Friday, November 30, 2007

A Great Weekend Ahead

There are many exciting events happening in Singapore this weekend and throughout the month. First up is Nick's Talk this Sunday. Also, the Singapore Design Festival 2007 opened two days ago on the 28th of Nov and will be on till the 8th of Dec 07. Organised by the DesignSingapore Council, it is a biennial even to celebrate and promote design as a propeller of the new economy in Singapore. Many local and international creative personalities will be featured and this is the time to go catch all the interesting exhibits and talks. Especially if you are still a student on school holiday, make use of this wonderful opportunity!

Next up is what all bargain-hungry and tech savvy Singaporeans have been waiting for - SITEX 2007! And since the end of the year is approaching, it also means that for most of us, it is BONUS time! Well, if you have been waiting to get that 22-inch widescreen display monitor or that slim digital camera you have been eyeing, SITEX 2007 is the place for you to go this weekend. Except of course, be prepared to squeeze with more than the 600,000 people that are expected to throng Singapore Expo Halls 5-6 over the next few days. Well, what wouldn't Singaporeans do for a good bargain?


Photo Essay : "Blueprint of the future"


Friday, November 23, 2007

You Singaporean ah?

Is this what it means to be Singaporean? A light-hearted look at ourselves. :)


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Designed My Place

I just finished the Design My Place Urban Creativity Workshop over the weekend. It was nothing short of an amazing experience for the students, the facilitators, the organisers, and our supporters. It was very encouraging to see at the end how well received it was not just by the students, but also by our sponsors from URA, our supporters from Design Singapore and other guests that we invited as part of the jury panel.

My greatest thanks and appreciation certainly goes to Khoo Peng Beng, our Chief Facilitator/ instructor/ teacher/ Akido instructor, without whom, the whole workshop would have been less energetic, less inspiring, less passionate and less successful.

My greatest learning from this entire episode? It was heartwarming to see so many like-minded people coming together to support such an initiative to bring architecture to the people. More than that, it was our way of encouraging creativity and firing up passion within the hearts and minds of the next generation. At the closing of the entire workshop, I shared with the students the KEY to exploring and making good design. Read on.

Kreative - That's kreative with a capital K! Wouldn't it be boring if we always spelled creative with a C. The K symbolises the uniqueness that each of us embody. Recognise that you are unique and special. Contrary to what you may believe, you have something unique to offer creatively that nobody else in the whole wide world will be able to.

Excellence - In everything that you do, put your best foot forward. Live out a spirit of excellence not just in designing, but also in every area of your life. That's the only way you can live out your life to the fullest of its potential. That's the only way you can be the best designer that you were created to be.

You - This refers not to yourself but rather, to the people around you. Design is not just about achieving your creative vision. It is also about how your design influences the people around you. It is about how people use your design and experience it. It is also about giving back to society and to the community. It is about seeing things from other people's perspective and emphasizing, and meeting real needs.

I thought I'd end by saying this. Creativity is not the gifting of just the designer or the artist or the performer. We are all gifted with creativity and we use it and express it in different ways. Creativity is the domain of anybody who bothers to think differently, intelligently and beautifully. Do something creative today. Enjoy the pictures.


Monday, November 05, 2007

Photo Essay: "What Lurks in the Shadows"


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Make a date with Nick Vujicic

On the morning of 4th Dec 1982, something miraculous happened in Melbourne, Australia. Nick Vujicic was born into a Christian family, his father, a pastor of a local church. The only shock was this - he was born without limbs. The doctors had no explanation for this and did not even expect it. It was a trying time for Nick's parents. They asked God all the WHYs and HOWs and questioned if God was a loving God, how could he ever allow something like that to happen, especially to a couple who loved God deeply. Naturally, they didn't think their son would survive long, but here's where the miracle was only starting to unfold itself. Nick was a healthy baby despite the lack of his limbs.

In time, Nick's parents and Nick himself overcame the fear and anger in their lives. Today, Nick is a 25-year-old motivational speaker who speaks in both Christian and non-Christian venues. He has a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Financial Planning and Accounting and loves to swim, fish and play soccer.

I tell you seriously, I had goose bumps all the way reading his testimony which you can find here. So often, I question my purpose in this world. I wonder how in my weaknesses, God can use me. I grumble and complain - if only I was more like this or have more of that. I failed to realise that if God allowed things to happen, He only knew better. I failed to see that God was moulding me and preparing me so that he could use me in a way that only I could fulfill. I chose to see the humanly unsurmountable challenges in my life without knowing the reality of God's power and victory in overcoming them. As I read Nick's testimony, I knew in my heart - If God is able to use a person like Nick in such drastic circumstances, surely I am no exception.

I leave you with this excerpt from Nick's testimony that totally flamed my heart.

Romans 8:28 - "And we know that in all things God works for the best for those who love Him."

That verse spoke to my heart and convicted me to the point where that I know that there is no such thing as luck, chance or coincidence that these "bad" things happen in our life. In;

James 1:3&4 - "...know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

I had complete peace knowing that God won't let anything happen to us in our life unless He has a good purpose for it all. I completely gave my life to Christ at the age of fifteen after reading John 9. Jesus said that the reason the man was born blind was "so that the works of God may be revealed through Him." I truly believed that God would heal me so I could be a great testimony of His Awesome Power. Later on I was given the wisdom to understand that if we pray for something, if it's God's will, it'll happen in His time. If it's not God's will for it to happen, then I know that He has something better. I now see that Glory revealed as He is using me just the way I am and in ways others can't be used.

Nick will be coming to my church to speak at our Youth Service on 2 Dec 07. I believe his sharing will touch your life. I would like to take this opportunity to invite all of you who reads my blog to come and hear him. Even if you are not a Christian, I believe that listening to his sharing will change your perspective on life. Let me know if you can come!

Now seat back and watch this. May your heart be touched.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Really Tuckshop

Last night's design sharing was a blast in more ways than one! For one, we had to blast our voices over the mike so that everyone could hear us. It's tough trying to share amidst a crowd of hungry packers more interested in their calamari rings and crumb coated chickens. I felt like I was back in the classrooms of one of the sec schools I used to teach at as SH tried his best to get the attention of the audience yet trying hard not to sound offensive.


"Sorry, sorry..." (sounding desperately apologetic suddenly).

"THE PRESENTATION IS STARTING SO WE WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF WE COULD HAVE YOUR COOPERATION. Err... Sorry to disturb your dinner, really, sorry sorry!" (In his head thinking: rats, why everyone so noisy... should have brought a loud gong to get their attention. Perhaps I could do an impromptu lion dance?!)

Ha ha, so I digress. Find out some interesting bits on the presentations after the break. Oh, and there are pictures too!

In summary, the presentations were rather interesting. We had Dean sharing about some small projects in Jakarta; Sern Hong sharing his thesis project - the pirated city (no, not the pirated cd); Raymond redefining play for us; and Hsia Pin giving us his take on the anti-monument, which was based on the scenerio that if our beloved MM were to pass on, what kind of memorial would be fitting for him. I bet Hsia Pin went home a little worried that night. I remember him jumping ever so slightly each time his phone rang after the presentation. I thought I saw some bright red dots flying around, but then again, it could have just been the alcohol, or the fact that Mr Marshmallow Man was messing with my brain! (see pics later.)

Hsia Pin was sporting enough to bring his band down to play a short gig for us after the presentations. Achor's Door, fronted by Adrian (who didn't have an encore song) entertained us with songs from Lifehouse, Steven Curtis Chapman and the Smallville soundtrack.

Overall, we had a pretty good turnout today. It would have been great if there was a way of getting some discussion and interaction going between the presenters and the audience. But then again, who were we kidding fighting with the hungry growls of the dinner-time monster. Still, it was an interesting experiment and we thank God for Dean and his team who didn't mind us intruding that night. I pray we didn't scare away any of your regular customers!

Incidentally, I noticed that TUCKSHOP supports the Ice Cream Chefs! (I wrote about them here) I liked the way TUCKSHOP put it on their menu - "Because like us, they put in lots of love and passion into what they are doing." (paraphrased) That summed up the night for me. It didn't really matter much that the night was more of a blast than we could expect or plan for. What mattered was the spirit behind the whole sharing session - a gathering of passionate people coming together to make something meaningful happen. And that, I must say, produced the most beautiful symphony. Enjoy the pics.