lim jia sheng,

.Intercultural Design


week[1]: Module bootstrapping & netnography

We were briefed through the MIB & given a few base explanations.


Culture can be anything that represents a group of people. eg:

  • A thing
  • A symbol
  • An action

Ethnography vs netnography

  • Ethnography
    • Gathers data on a certain field of interest.
    • Requires the researcher to be present at the site of interest; first-hand experience.
    • Requires a long amount of time.
    • Employs note-taking & artifact collection.
  • Netnography
    • Gathers data on a certain field of interest.
    • Does not require physical immersion; collects data from online sources.
    • May take, but is not required to, take a long amount of time.
    • Employs note-taking & artifact collection.

Basically, it's self-descriptive.

Netnography in a nutshell

Netnography in a nutshell, 3/1/2022

Figure 1.1.1, Netnography in a nutshell, 3/1/2022

This figure shows deductive reasoning, where we start from the outcome, then find info, which form hypotheses. However, inductive reasoning enables us to go backwards, starting from the outcome, working out possible hypotheses, & doing research to find info to validate/disprove said hypothesis.

Then, with the hypothesis, a new artwork can be inferred, created.

This may be similar to research modules. Well, this one implements aspects of it, even down to the procedure of research.

Data collection

  • Archive
    • Data without researcher's involvement.
    • Can be as informal as comments & notes (must be cited though).
  • Elicited
    • Co-created by researchers & members.
    • Direct answers to the researcher's questions.
    • Social media, can be the vector to connect the persons in question.
    • Opinions/biases should be corrected for.
  • Fieldnotes
    • Observational & reflective notes
    • Can be however minute & seemingly useless.
    • However, unlike ethnography, it is non-contextual, as the data is concrete & not stateful.


project[1]: Proposal


  • A 200-word rationale defining and interpreting the theme in relation to the culture and area of interest. Citation is necessary as evidence to the research.
  • A minimum of 5 preliminary ideas in detailed sketches, each with a rationale.
  • Visual references (visuals that inspire/influence those ideas).
  • Reference list.
  • Picture credits.


Our group started off pretty clueless. We were tasked to get 5 ideas & whip up a 200-word rationale. The task was split into me doing the rationale, as well as everyone coming up with one idea.

The ideas were still quite scattered, & the rationale was not gone through this week, but we still got some valuable feedback. Listed in feedback is that for my idea.

After that, in line with Mr. Vinod's feedback, I created a new idea with weapon skins seen below. Not intending to go through with it though, but we'll come back to this. Besides that, I also started discussing with Athirah & Yi Yun on how we'd combine their idea. The three of us landed on using the execution of Yi Yun's idea, utilizing tiles & canvases, while retaining the multi-purpose idea of Athirah's.

Weapon skin idea sketches, 15/1/2022

Figure 1.2.1, Weapon skin idea sketches, 15/1/2022

After that, the entire group held a meeting to try to consolidate & vote on an idea to go forth with. What we ended up choosing was the idea of Athirah & Yi Yun. We then brought it forward to Mr. Vinod.

He made many valid points noting how it was pretty shallow of an idea, since we tried to combine so many purposes, that we couldn't really deliver one solid point across. A silver lining however, is that Mr. Vinod seemed to enjoy the provoking nature of the weapon idea, noting how turning something traditional & symbolic of masculinity like the Keris into drag, drives the point much further than the existing idea.

Our rationale was critiqued as well, noting how we should focus much more on the purpose of drag & "purpose" the term itself.

After the meeting, we had to regroup once again, & Tress & I went ahead to build upon the weapon skin idea, drawing sketches using weapons from countries where homosexuality is faced with the death penalty. All that plus some tweaks end us up with final


Figure 1.3.1, Final proposal, 21/1/2022


  • 12/1/22
    • We should narrow down our topic, either via geographic restrictions or simply picking the common parts of all regions.
    • Might need some thought for the idea, as there are other platforms who possess the "defining factor" of an invite system.
    • Amplifying the thought of drag as a weapon might be a lot more interesting of a prospect.
  • 19/1/22
    • The idea feels surface level.
    • An idea should be thought provoking, & should have a "click" moment for the viewer.
    • We should employ metaphorical presentation instead of something literal.
  • 31/1/22
    • We should keep the file size down as well as the audio levels consistent.


A hard battle was fought in these lands. This proposal was not easy. Maybe it was just us, but coming up with valid ideas that "stimulated" the mind proved itself a challenge more than usual. The process & what to include in the proposal itself was vague as balls too. All in all, leaving me, & probably my other groupmates, in a constant state of confusion-frenzy.

However, I still did learn a few things about it, particularly the dangers of conforming too much to execution. Our first idea was the result of the execution being one that was most practical for all of us. We then attempted to push purpose onto it, which did not stick the best. Other ideas which were more focused, particularly from the aspect of purpose, stood much stronger when it came to dissection by viewers. "If you can reach the bottom of a meaning, we're probably doing it wrong."

At the end of the day, tis simply the proposal. Oh boy if the beginnings bring such twists, turns, & tumbles, I sure do hope our seatbelts were built with tolerances.