This week, we finally had our origami showcase and after that, we left the bustling city for the suburban and rural areas of Zhejiang.
Four weeks of preparing for our origami finally came to an end. It was a pretty cool experience, learning to combine our origami with coding and design. The overall aim for this showcase was to make an origami that could exhibit different folding patterns and use them to convey a specific emotion or action. From this few weeks, I have learnt how to make an item convey feelings and emotions, and in the future, if I do design some products, it might take a lot less time and effort to put feelings into them.
After slogging for the origami showcase, we were finally able to go to Baizhang village. The village was 30km away from Hangzhou and the village is famous for their bamboo works. Our primary aim was to see how a typical the rural family lives and see how we can design smart products to help or improve their daily life. One of the interesting observation was that most of the wealthier families lived in these suburban areas and all of the houses were terraces and bigger in area as compared to the houses in Hangzhou. These creates a very large market for smart products because their houses are vastly bigger in size and they have a higher average purchasing power. However, the biggest barrier would be how to market these products to them because the average age in the village is around 50+. I think there will be a lot of opportunities for me and my group to design some smart products with a bamboo theme and we look forward to the process ahead.
While we were Baizhang, we were hosted by a bamboo master and his family and we spent some time experiencing the daily life of a villager there. On the first day, we climbed up a mountain base to cut some bamboo trees for our baskets and we learnt how to fell a tree. That was pretty crazy to me because which Singaporean will ever have the chance to cut a tree down. We also spent some time roaming the village and we experienced a music festival while we were there too! Overall, we really enjoyed our stay in Baizhang and I hope to experience such a trip again!