HELLO FROM HANGZHOU!! I’m Jeremy Chang, ASD sophomore, and by some divine intervention also happen to be the group leader of this Bamboo Theme haha (Samantha whom wrote the previous blog post, is also the other theme leader aka 女组长. But she knowingly chose not to disclose it and will constantly deny it bleh).

Still pretty sore about staying at Yuquan campus. 25 RMB taxi rides to Zijingang campus (where we have lessons) are piling up to be pretty painful :/

On the brightside,

Me getting high on fried dumplings from houjie 后街. 10 pcs for 7 RMB. 10 PIECES!!!

Week 2 has been a crazy week of exploration and discovery.  Albeit too much of it haha. It first started off with a multi-sensory psychedelic tour around the tranquil grounds of Yuquan campus.

A bunch of young innocent wide-eyed Singaporeans about to face 100 years of China history dumped on them.. Spot the fashionista. That is our teacher huehuehue

Our teacher 光明老师 initially said that he wanted to “带你们去玩玩” (bring us to go play). And the first thoughts in our minds were, BASKETBALL / MA LA HOTPOT / SHOPPING. We were so wrong.

光明老师 brought us to one of those deep grey pavilion that are scattered all around the campus. And there was a sculpture of a bird resting gingerly at the top. We racked our brains thinking about the symbolism of such a combination. Someone guessed that the bird was just happening to be shitting and the builders were merely documenting nature at work. I just said fengshui (everything is fengshui I presume). HAHA 光明老师 was thoroughly amused. He dropped the bomb, saying that the bird symbolises 高高在上, and reflects Zhejiang University status being one of the best university in china(top 3 if iirc), and also depicts the desire of Zheda’s student to be high-flyers. WOW. I need to learn how to differentiate between fluff and legit deep symbolism, but my fluff meter went into overdrive(partly because I fluff alot during HASS back in SUTD, and I know how to spot fluff haha).

So this proceeded for the next 2 hours. Pebbles surrounding the roots of trees. Mao Zedong statue. One random tree in the middle of the lawn. So much symbolism and chinese culture behind all these sights. Too much. Too much to take in. All of us were mentally exhausted, and rightfully so. 光明老师 is a product/industrial designer, and his every creation has to be full of meaning, has to resonate with the China people and be of sentimental value. This was something very alien to us SUTD sophomores. We thought that 3.007 Introduction to design (in freshmore term 2) was holistic and all-encompassing. Nope it wasn’t, and we were late to the party. Through the next few weeks, we are going to learn about the “soft-side” of product design, the artistic, the human touch. And I was thoroughly thrilled.

I’m sure the subsequent blog posts from Bamboo Theme will give ample evidence of our progress and our transformation. Our rediscovery. Even though it is only week 2, I am already eagerly awaiting to see what our final bamboo creations are. Hopefully it would make 光明老师 proud


P.S. Since we are talking about discovery and rediscovery, our class went to hunt for 羊肉串 lamb kebabs, after I enthusiastically described its sheer awesomeness having eaten them 5 years ago in Beijing. So we stumbled into this shophouse on the outskirts of Yuquan campus, and ordered 羊肉串, along with this kebab called 骨肉相连. 


We asked the waiter what exactly was it. He giggled and smirked. He gave a long “ehh”, and said that it should be chicken meat. We asked if it was dog meat and he said no, but there should be some pork in it. Well we didn’t think twice about his suspicious mannerism and proceeded to order. To be honest, it was DELICIOUS. It was sweet and tender. Debbie (do go check out her ALP blog account) posed for a photo with it, brimming with joy. There was something crunchy in it, and then someone said that it should be frog ligament (which I believed wholeheartedly). It was a good night, everyone ate it with relish.

BUT my friend had to google 骨肉相连. Such itchy fingers. Guess what popped up on google images.

Male pig genitalia.

So much for rediscovery.

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Previous article来到杭州 的一个月后
Next articleALP THEME D WEEK 4 – Staying High
Team members: Chang Chee Kin, Jeremy / Ching Su Ying, Marianne / Ho Hui Qi / Hun Ming Kwang / Low Ming Hui, Rachel / Melissa Mak Li Ping / Nur Amalina Binte Md Halim / Samantha Lim Shou En / Tay Ming En An exploratory journey that uncovers the essence of Chinese culture, which is deeply imbued within bamboo craftsmanship. Through analysing distinctly Chinese traditions and cultural symbols, we derive the lifestyle demands of the Chinese folks and the monumental importance of these traditions and symbols in Chinese life. Through first-hand interaction with traditional bamboo craftsmen and learning the art of bamboo crafting, we gain a deeper understanding of bamboo as a material itself and the many possibilities for the usage of it in industrial design. This amalgamation of knowledge enables us to redirect the skills of the bamboo craftsmen, to rethink the boundaries of bamboo products and to reinvent them into practical lifestyle choices that suit the needs and desires of current and future generations.


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