Contextual Review


Last year, as I was contemplating which direction I wanted to expand upon my interest in design, I decided to join the 3-dimensional design and architecture UAL foundation course. My experience in Part 1 has allowed me to become more accustomed to various working environments and processes; these including, research, proposing diverse ideas, putting these ideas into a physical product as well as pushing the boundaries of my creativeness. Consequently, I have been able to refine my skills as a 3-dimensional designer along with delving deeper into the aspects of design that particularly intrigued me.

This course particularly sparked my interest and knowledge in the design process, where I found myself enjoying working as a social designer. Being able to raise awareness and come up with design methodologies that tackle complex human problems is something I have grown a passion for. Merging social problems into conceptual and design aspect has not proved to be an easy task as there are always multiple sides to every issue; however, I have developed my skills to be competent in representing my opinion clearly and succinctly, Therefore, having this as a strength has allowed me to elevate my projects so that people of different socioeconomic backgrounds will able to emphasise with.

 The things that I constantly improve on that shown throughout part 1 projects is the research process. Throughout the past year, I have carried out several projects where the research process always began with breaking down and truly understanding the brief given to me. As a designer, understanding the brief is the main gate to a successful project, being able to fully comprehend the topic and therefore set a direction for the remainder of the project. I gain my inspiration and decide on a concept based on primary and secondary research in which I tend to carry out in person; for instance, going to museums, exhibitions, and galleries. I prefer this compared to online research as I am able to think of more unique ideas as well as witness the work I have read about online. With all the research obtained, the factors and concepts needed for the design are determined resulting in a research process. 

The artist I came across during Part 1 that gained my interest is workAC. workAC is a firm filled with more than 30 designers that work with issues in modern society. This research influences my work on representing modern day’s problems, in comparison with environmental aspect. Workac is a New York city based firm known for their approach to issue of culture and environment. Their work that sparked my interest are human colonisation in a form of animals. The city is designed to facilitate dialogue and debate between humans and other species, blurring boundaries between ecology and infrastructure. After seeing their work, I decided to pursue as a social designer to raise awareness on problems that needed to be renowned. 

The projects’ I think I worked pretty well with is “illuminate”, Having translucency as a concept allows me to explore more about the usage of lights in different materials such as sketching paper, wool, and etc. After many sketches, I decided to represent translucency as human skin. Which there will be a face structure under the translucence skin that will appear when there's light beneath. As a result of the brief, having a face structure under translucence skin is to reflect how people hide their identities behind makeup, surgery, accessories, and etc. I will improve this piece by creating more shadow play and usage of materials. Another project that I explore different areas of design is “movement”, where I created a finger piece jewelry that represents an infection/disease on human skin. The design was inspired by the optical illusion arts movement by Bridgt Riley. The design of this piece symbolizes infection/condition that appears on human skin and can be used as a product to cover the rash, burn mark, and etc. I developed my design by using mix media, where I used different types of materials and also combines technology and models to create collage sketches.

The briefs that were given to us in part 1 don't set borders, which allow students to explore a variety of ideas and figure out our true interest as we move along to part 2. To conclude, part 1 helped guide me as a designer to the path I have interest on, I was directed to PDC as my part 2 course, which opens up opportunities to learn new concepts and approaches to design. The work in part 2 is more specific and focused in a particular field of design.


Contextual practice 

as our last contextual practice session, we prepared our upcoming interview by research on our favorite designer and the villain of designer in our perspective. With my class, I shared my favorite artist which is Le Corbusier and Daniel Libeskind.



Project: wildlife


My work is plant pot with a simple yet efficient design. This pot’s is design for those who has limited living spaces, the pots can be hang out side the window during day time to absorb sunlight and can be use as home decoration due to it simple and modern design. The materials used in this project is fully recyclable and eco friendly.


- limited living spaces

-eco friendly




We brought in our design sheet for our earlier project and shared with our fellow classmate for tutor to reflect pro’s and con’s in our design sheets. Tutor comment is important as we move closer to our interview.


Contextual practice

we visited Chelsea Physic Garden again for our contextual practice, we focused on materials that we will be using and concept for our work. This visit allow us to visualized our idea that we had a discussion we had in class. 



project: wildlife 

As our primary research for wildlife project, we visited Chelsea Physic Garden. Surrounding with more than 4000 biological species of plants, we took pictures and scan for sustainable materials that can be use in this project.



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2/ DEC/ 2019


I started to design and figure out how to attach and detach the product from the bags and through different sources of research, the magnet is the best solution for this project. I started to play around with my sketch model and used a different angle to placed magnet strong enough to hold the product. 




In this contextual session, we discussed the ideology of utopianism/dystopian and how design can be influenced by this ideology. utopian can be described and compared to many places or mindsets such as dreamland or heaven. While dystopian can be described as an unwanted world or hell. These terms can be included in arts and modern days design such as Elon musk invention. All of this ideology can be in the form of illustration such as a cartoon shows "Rick's and Morty's". This session helps understand how design can be influenced by different's factors. 

Utopianism:                         Dystopian:

- dreamland                           - Hell

- heaven                                - Unwanted world

- futuristic                               - war

- Oasis                                   - modern-day




Finishing up the casting of my final design by scraping and tidy up, this is the final process before firing. I created different types of vessels to contrast with my main pieces which are a tea jug. 


simplicity and traditional

Extra materials that will be included after firing:



Tutor's comment:

Keep it simple and bring out the concept that can be seen through the pieces. 

Try dig into more researches and explore different designs.




In today's session, we started and explored slip-casting on different mold. We play around with different mold and develop our understanding of slip casting. Some of the molds needed more time to dry out due to their shape and texture, having a chance to play around really help us to create an estimation of time needed on different mold.

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We had a brief on our vessel project, where we were assigned an item/object and solve how we going to contain, slice, pour, and etc. The item I received for this project is loose tea. The brief also explains how we could include extra materials that are listed in the brief. There is a tutorial on slip casting in the morning and research activities in the afternoon as we prepare to use the workshop at kingcross on Tuesday.






Continued from last week's progress, I started to develop my sketch model by re-design the lay-able part of the chair, where I wanted to show how this chair represents the word "movement". After exploring different ideas, the finalized with the design that is inspired by REG BUTLER  sculpture "girl on the round base" where the sculpture show movement in human body position.

Tips from the tutor's:

- Use references from primary research 

- explore how human body move

- Try to play around with sketch model's



Although with limited usage of workshops, I was able to make a sketch model out of metal. Later I used paper to create a structure beneath the metal model, which add and create dimension into the chair. This sketch model is inspired by the human body position and compatibility of this product. The structure also created flow/wave-like forms, which represent the word "movement".

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Using our quick sketches from the previous class, I started to develop the design and created a sketch model with cheap materials; papers. We also explore range of materials that can be used in this project. With the tutor’s comment, I was able to select 2 designs that can be developed in the workshops. 

needed to complete and developed:

- range of materials 

- explored on different design

- more research on an artist




After progressed tutorial passed, I have been diagnosed into the PDC pathways which will involve specialist projects. The first project is called “Movement”, where the based for this project is to explore various types of movement and create a design of a chair based on research and concept. Just like part 1, we brought in research and did a quick sketch of ideas.





That, J., 2018. The Architecture Concept Book. 1st ed. canada: Thames & Hudson Ltd.


Klemp, K., 2011. Less And More: The Design Ethos Of Dieter Rams. Gestalten.


Tromp, N. and Hekkert, P., 2018. Designing for Society: Products and Services for a Better World. 1st ed. Bloomsbury Visual Arts: kindle


Corbusier, L., 2008. Toward an architecture. Frances Lincoln.


Corbusier, L., 1999. Le Corbusier talks with students. Princeton Architectural Press. 


Hadid, Z., 2009. Zaha Hadid: Complete Works. Rizzoli.


Michael, C., 1995. I.M. Pei: mandarin of modernism. Carol Southern Books.


Ban, S., 2017. Shigeru Ban Architects. Leading Architects Of The World.


Ando, T., 2019. Tadao Ando: Endeavors. Flammarion.


Da, L., 2004. Leonardo's Anatomical Drawings (dover Art Library). Dover Publications.


project: experience 

As a group, me and my friend headed to London park as a research even though my topic is about. This open up opportunities to explore new subject and knows the daily struggle of people who traveling by public transportation. 


project: experience 

we need to find a solution that were given by experiencing the topic and solve it. This project is a perfect opportunities to get ready before our interview. This help us to use researches to backup our project for upcoming interview



Project: wildlife

I worked on my idea about limited living spaces and eco friendly plant pot, I come up with simple yet efficient design that allow plant to hang outside during the day and as a table decoration during evening. 


Project: wildlife

After visited Chelsea Physic Garden, we had a group discussion back in class about ideas and researches we gathered the day before.  


- tools                       -furniture 

- wooden product  -edible

- playful.                  - animal habitat




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My final outcome for the "UTILITY" project is a vessel carrier. After a discussion with my client (Ji Mingyan), the struggle that my client's experience is forgetting her vessel and carrying too many bags. Turning her struggle into a product, I came up with a vessel carrier that can be easily attached and remove from the bags, this way my client will have easy access to her vessel's. This product is attached with bags by a set of the magnet the can be easily detached. The design for this product is simple, clean, and light tone based on the fashion wear and style of my client.

Can Improve if have more time:  

- Materials will be plastics, so it'll be sustainable

- explored type of magnet that can carry the heavier weight of the vessel

- Developed the style of this carrier



After breaking down the struggle that my client's experienced, which is: 

- Forgetting her lunch box and water bottle                        - carrying too much bags

- don't have easy access to gadget                                         - limited space in the accommodation

In conclusion, my description for this product will be a vessel carrier that can be easily attached and remove from the bags, this way my client will have easy access to her vessel's. The design will be simple and light tone colors based on her fashion wear and accessories.



 This project's purpose is to design some tools for a client/partner which is based on their hobbies, activities, behaviors, and etc. This project helps us focus on the struggle that the client faces and how we can consider the issues that may prove interesting to explore through design. 

My partner for this project is Mingyan Ji, and after we had a discussion this is the struggle she faces:

- Lunch box

- water bottle

- personal space 

- bags

- traveling 

- accommodation limited space




This is the first session in making the final design that was designed throughout the weekend. The concept I came up with is simplicity and traditional. In my perspective, loose tea represents the cultural aspect of people who drinks it. There's different influence on drinking teas in a different part of the world. Asian drink traditional teas to calm and improve their internal health, European drinks tea as part of their culture, and etc. My design will focus on extra materials that I'll be using which is wood. This will keep my design simple and represent the culture of drinking tea's.




 Topic: Innovation from past to present

We discuss the invention from a different time period and how it developed over the years. This shows the design and concept development of a product, technologies, architecture, and etc. We also did a collage of pictures from different time periods to show the contrast between the timeline.




Today is our first session in the ceramics workshop, where we divided into 2 groups for the morning and afternoon sessions. We were introduced to mold making and basics into ceramics. During our afternoon sessions is where we developed our design and researches. 

Mold making:

- mark a ceme line on the vessel's

- build a block of clays around the vessel's

- surround the clay with woodblocks and secure it with bands

-  pour in the mold and wait for it to dry

- remove the blocks and clean the other side with wet soap

- coated 3 layers of wet soap

- repeat the blocking and pouring process




My work on this project is a chair that represents the human body movement, where there's two-seat, one which is a lay-able seat. The design is meant to create flow and support human body position such as sitting and lying down.   

Crit today allows me to see other design that expands my perspective on how a concept can be represented by product and ideas. This project actually gain my interest in product design, to explore deeper into this course. Listening to our peers feedback on our work helps me to develop what I lack and need in PDC.

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I choose metal to create this chair because simplicity can bring out the flow design of this chair and doesn't distract the design itself. The workshop session was a success as I'm able to create a movement similar to the design. But the struggle in this project is a limited time in the workshop.

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