In this Product Design unit, we were assigned a project to design a ‘lightbox’. For the design, we were supposed to create a landscape of a place we miss or a place we could not visit due to the coronavirus. We use Adobe Illustrator and had to learn a lot of new skills through several classes.

I made a landscape of ‘Ocean Park’ in Hong Kong. Not only is it a place I miss, but I also had a lot of fun memories (and not-so-fun memories, but that’s not the point) from early childhood to now. We (as in my family) were supposed to go to Hong Kong this summer to renew our passports and stuff my brain can’t understand but couldn’t. I don’t exactly regret my decision for the landscape, but I believe there are a lot more options I could have considered before finalizing to this one.

For me, I got a bit overexcited in the beginning and had planned what I wanted at home long before we actually started with the designing. If I had taken a pause and didn’t rush myself, I might have come up with more ideas instead of forcing myself to the idea I had already injected in my head. On the other hand, when the time finally came to plan, I already knew what I was going to do with a clear image in my head.

Some of the skills I learnt and understood with Adobe Illustrator changing sizes, colours (and what each colour meant to the laser-cutter), joining and separating shapes, using an image/icon from online, and even how to change things in icons to suit my design more. One of the things I wished I did was creating indents to separate lines. It would have helped me with painting later, especially since I already had a somewhat detailed plan in my head already.

For me, the painting took the longest (excluding the “questioning my life” time I used up during the previous section). After the first lesson of painting, I felt like I didn’t have enough time to paint so I just started painting without masking (another skill I learnt during this unit). I do regret my stubborn decision since it made my painting look too bleh, but I could be still painting right now if I did mask for everything. I also didn’t exactly understand what “painting in light coats” meant even though it’s pretty self-explanatory. The painting process was probably my least favourite part of the whole project (not that it was bad, it’s because I was bad). I felt like my painting kind of ruined it.

The assembly part was better than I thought it would go. When I saw the LED lights for the first time, I thought they were much too long to fit inside such a small area. Turns out a few pieces of wood and a bit on folding could do the trick. Admittedly, the lightbox wasn’t as bright as I thought it would be due to its placement, but there honestly wasn’t a better place to the lights. I’m also quite bad when it comes to hot glue, thank god none of the glued parts is visible on the main part of the lightbox (the front, obviously).

Overall, I’m okay with my lightbox. It’s not my favourite thing I have ever created and things like painting could have been improved, but I’m not wholeheartedly disappointed in what I have designed and it could be a lot worse. My advice for any student who’s doing this in the future is to plan out your time well and make it more or less detailed depending on what you know what you’re capable of.