by Nina Gee
Inspired by the stagnant and limited choices of men’s office wear, former Mass Communication student tackles the issue of Singapore’s lack of spontaneity.
Ngee Ann Polytechnic alumnus collaborates with Rockstar Singapore for his innovative final year project (FYP) titled ‘The Get By on a Shoestring Project’.
Noticing a group of similarly dressed office men that came into a diner after work, former Mass Communication student Eugene Ng, 24, felt that the strong competitive work culture among Singaporeans is what induced this habit of monotony.
The Get By on a Shoestring Project was showcased at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) Inaugural Degree Show 2014 on Jul 1.
He explains, “A way I thought we could introduce spontaneity into men was through the shoelaces. Because unlike women where [they] have a lot of variables in terms of how they want to dress, men only have to wear collared shirts, pants, and shoes. So I thought it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to actually just do up your laces by yourself, because it’s a form of self expression.”
“It’s something that we as an individual should take control of in our life. Be it how the state of Singapore is, we cannot just let what we have around us determine who we are. So that was the direction I wanted to go.”
– Eugene Ng
In his project, Eugene wanted to introduce spontaneity into people’s lives, without being too intrusive, by inviting participants to spontaneously lace up their shoelaces in a new style instead of their usual pattern, with the help of print and online booklets. These booklets contained easy instructions to teach participants the different ways to lace their shoes.
The Get By on a Shoestring Project managed to rope in the support of local retailer Rockstar Singapore, providing Eugene with the golden opportunity to collaborate his project with the local retailer’s Supergra shoes. Originally a project targeted at office-working men, the introduction of Supergra shoes helped to bring in female participants into the demographic.
The public can easily scan the QR code provided at Rockstar Singapore stores to get their copy of the project’s online booklet.
Shoelaces is the key element of his project because “there is not a need to be spontaneous on a large scale”, as the effort behind this small act of creative spontaneity is what matters at the end of the day.
“It’s something that we as an individual should take control of in our life,” he emphasises. ” Be it how the state of Singapore is, we cannot just let what we have around us determine who we are. So that was the direction I wanted to go.”
Eugene took a total of six months to complete this project, successfully bagging a fantastic A5 grade. At GSA Singapore, they conduct lessons in studios and encourage students to help one another for their projects. Eugene felt that it was important to give some of his classmates credit for helping him make his project possible.