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Syinc Blog

Here we muse about creativity & innovation, and document (some of) the work we're doing about it in Singapore.

Filtering by Tag: FORK

FORK4

Shaun Koh

FORK is a celebration of neat side-projects; especially ones that make the world a little better (and more authentic!). We bring (mostly) "unknown" independent tinkerers doing stuff they love – makers, entrepreneurs, educators, hackers – together with other creative geeks making impossible things. 

In the spirit of creative collaboration, everything is shared under the creative commons license – so expect to adapt/remix/collaborate the night away. We’re all here looking for a bit of inspiration and fun.

Check out previous FORK events hereStay in the loop on FB and twitter

MEET THE FORKERS:

Celine Lim of Resonate

Celine Lim of Resonate

1. "RESONATE" - CELINE LIM and LEONARD LEE

Having to watch as a loved one suffering from dementia gradually disconnect from reality is disheartening. However, fighting it isn’t a lost cause. Music could be a way to traverse time and memory, as a means for them to reconnect and for you to see them as you once remembered them. 

The idea for Resonate crystallized when Celine encountered Leonard who had met an artiste manager looking for a volunteer program. Inspired by a book by Oliver Sacks, a writer and neurologist, and a program in the US called Music and Memory, the two proposed a form of music therapy that could be introduced to nursing homes and day-care centers in Singapore.

The Resonate project will use MP3 players to provide customised music playlists to people with dementia and other conditions, including depression and Parkinson's disease. With the help of the artiste volunteers, the playlists are infinitely customizable and will be created with input from family members and background information for individual patients.

The National Neuroscience Institute estimates that there are about 28,000 people, aged 60 and above, with dementia in Singapore today - not including people with early-onset dementia. This figure is expected to rise to 80,000 by 2030. Resonate is not a purely altruistic project – it’s a musical investment for our old age too.

Resonate is looking for volunteers who will assist nursing home staff in implementing and monitoring the progress of the initiative. While the first pilot will be in the Novena area, your placement can be according to convenience as they hope to reach out to all nursing homes around Singapore. 

Resonate is also kick starting a donation drive for MP3s and headphones. They require only that the MP3s be in working condition and have at least 1 hour worth of capacity. Headphones, however, should be new (hygiene!). Get in touch.

Debbie Ding sharing how she recorded her dreams over 6 years

Debbie Ding sharing how she recorded her dreams over 6 years

2. "PSYCHOGEOFORENSICS" - DEBBIE DING

Debbie Ding is a Singapore-based visual artist, programmer and independent researcher. She facilitates the Singapore Psychogeographical Society, which is devoted to promoting a better understanding of the world through ludic adventures, independent research, digital documentation, and data/archival activism.

Debbie shares with us the cool things that have evolved from her obsession with archiving. She began a movement to collect and trade rocks between people, springing from what she calls “psychogeoforensics”, which means to approach the various psychogeographical ambiances in an urban city from the domain of forensics. Through psychogeoforensics, one may view the city as the scene of the mystery, or as the missing artifact itself. As she muses, it was fun to see people begin to ascribe value to these essentially worthless rocks, as they constructed or reconstructed their own stories around them.

Another cool result of her archival tendency was a project on collecting and recording her personal dreams in map form. This work was 6 years in the making, and grew from a notebook permanently by her bedside that she would scribble in immediately upon waking.  

For other ‘weirdos’ who want to make stuff happen, this is her advice: “spend less time consuming, and more time producing”. We agree.

 

Kelly Koh and Eugene Tan from State of Buildings

Kelly Koh and Eugene Tan from State of Buildings

3. "STATEOFBUILDINGS.SG" - EUGENE TAN, KELLY KOH, and GAD TAN

The State of Buildings project is a repository of places and memories. In the ever-changing landscape of Singapore, the State of Buildings project serves as a kind of diary where both the hard facts and emotional significance of the city’s past and present architecture will never be forgotten.

Initiated by three friends, they began by taking snapshots of buildings they love to accurately document the facts and stories that people associate with it. They even managed to interview the original architect of Pandan Valley, and documented things that would have never been known otherwise. Some people have also shared how a certain place was intricately linked to memories of a blossoming love and growing up.

Spread the word, or share your own stories and photographs to enrich the emotional wallpaper of your favorite buildings around Singapore. 

Stateofbuildings.sg is also open to collaboration!

 

Anotherbeautifulstory being told right here.

Anotherbeautifulstory being told right here.

4. "ANOTHERBEAUTIFULSTORY" - CHRISTOPHER ANG, DARRYL CHAN and WINFRED KWAN

'anotherbeautifulstory' showcases stories about artists, artisans and craftspeople and celebrates their commitment to their passions through storytelling. The videos produced are never scripted, so what you get is a dose of stunning visuals with a generous dollop of sincerity from real people sharing real stories.


'anotherbeautifulstory' is a non-profit and self-funded project, started by 3 friends with regular day jobs - Christopher Ang, Darryl Chan and Winfred Kwan. They intend to keep it that way, because self-funded means not having to answer to anyone.

When asked what prompted them to start, they talked about coffee. “We would meet up for coffees and talk about doing this. Eventually we realized if we kept meeting for coffees, we would have spent more money on coffee but wouldn’t have done anything. So we decided to just do it.”

“Sometimes, we aren’t impulsive enough to do the things we really love.”

'anotherbeautifulstory' is always looking out for new stories to be told, and for beautiful stories to be shared.

 

The  Adrianna Tan.

The Adrianna Tan.

5. "WETHECITIZENS.SG" ADRIANNA TAN and WINNIE LIM

Wethecitizens.sg was started by Singaporeans who live several time zones apart and hardly spend time in the country, but love it all the same and care deeply about where it is going.

Adrianna is best known as @skinnylatte online, tech goddess and political geek. You might remember her as the one running Nicole Seah’s digital campaign during the last General Elections.

Provoked by the online conversation that went on in the background during the National Day Rally, wethecitizens is a website that asks visitors to answer a not-so-simple question in 140 characters: “what does a better Singapore look like to you”? Adrianna collates the data, and runs sentiment analyses as a form of real-time polling information on any topic. With this open platform that censors nobody, she paints an alternative picture of what paths Singaporeans want their country to take.

Some answers have been frivolous, some have been thought provoking. Join in the dialogue right here.

 

Syinc's Bernise sharing stories from Under The Hood

Syinc's Bernise sharing stories from Under The Hood

6. SURPRISE SPEAKERS: SYINC!

The folks who faithfully bring you FORK have also been working hard on something really close to our hearts. It's a cross between anthropology, data, design, and crowdsourcing solutions from the community. 

Under The Hood is a civic experiment to crowdsource hyperlocal solutions for urban transformation. We seek to better understand urban poverty and struggling neighbourhoods in Singapore - and co-design solutions with the wider community. And in this case, we're focusing on one particular neighbourhood - Bukit Ho Swee.

The project brings together motivated geeks + designers + citizens (and more!) to tackle critical issues worth working on. Starts with ethnographic research and data analysis, then online brainstorming, which leads to a 2-day hackathon in the heart of Bukit Ho Swee.

This is the first time we’re partering with the very international United Nations Development Programme, and super local Bukit Ho Swee Family Service Centre; the best ideas from the hackathon will be able to present at Social Innovation Camp Asia. It’s going to be exciting times.

We’re looking for creative wizards to help in publishing and layouts to create awesome project briefs. We’ll also be launching the website real soon to call for participants!

Super Special Edition of FORK5: 

All 5 speakers will be drawn from Under The Hood participant teams: yes we're making our own FORK speakers… Fork5 will be happening right after the hackathon!

Fork 2: Cardboard Robots, Kids Hacking, & Evil Biosensors

Sonia

Fork.jpg

Shaun looking particularly dashing

Our second edition of FORK was a blast! It was truly a coming together of peeps in the community who believe in making things out of curiosity, and love. And about creating something in a safe space, where you can tinker with unfinished ideas, and infect someone else in that same space with the same passion for the $h*t you love.

Many came for the event alone, but by the end of the night, something about the vibe (with the help of some beer) had strangers were chatting away like old friends. 

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Abuzz with anticipation

Some of you folks asked what FORK means: it's a reference to open source software coding, where hackers might "fork" some code and branch out to make something else. It's about building upon, and a kind of creativity that is…combinatorial

For those curious about FORK1: check this out. Also, 2 of our pitchers from FORK1 - Yen the fine artist and Hanyang the 3D printing geek - are now collaborating in this project!

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Hanyang showing off the product of their collaboration: merchandise to support the art project!

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They made tiny houses! With windows!

Also, we heard you:

 Yup, we gottit (from FORK1) - you want a more tangible way

of connecting (apart from the obvious mingling). So here is the rudimentary "sign-up sheet" we tried out so people could connect with pitchers they found interesting! 

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William appeared to be quite popular!

Without further ado, our pitchers for the evening!:

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William with volunteers showing how, with a bit of technology, you can have human presentation clickers

William Hooi | Hackidemia

William was an engineer by training, and a teacher by profession at the Singapore Science Center. He combines the two in Hackidemia, workshops which allow children to try out sophisticated technology and make stuff. The eventual dream is for children to have a change in world view: from being helpless in the world to adopting a tinkerer’s disposition, a belief that the world can be acted upon, that they can do stuff.

Plug:

William is looking for venue hosts, volunteers to help in facilitation and sponsors to keep the program free for all participants! 

Get involved here

Bart.jpg

Bartholomew Ting | Cardboard Playground

Bart has only one slide with his name and a photo of a huge cardboard robot assembled outside Artistry  (which was taken that very afternoon). He gets onstage and sheepishly admits that the massive robot, put together with cardboard lego blocks, was his creation. We are impressed, and are collectively peering out the window at the nearly two-story tall giant.

He tells us his story: it all started from his time in NUS, when he built sculptures with recycled materials for the charity event Rag & Flag. He then worked at a cardboard packaging factory, where he got the idea to work with cardboard in more creative ways (and started learning how to navigate 3D software).

His cardboard lego blocks are visualized and turned into templates with the help of 3D rendering software. He then manually cuts out the pieces, and puts them together using hot glue or cable ties.

Plug:

Bart is looking for volunteers to help with putting together a cardboard playground in the National Library from 13th May to its opening on 31st May. Shaun had at a go at assembling the giant robot, and swears it was the most fun he’s had in years. You can too.

See past projects, gifs and Bart’s contact at www.butternmilk.com!

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Sahasrangshu Sinha | Sreejan

Saha is a change maker working on rural development in eastern India. After a trek to the Saïd Business School at Oxford, He’s back in the village of his boyhood to effect some very real changes to poverty, sanitation and environmental issues.

While at B school, he realized that these issues were all inter-related, and unlike the silo-ed nature of many government agencies, he developed a holistic approach to successfully tackle several problems all at once. Through the synergy, he effects greater social impact with less resources.

He calls his approach "livelihood convergence”, and has been running programs for several years. 24,000 households have benefited thus far.

His second project, a non-profit collaboration between Spandan and Sreejan, is another brilliant example of synergy. The project expands the micro-finance model to include micro-insurance, micro-loans, market  access and capability building. Each would not work individually, but together, they make sense. There is immense potential to revolutionize current “bottom of the pyramid” (BOP) models here. 

Plug:

Saha invites you to check out the website, have a think about what they’re doing, and email him if you'd like to know more.

Bran.jpg

Brandon Leong | Interfsce

Brandon started a curated online journal on design after being fed up with the enormous amount of unfiltered stuff floating around on the interwebs.

He spends about three hours a day working on his blog, filtering cool stuff to share with other people. When asked if he loved what he did, with absolutely zero hesitation Brandon replied “Yes I do”. The best takeaway from Brandon’s sharing was his personal philosophy “Do what matters to you, the rest, so what” (add casual shrug for effect).

Follow his blog here.

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Shanmugam Mpl, EvilBioSensors

Shan comes up on stage, and asks for a volunteer. When his presentation has the word ‘evil’ in it, you want to be wary of volunteering for this sort of thing. “I wanted to wear this tshirt but it’s too small”, he explains.

A girl comes up, dons the tshirt and we watch as she gets hooked up to a whole bunch of wires. What follows is an interesting commentary on the dualism of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ that accompanies any kind of creation.

Shan demonstrates how the tshirt, with a big graphic heart on it, lights up in rhythm to the volunteer’s heart rate thanks to a biosensor clipped onto her finger that measures her pulse. We all go ohhh on cue.

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Makes you think.

Then things get serious. The project was born out of a hackathon “Future Jamming”, on the future of governance (incidentally, co-founders Shaun and Bernise were part of the organising team behind that).

Shan paints a pessimistic picture for us: “imagine a world where everything you are feeling could be on display. Anyone would know when you were nervous, or angry, just from your displayed heart rate. Or if you had AIDS, or diabetes, and the government forced you to wear a tshirt that showed this from other bio data”.

open me in a web browser tooo.gif

Hmm..... ahh!!

ABOUT FORK:

 The whole idea behind FORK is to create a space for a creative vat of randomness and fun. People working on interesting side projects out of curiosity and passion pitch, or simply share, what they’re doing. In the spirit of the Creative Commons, they can run with the idea in their own way, or say “hey I love your idea and I want to work with you!” The folks who pitch often aren’t famous - a big part of FORK is pulling people out of the woodwork - but they’ve always got something cool to share. 

FORK Wrapup: Recaps, Photos, Reactions, and More!

Bernise Ang

Can't believe that FORK is over. It's taken this long to really *get* what we did at Artistry last Thursday: our collective hopeful uncynical creativity made tangible. FORK seemed to strike *something* – hanging your "work" out there at it's most raw point, and trusting that no one would tear it apart, but to aid in putting it together. Brutal criticism is too easy, but so too is a casual "that's nice" too. Finding that creative middle-ground is what FORK is all about. So thanks to all our terrific speakers: you guys really did insanely great – giving raw, heartfelt, innovative, and irreverent presentations.

Shaun referring to his speaker notes. Hey, "it's a work-in-progress"!

Hanyang from Funbie Studioes shared stories from their 3D printing adventures – yes, they have a makerbot folks! – building stuff like a Mario Cube Side-Light, just for funsies. As people found out when they touched it, it does indeed light up, and make that da-ta noise we're all familiar with. No magic flower power yet though. Something for the todo list Hanyang!

If you're interested in knowing more about 3D printing, or getting someone to make something, Hanyang's your guy.

He was also the reason why we were so lucky to have the giant red robot. More on that later.

*Update: *Just 3 days later, Hanyang's already created a 3D printed model of Yen's Social Art Project at 13 Wilkie Terrace. Creative collaboration woot woot!

Norvin's starting a movement – to rid the world of rote learning, and build one where students really grok what they're learning. That's easy to say, especially when you've been doing it the "right" way all along. But Norvin wasn't: for much of his student life, he excelled at memorising stuff – so much so that he went on to compete in national memory championships (memory palaces FTW). Yeap. He was the model for rote learning.

In fact, he demonstrated his abilities with a feat of memory daring do – asking the audience to pick out any of the first 1000 digits of Pi (kindly providing us mortals with a pre-calculated list), and with furrowed brows, recalling the accurate number sequence at will.

"Not magic, just memory association techniques. Remember TOA/CAH/SOH?"

This changed when something obvious occured to him – why do I spend so much effort on creating artificial associations between concepts, when I could try to deduce what I need from understanding the fundamental underlying concepts. He illustrated by blowing through puckered lips in contrast to an open mouth exhalation. One feels warm, the other cool. Why? HINT: speed. Bonus HINT: email him!

His plan to turn this into a movement involves bringing together successful professionals on Facebook to share what's really needed in the real world. I'm imagining a Pixar type "It gets better" video now.

At a semi-secret location in Singapore, Yen Phang is transforming an old bungalow into a temporary collaborative art space ("Displacements") challenge artists to engage with the world around them (their immediate physical space and surrounding geography), and encourage them to actively embrace and shape our local cultural identity.

And that's all we're allowed to say :x

ideed.gd by Ling Fu

Ling Fu introduced us to ideed.gd, an online creative craft marketplace dedicated to raising funds for good causes (with crazy, spunky creativity). Gorgeously designed, we're definitely putting some of our work there, if we ever get into making "stuff". She's looking for cool stuff to bring on ideed.gd, so if you know anyone who's made something cool, get in touch!

Also, we really really love that domain name. I mean seriously, ideed.gd?!

Yang from Swarm Studios

Yang (Swarm Studios) blew our minds with a real-time data visualisation of mobile phone gyroscope tracking. That means that he asked everyone to log on to a website, and in real-time, coloured dots started to appear on the black screen in front of us – which moved as we waved our phones around. Neat!

He also explained that he hadn't figured out "the point" to the visulisation yet, just that it was for fun. Which is entirely the point of FORK. Thanks Yang, for explaining FORK better than Shaun did!

Also, we've got a few ideas to use that tech – collaborative art project anyone?

Sid with QuirkCycle

Quirk Quirk Cycle! We're super proud of these guys. Born at UP Singapore's Environment Hackerthon, QuirkCycle was a group of hackerthon misfits (castoffs from their original teams) that found common cause – in enlisting hipster chic in making recyling not just cool, but artistically fun too. It matches people's unwanted "junk" to artists that repurpose them into fantastic works of art. We've got a close eye on them, and you should too ;)

And that's our very first FORK line up. We'll be back in April! Sign up on our mailing list+FB to get notifications.

Thanks to everyone that came, and special props to everyone that helped make FORK a big success!

*Speakers: *Hanyang, Norvin, Yen, Ling, Yang, and Sid

*Venue: *Artistry's Prash, Sam and Marcel (who were incredibly gracious in letting us use their space)

*FORK Team: *Pinji, Shree, Bern, and Shaun

*Photographers: *Eddie, and Josh (gorgeous photos no?)

And special thanks: *NYC for their kind support, *Bart for his (big red robot!) and Hanyang again for helping assemble it!

STUFF PEOPLE SAID ABOUT FORK

Amin from Qiscus:

It was really awesome. The crowd’s amazing. The pitches are really cool.

And spotted on STOMP (yeah, we know...):

S'pore's got talent: Meet the giant red transformer of Victoria Street

STRAY NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

– BIG RED ROBOT. The breakout star of the night, who ended up staying over at Artistry over the weekend. T'was designed by Bart, and painstakingly put together under the hot sun by Bart and Hanyang. FUN FACT: We didn't plan to have a big red robot! Hanyang showed us a picture the day before FORK – and after we saw how it dwarfed Bart (who was standing next to it) we just HAD to have him here!

– MORE Q&A time! Yup, we heard you – there will be some group Q&A time at the next FORK. We wanted to spend as little time as possible with FORKers on-stage, and more time with mingling discussion. But we noticed that there wasn't large enough crowds around FORKers as we thought. So more group Q&A time! Also, we're gonna try to nurture discussion clusters – more on that soon.

– WANNA BE A FORKer? Inspired by what you saw, or know anyone working on something cool too? Tell us – we'd love to have them in our next lineup!

– As you can tell, we could use some people help! If you're into marketing/graphic-design/presentation-management/helping-hands, drop us an email. We're super friendly crazy people who love making nice things happen.