Wednesday, October 13, 2010


1. What have I learnt?
I have learnt that there are many ways to come up with a product for the elderly, and that not all products have to be based on problems such as eyesight problems, mobility or possibilities of injury. There are many ways to come up with a suitable product, possibly by just observing the daily habits of elderly, the patterns in their daily lives and how they usually do things.

2. What are the difficulties encountered?
The biggest problem was putting myself in the elderly's shoes and trying to find out the qualities and properties they would want in a good product. It was important to ask elderly as well, which posed a problem because it would not be accurate finding opinions just from a small number of elderly, and not looking at it generally.

3. How did I overcome the difficulties?
I overcame the difficulties by observing the general patterns of the elderly, and noticing the common points, as well as looking at the common problems that the elderly face. From my observations, I came up with a general design of the product, gradually adding in additional details for comfort, safety and convenience. I worked on the main points which the elderly would require most in a product, and incorporated my findings into my design to come up with the final product.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reflection - Prototype

  1. What are the difficulties that you have encountered during the process?

We were struggling with figuring out if the product’s ease of use was measurable. We thought that although the overall ease of use was not measurable, there might be certain factors leading to the conclusion that it would be possible.

The next difficulty we faced was finding evidence and describing how we knew if the product was easy to use. We did not understand at first what we were required to do.

  1. How do you overcome the difficulties encountered?

We overcame the first problem by taking the overall understanding of “ease of use”, which is not measurable. However, we later found out during the sharing that our answer was not very accurate.

We described how we knew that the product was easy to use by stating criteria which the product was required to fulfil in order to be easy to use, such as it should not cause injury to the elderly.

We found evidence of the product’s ease of use by describing which qualities of the product would prove easy to use for the elderly.

  1. What are the 2 key takeaways for this lesson?

The 2 key takeaways for this lesson are how to imagine and visualize the product and decide on how to build the prototype, the qualities and functions of the prototype and how the prototype would help the elderly. When building the prototype, I would be required to question the product, such as why this would make the elderly’s life better or how this can help the elderly.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ergonomics (Easy-To-Use Multi-Purpose Hook)

The product is multi-coloured, in orange, yellow and green. It can be stored in a curled shape which takes up much less space than if it was unfolded. When unfolded, it forms a "Y" shape, and 2 different things can be jung on the hooks.

The design considerations are space taken, quality and colour of materials used.

No, the elderly would not have problems using this product, as it can be easily folded and unfolded, and can be placed in many locations.

I added extra hooks to reduce the number of pressure applied on each of the main hooks, and a hook at the top to hang onto nails or protruding objects of walls. There is also a detachable towel hanger where towels can be hung. There are rubber grips on each of the hooks and the towel rack to increase friction and stop the load from falling off.

The hooks at the top are layered in the middle of the spinning wheel, and the rest of the hooks are surrounding them.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ergonomics II

-Usage of resources to maximise the production of goods and services.
-Achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.
-Using minimum time to complete maximum productivity.
-Reducing the amount of energy used to do something.

-Measure of output from a production process, per unit of input.
-Amount of work done in a particular period of time.

-The condition of being protected against physical, social, spiritual, financial, political, emotional, occupational, psychological, educational or other types of consequences of failure, damage, error, accidents, harm or any other event which could be considered non-desirable.

-Deals with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty.
-Closely related with the philosophy of art.
-Studies new ways of seeing and perceiving the world.
-Relies on our ability o discriminate at a sensory level.

-A state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.
-Consolation for grief and anxiety.
-Something that gives satisfaction to its user.

Reference from: and

Ergonomics 1 - 3

What are the consideration that should be taken into account when designing a workplace that is suitable for the user.

The type of work done.
Amount of space.
Distance between user and computer screen.
Proper lighting.
Health. (Posture of user etc.)

Ergonomics 1

1. Compare the 2 different workplaces, state your observations.
Workplace 1 is cluttered while workplace 2 is organised.
In workplace 1, the man has to struggle a lot to get things adjusted appropriately, and he needs to adapt to different situations quickly, and he also feels uncomfortable while in workplace 2 everything is convenient for the man, and he can do things without much trouble.

In workplace 1, the items in the area are not suitable for doing work for long periods of time, and the man is often distracted by the discomfort he feels and tries to make things easier for himself. In the second workplace, everything is easy for the man, as he does not have to make major adjustments to the things around him and everything he uses is space-efficient.

The man in workplace 1 feels uncomfortable in his chair, he gets very restless and since the chair cannot lean back, his back gets sore after a long period of time. He has to bend over often. The man in workplace 2 is able to lean back in his chair, and thus he would have more comfort while doing his work. He can sit straight up in the chair, and does not need to bend forward. The man in workplace 1 needs many lamps to provide proper lighting for doing work. Sometimes, the lamp gets too hot and he cannot adjust it properly. The man in workplace 2 has a lamp which can be moved easily and does not get too hot for him to hold. He can move this lamp to suit his needs, and move it away when he does not need it.

2. Which workplace is preferred? State with reasons why one workplace is preferred over the other.
The second workplace is preferred, as the items there are made to adapt to the needs of the man, and

3. What are the considerations that should be taken into account when designing a workplace that is suitable for the user?
4. Why do you think that Ergonomics is important when designing?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Holiday Work - Part 2

Observation 1
The elderly need supports to move from place to place, especially those with osteoporosis, which makes their bones weak. They are quite prone to falling and injuries. Therefore there should be more banisters near the areas where the floors are slippery, such as toilets. Currently, there are no banisters near the washroom areas, and some elderly people may slip if they do not manage to catch hold of a nearby sink or door. There could be metal banisters beside the sinks for the elderly to hold onto when they are entering or leaving the washrooms.

Observation 2
Some of the elderly may be experiencing eyesight problems, whereby they are not able to see signs when they are too small or the words are of a colour which cannot be seen clearly. Some danger signs may not be seen or the elderly may lose his/her way around large areas. Currently, there are many shopping centres without signs with large font, or the colours are not in contrast to the background.

Words on signs should be made larger, and their colours should be bright if they are on a dark background, and dark if they are on a light background. They could also be made to change colours or flash repeatedly.

Observation 3
Usually, there are only a few lifts in a shopping centre, and they are in a corner of the shopping centre. When there are many people in the shopping centre, during lunch and dinner time, the elderly may not have enough speed to get a place in the lifts. Sometimes, there are even escalators which are broken or are under repairs.

Although people are making effort to repair the lifts, the elderly would still have to climb stairs in order to reach the floor they want to go to. They may risk falling or would feel tired when they climb up the stairs. Their bones also may not be able to withstand the pressure applied when going up stairs.

In shopping centres, several elderly people were not quick enough to enter the lifts, and had to wait for a long period of time. I think that there should be more lifts for the elderly to travel u the floors if the shopping centre, or that lifts would be more spacious to fit more people. There could also be multiple escalators so in case one breaks down, there would still be another escalator.

Observation 4
There are limited reserved seats in the MRT and usually, younger people would take up the seats rather than standing and giving up the seat to an elderly. Many elderly people would have no choice but stand for lengths of time; this would not only put pressure on their knee bones, but they would also risk falling when the train starts or stops moving.

Since this is caused mainly by young people not willing not give up their seats, we should educate they younger generation about consideration for the elderly. There could also be more seats for the elderly in the train, or more supports, especially metal poles, for the elderly to hold onto. The poles could also have some rubber around it to increase friction slightly, so the elderly will be less prone to falling should they have to stand.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Elderly-Friendly Room

This is the floor plan of the bedroom. The bathroom cannot be seen in this picture. Everything is quite near to each other so the elderly can hold on to the objects for support or needs to travel only a short distance to reach an area.

The bed has supports in front so the elderly can hold on to them while getting on the bed. The front is brightly coloured so the elderly will not knock into it while walking past. There are barriers at the side so the elderly will not fall off the bed while sleeping, and it is at a strategic location so he/she is able to watch the television while sitting in bed.

The clothes poles are on two different levels, so the elderly can see which clothes there are on which pole and is able to organise the clothes with more ease as well.

The wardrobe is next to the bed so at night, the elderly may leave their walking sticks (if any) leaning on the door of the wardrobe, and in the morning, they would only need to travel a short distance to the wardrobe. The knobs on the doors are brightly coloured so the elderly would not bang into it and they are easy to grip and usable as a support as well as a doorknob. The inside of the door is brightly coloured so it would catch the elderly's attention and he/she would not forget to close the door.

Reading Table
There is a reading table and chair next to the bed for the elderly to read newspapers. The elderly can read at night before sleeping, and therefore would only need to travel a short distance to the bed, and if he/she chooses to watch television, to the sofas.

Television and Sofas
The sofas and tables are coloured in contrasting colours so the elderly will not be confused, or will not knock into them. There is an extra sofa for family members or visitors. The sofas are next to the bathroom for quick access.

This is a top view of the shower cubicle.

The items in the bathroom are placed so that the ones which the elderly is most likely to use is nearer to the door.

The bathtub is least likely to be used, thus it is placed at the back of the bathroom. It is of a low level and thus the elderly can climb into it with ease, and may use the neighbouring shower cubicle for support.

The door of the shower cubicle has a towel rack which can also be used as a support. It is next to the toilet bowl and tap so the elderly can hold on to it to get to them. It is coloured differently in contrast to the other components in the bathroom so the elderly would not knock into it.

The toilet bowl and tap are next to each other and also next to the door so the elderly can access it quickly. It is of suitable height for the elderly and the tap can be used as a support for the elderly to lower him/herself onto the toilet bowl.

This is the door of the bathroom. It is coloured differently compared to the bedroom door, so that the elderly would not be confused on which door to use.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Holiday Work - Part 1: Understanding the "Elderly Challenge"

Four key recommendations of the report:
Housing for seniors, accessibility for seniors, caring for seniors and opportunities for seniors.

One way that the CA1 report is recommending to make our public housing more elderly-friendly
It recommends a comprehensive range of housing options to meet the needs of seniors, complemented by goos support care services.

Two ways on how we can ensure that the quality of elderly care here in Singapore is affordable:
Older Singaporeans in need of care have access to a seamless continuum of healthcare and eldercare services addressing a diversity of needs, ensuring the dignity and quality of life of seniors are maintained.

Healthcare and eldercare services in Singapore are efficient, cost-effective and easily accessible to seniors living in the community.

Three things I can do to help over come these elderly challenges:
Volunteer to help in the healthcare and eldercare services, organise activities to visit the elderly, donate money to help in healthcare.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Personal Reflection (NEWater visit)

1. What are the 3 key takeaways from today's visit?
- Singapore has managed to prevent the shortage of water and one of the factors is NEWater.
- About 1% of the NEWater water is pumped into the reservoirs during IPU.
- The water in NEWater has gone through several processes so it is safe for use.

2. Name 2 concepts that you have learnt today during the visit.
- There are 2 processes to filter out the substances in the water, one for large particles and one for small particles.
- The size of the pores in the filtration equipment are small enough to allow only water particles to pass through and not other particles.

3. What is 1 interesting thing that you have learnt today?
-NEWater is not suitable for daily consumption by humans as it does not contain the minerals that is needed for us.

4. What are the things you can do to help with water conservation in Singapore?
-Refrain from wasting water, reuse water (e.g. using water from washing rice for watering plants).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Personal Reflection (8th March 2010)

1. What are the 3 key takeaways from today's lesson?
-I learnt about the different ways to improve the environment and help to prevent pollution. 
-I learnt how to improve designs and prototypes using questions.
-I learnt about the different ways to design an item for the same purpose.

2. Name 2 concepts that you have learnt today pertaining to design and describe why is it important in design?
-The design must be feasible and practical as a far-fetched design would not work well.
-The design should be able to solve the problem as directly as possible so it would be simpler to accomplish the goal of solving the problem.

3.What is the 1 interesting thing you have learnt today?
-I learnt that in order to make a feasible design there is usually something to inspire the design.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Photography (people)

Ziying standing on the second floor, taking photos of everyone while we take photos of her.

Harsh and me taking each others' photos.

A picture of Grace while she takes a photo of the field. She looks very focussed on the task at hand.

People are engaged in different activities.

Shawn is standing beside reflections of other people and he is the only one is full colour.

What is the best time for photo-taking?
Ans: Early mornings and late afternoons.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Types of Photography

Although amateurs may break into this field without formal training, photojournalism is often limited to professionals. One reason photojournalism is generally practiced by professionals is that serious photojournalists must be sure that their shots maintain the integrity of the original scene.

Photojournalism requires the photographer to shoot only the facts: no alteration or embellishment of the photo is permitted. Photojournalism pictures are often powerful images that engage the viewer with the news story. Knowing how to take such shots to capture the original emotion is often learned only through years of practice and experience.


Documentary photographs tell stories with images. The main difference between photojournalism and documentary photography is that documentary photography is meant to serve as a historical document of a political or social era while photojournalism documents a particular scene or instance.

A documentary photographer may shoot a series of images of the inner city homeless or chronicle the events of international combat. Any topic may be the subject of documentary photography. As with photojournalism, documentary photography seeks to show the truth without manipulating the image.

Action Photography

While professionals who take action shots may specialize in a variety of different subjects, sports photography is one of the fastest and most exciting types of photography. As with any action shot, a good sports photographer has to know his or her subject well enough to anticipate when to take pictures. The same rule goes for photographers taking action shots of animals in nature or of a plane taking off.


Macrophotography describes the field of photography in which pictures are taken at close range. Once restricted to photographers with advanced and expensive equipment, macrophotography is now easier for amateurs to practice with digital cameras with macro settings. Macrophotography subjects may include insects, flowers, the texture of a woven sweater or any object where close-up photography reveals interesting details.


Microphotography uses specialized cameras and microscopes to capture images of extremely small subjects. Most applications of microphotography are best suited for the scientific world. For example, microphotography is used in disciplines as diverse as astronomy, biology and medicine.

Glamour Photography

Glamour photography seeks to capture its subject in suggestive poses that emphasize curves and shadows. As the name implies, the goal of glamour photography is to depict the model in a glamorous light. Consequently, many glamour shots carry flirtatious, mysterious and playful tones.

Aerial Photography

An aerial photographer specializes in taking photos from the air. Photos may be used for surveying or construction, to capture birds or weather on film or for military purposes. Aerial photographers have used planes, ultralights, parachutes, balloons and remote controlled aircraft to take pictures from the air.

Underwater Photography

Underwater photography is usually employed by scuba divers or snorkelers. However, the cost of scuba diving, coupled with often expensive and unwieldy underwater photography equipment, makes this one of the less common types of photography. Similarly, if an amateur has the equipment and the scuba know-how, taking shots underwater can be complicated, as scuba goggles are magnified and distort the photographer’s vision.

Art Photography

Artistic photography can embrace a wide variety of subjects. While a nature photographer may use underwater photography to create an art show based on sea life, a portrait photographer’s show may feature black and white artistic portraitures. In all cases, the photographs must have aesthetic value to be considered art.


Portraiture is one of the oldest types of photography. Whether the subject is your family or your pet, the goal of portraiture is to capture the personality of the subject or group of subjects on film.

Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is a blend of different types of photography. Although the wedding album is a documentary of the wedding day, wedding photos can be retouched and edited to produce a variety of effects. For example, a photographer may treat some of the pictures with sepia toning to give them a more classic, timeless look.

Advertising Photography

Because photography plays a vital role in advertising, many professional photographers devote their careers to advertising photography. The need for unique and eye-catching advertising copy means the photographer may work with multiple types of photography, including macrophotography and glamour photography.

Travel Photography

Travel photography may span several categories of photography, including advertising, documentary or vernacular photography that depicts a particularly local or historical flavor. A travel photographer can capture the feel of a location with both landscapes and portraiture.



-Camera phone

-Colour chart

-Digital camera

-Digital single-lens reflex camera

-Dry box

-Film base

-Film format

-Film holder

-Film scanner

-Film stock



-Grey card

-Lenses for SLR and DSLR cameras

-List of photographic equipment makers


-Movie projector

-Perspective control lens

-Photographic film

-Photographic lens


-Rangefinder camera

-SD card

-Single-lens reflex camera

-Slide projector

-Soft box

-Still camera

-Toy camera


-Twin-lens reflex camera

-Video camera

-View camera

-Zone plate


Referred to the lensdiaphragm opening inside a photographic lens. The size of the diaphragm opening in a camera lens REGULATES amount of light passes through onto the film inside the camera the moment when the shutter curtain in camera opens during an exposure process. The size of an aperture in a lens can either be a fixed or the most popular form in an adjustable type (like an SLR camera). Aperture size is usually calibrated in f-numbers or f-stops. i.e. those little numbers engraved on the lens barrel like f22 (f/22),16 (f/16), f/11, f/8.0, f/5.6, f/4.0, f/2.8, f/2.0, f/1.8 etc. Each of this value represents one time the amount of light either more or less in quantity. Meaning to say, f/16 will let in 1X the amount of light than a diaphragm opening of f/22 and so forth; while on the other hand, an aperture of f/4.0 will let in 1X lesser than that of f/2.8 etc.


The distance from the surface of the lens to the focus point is called the focal length and is measured in milimeters. Most lenses are described by their focal length. Zoom lenses have a range of focal lengths, a feat which is accomplished by using a complex series of lenses which can be moved relative to each other. The mm number translates into a real distance, from the front of your lens to the chip of your camera. In that way you can tell that a 400mm telephoto lens will be much longer than a 24mm wide-angle, without even looking at the lens.

If an object is close to a lens, even several hundred meters away, its reflected light entering the lens isn’t perfectly parallel. The closer the object to the lens, the less parallel, and the more the lens must be moved in order to keep focused. This change is much more noticable when objects are very close to the camera, and is one of the reasons why the depth of field in macro photos is so small.

Shutter Speed

The shutter blocks all light from exposing the film until you press the button. Then it quickly opens and closes, giving the film a brief flash of light.

You can control the length of time the shutter remains open by setting the shutter speed.

ISO Speed

The current International Standard for measuring the speed of colour negative speed is called ISO 5800:1987 from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Related standards ISO 6:1993and ISO 2240:2003 define scales for speeds of black-and-white negative film and color reversal film. This system defines both anarithmetic and a logarithmic scale, combining the previously separateASA and DIN systems.

In the ISO arithmetic scale, corresponding to the ASA system, a doubling of the sensitivity of a film requires a doubling of the numerical film speed value. In the ISO logarithmic scale, which corresponds to theDIN scale, adding 3° to the numerical value that designates the film speed constitutes a doubling of that value. For example, a film rated ISO 200/24° is twice as sensitive as a film rated ISO 100/21°.

Commonly, the logarithmic speed is omitted, and only the arithmetic speed is given; for example, “ISO 100”.


Spot metering
Spot metering takes a reading from a very small part of the image (between 1 and 5 per cent), and ignores the exposure of the rest of the scene. While this area is usually in the middle of the scene, some cameras allow the user to select a different part of the image from which to take a reading, or to recompose the shot after taking a reading. Spot metering is good choice for high contrast and backlit scenes but needs to be used with care, and aimed at an area that will form the mid-tone part of the final image.

Zone metering
A type of metering first introduced by the Nikon, zone is a type of metering which takes readings from several different areas - or zones - within the scene to produce a calculated average. The number of different zones used can vary dramatically from one camera to another, but the end result is usually just an average of them all. This is useful for general scenes with low contrast.

There are other various types of metering, but these tend to be a variation of the three types mentioned above.

Having different metering modes available becomes more useful for when you start to progress to more advanced photography, for example, subjects backlit by the sun. This is when modes such as Spot or Centre -weighted metering will become appropriate.

Here a metering is taken from the whole of the scene first, then the central spot. The result is the average reading, but with extra weight given to the central part. Some cameras allow the user to change the amount of weight given to the central area but as a general rule, around 60 to 80 per cent of the sensitivity is directed towards the central part of the image, making it a good choice for portraits.

White Balance

White balance (WB) is the process of removing unrealistic color casts, so that objects which appear white in person are rendered white in your photo. Proper camera white balance has to take into account the "color temperature" of a light source, which refers to the relative warmth or coolness of white light. Our eyes are very good at judging what is white under different light sources, however digital cameras often have great difficulty with auto white balance (AWB). An incorrect WB can create unsightly blue, orange, or even green color casts, which are unrealistic and particularly damaging to portraits. Performing WB in traditional film photography requires attaching a different cast-removing filter for each lighting condition, whereas with digital this is no longer required. Understanding digital white balance can help you avoid color casts created by your camera's AWB, thereby improving your photos under a wider range of lighting conditions.

Composition (Rules)

Composition is the combining of distinct parts or elements to form a whole. In photography that thought is very important in taking good pictures. The following guidelines are just to be thought about though, it is not necessary to try to use them with every picture you take or there wouldn’t be any creativity in your work. Once you learn these rules and strategies you will be more prepared to find great picture spots and opportunities.

Before you just step up and take a picture you should consider what you want your viewers to look at and how you should display main points of interest. You should ask yourself, what is the main subject? What angle should the light be hitting in my picture? Is there anything that could accentuate the main subject? Where should the main subject be in the frame? These are all important things you should consider, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to follow the rules exactly.

Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds has been used for centuries and is probably the most important of all the composition techniques. The Rule of Thirds means that the frame can be divided into three horizontal sections and three vertical sections and therefore, where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect makes an ideal location for the more important parts of your picture. By locating your main subject at one of the four intersections you give the subject more emphasis than if it was right smack in the middle of the picture. This is also a good technique if you have more than one important subject, the intersections can still work even if there’s a subject on more than one. The divisions can also be helpful in setting up a picture, they can for example, help you determine how much horizon you want. Most famous photographs or paintings in the world today have the rule of thirds applied to them in some way.


Simplicity is the method of keeping the information in a photograph relatively simple. If your main subject is close, then your background should be very simple to avoid distractions. You should try to keep everything not important much less interesting than what’s important in the frame. Especially avoid lines or objects that lead the eye away from the subject.


Framing is the tactic of using natural surroundings to add more meaning to your subject. It could be anything such as bushes, trees, a window, or even a doorway like in the picture at the top of this page. In the process of doing this you need to be careful that you don’t only focus on what’s framing your subject. Make sure you focus on the main subject, and also it is a good idea to use a narrow aperture (high f/stop) to achieve a high depth-of-field. It also wouldn’t hurt if the part of the picture framing the subject was darker so make sure you take your light reading on the main subject.


Texture can add a significant amount of interest in any picture. When people see texture in pictures they start imagining what it feels like to touch what’s in the picture. Texture is a good idea when your taking pictures of rocks, walls, surfaces, someone’s hands, or leaves. In order to make a picture reveal a texture you must make sure the light is coming almost exactly from the side of the surface so it creates shadows in places key places.

Leading Lines

Leading Lines are used to lure the eye deeper into a picture or to an important subject. Straight, curved, parallel, or diagonal lines are all good at promoting interest. Good examples could be roads, rivers, streams, bridges, branches, or fences but there are endless things that could be used.


Colours are what add heart and emotion to your pictures. Certain colour configurations can inspire awe and amazement in onlookers. Colours can be used to add all sorts of accents and effects, but you must be careful to not draw attention away from the main subject.


-High speed photography

-Tilt shift photography

-Black and white photography

-Motion blur photography

-Infrared photography

-Night photography

-Smoke art photography

-Macro photography


-RAW Processing

-Panoramic photography