Many innovative designs were on display at the NTU’s ADM Show 2011. Two, in particular, were motivated by doing good.
Contributed By Jonathan Chang
Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media recently organized an exhibition showcasing the works of 143 graduating students. The ADM Show 2011, held at Old School at Mount Sophia Road in mid-May, was an opportunity for the public to savor a wide variety of visual delights rich with layers of meaning. Some of them included interactive installations, short films and product designs.
City News focuses on two City Harvest Church members who are among the talented fresh graduates.
Cheung, 25, designed two products entitled the System S.U.I. (“see you, understand your intention”), aimed at enhancing motorcycle safety by raising awareness of a motorcyclist’s presence on roads.
The first product is a blind spot detector installed in the side mirror of a car that senses infrared signals coming from motorcycles. This alerts the driver to the presence of a motorcycle in his blind spot.
Its partner product is a communicative head lamp. Designed to replace the regular 12 volt motorcycle headlamp, this product constantly emits an infrared signal that is detected when it enters another vehicle’s blind spot. At the same time, an accelerometer indicates if the motorcyclist is speeding up or slowing down.
This clever invention was inspired by Cheung’s concern for some close friends who are motorcycle and pillion riders—these make up the most vulnerable group of road users, according to the 2010 Annual Road Traffic Situation Report, accounting for 45.6 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Cheung hopes to get endorsement from the Land Transport Authority and Traffic Police, and is looking for support to further develop and possibly patent the system. Cheung ultimately hopes to pursue a career in product design.
Four years ago, Esther Wang, now 23, entered M1’s “48 Hours Inclusive Design Competition” to maximize her time during her school vacation. She gathered a team to create a special piece of exercise equipment: one that operates within a designated track to encourage those with mobility and visual impairment to participate on the same platform as ordinary people.
The team came in the second runner-up, as judged by the Helen Hamlyn Centre of Design at the Royal College of Art in the UK. The experience proved a positive one for a visually-impaired team member, a result that left Wang with a strong impression that she could use design to influence lives. Her final year project sought again to bring ease to a difficult experience.
Child patients have limited understanding of medical procedures such as blood-taking. With this in mind, Wang searched actively for research opportunities. The National University Hospital Child Life Programme offered to collaborate. After months of research consisting of study trips, surveys and feedbacks, Wang successfully created her solution: Rabbit Ray, a toy that uses play to explain simple medical procedures to children.
To demonstrate “intravenous drip plug-setting,” a needle is inserted into Rabbit Ray, and then the area is cleansed and bandaged. Wang’s research showed that the role playing format greatly improves children’s understanding.
“Rabbit Ray allows young patients to express their fears in coping with invasive medical procedures,” said Mdm. Fadzilah Kamsin, a Child Life Specialist at National University Hospital, testifying to the product’s success.