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.
MEET THE FORKERS:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!