Tableware design inspired by synergistic complementary opposites derived via non-visual language of sound
Ng, Tsian Wah
Date of Issue2017
School of Art, Design and Media
This project presents the unique approach of designing a series of tablewares which is inspired by synergistic complementary opposites derived via the non-visual language of sound. The boundless benefits of synergy serve as a major motivation as synergy encourages a new way of approaching problems with potential of creative breakthroughs and promotes open-mindedness to differences and gaining of new insights. Non-visual language of sound, with its unlimited pool of synergistic complementary opposites and extraordinary ability in eliciting emotions, is employed as the methodology to push the boundary of synergy and provides a refreshing suggestion for people who are dictated by visuals to see inspiration from non-visual language and intrinsic elements. The context of my research comprises six musical pieces, composed by composers from different eras and genres, involving dual pieces of instruments with contrasting sound qualities. The musical pieces are Fratres (cello and piano) by Arvo Pärt in 1989, Carnival of the Animals [13th Movement – Le Cygne] (cello and piano) by Camille Saint-Saëns in 1886, Haru no Umi [The Sea in Spring] (koto and shakuhachi) by Michio Miyagi in 1929, Duo (violin and piano) by Elliott Carter in 1974, Raag Pancham Se Gara (sitra and tabla) by Ravi Shankar in 1982 and Suite En Duo [2nd Movement - Modéré] (flute and harp) by Jean Cras in 1927. Following analysis of the musical pieces, the first three pieces of Fratres, Carnival of the Animals and Haru no Umi were selected for further exploration as they share common synergistic qualities of reiteration and variation. As visually-impaired people possess greater sensitivity to sound, this project provides the opportunity for me to serve as the messenger to obtain the non-visual message from them and convey it visually in my design. An interview was administered for thirteen visually-impaired participants from Dialogue in the Dark, Glow in the Dark, Gospel Mission To The Blind Ltd and Independent Society of the Blind, to gather verbal and pictorial feedback on their interpretation, feelings and thoughts about the three selected musical pieces. The synergistic pair of Convergence and Divergence for Haru no Umi was selected as the theme to focus on as it was the scenario imagined by the highest number of participants. A 2nd interview was conducted for them to touch the tableware prototype and provide their feedback on the conceptual, aesthetic, functional, safety and ergonomic aspects. The outcome of the project comprises a series of tablewares, comprising 4 items: including Rice Bowl, Soup Bowl, Side Dish Bowl and Tea Cup, which embody the synergistic complementary opposites theme of Divergence and Convergence. Conceptually, the project benefits designers who are dictated by visuals by providing a new suggestion for them to see inspiration from non-visual language and intrinsic elements. Functionally, the outcome empowers the visually-impaired users to distinguish the functions of separate utensils via tactility.
DRNTU::Visual arts and music
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University