This year’s Chinese New Year decorations were put together after months of hard work by a team of 12 students, led by Sharmayne Lim and Jonathan Leong, consisting of Kong Mei Jia, Sarah Phua, Tan Jia Yue, Leon Puah, Justin Eng, Lyvia Anabelle Simano, Ng Ming Liang, Theresa Lam, Arturo Castillo Ugalde and Kuan Yi Heng, with the guidance of Faculty Fellow in the Architecture and Sustainable Design Pillar at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, Dr Zheng Kai, and help of student coordinator, Janelle Ho.

For some of us, it was our first time working on the CNY light-up, but for others, it was their second or third time. Nevertheless, all of us were deeply excited to be part of this unique project whereby we can see our designs materialize on such a massive scale within a relatively short period of time. The satisfaction and fulfillment from witnessing our designs go from paper sketches, to digital models, to physical lanterns, to a memorable sight captured in people’s minds or their camera roll, was utterly overwhelming. Here are reflections from some of us about the entire experience!

Jonathan: As a freshmore interested in ASD, this was a huge opportunity to contribute to a culturally significant installation, and also my first architecture project. As much as there was lots of anxiety regarding how we could create a light up that best represented the Tiger, in its regal manner, I also wanted to use it as a canvas to creatively express it, so that was a real challenge. But through the discussions with friends and the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee, and seeing how the designs have evolved, I’m content and glad that I have been part of this amazing team.

Meijia: It was truly an honor to be part of this year’s CNY light-up and I enjoyed every moment of the design process. Seeing our designs come to life along Chinatown and the scale of it was mesmerizing to me, and it was heartwarming to see that we can still celebrate this festive season amidst the COVID-19 situation.

Lyvia: Seeing amazing lantern designs from previous years, I have always been interested in becoming a part of the Chinatown CNY Street Light-Up Student Committee. Finally braved myself this year and it was an incredible experience. Despite the challenges due to COVID-19 situation, we still managed as a team and seeing our designs physically realized was truly rewarding.

Sharmayne: It was by pure serendipity that I joined the committee upon Janelle’s recommendation, however I’m really glad that I eventually came on board the team! The entire design process took six months and the bulk of it happened during the summer break when I was interning, hence juggling this high-intensity project along with all the other commitments I had was a tall order. Collaborating with various stakeholders like SUTD’s Office of Student Life, the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee and various media agencies was taxing but really eye-opening as it allowed us to understand how much effort and hours go behind to make these yearly festive decorations a reality.

In a nutshell, we’re really glad that we had such an opportunity to work on real-world projects like these and would like to encourage everyone to grasp opportunities like these, as it is the defining factor of the SUTD experience! 

Find out more about the 2022 CNY street light-ups here:

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