How do we create a city within a city?

First we welcome the outcasts and outliers and secondly welcome their ideas and visions. Have enough of the same minds, and you now have your own state within your connected psyches. Build and expand upon that connected expression and a sub-culture will be birthed. We don’t need new buildings for our cities, instead, we need developed tastes & minds. NEOKL is built upon these thoughts – Support your local artisans and businesses. Support the youth and elders. Support the unappreciated.  – As long as we hold onto these principles, NEOKL will never fall like Babylon or be lost like Atlantis. It could very well be a fool’s utopian state but if in that case, we are already outcasts and outliers, how more foolish can it become? Let’s create our Shangri-La by bringing forth NEOKL.

 

With Love, 

Your Neighbour

UPUP/RECON 2-way zip up Hoodies

 

UPUP/RECON 2-way zip up Hoodie (W)

X-Large only/ White (1 of 1)             ¥ 6,900 / £ 59/ $ 69/ SGD 89/ MYR 269             BUY

UPUP/RECON 2-way zip up Hoodie (HG)

Large only/ H.Grey (1 of 1)             ¥ 6,900 / £ 59/ $ 69/ SGD 89/ MYR 269             BUY

UPUP/RECON 2-way zip up Hoodie (Y)

Large only/ Yellow (1 of 1)             ¥ 6,900 / £ 59/ $ 69/ SGD 89/ MYR 269             BUY

UPUP/RECON 2-way zip up Hoodie (FG)

Medium only/ F.Green (1 of 1)             ¥ 6,900 / £ 59/ $ 69/ SGD 89/ MYR 269             BUY

RECON2019 Unreleased Capsule

UPUP/RECON Upcycled Packaging

Last week we posted photos of our unreleased 2019 RECON collection and it received humbling reactions from our supporters. One of it being Pang Hei, who reached out to us through instagram DMs, asking if he can buy one of the pieces and we were excited to cater to his order. The products photos you see below now belongs to Pang and he has been very kind to allow us to take final photos of the product and process before we part ways with this amazing piece- we’re really proud of this one. We know that this “Halo People” sweater is a bit over the top to some, so we weren’t expecting a buyer anytime soon – Frankly because of its higher price range too. It is one of those crazier, imaginative pieces we do to show our strengths in concept creation & product creation to our supporters. Something to remind them why they love NEOKL, not just as a brand, but as an idea. Graphic t-shirts are very effective pieces, but it’s more of a quick communicative piece whereas our cut & sew pieces can carry more of NEOKL’s DNA & design language. So we’re very happy to know that we’re handing off this piece to someone who’s appreciates the piece for what it is and we always look forward to seeing our stuff come to life with someone else’s perspective in styling it.

This collection was supposed to be the rollout of our RECON philosophy- a shift in our ways of approaching clothing. To RECONsider, RECONfigure & RECONstruct the old with the new. As most of our friends & family know, we’ve been very affected by our latest readings- the fashion industry as a wasteful industry- and as a company that is built from designing tangible objects, with the bulk of it being clothing pieces, we’re left in a very tough position. What we do know is that we believe in the healing nature of slow fashion and we are slowly taking steps to change our production processes into one that’s of least waste. One of the measures taken is trying to phase out our vacuum sealed plastic packaging. We are including an upcycled packaging that will be included in orders priced at 399 and above. This Upcycled packaging will be unique to its own design due to material availability, we are creating these shopping totes from leftover materials that we have laying around.

 

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When we released Halohex-CHOIR this past June, we were hopeful to win the Facebook AR hackathon challenge but sometimes life just tells you that its not your time. Defeat will always be painful no matter how many times you’ve felt it and while i can’t speak for the team, i definitely felt crushed to know that we didn’t win. After talking to the team, we decided that we couldn’t control the outcome of the contest, but what we can control is how we react to it. So the NEOKLAR team decided to push on through and deliver the sequel to the “Choir”.

We introduce to you the Halohex-GLITCH, the darker angry cousin of the Halohex family. Could this be a projection of our internalized angst toward the defeat? Maybe. Previously, we tried sounds that were more soothing for Halohex-CHOIR, something that we thought would be more acceptable to entice the general mass audience. Although we loved “Choir”, to those who has followed us through the years would agree when we say that this dark glitch soundscape is 1000% closer to the NEOKL/ufoRECORDS essence.
– Arma Badrulsham

Halohex-GLITCH (NEOKLAR) team
Creative Direction & Object Design: Arma Badrulsham
UI/UX Design: Ikram Hakim
Sound Design: Dylan Lee

halohex-CHOIR

We’re proud to announce the release of “halohex”, our augmented reality sequencer created by the NEOKLAR team. This wasn’t a long journey kind of story, fact is we had to conceptualise and execute the idea in less than 3 weeks- so it’s more like short bursts of high energy days/nights throughout. It started with Ikram, who brought my attention to the FB hackathon AR competition and suggested that we gave it a shot- That was 4 weeks ago with no ideas on the table. Not even a pre-existing idea.

The NEOKLAR team consisting of Ikram Hakim, Dylan Lee, Max Jala and myself were the crucial pieces in making this puzzle work. I was definitely doubtful of the timeline but being surrounded by these talented individuals was confirmation for me that no matter what comes out of this project, it will be something special. So a very special thank you to this boys for wanting to be part of this project.

Brainstorming took a week away from the 4-week timeline (and frankly i was worried) but by the end of the first week, we had to put our foot down and pick an idea that is worth devoting the next 3 weeks into figuring out the concept direction and UX. I was tasked to bring concept ideas to the team, and we had to collectively agree on which idea to pursue. After presenting 5 ideas, we scrapped it all. Going into the final meeting i knew that my ideas weren’t strong enough, but as we were discussing, the idea of “stacking objects unto another” as a game was brought to the table. We all loved the creativity and openness of the concept. Another week spent on polishing the concept and creative direction, this idea then grew into what now we know as halohex.

This project was a profound one for NEOKL. I can’t speak for everyone in NEOKLAR, but this experience made me realize the value of spontaneity in a strong team. Having a roster of superstar talents in your team doesn’t equate to a successful project. The magic happens when you have a team that knows their roles and is attuned to the direction of the project. Throw in a curveball, trust the team, and observe how fragments of ideas can become whole.

-Arma Badrulsham

PANDEMIC PANIC: The Potential of D.I.Y Civilian Emergency Mask Kits in the Future


The debate whether one should be wearing a mask in public is settled now. Most countries are stringent on mask laws, urging the public to wear one whenever they leave their homes to enter public areas. This unprecedented pandemic world we are living in now calls for desperate measures, all done to ensure the safety of everyone we come in “contact” with- However the definition of contact nowadays is a 6ft distanced conversation. In recent updates, new evidence suggests 6ft of distance may not be enough, with some scientists claiming that the SARS-CoV-2 is airborne, and could infect potential hosts through the inhaling of tiny aerosolized particles exhaled by a carrier. Social distancing might seem new to the modern day individual, but these measures have been implemented in the U.S during the spread of the Spanish flu. Looking deeper into history, humans have had to deal with several plagues that threatened whole civilizations. We can also observe these plagues making way into texts and teachings of abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, & Judaism), mostly warnings about keeping ones distance from another, limiting physical activities, not going into a plagued land or attempt to leave your home if one is already living in a plagued land. However the scale of the covid-19 pandemic is what makes it unprecedented, countrywide shutdowns may be common in epidemics but we’re not used to witnessing a global shutdown of our social and financial systems.

The mask that works best to protect an individual from contracting the virus is the N95 respirator, due to its success rate of 95% filtration of airborne particles. Any mask lower than that declines in its filtration rate. Health officials have announced that the N95 is a crucial protective gear needed by hospital frontliners in the fight against coronavirus and the limited supply of the masks have caused all governments to reserve its N95 supply to hospital officials working in high risked areas. This leaves civilians with the fibrous non-woven fabric surgical masks ingrained with our daily lives now. Nonetheless, the demand of  surgical masks have now exceeded supply and governments affected by the shortage have resorted to telling its citizen to fashion their own version of a mask. If you’ve been keeping yourself updated on the issue, a common phrase that has started to make way into conversations is “Any mask is better than no mask”. So why all the fuss about masks? That has a lot to do with the virus’s modes of transmission.

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To refresh our minds, here’s 3 ways of how one can get infected with the virus:

  • Firstly, direct physical contact with a symptomatic or asymptomatic individual- the direct transfer of bodily fluids through touch, activities or food and drinks. Due to the virus’s 2 weeks incubation period, a symptomatic subject might not realise that they have been compromising the safety of everyone around them until its too late. Asymptomatic carriers on the other hand have no clue until someone around them becomes infected and then turns into a symptomatic patient which then will prompt health officials to trace back the patient’s physical contact history. Which will lead to the positive asymptomatic carrier
  • Next mode of transmission is the exposure to droplets from a symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers. When we talk, sneeze or cough, we eject what is called large droplets and micro-droplets into the air. Due to the size of large droplets, gravity pulls it to the ground the fastest. Micro-droplets on the other hand linger in the air longer- research has shown that micro droplets have a lifespan of 2 hours in a non ventilated room. A good video to watch would be one by a Japanese lab that has special cameras able to show the spread of micro-droplets which contains bacteria and viruses. Although it is possible to get infected by micro droplets, it is important to note that the air surrounding an environment has to be potent enough with the virus particles to be able to infect a healthy host. It is highly unlikely that you can be affected by micro-droplets in the air that comes from a single sourced cough/sneeze, but when you put several of these cases in a low-ventilation room, the chances of infection rises up instantly, making the area a high risk environment. That is why health officials are the most at risk of infection due to being exposed to high risk environments for many hours. Nonetheless, most recent studies have shown that the 1.6m social distancing measures we abide by might not be a sufficient distance, since these micro-droplets can be carried by wind up to 8m (23 to 27 feet).

Article on travel distance of micro-droplets: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-covid-19-why-6-feet-may-not-be-enough-social-distance

 

Video by Japanese lab with special cameras that detect micro-droplets:

 

  • The last known mode of transmission shows the least potential of infection but one that shouldn’t be overlooked is the Nuclei droplets on surfaces. An infected carrier can leave nuclei droplets on surfaces whenever they talk loudly, sneeze or cough. The lifespan of the virus differs on every surface with porous surfaces (paper, copper, cardboard wood, cloth..) having the shortest lifespan rate. The probability of contracting the virus via nuclei droplets in public spaces is low due to our stringent social distancing measures. These new public measures allows the virus to decay naturally on these surfaces after a few hours or die after being sprayed with disinfectant by public workers. However this does not mean that it is not possible to be infected by it, so the rules of constantly washing your hands and not touching your eyes, mouth and nose, still apply.

 

A study of theStability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666-5247(20)30003-3/fulltext

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An article on the lifespan of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces: https://www.businessinsider.my/coronavirus-lifespan-on-surfaces-graphic-2020-3?r=US&IR=T

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Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMc2004973

 

Knowing the mode of transmissions, gives a clearer idea of why health officials are advocating the wearing of masks in public. It’s to protect you from getting infected by micro-droplets exhaled by others and also to avoid you from spreading micro-droplets around. The mask minimizes the amount of large droplets or micro droplets from spreading on to surfaces or lingering in the air.

There are several reasons why the N95 mask is the most effective, and arguably one of the most important reason is how it fits. The gaps between your nose and your mask (created by your nose bridge) and the gaps under your chin, proves to be the common weakness in normal masks. These areas are potential openings that micro droplets can sneak through, but unlike surgical masks, The N95 covers these areas with a form fitting thin metal strip that hugs your nose bridge and chin area. So when you find yourself running out of masks and in a desperate position having to make your own DIY mask, an important point to focus on is the fit of the mask.

By now, we’ve recognized the utmost importance of the N95 respirator for protecting our frontline health officials. Unfortunately the mask shortage crisis has turned masks into a valuable commodity. We are embroiled with issues like the hoarding and price gouging of masks by irresponsible individuals. A recent piece by the guardian puts a spotlight on the growing underground market surrounding internet drug dealers who are now pushing the sale of masks instead of their usual Fentanyl.  The hot commodity has also penetrated into the world of geopolitics where we see countries scrambling to get their share of face masks. Between accusations of US government officials buying masks straight off the tarmac and China’s “Mask Diplomacy” tactics of awarding its political allies with PPE supplies, its easy to feel powerless as a civilian in the face of this crisis. Stories of mask hijacking have come to a global scale, resulting in delays in mask shipments or even cancellations. This causes a major inconvenience since an individual will have no choice but to go out and restock their groceries in countries that have a mandatory law about wearing a mask in public. Hence the creation of homemade masks has now become a necessity. Below are some news related to some cases of mask hijackings around the world.

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So here’s our question,  can we create an emergency mask that a civilian can make within 5 minutes at home? An emergency mask that’s meant for times when they run out of official surgical masks due to being stolen or delays in shipping. What would be the characteristic of a good emergency mask? Here are some points to consider.

  • Cheap to make using common household items
  • Cheap to throw-away for one time use
  • Biodegradable when disposed of
  • Consists of common household materials
  • Easiest method of creation
  • Able to be made in less than 5 minutes
  • Filtration rate that is acceptable for a quick grocery run

When i was thinking about common materials,  i thought of the potential of paper and the origami method of folding a flat material into 3D shapes. It requires no sewing which saves time and one could just technically craft it out in less than 5minutes before heading out- but before going deep into researching about shaping the mask, i needed to first find out more about paper. The research on paper characteristics took longer than expected. Theres no definitive answer to it’s filtration rate but what’s definitely clear is that its porosity is much more smaller than of fabric. Here is how i made the deduction.

Porosity is a trait that is looked at when safety masks is concerned. A research was published in 2013 examining the efficacy of homemade masks in an influenza pandemic. In the research paper, it discusses the conditions that seem to explain the predicament that the world is facing right now.

 

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Testing the Efficacy of Homemade Masks: Would They Protect in an Influenza Pandemic?: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7108646/

 

The porosity of a material has direct effects on its efficacy in filtering 1-3μm particles. In the research, it explains the way these materials are being tested for its filtration rate- circular cutouts of the tested materials were placed without tension in airtight casings, creating a “filter” in which the material provided the only barrier to the transport of the aerosol. A Henderson apparatus is then used to deliver challenge aerosol across each material. Two microorganisms were used to simulate the particle challenge are Bacillus atrophhaeus & Bacteriophage. These two organisms can be compared in size to represent influenza virus. Unfortunately, these sort of tests aren’t widely available for civilians. The next best thing that one can do to check their mask materials at home is following the advice of Dr. Scott Segal:

Pandemic_Panic_6https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-DIY-face-mask-ppe.html

 

Recently, researchers at Northeastern University have found that by adding a layer of nylon stockings as the most outer layer of your mask, it increases its filtration rate against small particles from 75% to 90%. A surgical mask is able to block 95% of small particles. https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/04/22/840146830/adding-a-nylon-stocking-layer-could-boost-protection-from-cloth-masks-study-find

Another test done to ensure the quality of the masks is called the low pressure drop, which determines the comfort and fit between the wearer’s face and the mask. Pressure drops need to be low in order for breathing efforts to be normal for the wearer. A properly designed mask is intended to stop particles between 1-3μm, but allow normal air flow of breathing. A mask that impedes on breathing is not serving its original purpose, which is to allow normal breathing in health compromising environments. 

Next let’s look into components of a surgical mask. Here we have a video highlighting 6 different masks. Mr Winthrop Wong, Director of Wellchem Pharmaceuticals in Singapore, shows us the roles each component plays to function as a good surgical mask. He conducted simple tests on the masks. A good 3 -ply surgical mask, needs to have a hydrophobic outer layer, a middle layer that’s not too porous to allow air-flow as well as good filtration to trap bacteria, and an innermost layer that is moisture absorbent to absorb large droplets and micro-droplets exhaled from the wearer.

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Screen Shot 2020-04-26 at 9.42.25 PMhttps://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/five-of-six-face-masks-fail-absorbency-test

 

Now with the information collected, it’s time to set off designing the emergency civilian mask. Firstly, to be clear, the idea of applying origami for a mask design has been done before. There are several tutorial videos you can find on youtube showing steps to make an origami mask, although its effectiveness isn’t clarified, i’m assuming that it’s meant as an art’s and craft project instead of a viable alternative to respirator masks. An official version of a trial origami respirator would be one by Jiangmei Wu, an assistant professor of design in the Ezkenazi School of Art, Architecture, and Design at IU Bloomington. She explores the potential of using origami as the means to make a civilian mask. More bout her in these links:

 

On a more personal note, how original one’s idea in this matter, matters less. What’s important is that we address the question, “how do we solve the issue of a global mask shortage?”. If we could find the solution to this supply problem and fill the demand by learning from each other’s designs, then in my opinion, it should be welcomed. Building upon each other’s ideas should be the way to solve the issue at hand. The discovery of Jiangmei Wu’s prototype efforts proved to me that i’m not alone in this pursuit of an accessible civilian mask through origami.

Next, we start figuring out the best shape to maximise its function and comfortability. This is achieve by researching current mask market, followed by a few sketches. The shape has to be made with simple beginner folds on a generic easy-to-find A4 paper. The origami method has to involve the least amount of seams to avoid leakage and we need to understand the limitations in terms of shapes that can be formed by a piece of A4 paper. Lastly we need to decrease the amount of folding to maintain the integrity of the paper- folding it too much can cause tears that will compromise the wearer’s safety.

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So after a few tries of shaping the paper, my conclusion is that the “duckbill” shape seems to be the best design that hits all the marks that have been set. The shape is referenced from “duckbill” shaped 3M masks. There are a few reasons in choosing this shape, firstly the shape provides a gap between the surface of the mask to the wearer’s mouth & nose, this is to avoid these orifices directly touching the front of the mask. The gap also provides a space for insertion of extra components such as crumpled fabric or tissue papers to act as the mask’s filtration unit as well as to absorb the wearer’s own exhaled droplets. The gap has enough space to insert 3-4 plies of tissue paper without obstructing normal breathing. 4 prototypes were created before settling on the final prototype-5.

 

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Upon finalising the design, a few were made to undergo some simple home tests to compare with a fabric mask and an official surgical mask:

  • Test 1 – As we already know, the outer layer of the surgical mask needs to have a hydrophobic characteristic. So we did some rudimentary droplet tests to see if the water that is dripped on to the surfaces beads without absorbing into the material. As you will see in the video, paper has some sort of hydrophobic qualities to it although some of the liquid slowly sips into the paper. Tissue on the other hand absorbs everything in an instant
  • Test 2- Next we test water retention. To see how long can the paper masks contain water inside the mask before it starts to leak. We will rely on gravity to be the pulling factor that will force the water to drip. The water is mixed with blue food colouring for visibility. Test is first done without any absorbent filter inside the mask. Mask-1 is a mask that have been tested with water on a previous experiment, so it is entering this experiment with a compromised shell. Mask-2 is a newly folded mask with the chin-seam facing its left. Mask-3 is a newly folded mask with the chin-seam facing its right. When we drop the water into the masks, all masks leaned towards the right side due to table surface. Results of this test was, Mask-1 (CM2*) dripped first (00;01;23;00) followed by Mask-3 (CM4) (00;02;51;22) and Mask-2 (CM3) had retained the water the longest (00;07;23;28).
    *CM stands for Camera
  • Test 3 – Last test we conducted is the same water retention test on Mask-2 except, this time we included a 3-ply kitchen paper towel to mimic the role of the absorbent layer inside a mask. A surgical mask was also included in the test to compare its retention rate. The surgical mask has an absorbent innermost layer as well. Results of the test, Prototype-5 is able to retain the water without dripping like the surgical mask. Note that both mask materials have been compromised due to exposure to previous tests.

This research that leads to our prototype-5 is by no means a conclusive study that proofs the efficacy of paper as an alternative material to homemade mask. Although it does open a discussion about  its potential. Prototype-5 meets all our initial goals when asked what do we want in a alternative emergency mask. It is cheap to make- materials are all common household items. The use of simple origami steps, which once learned, can be done under 5-6mins. Cheap enough to be used as one time disposable solution to a mask emergency and also biodegradable. Its potential for design customization was also important because that is in the DNA of NEOKL. Anything we create, will naturally have a design aesthetic aspect to it. We believe it makes the product more approachable.



Protoype-5’s components are designed based on the surgical mask’s 3 main components.

  1. A hydrophobic outer layer- based on our home test, it shows that paper had semi hydrophobic characteristics although not as successful the surgical mask’s outer layer.
  2. A middle layer with low porosity to filter out smaller particles- Paper is much denser than fabric and by adding a gap in the mask, we’re able to add more layers to the mask with extra tissues, cotton fabric or nylon fabric, to act as extra filters.
  3. The innermost layer being the absorbent layer- Also mimicked by our tissue or fabric inserts.

The “duckbill” shape, if folded right, minimizes the gaps at the nose bridge and chin area.

However with all the goals met, we still can’t prove its filtration rate due to inaccessible testing equipments during this MCO- making it the one reason why we are calling this a prototype instead of a finished product. When we do have access to test equipments and are able to conduct proper paper filtration tests or come upon a definitive test, and we find out that it doesn’t live up to the standards of acceptable filtration, theres several other materials in the market that might be good replacements. The potential of the idea lies in its versatility to interchange materials as long as they are comparable to paper’s shapable form. Other materials that can be suggested replacements for printing paper are Tyvek and filter paper.


 

Pandemic Panic Civillian Mask 5 (PPCM5)



We are releasing this free PDF pack as a reference tool so that any community out there may improve upon the idea. Parents can use this as an educational tool for explaining the roles of masks in the world we are living in now- while still keeping it interesting with the designs. We welcome other people to play with the template and create their own designs on it. To make this mask, you need to print out one of the template designs from the PPCM pack onto a generic a4 paper. The thicker the gsm, the better. You will also need to prepare cutters or scissors, a stapler and 10 pieces of rubberbands. Follow the instructional video above to learn the steps of folding the template into a mask.

We here at NEOKL have decided not to charge for the downloads, although if we’re being honest, keeping our NEOKL logo & website name on it will at least give us a bit of free marketing in exchange for the efforts it took us to read and filter our research, design the prototype, create the instructional folding video, and provide a free downloadable PPCM5 template with 4 designs to be chosen from. It didn’t feel right to just sell products during a time where we’re all still trying to make sense of what’s happening- instead, we wanted to provide some sort of public service that hopefully could lead to more collaborations towards the betterment of humanity. Honestly, we’ve always believed that whatever we provided pre-lockdown days was our version of a public service, albeit the vessel we provided the service on was in a form of retail products or music. We believe that whatever we create, needs to be of service to the owner- functionally or spiritually. The aim is to make an impact no matter how small and insignificant it may seem in hopes that it creates a ripple effect of inspiring actions- whether it be in the realm of creative arts or not.

If you’re still reading this, you’ve reached the end of the research and we would like to sincerely express our gratitude for your efforts in informing yourself on the virus and mask importance. As well as taking time out of your lives to keep updated with what we’re doing here at NEOKL. Let’s stay connected, for the sanctity of humanity.



ufoRECORDS: SORROW OF RIVER by DownLoadNoir

We’re excited to hear this one coming out. DownLoadNoir’s latest track takes you into an ancient world where the old river used to cradle life.
@downloadnoir
@dlnlee

GRAPHIC CATALOG: NKL2020-a

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The above is the first chapter of our graphic instalment for NKL-2020. Weʼre slowly trying to change how we do things here at NEOKL- being mindful of our production output and the waste that comes with the act of creating. We love what we do and hopefully we can reach a point that it becomes second nature to us to keep making new exciting objects without creating more waste. Your participation in this journey is crucial. Thank you for letting us do things differently.

The original idea of how we were going to intoduce the RECON idealogy had to be postponed due to the Movement Control Order. It was suppose to roll out yesterday (Sat, 28.3.2020) for our last UFOnight at T-MART!, Ss15, before we close down. First preparation was to have our printers print out this NKL2020-a catalog onto a Silkscreened heat transfer paper (different from digital printed heat transfers), which we had already scheduled. The tees were carefully selected, washed, and put through a 3 phase dyeing process and finally iron-pressed. The goal of putting the t-shirts through this processes was to lean on the minor inconsistencies of second-hand items- to have an end product that had a unique individual characteristics based on each t-shirt’s reaction to the dye. On event day, we were going to rent a heat-press machine and custom press this catalog graphic onto our selection of upcycled tees. The owner of the tee will still be able to tap into our Colored Augmented Reality function by scanning the graphic with their phone. This was our way of pushing out our new RECON ideology.

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RECON is NEOKL’s future pledge to start using second-hand wares as material for our products. Starting 2020 we are changing our production line model- to not rely on only first-hand items. RECON is the ideology we will follow.

  • RECONsider: The thinking phase. View a second-hand item as what it is, and try considering it in a different light. Decide on whether to maintain its silhouette or realise that there’s potential to change its final form.
  • RECONfigure: The sketching phase. Recognise the parts that are involved, and rearrange the elements of the product until you reach a silhouette/form that is satisfactory.
  • RECONstruct: The creation phase. Recreate the reconfigured item and don’t be afraid to include other processes like dyeing, distressing, bleaching etc…

So does this mean we will be fully running on upcycled objects? Well thats the big hope. We’re trying to slowly phase out using first-hand items but we’ve got to be realistic too. Things like blank caps/hats are hard to come by in the second-hand market (at least from where we’re based at), so for the time being, we foresee using first-hand blanks for those type of items. In cases of using first-hand materials, not over-stocking is tantamount to having a lean and sustainable supply chain.

Life has its own way of doing things and sometimes you have to know when to surrender and let life run its course. As most of you know, before the MCO, we were already in the process of closing down T-MART!, and the original idea relied on the mart’s empty space to host the final event. But instead of waiting for everything to subside, we felt that we can still roll out the RECON idealogy and Graphic catalog virtually-  what’s important is that we reach an audience regardless of the method. Hopefully when everything settles and we resume our lives, we get a chance to proceed with the initial plan we had.

T-SUMMER FOREVER!

 

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THE E.N.D (EARTH NOW DISTANT) BROADCAST: IKRAM HAKIM

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THE E.N.D (EARTH NOW DISTANT) BROADCAST: DownLoadNoir


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THE E.N.D (EARTH NOW DISTANT) BROADCAST: JONA LIM


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THE E.N.D (EARTH NOW DISTANT) BROADCAST: F.RIDER

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THE E.N.D (EARTH NOW DISTANT) BROADCAST part II Painting Ref.

We pick up from where we left off, Thanks for tuning in! To listen from the neokl.net home-page, click on the unmute icon on the top right corner of the site. The E.N.D Broadcast is our way of keeping anyone out there entertained during this lockdown.

We apologize for any shortcomings- this session was a one man show with Arma handling the visuals, audio, streaming, hosting and research. All other team members are forced to be on social-distancing mode. Thank you for tuning in, stay safe. Lets protect the sanctity of humanity.

These are references to the artworks displayed on our “The Earth Now Distant Livestream Broadcast”. None of these paintings are official images for the works of the classical composers featured. These photos were used as visual enhancers to capture the mood and movement of the music. Although not connected to the music, these paintings we’re chosen on the basis of being created on the same as year the music was published. In hopes by doing so, an era of a particular creative movement can be felt through audio and visual senses.

Isle of the Dead (GermanDie Toteninsel) is the best-known painting of Swiss Symbolist artist Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901). Prints were very popular in central Europe in the early 20th century—Vladimir Nabokov observed in his novel Despair that they could be “found in every Berlin home”. (refer to picture below)
Painting 7

  • The Funeral (French – L’Enterrement) is an 1867–1870 oil on canvas painting by Édouard Manet, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Incomplete, its style is very close to that of Effect of Snow on Petit-Montrouge and The Exposition Universelle of 1867 (Rouart, Widenstein 1975 no. 123). (refer to picture below)
    Painting 8
  • Věnceslav Černý (27 January 1865 in Staré Benátky (part of Benátky nad Jizerou) – 15 April 1936 in Mladá Boleslav) was a Czech illustrator and painter. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 9
  • A Vase of Flowers is a 1716 floral painting by the Dutch painter Margaretha Haverman. It is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 10
  • oung Ladies Beside the Seine (Summer) (French – Les Demoiselles des bords de la Seine (été)) is an oil on canvas painting by Gustave Courbet. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 12
  • Shirley Temple, The Youngest, Most Sacred Monster of the Cinema in Her Time (or Shirley Temple, The Youngest, Most Sacred Monster of Contemporary Cinema), also known as the Barcelona Sphinx,[1] is a 1939 artwork in gouachepastel and collage on cardboard, by surrealist painter Salvador Dalí. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 13
  • Choix des plus belles fleurs (The most beautiful flowers) is a book of watercolors by the French artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté. It has 144 color pictures reproduced by copperplates. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 14
  • The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum is a large 1822 painting by English artist John Martin. It follows the pattern set by his previous successful painting, Belshazzar’s Feast, being another depiction of a dramatic scene from history on a grand scale. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 15

 

 

 

THE E.N.D (EARTH NOW DISTANT) BROADCAST part I Painting Ref.

We got suspended! It was suppose to be a 2-hour long session, but Youtube cut us off during Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “The Ilse of the Dead”. Well, we tried. At least we got a good hour out of this session! and we’re still left with 1 more hour of material. Probably will try for another session if we get some free time. The E.N.D Broadcast is our way of keeping anyone out there entertained during this lockdown.

We apologize for any shortcomings- this session was a one man show with Arma handling the visuals, audio, streaming, hosting and research. All other team members are forced to be on social-distancing mode. Enjoy and sorry for the abrupt ending!

These are references to the artworks displayed on our “The Earth Now Distant Livestream Broadcast”. None of these paintings are official images for the works of the classical composers featured. These photos were used as visual enhancers to capture the mood and movement of the music. Although not connected to the music, these paintings we’re chosen on the basis of being created on the same as year the music was published. In hopes by doing so, an era of a particular creative movement can be felt through audio and visual senses.

  • Convent Thoughts is a painting by the Pre-Raphaelite painter Charles Allston Collins which was created between 1850 and 1851. (refer to picture below)Painting 1
  • Los caprichos are a set of 80 prints in aquatint and etching created by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya in 1797 and 1798, and published as an album in 1799. (refer to picture below)

Painting 2

 

  • The Last Day of Pompeii is a large history painting by Karl Bryullov produced in 1830–1833 on the subject of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. It is notable for its positioning between Neoclassicism, the predominant style in Russia at the time, and Romanticism as increasingly practised in France. (refer to picture below)Painting 3
  • Charing Cross Bridge is a series of oil paintings by French artist Claude Monet. Painted in between 1899 and 1904, they depict a misty, impressionistic Charing Cross Bridge in London. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 4
  • Un Chevalier se préparant au combat (English: A Knight Preparing Himself for Combat) is a c. 1805 painting by Fleury François Richard. According to the artist’s description, the painting depicts a knight praying in the chapel of the Église Saint-Irénée de Lyon, which had been ruined by the Baron des Adrets in 1562. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 5
  • Birch Tree in a Storm (Norwegian – Bjerk i storm) is an 1849 oil painting by the Norwegian artist Johan Christian Dahl, measuring 92 by 72 cm. It is owned by the Bergen Billedgalleri, now part of the KODE in Bergen. It shows a tree seen by the artist during a descent into Måbøgaldene on the way to Eidfjord. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 6
  • View of Notre-Dame (French: Une vue de Notre-Dame) is an oil painting by Henri Matisse from 1914. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 6
  • Isle of the Dead (GermanDie Toteninsel) is the best-known painting of Swiss Symbolist artist Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901). Prints were very popular in central Europe in the early 20th century—Vladimir Nabokov observed in his novel Despair that they could be “found in every Berlin home”. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 7

FEATURE: Our Souls Can’t Sync with Tech? by A.B

our souls cant sync with tech

 

We did not plan for this slogan to be the main copy for NKL19/20,but somehow weve been getting feedback that it resonates with a lot  of people. So here’s an explanation to why that may be the case.

“Our Souls Can’t Sync with Tech” is not a call to denounce technology but of one to embrace it- but not without caution. Its inevitable that our lives will soon be fully synced with future technologies and make no mistake, the transition will be seamless. For example, we have allowed algorithms to take part in our social lives even to the extend of applying it to our global financial systems. By entrusting a big part of our trading ecosystem to a machine, humans can then trade & grow wealth at a more optimum and exponential rate.

 

our souls cant sync with tech_2

 

Ironically, embracing new machines has always been part of our human history. We have embraced the Renaissance Age, the Age of Sail, the Age of Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the Machine Age, the Atomic Age, & the Space Age, just to name a few. Presently we are in the midst of the information age which will be the main key that ushers us into the age of Artificial Intelligence (A.i)… but at what cost?our souls cant sync with tech_7

our souls cant sync with tech_3

industrial age painting industrial age painting_2

 

The concept of privacy and personal data has been brought up a lot recently. We key in so many details of our daily lives into this cloud of information, but How much of whats left of you remains personal? Maybe its inevitable. Maybe embracing the peak of the information age also means giving up yours- Being one with the cloud. In all this chaos, Whats crucial, is that the idea of a Soul should not dissipate.

 

Spiritual panic

 

Here comes the point of why we think people resonate with the slogan so much. There’s a universal consensus agreeing that we have moved far from how humans originally lived and there’s a general sense of feeling lost in this transition. Elon musk has been quoted saying “We’re already a cyborg, You have a digital version of yourself, a partial version of yourself online in the form of your emails, your social media, and all the things that you do.”. We have entered the first stages of combining the human biology with technology and this trajectory may cause some anxiety for those who fear of being left behind. But in all this doubt, we feel that something deemed vague and intangible may be the answer to our post A.i individuality. Something an A.i might have trouble calculating. Understanding that the cloud may have your data but your value is in the soul.

our souls cant sync with tech_4

Here at NEOKL, we constantly find ourselves coming back to the same pool of inspiration whenever we are in the midst of design ideation. We are fascinated by the prospect of a cold & bleak future. As odd as it may sound, the forthcoming of an impersonal future drives us to in

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NEOKL

4 OCT 2020, 1300 MYT: New UPUP Recon Hoodies now available! Only 1of1 for each colour.

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X-Large only/ White (1/1)      ¥ 6,900 / £ 59/ $ 69/ SGD 89/ MYR 269     BUY

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Large only/ H.Grey (1/1)      ¥ 6,900 / £ 59/ $ 69/ SGD 89/ MYR 269     BUY

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Large only/ Yellow (1/1)      ¥ 6,900 / £ 59/ $ 69/ SGD 89/ MYR 269     BUY

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Medium only/ F.Green (1/1)      ¥ 6,900 / £ 59/ $ 69/ SGD 89/ MYR 269     BUY

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Last week we posted photos of our unreleased 2019 RECON collection and it received humbling reactions from our supporters. One of it being Pang Hei, who reached out to us through instagram DMs, asking if he can buy one of the pieces and we were excited to cater to his order. The products photos you see below now belongs to Pang and he has been very kind to allow us to take final photos of the product and process before we part ways with this amazing piece- we’re really proud of this one. We know that this “Halo People” sweater is a bit over the top to some, so we weren’t expecting a buyer anytime soon – Frankly because of its higher price range too. It is one of those crazier, imaginative pieces we do to show our strengths in concept creation & product creation to our supporters. Something to remind them why they love NEOKL, not just as a brand, but as an idea. Graphic t-shirts are very effective pieces, but it’s more of a quick communicative piece whereas our cut & sew pieces can carry more of NEOKL’s DNA & design language. So we’re very happy to know that we’re handing off this piece to someone who’s appreciates the piece for what it is and we always look forward to seeing our stuff come to life with someone else’s perspective in styling it.

 

This collection was supposed to be the rollout of our RECON philosophy- a shift in our ways of approaching clothing. To RECONsider, RECONfigure & RECONstruct the old with the new. As most of our friends & family know, we’ve been very affected by our latest readings- the fashion industry as a wasteful industry- and as a company that is built from designing tangible objects, with the bulk of it being clothing pieces, we’re left in a very tough position. What we do know is that we believe in the healing nature of slow fashion and we are slowly taking steps to change our production processes into one that’s of least waste. One of the measures taken is trying to phase out our vacuum sealed plastic packaging. We are including an upcycled packaging that will be included in orders priced at 399 and above. This Upcycled packaging will be unique to its own design due to material availability, we are creating these shopping totes from leftover materials that we have laying around.

 

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When we released Halohex-CHOIR this past June, we were hopeful to win the Facebook AR hackathon challenge but sometimes life just tells you that its not your time. Defeat will always be painful no matter how many times you’ve felt it and while i can’t speak for the team, i definitely felt crushed to know that we didn’t win. After talking to the team, we decided that we couldn’t control the outcome of the contest, but what we can control is how we react to it. So the NEOKLAR team decided to push on through and deliver the sequel to the “Choir”.

 

We introduce to you the Halohex-GLITCH, the darker angry cousin of the Halohex family. Could this be a projection of our internalized angst toward the defeat? Maybe. Previously, we tried sounds that were more soothing for Halohex-CHOIR, something that we thought would be more acceptable to entice the general mass audience. Although we loved “Choir”, to those who has followed us through the years would agree when we say that this dark glitch soundscape is 1000% closer to the NEOKL/ufoRECORDS essence. – Arma Badrulsham

 

Halohex-GLITCH (NEOKLAR) team
Creative Direction & Object Design: Arma Badrulsham
UI/UX Design: Ikram Hakim
Sound Design: Dylan Lee

 

 

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We’re proud to announce the release of “halohex”, our augmented reality sequencer created by the NEOKLAR team. This wasn’t a long journey kind of story, fact is we had to conceptualise and execute the idea in less than 3 weeks- so it’s more like short bursts of high energy days/nights throughout. It started with Ikram, who brought my attention to the FB hackathon AR competition and suggested that we gave it a shot- That was 4 weeks ago with no ideas on the table. Not even a pre-existing idea.

The NEOKLAR team consisting of Ikram Hakim, Dylan Lee, Max Jala and myself were the crucial pieces in making this puzzle work. I was definitely doubtful of the timeline but being surrounded by these talented individuals was confirmation for me that no matter what comes out of this project, it will be something special. So a very special thank you to this boys for wanting to be part of this project.

Brainstorming took a week away from the 4-week timeline (and frankly i was worried) but by the end of the first week, we had to put our foot down and pick an idea that is worth devoting the next 3 weeks into figuring out the concept direction and UX. I was tasked to bring concept ideas to the team, and we had to collectively agree on which idea to pursue. After presenting 5 ideas, we scrapped it all. Going into the final meeting i knew that my ideas weren’t strong enough, but as we were discussing, the idea of “stacking objects unto another” as a game was brought to the table. We all loved the creativity and openness of the concept. Another week spent on polishing the concept and creative direction, this idea then grew into what now we know as halohex.

This project was a profound one for NEOKL. I can’t speak for everyone in NEOKLAR, but this experience made me realize the value of spontaneity in a strong team. Having a roster of superstar talents in your team doesn’t equate to a successful project. The magic happens when you have a team that knows their roles and is attuned to the direction of the project. Throw in a curveball, trust the team, and observe how fragments of ideas can become whole.

-Arma Badrulsham

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The debate whether one should be wearing a mask in public is settled now. Most countries are stringent on mask laws, urging the public to wear one whenever they leave their homes to enter public areas. This unprecedented pandemic world we are living in now calls for desperate measures, all done to ensure the safety of everyone we come in “contact” with- However the definition of contact nowadays is a 6ft distanced conversation. In recent updates, new evidence suggests 6ft of distance may not be enough, with some scientists claiming that the SARS-CoV-2 is airborne, and could infect potential hosts through the inhaling of tiny aerosolized particles exhaled by a carrier. Social distancing might seem new to the modern day individual, but these measures have been implemented in the U.S during the spread of the Spanish flu. Looking deeper into history, humans have had to deal with several plagues that threatened whole civilizations. We can also observe these plagues making way into texts and teachings of abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, & Judaism), mostly warnings about keeping ones distance from another, limiting physical activities, not going into a plagued land or attempt to leave your home if one is already living in a plagued land. However the scale of the covid-19 pandemic is what makes it unprecedented, countrywide shutdowns may be common in epidemics but we’re not used to witnessing a global shutdown of our social and financial systems.

The mask that works best to protect an individual from contracting the virus is the N95 respirator, due to its success rate of 95% filtration of airborne particles. Any mask lower than that declines in its filtration rate. Health officials have announced that the N95 is a crucial protective gear needed by hospital frontliners in the fight against coronavirus and the limited supply of the masks have caused all governments to reserve its N95 supply to hospital officials working in high risked areas. This leaves civilians with the fibrous non-woven fabric surgical masks ingrained with our daily lives now. Nonetheless, the demand of  surgical masks have now exceeded supply and governments affected by the shortage have resorted to telling its citizen to fashion their own version of a mask. If you’ve been keeping yourself updated on the issue, a common phrase that has started to make way into conversations is “Any mask is better than no mask”. So why all the fuss about masks? That has a lot to do with the virus’s modes of transmission.

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Pandemic_Panic_4

To refresh our minds, here’s 3 ways of how one can get infected with the virus:

  • Firstly, direct physical contact with a symptomatic or asymptomatic individual- the direct transfer of bodily fluids through touch, activities or food and drinks. Due to the virus’s 2 weeks incubation period, a symptomatic subject might not realise that they have been compromising the safety of everyone around them until its too late. Asymptomatic carriers on the other hand have no clue until someone around them becomes infected and then turns into a symptomatic patient which then will prompt health officials to trace back the patient’s physical contact history. Which will lead to the positive asymptomatic carrier
  • Next mode of transmission is the exposure to droplets from a symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers. When we talk, sneeze or cough, we eject what is called large droplets and micro-droplets into the air. Due to the size of large droplets, gravity pulls it to the ground the fastest. Micro-droplets on the other hand linger in the air longer- research has shown that micro droplets have a lifespan of 2 hours in a non ventilated room. A good video to watch would be one by a Japanese lab that has special cameras able to show the spread of micro-droplets which contains bacteria and viruses. Although it is possible to get infected by micro droplets, it is important to note that the air surrounding an environment has to be potent enough with the virus particles to be able to infect a healthy host. It is highly unlikely that you can be affected by micro-droplets in the air that comes from a single sourced cough/sneeze, but when you put several of these cases in a low-ventilation room, the chances of infection rises up instantly, making the area a high risk environment. That is why health officials are the most at risk of infection due to being exposed to high risk environments for many hours. Nonetheless, most recent studies have shown that the 1.6m social distancing measures we abide by might not be a sufficient distance, since these micro-droplets can be carried by wind up to 8m (23 to 27 feet).

Article on travel distance of micro-droplets: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-covid-19-why-6-feet-may-not-be-enough-social-distance

 

Video by Japanese lab with special cameras that detect micro-droplets:

 

  • The last known mode of transmission shows the least potential of infection but one that shouldn’t be overlooked is the Nuclei droplets on surfaces. An infected carrier can leave nuclei droplets on surfaces whenever they talk loudly, sneeze or cough. The lifespan of the virus differs on every surface with porous surfaces (paper, copper, cardboard wood, cloth..) having the shortest lifespan rate. The probability of contracting the virus via nuclei droplets in public spaces is low due to our stringent social distancing measures. These new public measures allows the virus to decay naturally on these surfaces after a few hours or die after being sprayed with disinfectant by public workers. However this does not mean that it is not possible to be infected by it, so the rules of constantly washing your hands and not touching your eyes, mouth and nose, still apply.

 

A study of theStability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666-5247(20)30003-3/fulltext

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An article on the lifespan of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces: https://www.businessinsider.my/coronavirus-lifespan-on-surfaces-graphic-2020-3?r=US&IR=T

Screen Shot 2020-04-22 at 11.39.51 PM
Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMc2004973

 

Knowing the mode of transmissions, gives a clearer idea of why health officials are advocating the wearing of masks in public. It’s to protect you from getting infected by micro-droplets exhaled by others and also to avoid you from spreading micro-droplets around. The mask minimizes the amount of large droplets or micro droplets from spreading on to surfaces or lingering in the air.

There are several reasons why the N95 mask is the most effective, and arguably one of the most important reason is how it fits. The gaps between your nose and your mask (created by your nose bridge) and the gaps under your chin, proves to be the common weakness in normal masks. These areas are potential openings that micro droplets can sneak through, but unlike surgical masks, The N95 covers these areas with a form fitting thin metal strip that hugs your nose bridge and chin area. So when you find yourself running out of masks and in a desperate position having to make your own DIY mask, an important point to focus on is the fit of the mask.

By now, we’ve recognized the utmost importance of the N95 respirator for protecting our frontline health officials. Unfortunately the mask shortage crisis has turned masks into a valuable commodity. We are embroiled with issues like the hoarding and price gouging of masks by irresponsible individuals. A recent piece by the guardian puts a spotlight on the growing underground market surrounding internet drug dealers who are now pushing the sale of masks instead of their usual Fentanyl.  The hot commodity has also penetrated into the world of geopolitics where we see countries scrambling to get their share of face masks. Between accusations of US government officials buying masks straight off the tarmac and China’s “Mask Diplomacy” tactics of awarding its political allies with PPE supplies, its easy to feel powerless as a civilian in the face of this crisis. Stories of mask hijacking have come to a global scale, resulting in delays in mask shipments or even cancellations. This causes a major inconvenience since an individual will have no choice but to go out and restock their groceries in countries that have a mandatory law about wearing a mask in public. Hence the creation of homemade masks has now become a necessity. Below are some news related to some cases of mask hijackings around the world.

Screen Shot 2020-04-23 at 11.51.48 AM

 

So here’s our question,  can we create an emergency mask that a civilian can make within 5 minutes at home? An emergency mask that’s meant for times when they run out of official surgical masks due to being stolen or delays in shipping. What would be the characteristic of a good emergency mask? Here are some points to consider.

  • Cheap to make using common household items
  • Cheap to throw-away for one time use
  • Biodegradable when disposed of
  • Consists of common household materials
  • Easiest method of creation
  • Able to be made in less than 5 minutes
  • Filtration rate that is acceptable for a quick grocery run

When i was thinking about common materials,  i thought of the potential of paper and the origami method of folding a flat material into 3D shapes. It requires no sewing which saves time and one could just technically craft it out in less than 5minutes before heading out- but before going deep into researching about shaping the mask, i needed to first find out more about paper. The research on paper characteristics took longer than expected. Theres no definitive answer to it’s filtration rate but what’s definitely clear is that its porosity is much more smaller than of fabric. Here is how i made the deduction.

Porosity is a trait that is looked at when safety masks is concerned. A research was published in 2013 examining the efficacy of homemade masks in an influenza pandemic. In the research paper, it discusses the conditions that seem to explain the predicament that the world is facing right now.

 

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Testing the Efficacy of Homemade Masks: Would They Protect in an Influenza Pandemic?: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7108646/

 

The porosity of a material has direct effects on its efficacy in filtering 1-3μm particles. In the research, it explains the way these materials are being tested for its filtration rate- circular cutouts of the tested materials were placed without tension in airtight casings, creating a “filter” in which the material provided the only barrier to the transport of the aerosol. A Henderson apparatus is then used to deliver challenge aerosol across each material. Two microorganisms were used to simulate the particle challenge are Bacillus atrophhaeus & Bacteriophage. These two organisms can be compared in size to represent influenza virus. Unfortunately, these sort of tests aren’t widely available for civilians. The next best thing that one can do to check their mask materials at home is following the advice of Dr. Scott Segal:

Pandemic_Panic_6https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-DIY-face-mask-ppe.html

 

Recently, researchers at Northeastern University have found that by adding a layer of nylon stockings as the most outer layer of your mask, it increases its filtration rate against small particles from 75% to 90%. A surgical mask is able to block 95% of small particles. https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/04/22/840146830/adding-a-nylon-stocking-layer-could-boost-protection-from-cloth-masks-study-find

Another test done to ensure the quality of the masks is called the low pressure drop, which determines the comfort and fit between the wearer’s face and the mask. Pressure drops need to be low in order for breathing efforts to be normal for the wearer. A properly designed mask is intended to stop particles between 1-3μm, but allow normal air flow of breathing. A mask that impedes on breathing is not serving its original purpose, which is to allow normal breathing in health compromising environments. 

Next let’s look into components of a surgical mask. Here we have a video highlighting 6 different masks. Mr Winthrop Wong, Director of Wellchem Pharmaceuticals in Singapore, shows us the roles each component plays to function as a good surgical mask. He conducted simple tests on the masks. A good 3 -ply surgical mask, needs to have a hydrophobic outer layer, a middle layer that’s not too porous to allow air-flow as well as good filtration to trap bacteria, and an innermost layer that is moisture absorbent to absorb large droplets and micro-droplets exhaled from the wearer.

Pandemic_Panic_7

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Screen Shot 2020-04-26 at 9.42.25 PMhttps://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/five-of-six-face-masks-fail-absorbency-test

 

Now with the information collected, it’s time to set off designing the emergency civilian mask. Firstly, to be clear, the idea of applying origami for a mask design has been done before. There are several tutorial videos you can find on youtube showing steps to make an origami mask, although its effectiveness isn’t clarified, i’m assuming that it’s meant as an art’s and craft project instead of a viable alternative to respirator masks. An official version of a trial origami respirator would be one by Jiangmei Wu, an assistant professor of design in the Ezkenazi School of Art, Architecture, and Design at IU Bloomington. She explores the potential of using origami as the means to make a civilian mask. More bout her in these links:

 

On a more personal note, how original one’s idea in this matter, matters less. What’s important is that we address the question, “how do we solve the issue of a global mask shortage?”. If we could find the solution to this supply problem and fill the demand by learning from each other’s designs, then in my opinion, it should be welcomed. Building upon each other’s ideas should be the way to solve the issue at hand. The discovery of Jiangmei Wu’s prototype efforts proved to me that i’m not alone in this pursuit of an accessible civilian mask through origami.

Next, we start figuring out the best shape to maximise its function and comfortability. This is achieve by researching current mask market, followed by a few sketches. The shape has to be made with simple beginner folds on a generic easy-to-find A4 paper. The origami method has to involve the least amount of seams to avoid leakage and we need to understand the limitations in terms of shapes that can be formed by a piece of A4 paper. Lastly we need to decrease the amount of folding to maintain the integrity of the paper- folding it too much can cause tears that will compromise the wearer’s safety.

Pandemic_Panic_8 Pandemic_Panic_10

 

So after a few tries of shaping the paper, my conclusion is that the “duckbill” shape seems to be the best design that hits all the marks that have been set. The shape is referenced from “duckbill” shaped 3M masks. There are a few reasons in choosing this shape, firstly the shape provides a gap between the surface of the mask to the wearer’s mouth & nose, this is to avoid these orifices directly touching the front of the mask. The gap also provides a space for insertion of extra components such as crumpled fabric or tissue papers to act as the mask’s filtration unit as well as to absorb the wearer’s own exhaled droplets. The gap has enough space to insert 3-4 plies of tissue paper without obstructing normal breathing. 4 prototypes were created before settling on the final prototype-5.

 

Pandemic_Panic_11Pandemic_Panic_9

 

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Upon finalising the design, a few were made to undergo some simple home tests to compare with a fabric mask and an official surgical mask:

  • Test 1 – As we already know, the outer layer of the surgical mask needs to have a hydrophobic characteristic. So we did some rudimentary droplet tests to see if the water that is dripped on to the surfaces beads without absorbing into the material. As you will see in the video, paper has some sort of hydrophobic qualities to it although some of the liquid slowly sips into the paper. Tissue on the other hand absorbs everything in an instant
  • Test 2- Next we test water retention. To see how long can the paper masks contain water inside the mask before it starts to leak. We will rely on gravity to be the pulling factor that will force the water to drip. The water is mixed with blue food colouring for visibility. Test is first done without any absorbent filter inside the mask. Mask-1 is a mask that have been tested with water on a previous experiment, so it is entering this experiment with a compromised shell. Mask-2 is a newly folded mask with the chin-seam facing its left. Mask-3 is a newly folded mask with the chin-seam facing its right. When we drop the water into the masks, all masks leaned towards the right side due to table surface. Results of this test was, Mask-1 (CM2*) dripped first (00;01;23;00) followed by Mask-3 (CM4) (00;02;51;22) and Mask-2 (CM3) had retained the water the longest (00;07;23;28).
    *CM stands for Camera
  • Test 3 – Last test we conducted is the same water retention test on Mask-2 except, this time we included a 3-ply kitchen paper towel to mimic the role of the absorbent layer inside a mask. A surgical mask was also included in the test to compare its retention rate. The surgical mask has an absorbent innermost layer as well. Results of the test, Prototype-5 is able to retain the water without dripping like the surgical mask. Note that both mask materials have been compromised due to exposure to previous tests.

This research that leads to our prototype-5 is by no means a conclusive study that proofs the efficacy of paper as an alternative material to homemade mask. Although it does open a discussion about  its potential. Prototype-5 meets all our initial goals when asked what do we want in a alternative emergency mask. It is cheap to make- materials are all common household items. The use of simple origami steps, which once learned, can be done under 5-6mins. Cheap enough to be used as one time disposable solution to a mask emergency and also biodegradable. Its potential for design customization was also important because that is in the DNA of NEOKL. Anything we create, will naturally have a design aesthetic aspect to it. We believe it makes the product more approachable.



Protoype-5’s components are designed based on the surgical mask’s 3 main components.

  1. A hydrophobic outer layer- based on our home test, it shows that paper had semi hydrophobic characteristics although not as successful the surgical mask’s outer layer.
  2. A middle layer with low porosity to filter out smaller particles- Paper is much denser than fabric and by adding a gap in the mask, we’re able to add more layers to the mask with extra tissues, cotton fabric or nylon fabric, to act as extra filters.
  3. The innermost layer being the absorbent layer- Also mimicked by our tissue or fabric inserts.

The “duckbill” shape, if folded right, minimizes the gaps at the nose bridge and chin area.

However with all the goals met, we still can’t prove its filtration rate due to inaccessible testing equipments during this MCO- making it the one reason why we are calling this a prototype instead of a finished product. When we do have access to test equipments and are able to conduct proper paper filtration tests or come upon a definitive test, and we find out that it doesn’t live up to the standards of acceptable filtration, theres several other materials in the market that might be good replacements. The potential of the idea lies in its versatility to interchange materials as long as they are comparable to paper’s shapable form. Other materials that can be suggested replacements for printing paper are Tyvek and filter paper.


 

Pandemic Panic Civillian Mask 5 (PPCM5)



We are releasing this free PDF pack as a reference tool so that any community out there may improve upon the idea. Parents can use this as an educational tool for explaining the roles of masks in the world we are living in now- while still keeping it interesting with the designs. We welcome other people to play with the template and create their own designs on it. To make this mask, you need to print out one of the template designs from the PPCM pack onto a generic a4 paper. The thicker the gsm, the better. You will also need to prepare cutters or scissors, a stapler and 10 pieces of rubberbands. Follow the instructional video above to learn the steps of folding the template into a mask.

We here at NEOKL have decided not to charge for the downloads, although if we’re being honest, keeping our NEOKL logo & website name on it will at least give us a bit of free marketing in exchange for the efforts it took us to read and filter our research, design the prototype, create the instructional folding video, and provide a free downloadable PPCM5 template with 4 designs to be chosen from. It didn’t feel right to just sell products during a time where we’re all still trying to make sense of what’s happening- instead, we wanted to provide some sort of public service that hopefully could lead to more collaborations towards the betterment of humanity. Honestly, we’ve always believed that whatever we provided pre-lockdown days was our version of a public service, albeit the vessel we provided the service on was in a form of retail products or music. We believe that whatever we create, needs to be of service to the owner- functionally or spiritually. The aim is to make an impact no matter how small and insignificant it may seem in hopes that it creates a ripple effect of inspiring actions- whether it be in the realm of creative arts or not.

If you’re still reading this, you’ve reached the end of the research and we would like to sincerely express our gratitude for your efforts in informing yourself on the virus and mask importance. As well as taking time out of your lives to keep updated with what we’re doing here at NEOKL. Let’s stay connected, for the sanctity of humanity.



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We’re excited to hear this one coming out. DownLoadNoir’s latest track takes you into an ancient world where the old river used to cradle life.
@downloadnoir
@dlnlee

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The above is the first chapter of our graphic instalment for NKL-2020. Weʼre slowly trying to change how we do things here at NEOKL- being mindful of our production output and the waste that comes with the act of creating. We love what we do and hopefully we can reach a point that it becomes second nature to us to keep making new exciting objects without creating more waste. Your participation in this journey is crucial. Thank you for letting us do things differently.

The original idea of how we were going to intoduce the RECON idealogy had to be postponed due to the Movement Control Order. It was suppose to roll out yesterday (Sat, 28.3.2020) for our last UFOnight at T-MART!, Ss15, before we close down. First preparation was to have our printers print out this NKL2020-a catalog onto a Silkscreened heat transfer paper (different from digital printed heat transfers), which we had already scheduled. The tees were carefully selected, washed, and put through a 3 phase dyeing process and finally iron-pressed. The goal of putting the t-shirts through this processes was to lean on the minor inconsistencies of second-hand items- to have an end product that had a unique individual characteristics based on each t-shirt’s reaction to the dye. On event day, we were going to rent a heat-press machine and custom press this catalog graphic onto our selection of upcycled tees. The owner of the tee will still be able to tap into our Colored Augmented Reality function by scanning the graphic with their phone. This was our way of pushing out our new RECON ideology.

recon_logo

RECON is NEOKL’s future pledge to start using second-hand wares as material for our products. Starting 2020 we are changing our production line model- to not rely on only first-hand items. RECON is the ideology we will follow.

  • RECONsider: The thinking phase. View a second-hand item as what it is, and try considering it in a different light. Decide on whether to maintain its silhouette or realise that there’s potential to change its final form.
  • RECONfigure: The sketching phase. Recognise the parts that are involved, and rearrange the elements of the product until you reach a silhouette/form that is satisfactory.
  • RECONstruct: The creation phase. Recreate the reconfigured item and don’t be afraid to include other processes like dyeing, distressing, bleaching etc…

So does this mean we will be fully running on upcycled objects? Well thats the big hope. We’re trying to slowly phase out using first-hand items but we’ve got to be realistic too. Things like blank caps/hats are hard to come by in the second-hand market (at least from where we’re based at), so for the time being, we foresee using first-hand blanks for those type of items. In cases of using first-hand materials, not over-stocking is tantamount to having a lean and sustainable supply chain.

Life has its own way of doing things and sometimes you have to know when to surrender and let life run its course. As most of you know, before the MCO, we were already in the process of closing down T-MART!, and the original idea relied on the mart’s empty space to host the final event. But instead of waiting for everything to subside, we felt that we can still roll out the RECON idealogy and Graphic catalog virtually-  what’s important is that we reach an audience regardless of the method. Hopefully when everything settles and we resume our lives, we get a chance to proceed with the initial plan we had.

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We pick up from where we left off, Thanks for tuning in! To listen from the neokl.net home-page, click on the unmute icon on the top right corner of the site. The E.N.D Broadcast is our way of keeping anyone out there entertained during this lockdown.

We apologize for any shortcomings- this session was a one man show with Arma handling the visuals, audio, streaming, hosting and research. All other team members are forced to be on social-distancing mode. Thank you for tuning in, stay safe. Lets protect the sanctity of humanity.

These are references to the artworks displayed on our “The Earth Now Distant Livestream Broadcast”. None of these paintings are official images for the works of the classical composers featured. These photos were used as visual enhancers to capture the mood and movement of the music. Although not connected to the music, these paintings we’re chosen on the basis of being created on the same as year the music was published. In hopes by doing so, an era of a particular creative movement can be felt through audio and visual senses.

Isle of the Dead (GermanDie Toteninsel) is the best-known painting of Swiss Symbolist artist Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901). Prints were very popular in central Europe in the early 20th century—Vladimir Nabokov observed in his novel Despair that they could be “found in every Berlin home”. (refer to picture below)
Painting 7

  • The Funeral (French – L’Enterrement) is an 1867–1870 oil on canvas painting by Édouard Manet, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Incomplete, its style is very close to that of Effect of Snow on Petit-Montrouge and The Exposition Universelle of 1867 (Rouart, Widenstein 1975 no. 123). (refer to picture below)
    Painting 8
  • Věnceslav Černý (27 January 1865 in Staré Benátky (part of Benátky nad Jizerou) – 15 April 1936 in Mladá Boleslav) was a Czech illustrator and painter. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 9
  • A Vase of Flowers is a 1716 floral painting by the Dutch painter Margaretha Haverman. It is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 10
  • oung Ladies Beside the Seine (Summer) (French – Les Demoiselles des bords de la Seine (été)) is an oil on canvas painting by Gustave Courbet. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 12
  • Shirley Temple, The Youngest, Most Sacred Monster of the Cinema in Her Time (or Shirley Temple, The Youngest, Most Sacred Monster of Contemporary Cinema), also known as the Barcelona Sphinx,[1] is a 1939 artwork in gouachepastel and collage on cardboard, by surrealist painter Salvador Dalí. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 13
  • Choix des plus belles fleurs (The most beautiful flowers) is a book of watercolors by the French artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté. It has 144 color pictures reproduced by copperplates. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 14
  • The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum is a large 1822 painting by English artist John Martin. It follows the pattern set by his previous successful painting, Belshazzar’s Feast, being another depiction of a dramatic scene from history on a grand scale. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 15

 

 

 

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We got suspended! It was suppose to be a 2-hour long session, but Youtube cut us off during Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “The Ilse of the Dead”. Well, we tried. At least we got a good hour out of this session! and we’re still left with 1 more hour of material. Probably will try for another session if we get some free time. The E.N.D Broadcast is our way of keeping anyone out there entertained during this lockdown.

We apologize for any shortcomings- this session was a one man show with Arma handling the visuals, audio, streaming, hosting and research. All other team members are forced to be on social-distancing mode. Enjoy and sorry for the abrupt ending!

These are references to the artworks displayed on our “The Earth Now Distant Livestream Broadcast”. None of these paintings are official images for the works of the classical composers featured. These photos were used as visual enhancers to capture the mood and movement of the music. Although not connected to the music, these paintings we’re chosen on the basis of being created on the same as year the music was published. In hopes by doing so, an era of a particular creative movement can be felt through audio and visual senses.

  • Convent Thoughts is a painting by the Pre-Raphaelite painter Charles Allston Collins which was created between 1850 and 1851. (refer to picture below)Painting 1
  • Los caprichos are a set of 80 prints in aquatint and etching created by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya in 1797 and 1798, and published as an album in 1799. (refer to picture below)

Painting 2

 

  • The Last Day of Pompeii is a large history painting by Karl Bryullov produced in 1830–1833 on the subject of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. It is notable for its positioning between Neoclassicism, the predominant style in Russia at the time, and Romanticism as increasingly practised in France. (refer to picture below)Painting 3
  • Charing Cross Bridge is a series of oil paintings by French artist Claude Monet. Painted in between 1899 and 1904, they depict a misty, impressionistic Charing Cross Bridge in London. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 4
  • Un Chevalier se préparant au combat (English: A Knight Preparing Himself for Combat) is a c. 1805 painting by Fleury François Richard. According to the artist’s description, the painting depicts a knight praying in the chapel of the Église Saint-Irénée de Lyon, which had been ruined by the Baron des Adrets in 1562. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 5
  • Birch Tree in a Storm (Norwegian – Bjerk i storm) is an 1849 oil painting by the Norwegian artist Johan Christian Dahl, measuring 92 by 72 cm. It is owned by the Bergen Billedgalleri, now part of the KODE in Bergen. It shows a tree seen by the artist during a descent into Måbøgaldene on the way to Eidfjord. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 6
  • View of Notre-Dame (French: Une vue de Notre-Dame) is an oil painting by Henri Matisse from 1914. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 6
  • Isle of the Dead (GermanDie Toteninsel) is the best-known painting of Swiss Symbolist artist Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901). Prints were very popular in central Europe in the early 20th century—Vladimir Nabokov observed in his novel Despair that they could be “found in every Berlin home”. (refer to picture below)
    Painting 7

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our souls cant sync with tech

 

We did not plan for this slogan to be the main copy for NKL19/20,but somehow weve been getting feedback that it resonates with a lot  of people. So here’s an explanation to why that may be the case.

“Our Souls Can’t Sync with Tech” is not a call to denounce technology but of one to embrace it- but not without caution. Its inevitable that our lives will soon be fully synced with future technologies and make no mistake, the transition will be seamless. For example, we have allowed algorithms to take part in our social lives even to the extend of applying it to our global financial systems. By entrusting a big part of our trading ecosystem to a machine, humans can then trade & grow wealth at a more optimum and exponential rate.

 

our souls cant sync with tech_2

 

Ironically, embracing new machines has always been part of our human history. We have embraced the Renaissance Age, the Age of Sail, the Age of Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the Machine Age, the Atomic Age, & the Space Age, just to name a few. Presently we are in the midst of the information age which will be the main key that ushers us into the age of Artificial Intelligence (A.i)… but at what cost?our souls cant sync with tech_7

our souls cant sync with tech_3

industrial age painting industrial age painting_2

 

The concept of privacy and personal data has been brought up a lot recently. We key in so many details of our daily lives into this cloud of information, but How much of whats left of you remains personal? Maybe its inevitable. Maybe embracing the peak of the information age also means giving up yours- Being one with the cloud. In all this chaos, Whats crucial, is that the idea of a Soul should not dissipate.

 

Spiritual panic

 

Here comes the point of why we think people resonate with the slogan so much. There’s a universal consensus agreeing that we have moved far from how humans originally lived and there’s a general sense of feeling lost in this transition. Elon musk has been quoted saying “We’re already a cyborg, You have a digital version of yourself, a partial version of yourself online in the form of your emails, your social media, and all the things that you do.”. We have entered the first stages of combining the human biology with technology and this trajectory may cause some anxiety for those who fear of being left behind. But in all this doubt, we feel that something deemed vague and intangible may be the answer to our post A.i individuality. Something an A.i might have trouble calculating. Understanding that the cloud may have your data but your value is in the soul.

our souls cant sync with tech_4

Here at NEOKL, we constantly find ourselves coming back to the same pool of inspiration whenever we are in the midst of design ideation. We are fascinated by the prospect of a cold & bleak future. As odd as it may sound, the forthcoming of an impersonal future drives us to inject hope into the things we make – In this case, inserting the quote “Our Souls Can’t Sync with Tech” into NKL19/20 products.

 This article isn’t about discouraging progress, instead it is a message to ensure you that all is not lost. While the fight for the privacy of personal data still goes on, its important to remind ourselves that we are not made up of codes… but mind & body. Do not feel as if you’re reduced to just numbers. You are more than just data.

 

our souls cant sync with tech_6

our souls cant sync with tech_5