Hello this is Amalina or just Ama as everyone would call me (including my theme mentors and professors haha… 阿马). I am the only Malay-Muslim in this batch of ALP. Is this sad? Yes but it makes this experience much more exciting as I grow stronger and discover super nice friends who has been helping me so much in every way. Especially in the language department, at which I am severely lacking in, I have friends I can rely on to translate lessons or convey what I wish to say. Indeed, I am slowly picking up Chinese along the way as I manoeuvre through the world of Chinese apps and websites. The trick is to always have the Baidu translate tab open to copy and paste the whole chunk of Chinese in it and then, trying to figure out what it is actually saying through the weird English translation given.

Moving on from myself, this week’s Bamboo lessons was on redesigning everyday items. We learnt how to look at items that we use everyday from different perspectives and discovering how we can further improve its function or design by using our 5 senses. An example given was that the clock. We will usually use the sense of sight to look at the time and hearing when the alarm rings. But, what is we incorporate the sense of smell by designing a clock that gives off calming fragrance that might act as an alarm instead? This is a crucial step towards designing our own products from bamboo.

Lessons aside: when there is work, there is play! This week was an exciting week for me as I discover the power of not planning. Planning leads to anticipation and expectation, both of which may end up in disappointments. However, impromptu trips and being flexible are more exciting as you would not know what to expect. My roommate and I decided to go up the ‘Yuquan Mountain’ which was right behind the Yuquan Campus of Zhejiang University. The decision itself was made that morning, half an hour before we took a cab there. It actually consists of several hills which were more on the easier side.

View of Yuquan Campus
This is us 🙂

We climbed without going where we were going as the reception there for map apps was not good thus, we had to resort to signs and following out instinct. We ended up at the back entrance of the botanical gardens. It was interesting since it was situated all the way to the end of the botanical gardens and we would not have gone to those parts if our intention was to visit the botanical garden. Yet again, being adventurous benefited us with beautiful sceneries.

Inside was used to be a temple – its distinctive circular opening

Our second impromptu adventure was to Wuzhen Water Town, located 17 minutes train ride + 50 minutes bus ride from Hangzhou. We overnight inside the water town itself, by the water. Since it is a famous tourist attraction, the place is packed in the morning but at night, the streets looked legit and it felt like we were really living in a water town. The next morning, you are woken up not to your alarm clock, but to the sound of the tour guide bringing visitors around. Our accommodation was situated in the East Scenic Area which is more rundown but has a more authentic vibe as compared to the West Scenic Area which is more catered to tourists with more shops, places to eat and definitely more lights to makes it worth it to stay till the night.

East Scenic Area of Wuzhen Water Town
West Scenic Area of Wuzhen Water Town @ night

Alright, that is all from me 🙂 ALP has been relaxing yet fun so far! Heres to more adventurous and Bamboo-making!

p.s. Bamboo village stay will be happening on 20th June. It will be for 9 days. More details will hopefully come soon!

p.p.s The fasting month is not stopping me from getting adventurous!


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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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