Let’s dream

by | June 6, 2019

Dreams don’t just exist in those younger; those in their 60s most definitely have dreams.


Shiu Heng’s experiment.

“What is your dream?” Sin Shiu Heng, 26, who is pursuing a Master’s degree in design at LaSalle College of the Arts, decided to get to the bottom of this question. This little experiment of his was designed as a cultural probe as part of information gathering for his research project titled “Mediating change in societal perceptions on ageing in Singapore”.

He reached out to his peers’ help to get the answers to this simple question from their parents. Twenty-nine participants in their late 40s to 60s shared their thoughts, with a little help from Lego sets, their own drawings and/or descriptions.

Shared Shiu Heng about his experiment, “Often times, we hear parents and grandparents asking their children or grandchildren about their wants and desires, but we seldom hear of the question being asked the other way around.

The probe kit.

“In the midst of conducting this experiment, I realised what I had been doing was actually creating intergenerational understanding between the participants and their children as most of the probe kits were passed to my peers to conduct the experiment with their parents. Discussions and conversions arose during the making of the artefacts. Some of them even turned it into a family bonding session where they were building and drawing together.”

So, what did some of those in their 60s had to say? Here are some of their sharings:

  • “To have a happy home.” – Mdm Heng, 65, housewife
  • “Complete my task as a parent like supporting three children until they complete their education. To tour to any dream destination. To study the origin of human being and the universe.” – Joseph Tan, 65, self-employed, personal driver
  • “I was a tailor before my kids came along and I hope to spend some time to sew again. I have been feeding stray cats for 15 years and I’ve been saving and neutering strays. It always pains my heart to see starving and suffering cats so I wish that I can start a cat shelter for strays.” – Toh Sew Ben, 63, housewife
  • “I designed a 50th anniversary United Nation coin for Singapore in 1995 and it has become a coin of remembrance. It was an honour to design this commemorative coin for Singapore. I hope I get a chance to design another artefact or coin that can represent Singapore or the world. Despite travelling to 80+ countries, I still hope to explore the world.” – Chia Moei Song, 63, retired, trainer
  • “I want to be an artist. I want to learn to play guitar.” – Ms Three, 61, full-time, admin assistant
  • “Want to go travel around the world, while I’m still able to. As I begin to feel very tired when standing for an hour.” – Kit Kat, 60, part-time, cleaner

Using Lego to put their thoughts together.

From what was shared, Shiu Heng discovered what most individuals dreamed about. “I found out that most of these adults want to travel, be financially-stable, be healthy and happy,” he shared.

He also found that “family” was another theme that kept coming up. He said: “From my daily observations, there tends to be a lack of communication between family members in Singapore. The effects could be detrimental and might lead to unhealthy family relationships, poor emotional bonding and family conflicts. We should always make time for our families even if we are busy. Through effective conversations and interactions we share, we can grow closer and understand each other better.”


 (** PHOTO CREDITS: Sin Shiu Heng)




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