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how surprising March 25, 2010

Posted by walnutsrice in inspired in design.
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if i was famous January 6, 2010

Posted by walnutsrice in in clarity, inspired in design.
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Which city offers the best quality of life:

Munich. I enjoy the perfect blend of contempories and historics, parks and open spaces, and the small allies and corners that hide the most interesting shops. The pace of the city is optimal.

Is this also your favourite city?

I don’t have one. I like to think that I can uncover the essence of each place I go.

What are your favourite design features in other cities?

Roof gardens in New York City.

The straight view along St Kilda Road to the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne City.

Contemporary Art Centre in Melbourne.

Millenium Park in Chicago – specially the Laurie Garden.

The drains that run within the city in Freiburg.

If you could make one change to the urban fabric, what would it be?

Have fun decorations along the sidewalks, building walls, shelters and bus stops to liven up the space.

On a personal level, what is essential to quality of life?

Creativity and imagination.

then Fresh air. ample green space. great coffee. good bookstores. safe bicycle lanes. pedestrian sidewalks.

nature photography November 20, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in inspired in design.
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after lunch inspiration

Designing the highline fanaticism October 30, 2009

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Damian took my book to the USA to get it signed by James Corner if they meet.

designing the highline

if he comes back with James Corner’s signature, am i permitted to scream and faint?

i like blur pictures October 21, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in inspired in design.
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maybe it is because i am short sighted, and got used to seeing things slightly double ๐Ÿ™‚

sometimes not everything in life is clear anyway.


some shots August 11, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in inspired in design.

in bid to fight the afternoon zz monster that attacks me almost every day (proving to me that I really aren’t a desk bound person), i decided to post the pictures I took on my photography field trip about two months ago. I tend to be tardy at posting, I know.





I am still learning to work my camera. but i was pretty excited to see that my camera can be adjusted to capture different degrees of clarity ๐Ÿ™‚

USA 2010 June 12, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in inspired in design.

For the Highline Project (at long last!), I will head to the USA next summer. I have tracked the progress of the HighLine since construction begun. And to know that the first phase has been opened to public, I really am jumping for joy. I think this is THE project of 2007, 2008 and 2009. I have not come across another project that is so inspiring, and transforming.





I am thinking of summer plans already. It doesn’t look like I would travel anywhere for the rest of the year to anywhere major. Summer in the West Coast would be real fun – Seattle, California, San Francisco, and possibly Mexico. Then head to NYC for a couple of days to check out the Highline Project, and the New Visitor Centre at Times Square!

Parks are fun..soon June 12, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in completely crazy, inspired in design.
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as a designer, it becomes almost a responsibility to present what is real to the public. not what is ideal. Even as we commence a design, the land is not a tabula rasa i.e. a blank slate. It is irresponsible to perceive, and present a place as if nothing ever existed. On the other hand, a good design is deliberate. Every component counts.

Recently, I have been looking at how ‘fun’ components may be added into a park design (at a low cost), possibly using recycled materials or salvaged items. give it a good clean up and chuck it at the park to create an element of surprise. why should designs be..predictable? These pictures gave me inspiration:



Tthese photographs do not imply that the Schobrunn Zoo in Vienna does not clean up their exhibits space; rather, it presents to visitors a realistic view of the natural habitats. Do you really think the Amazon River is intact? Do you think ocean floors are clean and pristine? Of course not. Besides, wildlife in the zoo is no longer presented as decorative objects to be viewed through a cage or a staged set. Instead, zoos have slowly begun to modify the mode of presentation, showcasing wildlife in a manner that is closest to their natural habitat.

Another more light-hearted project which I came across is almost funny. and very amusing. definitely cheap to do.



i always refer to Color Me Katie for inspiration to make parks more fun.

i have ideas. need to sleep on them and see if I could put them into Punggol Town Park and also Children’s Park.

Operation Christmas Child June 10, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in inspired in design, one step to reality.
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when i was in college in melbourne, my church used to organise Operation Christmas Child at the end of the year. We could participate as individuals or in groups, where each would get a box to fill. We could fill it with necessities like toothbrushes, tooth paste, socks, a T-shirt, notebook, pencils etc. These boxes would then be sent off to different countries for the less privileged.


I could almost imagine the joy when these boxes are passed out. You can read stories about how these boxes transformed lives in remote parts of the world and spread joy to those who need them. Distributing blessings allow us to share a little of what God has given us, and we shouldn’t underestimate what this could do. Even brightening up a dark spot in people’s lives are worth the effort.

Maybe this year we could do something like that in church. rally the church together to pass these to a local community organisation. and it doesn’t need to happen only at Christmas. It could happen anytime of the year. I should discuss with the girls.

Verner Panton May 24, 2009

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verner panton

Verner Panton, National Museum Singapore

“Most people spend their lives living in dreary, beige conformity, mortally afraid of using colours. The main purpose of my work is to provoke people into using their imagination and make their surroundings more exciting.” – Verner Panton

made in China: Diaspora May 17, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in in clarity, inspired in design.
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i am not sure if every major city in the world has a Chinatown. But at least every major city I have been to has a Chinatown. it is quite amazing, especially when I showed up in Freiburg and there was a little chinese provision shop selling Lee Kum Kee.


via wallpaper

click on the link to come to an interactive one. it will pull up other more remote Chinatowns such as Nauru and Tel Aviv (i missed this one when i was there in 2006), and there is a new one in Darwin, targetted for completion in 2010. I wonder how different would the older, slow-evolving ones be from the new, deliberate ones.

we’ll see


clarke quay May 11, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in inspired in design.
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i was browsing the internet for images to use for my project and i came across this amazing picture of Clarke Quay.


it so beautifully captures the old and the new at clarke quay,

and theย  bursts of colours that makes energizes the place

in never never land April 11, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in happy little things, inspired in design.
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the pillow blanket: sounds extremely tempting to be snuggling under bed covers for a nap right now:



via jung you

feeling extremely sleepy in office now – yawns-

a new old spin March 22, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in for giggles, inspired in design.

art in everyday life:


when winter rolls around, this is what we can do ๐Ÿ˜‰

unbelievable! March 19, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in completely crazy, inspired in design.
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i cannot believe this. i cannot believe i am physically not in the USA to be part of the action!


ย the list of speakers are as follows (can i grumble about how i am missing out on the great thinkers of this century):

James Corner, George Hargreaves, Micheal Van Valkenburgh

i read their writings, figure out their thoughts on paper, and when they discuss parks and the processes and influencing factors that define and redefine parks today. read: Large Parks, Recovering Landscapes, and The Landscape Urbanism Reader (and be totally bowled over)


I sound like an obsessed fan going for a rock concert but really! i hope someone takes up the role of actively documenting the panel discussions and posting it on blogsphere. will be keeping my eyes peeled for it.

18.03 March 19, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in in clarity, inspired in design.

my laptop died yesterday. and thank goodness it did – because it gave me the perfect excuse not to get any work done. (see, the truth is i do work because i have to, not because i really want to. and when my laptop dies on me, i won’t be hopping panic.) it died the moment i saved my presentation into the thumbdrive.

i think the death of my laptop signifies the burn-outย I am feeling already. Gary keeps telling me – take a break. you can’t keep working. and one day you will appreciate this advice. I do! i slept early last night. refused to do any work, and spent time before going to bed browsing the internet on Environmental Graphics, which was fun because it was design (what i like), informative (growing knowledge) and non-project related.



i was particularly caught up with way-finding signage masterplans, and how the signages that show different information(though of different size and scale) should always be related to the human scale. The colour scheme, the shape, the size, the font type are subtle details that affect the experience of a space. one thing I noted was that directional ignages tend to be vertically placed, making it hard to read and requiring a larger stand-back distance: If we tilt information signage at human height (to let people read into the space.signage and not at it) then why would we not consider tilting the directional signs?

i thought the directional sign done at Erie Basin Park is cool:


it is a nice art sculpture to increase the aesthetics of the place, while large enough to be a focal interest and a functional item. I like multi-functional design.

by the way, what do you think of the Orchard Road makeover?

I want to be a Landscape Architect February 28, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in inspired in design.
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I never knew I was that multi-talented – most of us have a lot of problems explaining what we really do. the common response is ‘Oh so you decide where to put trees?’

I have come to realise that the landscape has become such a natural extension of everyone’s life that they don’t even notice its presence or their relationship with the land. It is unlike buildings where you are conscious you are in it. You are always in the landscape; hence it is harder to understand how a design can influence one’s relationship to the land.


Landscape architecture combines environment and design, art and science.ย  It is about everything outside the front door, both urban and rural, at the interface between people and natural systems. The range of ways in which landscape architects work is staggering. From masterplanning Olympic sites to planning and managing landscapes like national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty to designing the public squares and parks that we all use, landscape architecture nurtures communities and makes their environment human and liveable.

Landscape architects are broad thinkers who thrive on the big picture.ย  They are playing an increasingly important role in addressing the great issues of our day: climate change, sustainable communities, water, housing and the prevention of hunger.

Landscape architects are often natural leaders, able to communicate with many professions and leading multidisciplinary projects. Landscape architecture is not just the profession of the future โ€“ but the profession for a better future.

I think this is one of the best descriptions of a landscape architect in a long time.

lego recreates February 1, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in inspired in design.

random clicking brought me to a few blogs showcasing how lego has influenced street art and also, recreated classic photos. they bring some early mornig laughter between my sniffles ๐Ÿ˜‰


via gems sty

i can recognise the top one ๐Ÿ˜‰ what about the rest?


๐Ÿ˜‰ via gems sty