We’ve spent the last 5 days staying with our good friends, Rishad and Shefali, in Singapore. This was one of the three “must see” destinations chosen by our kids, having been picked by our daughter, Anokhi. (The others being the Great Barrier Reef (Kalan) and Machu Picchu (Zephyr).) Mainly because she loves spending time with our friends.
One of the first places we visited was the Botanical Gardens – a UNESCO Heritage site and a great place to wander around and experience the native rainforest that once covered the island of Singapore.
After real trees, we simply had to visit the Gardens by the Bay to experience the super-trees by night.
I’d seen them before in a previous trip, but this time there was a special show for Christmas that was set to music. It was actually an excellent show!
Another visit we were recommended was to the ArtScience Museum at the Marina Bay Sands. We caught the bus and crossed over the Helix Bridge to get there.
I knew I liked this place when I saw evidence of Autodesk in their maker display:
The exhibit we went to see was called Future World.
It started with a few immersive video displays showcasing computer-generated art. One of them was based on a beautifully styled wave simulation.
Later on we saw a gorgeously animated waterfall, too.
The best area – for our kids, particularly – was one that allowed people to populate worlds with their own 3D objects. You start by drawing the profile of your object with crayons on a template.
You then scan these with a simple machine (literally slot the paper in and press a button) for the imagery to be brought into the appropriate 3D world. Here’s one with buildings and vehicles:
Anokhi created a UFO, for instance:
You could then take your 2D profile, once again, and create a 3D model to cut out and assemble. Too cool!
There was also an underwater world, if you preferred that.
One final area that I enjoyed immensely was a starfield comprising over 17,000 LEDs. You could control which sequence was displayed using an iPad, and even walk through the field to experience it from the inside. Simply stunning. Here’s a video that gives a sense of how it looks.
Future World was a really interesting, varied experience. I thoroughly recommend it to visitors of Singapore, whether or not they have families in tow.
Yesterday I went to the Autodesk office, to meet with Lyn Chua and Chinn Lim. Here’s a picture of Lyn showing me around their new maker area:
You can’t mention Singapore without talking about food. We have eaten amazing things from all over Asia (and the world, even), here.
It’s been brilliant catching up with our friends in Malaysia and Singapore. Tonight we start the next step of thr journey, flying into Coimbatore, India. From there we’ll climb to the hill station of Kodaikanal, and then onwards to Bangalore.
By the way… if you’ve enjoyed these photos, you can see more (and more regularly) via our Instagram page.