Jemima Kwok (Jie Ming) (she/her)
Jemima is a Singaporean interdisciplinary designer with a passion for materials, languages, and innovation across physical and digital media. She has professional experience innovating in a range of industries, from digital transformation in banking to data visualizations for quantum computing. Her experience enables her to work light and Agile, and be equally comfortable building ideas from scratch and improving on fully-fledged products. Endlessly keen on learning new technical skills and picking up new hobbies, she always maintains her curiosity about people and culture wherever she goes.
This project is about reinventing the Chinese tradition of ancestral worship through the collaborative co-design of a personalized ritual kit. As a Singaporean-Chinese living in the UK, I wanted to explore an opportunity for other young diasporic Chinese to connect with their roots and cultural heritage.
Through interviews with diasporic Chinese of all ages, insights were gathered into aspects of Chinese culture that the older generations felt were most important to preserve. The practice of ancestral worship particularly stood out, as it epitomizes the value of filial piety and respect for the dead. My project addresses themes of shifting modernity while not letting go of tradition, to create connection between the older generation who still practice ancestral worship and the young generations who no longer connect with the rituals in their traditional form.
I did not want to be overly prescriptive, so I invited participants to create their own rituals that were authentic to them through a codesign card sort activity, which made its way into the kit as an interactive guidebook. Objects were prototyped with cardboard and air dry clay, tested, and then built with earthenware and fired. The final product is a customisable ancestral worship kit which includes a guidebook to allow users to design their own ritual, and a series of ritual objects designed to be used and displayed in the home. This sparks a renewed connection to one’s family and culture, which is particularly important when one is overseas for a long period of time.
Ritual set being used in the home
Foraging Furriers (Future Experiences)
References to the repurposing of animal remains.
Imagine a future world where nomadic communities travel the world and live regeneratively off the land, with urban communities dealing in complex resources… This project is about the symbiosis between these communities. Both sides of our group exhibition show the two sides of this future world.
We designed several speculative artifacts in an exhibition to show how trade, commerce and culture would manifest in this future world, using Midjourney for most of the imagery, to show the cultural and social exchange between these two communities.
My individual project involved designing a new service and profession of foraging furrier. These furriers would be registered with a guild, much like the old trappers and tanners’ guilds of medieval times – I wanted to pay homage to these centuries-old trades but recontextualise them in a future context where remote working and van life is the norm for many, and with it the narrative of sustainability and foraging for natural wild resources to use.
I emphasized in my concept that fashion trends are inherently cyclical, and that the travelling schedule of renting and circulating second-hand clothing through society would benefit not only the traders economically, but also the consumers who have the pleasure of being able to cycle through trends without having to deal with the negative impact of fast fashion buying.
(Please note, the project at the bottom of this page is my group member Fin’s project and is not my work.)
To fully understand the future experience I have created I must first explain how this future world functions. This world can be split into two main groups of people; the city folk who live in futurist green cities and the caravan communities that travel the globe with the sole intention of rewilding as their vocations/careers. The community that I focused on in this project fully encompasses the caravan community.
Initially I wanted to understand how this community travelled, how they decided where and when to rewild and how they educated the next generation to follow in their environmentally conscious footsteps.
The education system for the children of travelling communities is what I designed along with an educational trading card game as a touch-point. The education was designed to be led by story telling and games into a practical contribution by children that would help mend our ailing planet and at the same time impart the wisdom they need to continue improving the way society lives. The knowledge they gain is kept fresh by sharing, reviewing and forever considering. The card game continued this design in a socially interactive and fun way. It could be used alone, face to face with others or through an app, is used to capture and collect.
I learned so much about structuring my thinking during what was offered in this project and I enjoyed the process of getting deeper into research through considering the stakeholders and personas that mattered because they would be affected by the integrity and goodwill of the end result.