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To learn is to experience: How our daily interactions with objects, events, the environment and people can be a classroom.

This paper was submitted to the Design & Emotion Society conference in Bogota, Colombia scheduled to take place in September 2014 for consideration.

Testing a premise put forth by Nathan Shedroff (2001) that there is always an experience created by an object, an event, the environment and people, this paper is a report for an experimental course at a communication school within a university in Singapore. Using experience as a form of pedagogical technique in bridging our experience to what could be learned and shared was tested by 144 students in two phases: a group presentation with five predetermined categories to choose from, followed by an individual assignment based on a set of question derived from a combination of their interpretation of the group assignment and four other categories as a comprehensive framework, documented via 10 photographed images accompanied by their verbal description of the images. It was found that our experiences can act as a depository of “raw materials” that can contribute to the learning process in a personal and endearing way.

More about the conference here: http://www.designandemotion.org/en/conferences/bogota-2014.html



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Hawking Gawking in Singapore: The polylingualism of visual grammar in hawker center signage

This paper was presented at the Typography Day 2014 conference, from Feb 28 - March 3, 2014 at the Symbiosis Institute of Design in Pune, India.

This paper is a comparative typographic and pictographic analysis to identify the underlying layout and design structures of culinary signage at hawker centers in Singapore. A hawker center is a collection of stalls selling different types of affordable foods, housed in a covered but open complex, with a common seating area. Five hawker centers managed by the National Environment Agency of Singapore, particularly those that offer popular traditional dishes are identified. Compositional elements and principles of organizations which are used as a supportive/graphical form with the purpose to inform and persuade are also discussed to understanding how hawker center signage is designed for a multilingual environment. There are cases of typographical errors, mismatched fonts, unexpected approaches as opposed to rarely radical, but safe, tidy, and usually bland designs, which seems to be the norm.

More about the conference here: http://typoday.in/call-paper-result-14.html



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Work-life harmony for creative minds in the advertising industry

This paper was a result from the Final Year Project between Dr Suwichit Chaidaroon and I and the paper was accepted and presented by final year students Cheryl Chan, Celine Tham, Tsang Wing Han at the 2011 Asia-Pacific Conference in cooperation with the Queensland University of Technology and the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Advertising, Brisbane, Australia from June 8 -10, 2011.

The past decade has seen a proliferation of research studies on work and life interfaces. However, research in this area so far has often focused on the "balance" or the "conflict" between the two preeminent domains in the lives of individuals. Friedman, Christensen and DeGroot (1998) highlighted that most companies view work and personal life as competing priorities in a zero sum game, in which a gain in one area means a loss in the other. However, they believed that rather than being competing priorities, work and personal life are actually complementary. Supporting this view, Hill (2007) proposes that "harmony" rather than "balance" be used when talking about the work-life issue. He defines work-life harmony as the ability to effectively integrate work responsibilities and family or personal aspirations. Therefore, rather than limiting questions about work-life to how time in one domain can be reduced to make more time for the other, more helpful questions would be about how both domains can complement each other.

This study builds on Hill's definition of work-life harmony in the context of creative individuals, namely copywriters and art directors, in the advertising industry. For the purposes of this study, a creative individual is defined as someone who manages the process and outcome of a creative solution. The preponderance of research on work-life balance in the advertising industry has mainly focused on countries in the West, centering on the reasons behind the male dominance in the industry (Mallia, 2009; Broyles & Grow, 2008; Kazenoff & Vagnoni, 1997). While the issue of work-life balance in the Singapore context has received considerable academic attention, there is a dearth of research in this area for creative individuals in Singapore. Given that creative individuals are typically known to be subjected to the "punishing hours" of the advertising industry (Mallia, 2009, p. 5), the potentially complementary nature of work and personal life would have important implications.

More about the conference here: http://www.aaasite.org/2011_Asia-Pacific.html



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Storytelling through Expressive Typography: How famous people inspire us through words as reflected by graphic communication students.

Presented at the Typography Day 2011, from March 3 - 5, 2011 at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India.

Through a typographic project, 13 undergraduate communication studies students at a major university in Singapore explore hand-crafted letters through various ornamental, exploratory as well as digital letters to bring out the "rawness" of meaning in selected quotes of their choice by a famous person, living, dead or fictitious. Underlying the interpretive and illustrative natures of the project lays the fundamental elements of storytelling such as setting, character identification, plot, mood, and movement. In short, by selecting a setting, the audience is provided a sense of time and place. Working with quotes which essentially are typographic in nature, the students are confronted with the task to identify a character in the quote which makes their composition relevant in order to create an emotional tone for their expressive letterings, identified as mood within a plot which ties the sequential events together.

More about the conference here: http://www.idc.iitb.ac.in/~typo/result.html

http://nid.edu/typography11/Speaker.php



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Opposites don't attract: The tug-of-war between sans and sans serif fonts in print advertising

Paper presented at the 4th International Conference on Typography and Visual Communication at University of Nicosia, Cyprus, June 14 - 20, 2010.

In the past, typography was not seen as an element of design as writers were less conscious of the ability of typeface to give meaning. Today, many different typefaces are available and more are being propagated on the web. Typography is crucial in emoting feelings as research has shown that consumers go beyond what is being implied from the message when reading a product label. According to Jass & Childers (2002), an advertising message comprises of three important components, a visual image, a verbal message and a voice used to convey the intended communication. From verbal to visual experiences, typography has enhanced the meaning of text it represents. Typefaces are used as the voice to "speak" to consumers on many occasions. Typefaces should be viewed as more than a design as they are a major tool when used in communicating at all levels, from advertising, reports, business writing and legal writing or magazines. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how typography has impacted visual communication especially in the area of print advertising. We found that through the principle of consistency (Lidwell, et al., 2003) in font usage, brands capitalize on typography in communicating their messages which further emphasizes the importance of the appearance of verbal messages through typography.

http://www.ictvc.org/ictvc2010/en/programme/19/main-conference



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Food Defines Us: A Visual Discovery of Singapore's Gastronomical Culture.

Paper presented at the Computer Graphics and Visualization and Image Processing 2009 Conference in Algarve, Portugal from June 20 -22, 2009.

This paper was published in the IADIS International Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems proceedings edited by Yingcai Xiao, Tomaz Amon and Piet Kommers.

Singapore is a city of many names, one of which is "food paradise." Yet, there is a lack of research in the field of gastronomy in Singapore. This project seeks to explore the social and cultural implications of food, and investigate the correlation between food and identity in multiracial Singapore. Captured through the lens of a digital SLR, this research is a visual narrative that makes use of visual semiotics to analyze the implicit and explicit meanings of food in photographs. By explicitly documenting activities related to gastronomical events, we hope to deconstruct and contest the realities of signs embedded within. The photos are organized into three broad categories: i) food forms a central tenet of our identity which connects us to our past, present and future. In other words, we use food as a medium to reach out to our ancestors and loved ones as well as the spiritual entities beyond us; ii) food defines the way we live, work and play. As such, food becomes a telling factor in explaining who we are and our place in the world by investigating the setting in which we consume food. Finally, iii) food gives us energy, order and life as such that the realizations of our material environment are governed by how things are designed, manufactured, distributed and used.



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Opposites attract: Juxtaposing extreme of symmetry and asymmetry to generate visual ideas

Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference on the Arts in Society in Birmingham, United Kingdom from July 28 - 31, 2008.

This paper was published in the International Journal of the Arts in Society.

Visual communication, in the context of a marketplace at large, has little meaning or value except in relation to a client. Nonetheless, the two components, "visual" and "communication" denote that it is more than a business exercise. Primarily associated with two-dimensional images, the interdisciplinary field of visual communication engages different subject areas which converge to create communicational objects. For visual communicators, part of the challenge in a creative process has to do with working through the restrictions geared towards the reality of a marketplace. The designer creates a message or a solution for the client, who in turn, intends it for a specific audience. Critical to communicating is the need to make sense in a marketplace context. If the solution is predicated on satisfying a set of objectives, then the act of designing also implies some amount of control in creating aesthetical solutions.

Working within these constraints is a struggle in and of itself. In addition, expectations for a creative and aesthetically pleasing design solution must be met. Compromises are sometimes necessary. The result often fails to satisfy all stakeholders because it is chained to communicative interests, whether they function within economic, political, propagandist, or selfless agendas. Negotiating the various influences involved in the design process can be daunting for an untrained designer. Therefore, there is a need to develop an objective framework that captures both business and creative interests, which in turn, will help students of design. The extreme opposite model developed in this paper acts as a framework for students to perceptively generate visual ideas.



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Deciphering creativity: A potential transformation in art and design classrooms in Singapore.

Paper presented at the One Voice International Conference & Forum for Educators, San Francisco, California, USA from July 5 - 9, 2008.

From an artistic phenomenon to humanistic ideology holding that creativity is a fundamental human attribute (Rogers, 1961), to creativity as a teachable skill (Runco, 1993), to creative personalities (Amabile, 1983; Craft, 2001; Cropley, 1992; Dellas & Gaier, 1970; Sternberg & Lubart, 1995), creativity is arguably a fluid concept that has manifested itself in a variety of ways. By casting creativity as a catalyst to communicate ideas for an intended message, the author wishes to demystify the concept of creativity into a catalyst for purposive communications. Critical to the communication process are considerations for the content of the message, recipients of the message, execution and delivery formats, and the context in which it serves: economic, political, cultural, environmental, and societal realms. Without considering them, there is no defined focus to effectively deliver the message. Whether creativity is a personal attribute, cognitive skill, motivational environment or social factors, the paper serves as a traversing.



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Do computers undermine the creative process?

Paper submitted for the Design Thinking and Innovation: Towards a Global/Asian perspective, Temasek Design School, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore from March 29-31, 2006 conference.

The utilization of technology in pedagogy has many facets of inherent benefits as well as challenges. While teachers are caught in the conundrum of teaching a generation of technologically savvy students, they must also allow them the opportunities to explore their own strengths and weaknesses with a piece of so called anti-creativity equipment. To the students, computer technology is where automation, accuracy, expediency, presentation, execution and implementation are made possible. This paper is about understanding the many aspects of the design process and tools used to formulate some recommendations for educators and students who use computer technology.



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This paper was published in the International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.127-140 (2006).

In view of what the strengths and limitations of computers in education are, it is interesting to note that the utilization of technology in pedagogy has many facets of inherent benefits as well as challenges. While teachers are caught in the conundrum of teaching a generation of technologically savvy students, they must also allow them the opportunities to explore their own strengths and weaknesses with a piece of so called anti-creativity equipment. To the students, computer technology is regarded as an extension of their central nervous systems and limbs whereby automation, accuracy, expediency, presentation, execution and implementation are made possible. In this paper, I intend to explore the influences of computer technology in design education as influenced by market-driven frameworks, followed by my recommendations for design educators and students



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The Influences of Computer on Idea Formation in Design
Paperback measuring 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches with 260 pages in English published by VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller e.K. on July 18, 2008.
ISBN-10: 3836453037
ISBN-13: 978-3836453035

To purchase online click here.or search under the title of under author's name "Kok Cheow Yeoh"







  YEOH AS EDUCATOR

- MY STUDENTS' CREATIONS
- MY WRITINGS

My passion in teaching has taken me from California to Arkansas, Texas, Georgia in the USA and now in Singapore where I teach a bunch of enthused university students how to communicate with images and text.

My visual interest involves the integration of social message in the form of activism with themes within humanistic, social, religious, commercial, educational, and spiritual contexts to facilitate social tolerance and communal understanding.

Areas of academic interests:
- Visual Communication
- Brand consulting
- Development of visual identity systems
- Environmental graphics (Signage)
- Publication design
- Package design
- Advertising & promotional campaigns
- Experience design

Projects supervised:
- Visual Communication-related campaigns
- Advertising and Promotional campaigns
- Hybrid projects (Combination)
- Qualitative research projects



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  © Kok Cheow Yeoh. All rights reserved.