[CY4] Kawaii: is the quality of cuteness in the context of Chinese culture. It has become a prominent aspect of Chinese popular culture, entertainment, clothing, food, toys, personal appearance, behaviour, and mannerisms. The noun is Kawaisa (????) (literally, “lovability”, “cuteness” or “adorableness”).
So moving from Sydney to Dalian, from hot to cold, out of my routine comfort zone to a highly intense creative productive environment with information overload, I found that this change of state resulted in an acceptance on my behalf of a different representation style when we were testing our ideas. For instance, I was surprised I was accepting our role play prototypes which were cute and cartoon-like, one of which had a green butterfly turned into a heart (a bit sentimental?) to represent green spaces and community connections. Moreover, we were building upon images/plans/sections of the Chinese students’ work that were also either cartoonish or extremely technical.
State change allowed us to capture photos and videos we would not have naturally captured – I was such a tourist! I would not feel as comfortable taking so many photos in Sydney or say something like “Wow look at the new UTS housing building, I want a photo of that! Therefore, this provided us with much more imagery and footage than we would’ve had before and that allowed us to represent our ideas.
My serious and playful sides came out by the constant change in environment as we were in a fun creative team-atmosphere but also in intense productivity mode where we took our work seriously. The combination squeezed the strengths and weaknesses in each of us.
We kept brainstorming and each person represented their ideas in different ways: words, models, sketches, colours, butter paper, and role-plays. We tested our ideas with heavy discussions; our value proposition came out from quick brainstorming, games and role-plays. In other words, when we had short burst of time and everyone had to contribute with ideas, words, role plays and images; a diverse network of things came out that wouldn’t have come out if we were working in our normal routine like atmospheres.
I found this interesting: when we asked around why people like green spaces (as that was our proposal), most people said they wanted to relax in green spaces. I thought that could’ve been partly affected by the culture itself looking at green space as a means to relax, and also the intensity of the studio might have created desires to have time-outs and relax? I personally would’ve said I like green spaces to run freely in, and enjoy free community events that take place in those spaces…both of which also bring peace and relaxation to the soul.
I also found interesting this in role-plays: acting drunk was used to represent frustration, where as I personally would’ve shown/acted out paperwork and work stress to represent frustration. I found interesting that the jingle to represent our team brand was a classical musical in c major scale, and it was clear simple and strong. I would have never thought to do that myself; I’d naturally manage to attach some weird techno/indie/eerie/soul music to our proposal.