A book that glows when opened. A bicycle that alternates between 2 configurations. A school bag that functions as a pillow. The Red Dot Museum, Singapore, is innovation at its finest all housed in a trapezium shaped, glass enclosed building.
Upon entering the building, the first thing that struck most of us in the souvenir shop was the wide array of everyday objects which had been alleviated to a finer version of itself. Take for example the glowing book which most of us mused over. When the pages were opened, a hidden light source would cause every single page to light up. However, this was only the tip of the iceberg.
The museum itself did not fail to delight. The first level featured ‘Reddot winners’ – people/institutions who had designed objects worthy of commendation. These included a bicycle that could alternate between 2 configurations – 3 wheel and 2 wheel, to aid beginners, a device that could charge an iPhone with an iPad, a dress that could transform into a living space etc.
The second level featured a more interactive display. There was a Chinese robot by the name of Dou Dou who responded to simple questions. At one instance, his face turned into a screen to show a cute music video to entertain us. There was also a 360 degree virtual reality headset that was so immersive I nearly fell of the chair by spinning around and craning my neck to get a full view of the video that was being played inside. Personally, I am convinced that movie theatres will gradually be phased out as more people discover the wonders of a virtual reality headset. Members of the Media club (Design and Press modules) had a whale of a time with the VR headset. Featured just behind was a lighting device that looked like circular discs stuck on the wall. When your hand brushed across the exterior of the disc, lo-and-behold, the light would vanish from the front of the disc and appear at the back. Many of us puzzled over the mechanics of the lighting system, wondering at how the designers arrived at such an invention.
Not only were the objects of display the highlight of the visit, the architectural design enhanced the experience by providing a contrast between spacious places and narrow isles. Overall, the visit injected fresh perspectives into our views of everyday objects. Who would have thought that one piece of clothing could be used to build shelter?
Grace Marie Yeh