and sketching to get to some presentable level. It takes a lot of exposure and practice to get that line to curve the way you want it to. At the rate we were using paper however, we were starting to get pretty concerned about the environment. That’s why I decided to get….

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… a drawing tablet!! It may not be a wacom, but it definitely does it’s job in letting you produce digital sketches.

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All this was done using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. It was really cool to get to learn how to use all these software that allowed us to express our ideas and design products that could one day be made a reality.

It was in all a great experience, not just because of the projects we helped with or the facilities that were provided to us by our generous ZJU hosts, but because we had 4 really really (did I mention ‘really’?) long months to pick up any new skills and perspectives to be better designers for people.

As a show of our gratitude, we organised a pizza party a few days before we flew back to Singapore. Sadly, I lack the photos of the party (and the exhibition, and many other occasions.. was too busy experiencing everything to take a photo), I’ll just have to count on your imagination for now, so just picture sixty pizzas, twenty bottles of drinks, and music blasting from some speakers and people playing NBA 2013 in the middle of everything. I know, awesome party, you had to be there.

Every group also made a small memento for our ZJU mentors, most were decorated cards or photos to remember the 4 months of shared memories. As for our dear professor Ying…

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… TA-DAAA!! You can imagine his face when we gave this to him. No? Well, me neither, he didn’t turn up at the party unfortunately :(. We passed it to the other ZJU people to pass it to him the next time he was there.

And so, after all the goodbyes, and packing, and checking out of the hotel, and getting on the bus, and yadee yadaa, we are all safely back in Singapore. As far as product design experience goes, it was extremely enriching, not because they guided us every step of the way, but precisely the opposite: we were given freedom (almost) every step of the way. Freedom to explore, freedom to learn, and most of all, freedom to fail. Should anyone who is considering embarking on this journey stumble across this blog, the only advice I can offer is to always have an open mind and to be willing to try out new things that could possibly just continue to not only give you that drive to do something great, but also to figure out what great things you can and want to accomplish.

See you in the upcoming Term!

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