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S TAT I O N E R Y S P A R R O W

PRODUCT: STATIONERY HOLDER CLIENT: NAIISE X LASALLE COLLEGE OF THE ARTS

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S TAT I O N E R Y S P A R R O W

SYNOPSIS The Stationery Sparrow was inspired by the now-demolished, sand-carpeted sparrow playground of the Clementi Residential District. Aiming to give discarded items new life as parts of a new product, we recreated the fondly remembered structure as a playful assemblage of found objects including parts of a chipboard cupboard and antique desk shelf, a wooden ruler, and a sand-patterned tile. The functional desk companion comes with a complimentary pencil sharpener and a set of twelve quality colour pencils, which we liken to how individuals of diverse backgrounds gather over old habits of congregating at bird singing corners near Clementi Avenue 3.

Image of demolished sparrow playground from RememberSingapore.wordpress.com

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S TAT I O N E R Y S P A R R O W

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BRIEF Our lecturers created a brief meant to invoke environment-friendly design practice of using existing or disused objects to create new products. The brief is as follows: create one upcycled object that represents a designated housing estate assigned to the group. Abandoned, discarded, natural or disused objects found are to be used to create the upcycled product. The product could be an indoor or outdoor piece, decorative or functional and should reflect the estate’s characteristics, history or observed peculiarities.

RESEARCH We made two separate survey trips to Clementi to investigate unique parts of the neighbourhood, collecting discarded objects as materials for the eventual product along the way. Clementi underwent a major uplift from mid to late 2000s to rejuvenate the sleepy district, though the same efforts came hand in hand with forceful modernisation and the bittersweet loss of Clementi’s old charm. There was a disappointing many elements and constructs in the area that are replicas of the same somewhere else. Large sprawls of bird singing areas were constructed in residential areas were one of few peculiarities that remain in the district. Hundreds of metal hoops meant for that express purpose could be seen near Avenue 3 where cheerful residents related to us how the old guard congregate with their pets in the mornings of working days, united in their shared avian interests. Online archives then became a key resource to recover the overwritten memories. From there we found several demolished icons including the Clementi Town Centre

From top: image of demolished sparrow playground from RememberSingapore.

Fountain and the one-of-a-kind sparrow playground Clementi used to have to

wordpress.com; bird cage hung at bird singing corner near Avenue 3, own photo;

entertain children. As far as research could tell us, the latter was a structure that

bird cage hanging racks at void deck near Avenue 3, own photo.

was truly unique to the area though it was quietly demolished in 2012.


S TAT I O N E R Y S P A R R O W

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IDEATION From the shape and design of the sparrow playground, we sketched several products including, but not limited to, a knifeblock, a door stopper, and two different types of stationery holders. The ideas were then eliminated based on feasibility with consideration to our resources and time limit. For example, the knifeblock and door stopper were eliminated for hygiene, safety and durability concerns especially when our designated materials were discarded waste. At the end of the process, we settled on the pencil holders.

PROTOTYPE At this phase, we made a tentative decision to use a combination of two different types of wood salvaged from a cupboard and an antique desk; chipboard and solid wood plank, respectively. Two different foam boards of relatively similar thickness were then used to prototype the products. The thick white foam was a stand-in for the thicker chipboards, and the thin black foam board was a stand-in for the thin but sturdy wooden planks. Of the two, we chose the first version to execute for its more distinctive shape. While the second option is more stable and is less likely to turn out awry, the first was slightly more complex in that we have to consider a potential counterweight to the stationery cantilevered off one side.

Sketches and prototypes of two different stationery holders, labelled respectively; bottom rightmost image shows the two types of wood we intended to use.


S TAT I O N E R Y S P A R R O W

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TESTING Of the salvaged materials, we had the most of the chipboards. Initial trials were measured, cut and assembled from it to check if the estimated measurements on paper actually worked in practice. Adjustments were made, and the pieces were then used to test drill bit sizes to see if standard sized pencils could fit and hold their place in the ‘wing’ piece. The pieces were then later substituted by other materials such as a ruler set in a traditional Chinese measure for the ‘wing’ piece and the porcelain handles of the cupboard were cut down to size to fill the holes drilled into the main ‘sparrow body’ for eyes. We briefly considered purchasing and filling the base with sand, but decided to use a spare, patterned tile instead. The ‘sandy’ tile base, cushioned by the thin wood below and on its sides, turned out to be an ideal counterweight for the pencils stuck into the holder spaces.

From top left to right: exact dimensions of individual pieces drawn on paper and glued to the planks; one of the earlier completed drafts entirely made of compressed chipboard pieces; testing pencil holder sizes and feasible arrangements to drill; ‘body’ of the sparrow tested with different cupboard knobs, shown here is a porcelain knob fitted in large drilled ‘eye’ hole; ‘top’ and ‘wing’ pieces cut from a ruler; pre-marked holes drilled into ‘wing’ piece.


S TAT I O N E R Y S P A R R O W

FINAL PIECE After a series of testing and refining, the final pieces were assembled with industrial glue, hot glue and white glue, each chosen specifically to bond the various materials together, and left under heavy clamps for a night. The resultant piece was then cleaned up, fitted with quality colour pencils and sharperner, and sent for a public exhibition at Naiise flagship store in The Cathay in late-2016 for two months, alongside other upcycled projects created by fellow coursemates. The Stationery Sparrow was sold to an anonymous buyer partway through the exhibition.

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Stationery Sparrow Design Process  

Brief overview of the design process of "Stationery Sparrow" product. For more information, visit: http://ngpeiling22.wixsite.com/portfolio...

Stationery Sparrow Design Process  

Brief overview of the design process of "Stationery Sparrow" product. For more information, visit: http://ngpeiling22.wixsite.com/portfolio...

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