Shifting Sense: The past as our future

Ms. Michelle Tan - Post Graduate
2012 Conference

It is important for migrants to be able to assimilate without losing cultural identities. However, assimilation can lead to language deaths or cultural genocide that affects a person’s moral development.

This paper examines how Diaspora and assimilation has threatened the existence of dialects in Singapore. In an attempt to foster a common identity amongst the various ethnicities, the government launched a campaign that severely decreased the use of dialects, forcing a divide amongst the generations in Singapore.

The paper introduces my research in progress as an example of how design can educate and counteract cultural genocide and language obsolecense. Connecting Dots, which is a proposed outcome of my research, is a Personalised Interactive Web series that endeavours to promote and revitalise the vanishing heritage and multicultural dialects of Singapore. It introduces Singaporean preschoolers to academic lessons and holistic values such as social consciousness and emotional intelligence. Through interactive music, storytelling and craft, it will provide an avenue for learning and self-discovery.

The research proposes to promote holistic learning through an online multimedia system that allows users to personalise elements of interaction. Fleming’s VARK and Mayer’s Multimedia Design Principles will guide Connecting Dots’ interface and content design. The paper will present how Connecting Dots is developed and enriched through an analysis of its prototypes.

Connecting Dots may serve as a springboard for others to develop ways to preserve heritage and culture within other shared communities.

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About the author

Michelle moved from Singapore to Australia to further her studies. She graduated from University of Sydney with a Masters of Film and Digital Image in 2009. In 2012, she will complete a Graduate Diploma of Communications in Interactive Media Development with Edith Cowan University and is currently preparing a proposal for a Masters Degree by Research. While studying, Michelle has continuously engaged in creative practice. Over the years she has been involved in over 30 short films, some of which have been recognised in competitions. She co-owns a production company and has produced various interactive training / corporate and music videos. She has also written and directed 3 original broadcast info-tainment television series. Michelle specialises in live multi-camera directing and has had 13 years of experience in this field. Before she moved to Perth, she was a Media Producer for a Sydney studio, producing over 150 broadcast lifestyle episodes. She was also a lecturer and assistant faculty head of Screen Production in the School of Creative Arts Sydney. Her research interest spans cognition; creativity; culture; identity; television broadcast; new media; human-computer interaction; affective design; instructional design and usability studies.