Inter[sections] Reflection

With the recent completion of my documentary film for Design and History, it is time for me to reflect on how the film has raised the target audience’s knowledge and understanding of how the theme of migration influenced the central characters.

In this film, the theme of migration was extremely pertinent and significant, particularly migration to Hong Kong, as it was the main idea that bonded the three interviewees together. All three individuals migrated to Hong Kong at different times for different reasons, and many push and pull factors came into play when deciding whether to leave the original destination and move to Hong Kong. Essentially, migrating to Hong Kong was not only the connection that the three individuals had, but also the reason why my group was able to meet and work together on a project like this. Needless to say, this migration had a huge impact on all three lives, especially when the living and working conditions are compared, all of which took a turn for the better.

We tried to demonstrate these messages through the film, particularly through the interviews that were held and recorded with each of the groups. With the recorded interviews, everyone was asked the same questions, meaning that the audience was able to consider a variety of perspectives and opinions on similar topics. In the interviews, each individual speaks of when and why they moved to Hong Kong, as well as how much their lives have changed as a result. This personal information conveyed through the interviews helps to support the points that may have been made in the introduction and builds up towards the end of the film for the final message. Finally, background research and context was also conducted and included in the film, providing useful information that might not be familiar to the audience and ensuring that all components make complete sense. Major research ideas included Communist China, as well as Hong Kong education, economic and health statistics.

Throughout various aspects of the film, the target audience was able to develop their ideas of how the theme of migration to Hong Kong had an impact on the three interviewed individuals.

Reflection on Heartbeats

With the start of the final MYP Design project, which is an integrated project with History, I would like to take this chance to reflect on my work, grades and feedback from the previous Design project, which was an integrated project with Science to create a heart valve model. 

Out of the four criteria (A, B, C and D), my weakest seemed to be Criteria C, as it received a relatively lower grade – 7/8 when the rest were 8/8. Specific feedback and comments for Criteria C were not given, so I can only make inferences as to how I can improve. Perhaps some of my process journal entries could have been longer and more detailed to ensure that I fully demonstrated the tools, materials, skills and techniques that allowed me to be successful. 

Bringing this to the upcoming Design project, I think that I should work to develop more detailed process journals with a clear demonstration and reflection of things I learned, changes I made, challenges I faced, and tools, functions and techniques that I used. With these aspects in mind, I will be able to produce well-written and successful journal entries. This will be measured through self-evaluation after each entry, in which I check to make sure that all possible points were mentioned with the support of ample evidence. Overall, this goal would allow me to effectively reflect on the creative process and document the ways in which I contribute to the film. This will hopefully be achieved by mid-March, which is when Criteria C of the workbook with 5 journal entries will be due. 

Heart Valve Model

Over the past month, I have been working towards the creation of a heart valve model for Science and Design, using simple materials to represent the complex concept of the one-way flow of a heart valve.

To see my video with my demonstration and explanation, as well as changes made to the plan and design, please see the video below.

As mentioned in the video, quite a few changes were made to my design, as well as to my plan.

For my design, there was the addition of the decorative red veins drawn onto the exterior of the model with a red sharpie. This was done to make the model look more visually and aesthetically appealing, as well as draw in the Grade 7 students when the time comes to test our models with them. This also added interest to the model, as it allows it to look more intriguing compared to if it was left blank.

Another change made to my design was the addition of duct tape along the bottom of the model. This was due to the fact that after cutting the bottle, I realised that the edges were rather sharp, and could potentially be dangerous. Because of this, I decided to stick duct tape and fold it up onto the inside of the model, which would create a smoother base without the jagged edges from the X-acto knife.

The direction of the water bottle in which the main part of the model was placed was flipped, which was because I found that the model would be able to be more freestanding this way, and it would facilitate with the pouring of the water into the model, as there is a clear hole in the tube presented.

Finally, I added a board to serve as the base of the model, which included cut out paper of information on heart valves, and a diagram showing the heart and specifically the heart valves. There were also two rectangles of the board that were cut out to place the water bottle on, serving as support. This made the model look more presentable, while providing information to the Grade 7 students at the same time.

As for the plan, one of the changes that I made was due to the additional tasks that were added on over time. Because of this, the overall time that was spent on creating the final product increased, meaning that some things had to be completed later than what was originally set out.

Furthermore, I did not refer back to the plan as often as I would have liked to, and merely looked at it only when I was initially making it. This meant that I was doing things as I wanted to, and tasks were completed according to where I was at the time. Another factor was the amount of time we were given in class and how effectively I used that time, as I rarely took my model home, and this would contribute to the distribution of time within the various tasks.

Design Day Term 1

Today was Design Day, where the Grade 10s got introduced to our first Design project of the year, integrated with Science – constructing a heart valve. For the majority of the day, we worked in groups to research, come up with ideas and make prototypes, which were tested with water to evaluate its success.

Though rotated, a photo of our successful prototype can be seen below.

To see my key takeaways from today, watch the YouTube video below:

If I could do it all again, I would try to be more creative and participate more in my group. As I am not very strong in Science, particularly Biology, I found it rather hard to grasp the concepts and to think of interesting and effective ways to recreate a heart valve. This meant that I was not able to participate and contribute as much as I wanted, which is not how an effective team member should act. Throughout the day, I seemed to be stuck in terms of ideas, but nonetheless I was still enthusiastic and excited with regards to the process.

As to the way my thoughts and perceptions have changed from today, I think that I now know more about what is expected of us, as well as what our final product could potentially look like. I also was able to get a better idea of how complicated concepts can be simplified and replicated using everyday materials, allowing me to broaden my views.

Finally, I think that the elements that worked well in our prototype was the fact that minimal materials were used, and though it took multiple tries to be successful, we were able to learn from our mistakes and achieve our goal in the end. The prototype consisted of four materials – a tube, rubber bands, a latex glove and a balloon. With a small hole punctured in the balloon, we were able to make it so that when water was poured in, it would go into the glove, but when it was flipped over, the hole in the balloon was hidden and covered, thus preventing the water from leaking out the other way. Even though the design was rather simple, it facilitated with demonstrating the function of a heart valve and allowed for a successful trial with the water.

Graphic Novel – Empire of the Sun

Recently, I created a graphic novel panel sequence for page 44-47 of the book Empire of the Sun using Adobe Illustrator. Below is the final product (which you can click on to enlarge and take a closer look).


Graphic Novel Contribution

I have learned so much from completing this project, whether that was regarding Adobe Illustrator, or how the use of graphic novel conventions can affect the audience. Since this is a Design project integrated into English, I also learned how the two subjects interrelate and come together to convey plot and meaning to a wider audience.

The use of visuals help to reinforce a particular message, as it adds visual depth to the scene through illustrations. There is only so much one can convey using words, and an illustration makes the message more comprehendible for a wider community – art is international. Every stroke and every drop of colour could show meaning and underlying moods, if you think about it. The artistic intention is what makes up the entire panel sequence.

Technology is able to facilitate the communication of ideas, as lines, shapes and text can easily be created, while colour can easily be added. Technology is basically the simplified version of real life, meaning that tasks are less difficult and challenging to complete. In our case, we used Adobe Illustrator, which was an application used so that we did not have to draw out the panel sequence by hand.

Perspectives can definitely change through the use of visuals. The colour scheme and the use of line, text and transitions are just a few elements that can change the perspective of the audience. With a change in the visuals, the mood could change, affecting and impacting the audience in another way. One small change can make a big difference.

Throughout the Design project, I encountered many challenges, all of which had to do with the application Adobe Illustrator – which is slightly ironic, as I just mentioned how it is meant to make our lives easier. Creating an entire graphic novel panel sequence as an Illustrator newbie is not a piece of cake. All the tools in the sidebar were unfamiliar, and I had no idea what to do when I first opened it. Slowly, by clicking on and experimenting the various tools that Illustrator has to offer, I learned how each of them worked and how I could implement them into my design. I also searched up tutorials online, as people who have a lot more experience than me tend to teach their skills to the online community.

If I were to do this project again, I would spend less time perfecting every tiny little detail, and focusing on making the panels intelligible for everyone – ensuring that an appropriate amount of context is given. This is rather important, as it is necessary that the audience understands what is going on in the scene, or everything else would be utterly pointless.

Overall, this has been a great experience for me, to work with Illustrator, to show my graphic novel knowledge and to display my artistic skills. Though there were some challenges along the way, I managed to persevere and overcome the challenges; and create a final product that I am proud of.

Design Day – Graphic Novel

Today was Design Day, meaning that we did not have any other classes and we spent the whole day being introduced to our new Design task – creating a graphic novel digitally based on the book Empire of the Sun. I learned the details of our task, as well as the requirements to be successful. I was able to develop some questions regarding the project, as to things that I did not know or was confused about.

We were also exposed to the world of Adobe Illustrator. I’ve only used Illustrator a few times, for Design mockups and PSAs, not graphic novels and panel sequences. We were introduced to a specific tool for the day – the pen tool. With my previous experiences, I had never used the tool before, so it was something new for me to learn. We had exercises to do, where we drew shapes and block letters with guides. It was rather confusing at first but I slowly got the hang of it and got used to the different controls. However, it would have been extremely hard without the guides, and I can’t imagine how I’ll draw out over 8 panels later on. One of the exercises can be seen below (the black outlines were done by me):

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 5.12.37 pm


Overall, it was a productive day where we were able to learn about our upcoming Design task and experiment with the application that we will use.

Waste Not, Want Not

Recently, I completed the packaging for a CDNIS tumbler mug (click on the image to enlarge it).












Please take some time to comment on my package, through a survey which you can find below:



Waste Not, Want Not II

In my previous post, you can see that I created a package for an apple in a group.

Shortly after that, we created a design for it using the application SketchUp. I found it hard to use SketchUp to create the design, as there are so many functions needed to be used to create just one part. There aren’t any specific shapes (2D and 3D) that can be created (excluding a rectangle and a circle), so it is required to think out of the box to get the kind of appearance/shape you want.















I think that our understanding of geometry can definitely help us reduce our carbon footprint. I think this way because if you have a better understanding of geometry, then you can create a more effective net that uses less materials and does not waste as much space. Many packaging containers of products have a lot of extra leftover space, so if we could minimise that, it would make a difference to the environment.

Waste Not, Want Not

Today is Design Day, which marks the start of another Design unit. Yay?

One of our tasks was to create a package with a sheet of A4 paper for a certain fruit – an apple or a banana. We worked in a group, and we chose to make a package for an apple, as the shape seemed easier to work with. Certain stationery items were available for our use, like scissors, tape and markers. We had 20 minutes to do it, and this is what we did:






























We had specific criteria for this task. The package should be:

– easy to open (referring to our package, it is fairly easy to open, since the flap is obvious and it can be flipped up easily)

– secure (it is not completely secure, as we did not remember to tape the lid onto the box, so once someone lifts it up by the handle, the box would tip and the apple would fall out)

– contents should be obvious (the contents of the box were pretty obvious, as we wrote the word “Apple” on the side of the box)

– ergonomic (the box is not entirely ergonomic. If it isn’t held by the handle, it is easy to hold and can be handled easily. When held by the handle, the box would tip and the weight would not be distributed properly, as mentioned above)

– protective (since we had to use A4 paper, it wouldn’t be protective enough, but we covered the whole thing in masking tape so that it would be more sturdy)

– appropriate size (the box is an appropriate size, as it leaves enough space around the apple and fits the apple well)

– attractive (personally, I do not believe that the box is attractive, as the masking tape leaves parts sticking out, and it could be neater)

– light (it is fairly light, as there is no extra weight, since the box is made out of paper and tape)

– durable (as mentioned above, it is not fully durable, due to the fact that the box is made out of paper)