Thursday, September 17, 2015

Day 61 - Haze and Rain, and the Red Dot Design Museum

I haven't mentioned yet that Singapore's air has been full of smoke for one entire week now, due to a large number of man-made forest fires in Indonesia. Yesterday's news reported a PSI reading of around 150 (= "moderately unhealthy", 200+ is "very unhealthy", 300+ is "hazardous").
As we had a few showers yesterday and today, the air was cleaned a little, but the smoke seemed to me to be more concentrated in the lowest part of the atmosphere (where we breathe). After showers, you really can smell the "grill" when leaving a building.
I saw many people wearing face masks, and I did not feel too well, too, while breathing.
At least we have a good excuse now to skip our twice-weekly evening jogging exercises - which are not so much fun anyway because of traffic light stops and the humidity. 

(Look at the prices! And 2,50 S$ is already quite
expensive for a freshly squeezed juice. I had
some for a little more than a dollar)
We had to leave our house and office today because my father had a lunch meeting near Tanjong Pagar (that means, near the Maxwell Hawker Centre that I wrote about on Day 60) and I had to muddle through on my own. Yummie Maxwell hawker food, and as always a freshly squeezed  juice - not as healthy as water, but certainly better than soft drinks! I drank it on a super cool bench in front of the Singapore City Gallery (that I wrote about on the Chinatown day). A light zigzag in the seating surface, due to folding the bench in a triangle shape, can be used to lean against. And while I was sitting there, drinking my juice, Singapore's sirens were wailing for some minutes. The alarm exercise was announced yesterday in the news. I didn't even notice it in the beginning because it sounded so much like police cars or ambulances.

With my Travel Youth card I fortunately got the student's discount. For 4 S$ I spent a good time in the Red Dot Design Museum of Singapore. An amazingly active "museum" that mainly is a exhibition of award winning inventions. The contestants come from every field: fashion, technology, communication, advertising, environmental engagement ..... From time to time the museum is booked for private events, like fashion shows or other product selling sessions, or the yearly award presentation. They even run a monthly flea market for local designers to sell their fancy stuff.

A diverse set of design winner products is exhibited. From chairs to coffee machines, wheel chair friendly strollers, machines of any kind, many advertising stories like fancy paper bags or special posters (not only commercial ones, but also political ones, see picture) - Last but not least different daily use objects like electric razors. And of course there is a separate niche for Apple products and their accessories like design award winning phone cases.....

This invention seems unspectacular at first sight, but actually has a very important background. As five billion PET bottles are currently circulating in Europe alone, UNITED_BOTTLE brought up a new form of "up-cycling" to Europe's market, based on the fact that the return quote of used PET bottles is around 90 percent. In the picture you can see PET bottles that do not look round as usual. Exactly this is the point: in the production already, the bottles were formed into a certain shape, so that they can be easily piled up. As the bottles are quite solid and robust, they can be used as instant building materials for walls for temporary housing or small-scale structures instead of being cleaned, milled, smeltered and re-created.
For further information, look up: UNITED_BOTTLE

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