Design in Different Context – Food Tourism


Brian Lo


Food and the practice of eating is obviously an essential aspect or component of human being survival, and for the majority of the general public within the world food has became a fundamental part of daily routine; it is a human necessity (Henderson 2014, Henderson 2015). Therefore, food cultures and practices have obtained extensive attentions in these recent years. There are various functions or activities could be performed and accomplished by food, not just only satisfying the human’s physical and physiological needs. As a result of the social, economical and cultural of food, it is finally gaining the recognition as it deserved (Hall, Sharples, Mitchell, Macionis, & Cambourne 2004, Henderson 2015). Many studies and research have evidenced that there is an intensive bonding between food and tourism. Other than that, food has become one of the most significant subjects in the media. For instance, magazine; Cuisine, Australian Gourmet Traveller, or Food & Travel; radio shows, television shows; Master Chief; or event documentary (Hall, Sharples, Mitchell, Macionis, & Cambourne 2004), assist to create awareness and enhance the relationship or connection within food and tourism. Phillips L. (2006) has described how “food has been mobilized as commodity in global production and trade system, and also governed through global institutions” in his Annual Review; “Food and Globalization”.

Food would also be one of the important elements that assist to shape today’s Singapore identity. Singapore contains its own unique and defining features, in 1819, Stamford Raffles stated that Singapore became a trading post from the British East India Company (Henderson 2014), which was remarkable turning points that determine the food culture of Singapore. The early arrivals with diverse backgrounds such as Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, and multi-diversity, arrived into Singapore with their own cuisine in the 1965 when it became an independent republic. This influence could force the perspective on food to be an invaluable design that represents the food industry of Singapore.

The unique food culture design of Singapore has been converted into an international business. The practice of food in Singapore becomes the tourism resource and the new identity of the nation. Furthermore, food could also be a design that allow and encourage tourists to obtain more understanding about cultures and history (Henderson 2015) and this is the reason why “eating is often a major determinant of tourist satisfaction” (Kivela and Crotts, 2006).  Moreover, food is actually a form of storytelling, it assists to narrate, the cultural history, rituals, or even practices from different perspective, this meant that the tourists could physical experience and understand of another culture by experiencing their cuisines.

By using one of the iconic dishes; chicken rice, in Singapore as an example, this cuisine has already turned into a heritage or even a work of art that encourages individuals to understand Singaporean way of living and their essential part to the nations. Design might not be physical; it could appear in different forms.




Björk, P. 2016, ‘Local food: a source for destination attraction’, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 117-194.

Hall, C.M., Sharples, L., Mitchell, R., Macionis, N. & Cambourne, B. 2004, Food tourism around the world, Routledge, NY.

Henderson, J.C. 2014, ‘Food and culture: in search of a Singapore cuisine’, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, vol. 116, no. 6, pp. 904-917.

Henderson, J.C. 2015, ‘Food as a tourism resource: a view from Singapore’, Routledge, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 69-74.

Kivela, J. and Crotts, J. 2006, “Tourism and gastronomy: gastronomy’s influence on how tourists experience a destination”, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, vol. 3 no. 30, pp. 354-377.

Phillips, L. 2006, “Food and Globalisation”, Annual Review of Anthropology, vol. 35, pp. 35-57.



“I Not Stupid” – Singapore Educational System


Brian Lo

“I Not Stupid” in English narration is refered to “Children are not stupid”, this is a distinctive Singaporean comedy film which narrates about the lives, struggles and adventures of three Primary Six school fellows who are studying in the academically inferior EM3 stream. In 2002, this film has officially released in domestic cinemas and earned over the 3.8 million Singapore Dollars, which was rated as into the second-highest grossing Singaporean film. In relation to the cultural context of this film, this movie comprises various of serious and significant topics for instance, relationships in family and between friends, educational system and government policies in Singapore. Even though this is a comedy film, however the content is exceptionally inspiring and encourages the audience to consider and understand different aspects of Singaporean culture.

Based on the movie; “I Not Stupid”, the viewers would be able to recognise that Singapore is still rapidly developing and transforming from an ordinary urban to a modern industrial leading country in Asia-Pacific region (Young Singapore 2017 and OECD 2010). Throughout the past decade, Singapore’s education system has maintained its status and standard at or close to the top of most major world education level (OECD 2010). Within the country; Singapore, education would be recognised as the “central to building both the economy and the nation” (OECD 2010). Since the Singapore government has the ability to fulfill the requests and needs in education system and they are convinced of the existence of skills and knowledge would be the origin of aspects and also become crucial competitive advantages.


In light of this, more researches have been developed in order to discover and understand Singapore education system further. All the children in this nation would be legible to receive a minimum of 10 years of education and their teaching instruction is “highly-scripted and uniform across all levels and subjects” (Nayak 2016). According to Professor Hogan (2014) from the University of Queensland, he has mentioned that Singapore’s education system is “the product of a distinctive, even unique, set of historical, institutional and cultural influences.” Moreover, the learning and teaching standard/ quality is monitored and prescribed but the Singapore’s national curriculum, which has emphasized and enhanced the nation’s education policy. In addition, “schools play a significant and remarkable role within the Singapore community, encourage to delivery the Singaporean values, characteristic and cultural identity.

In order to refer the Singapore teaching curriculum as “education system”, “or “arrangement”, it would be appropriate to consider this as mental strength support that enhances the student holistic developments. In another term, this education system is a belief, which allows them to utilise their knowledge into practical tasks and also maximise their potentials at the most.


Hogan, D. 2014, Why is singapore’s school system so successful, and is it a model for the west?, The Conversation Media Group Ltd., viewed 20 January 2017, <>.

Nayak, S. 2016, Singapore schools: ‘the best education system in the world’ putting significant stress on young children, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, viewed 20 January 2017, <>.

OECD 2010, Singapore: rapid Improvement followed by strong performance, viewed 19 January 2017, .

Young Singapore 2017, About Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board, viewed 19 January 2017, <>.

The “Bridge” between East and West


Brian Lo

Macau; literally means “Bay Gate” (in Portuguese, which is widely mentioned or referred in the city) besides Macau could be spelled Macao (in English), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China is well-known for its developed Casino industry (Xi & Wei 2010). Other than that due to its own special and unique culture and history, appealing recreation and entertainments, Macau has turned into a popular tourist destination (Zhang 2012). However, Macau was unbefitting to become a world-famous tourism destination before one-thousandth anniversary. In general assumption many people assume that Macau has been unattractive in contrast to its close neighbour, peripheral the Pearl of the Orient – Hong Kong (Ung & Vong 2010). According to Rooke (Ung & Vong 2010), described Macau as a ‘sleep little back water near Hong Kong’ and additionally Ngai (1999) stated that “even in the mainland, people are more familiar with Hong Kong” (Ngai 1999), and used to combine Hong Kong and Macau together as one which labeled as “Kong Ou”. This indicated that at that period of time Macau was insignificant and imperceptible.

Nevertheless, in 2002, the Macau government has loosen the restrictions of its gambling industry, which has changed the development of Macau and leaded it to a different direction; as a world-class gambling casino industry (Xi & Wei 2010). Furthermore, Macau offered and contributed to the world history as a “bridge” (Ngai 1999 and South China Morning Post 2002), by presenting two different civilization and cultures (the junction of Portuguese and Chinese culture). These multi-sensory experiences of aesthetic, history, architectural, religion(s) from the two-contrastive/ divergent regions, allow to add eventually improvise new aspects to Macau and strengthen in representing its own unique cultural history, identity and heritage.

In regards to the term “heritage”, Dr Ien Ang (Ang 2001) has mentioned that the interpretation or definition of heritage is still debatable and undetermined. Heritage is more than what the general desire to preserve and save from the past, it is an invaluable property that “can be ‘built’ and ‘created’ out of a critical and creative engagement with the myriad intertwining histories,” (Ang 2001). The contemporary meaning of heritage can be differed from various perspectives, however it is more about how every individual did value and cherish the past and how could heritage and culture implement to the community at the present time or even in the future.


The Cathedral of Saint Paul (São Paulo) would be one of the iconic design initiative and cultural heritage of Macau that influences the harmonization to develop and enhance Macau’s distinct cultural identity and social status within the world. The Ruins of St. Paul is the site of St. Paul Church and built from the 1602 to 1640 by the Jesuit. Other than that, this church was adjoined with the Jesuit College of St Paul, which was the first Western-style university in the Far East during that time (Ngai 1999). This remarkable architecture has become a significant medium to encourage the religious and cultural exchanges between Europe and China. Visitors or tourists would able to experience the harmonization of Chinese and Portuguese spatial concepts which evident and demonstrate in this unique building; the St. Paul’s Ruins.

This significant construction not just only convey the importance of the coexistence of cultural sediments of eastern and western origin, beside this also motivates the influence to enhance the perspective of the public general, and ultimately provide them to physically experience the unique and individual practices from Macau. This design initiative ensures and at the same time challenges the development and transformation of Macau, particularly in regarding to the aspects of colonialism and capitalism (China) within the past five centuries. Nowadays, Macau has eventually become a “multi-racial” and “multi-cultural” society (Ngai 1999) and also become the major gateway of economic within Mainland China and South East Asia and Europe.



Ang, L. 2001, ‘Intertwining histories: heritage and diversity’, The Annual History Lecture History Council of New South Wales, lecture notes, History Council of NSW, Sydney, viewed 19 January 2017.

Hao, Z. 2011, Macau: history and society, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong.

Jarosz, A. 2013, ‘Macau beyond the roulette wheel’, BBC, 19 September, viewed 18 January 2017, <>.

Ngai, G. 1999, ‘Cultural heritage traditional bonds hold key to identity’, South China Morning Post Ltd., 19 December.

South China Morning Post 2002, ‘Recognise macau’s Portuguese heritage or lose it’, South China Morning Post Ltd., 27 September, p. 19.

Springer, K. 2015, ‘A 400-year-old-port – with no boats’, BBC, 12 November, viewed 18 January 2017, <>.

The State of Administration of Cultural Heritage of the People’s of Republic of China 2005, The Historic Monuments of Macao, viewed 19 January 2017, .

UNESCO World Heritage Center 2017, Historic center of Macao, viewed 19 January 2017, <>.

Ung, A. & Vong, T.N. 2010, ‘Tourist experience of heritage tourism in macau sar, china’, Journal of Heritage Tourism, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 157-168.

Xi, L. & Wei, C.S. 2010, ‘The way to the diversification of macau’s social economy: a study on macau’s cultural tourism development’, International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 131-135.

Zhang, M. 2012, ‘Reading different cultures through cultural translation’, John Benjamins Publishing Company, vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 205-219.