Innovative ideas at NYP grad showcase

IMAGINE eating dinner in an "ang tow zhung" boat, as thousands of Teochew immigrants once did when they sailed to Singapore in search of a better life.

You are surrounded by trishaws, a beautiful backdrop of old shophouses, and a line of wooden stoves where chefs recreate traditional Teochew dishes.

On the walls are historical artefacts like "kyao poie", the handwritten letters that the Teochew immigrants sent to friends and family back home.

This is Ms Sarah Vong's vision of a three-in-one museum, culinary workshop and restaurant.

The innovative concept is just one of 167 projects showcased at this year's Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) School of Design's annual graduation show.

Ms Vong, 21, wanted to create a restaurant where people could learn about Teochew culture through its cuisine.

After all, she noted: "Singaporeans love food." She is of Hakka descent, but is fascinated by Teochew culture and cuisine.

Another idea featured at the exhibition is Kampongminium, a modern condominium designed to resemble a bygone village where people from different households can cook, play, dine, and exercise together.

Ms Meng Qing Nan, 20, an interior design student, dreams of reviving the kampung spirit in modern day communities by reintroducing common kitchens, gardening areas, dining areas, and playgrounds.

"In my HDB block, people close their doors and don't really talk to each other," she said.

"I wanted to change that by providing people with more spaces to interact."

A project by Ms Vicky Ng, 21, aims to strengthen national identity through the creation of 50 authentically Singaporean characters out of slang phrases like "stylo milo" and "yaya papaya".

These characters are printed on postcards, stickers and badges, which can be given to friends and family.

"It's very real, very funny, and very Singaporean," said housewife Michelle Woon, 45, who was present at the exhibition.

The exhibition is held at the National Library Building till tomorrow, from 10am to 7pm. It is open to the public and entry is free.

This article was first published on Mar 11, 2015.
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