Wednesday 16 November 2011

Promising talents at Red Dot MAAD Market

What’s sweeter than grabbing the coolest and most innovative accessory, is buying it from a design student who has come up with the idea by an accident; and paying a measly SG$5 for it!

Yes, for a mere SG$5 I found myself this weekend walking out with the coolest item I’ve purchased so far in Singapore: an avant-garde hairband made of a diskette and a small lamp. Something that Lady Gaga might be interested in, of course if it were much bigger and it lit up!

This SG$5 unusual hairband caught my attention the moment I saw it. Cheong said
he's going to try and and make the lamp light up, and when that happens, I'll be getting
the first prototype!

This was at the monthly MAAD Market at Red Dot design museum which is known amongst hip Singaporeans to be the place where talented young designers and artists sell their original designs; so naturally I had to check it out.

Among the many stalls of young designers selling stuff like laptop cases, accessories and art objects, I stumbled over Cheong Tong Pei and his classmates’ stall which was full of interesting creations that immediately caught my eye.

Cheong is a first-year student at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), School of Art, Design and Media and as a part of a 3D module project, he and his friends had to create objects of value and use and present them to the public at MAAD for them to gain confidence as young designers.

The hairband was not the only item Cheong came up with; his attempts in men’s fashion were equally creative and successful that my husband bought 2 t-shirts on show for a mere SG$10 each.

This t-shirt with bubble wrap pocket was a hit. My hubby bought one in black.

Cheong designed these t-shirts with unusual details.

About his t-shirts designs, Cheong explained: “The ideas for my t-shirts came about as I was looking for materials that were common but had an interesting texture. One material that I personally like is the bubble wrap because the texture was fun to touch and looked unusual. So I juxtaposed it onto a t-shirt with a functionality of a pocket.

As for the feather t-shirt, it was more of an experiment because I have not seen a wearable item with feathers on it. It was a first time and I am glad that it turned out quite well. I will experiment more on feathers onto clothes.”

And about the diskette hairband, Cheong said that it was a happy accident. The idea started out as a tiny lampshade with a nice reflective surface of the diskette but it was not practical in the real world. He put it on his friend's head and the hairband was born.

Obviously you can't expect high quality tailoring and craftsmanship from students like Cheong, but what's really encouraging is to see not only the drive, but the level of raw creativity and innovation from young people which is what really counts.

Cheong’s stall was a one-time thing for his project but given the compliments he’s been getting for the success of his designs, he said he might do it again. And if he does, this blog will be the first to give you the details so keep watching this space!!