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Lasalle College of the Arts | 2020

A product that encourages people to perform leisure activities by creating a temporary currency, the quality, and quantity of which is based on the performance. The product is made for growing herbs in homes. Keeping the plant healthy and alive yields fresh water, which can then be used to clean the herbs plucked.

Material: Plastic 

Size: 9" x 9" x 15"



methods used


  • Product Design

  • Design Thinking

  • Critical Design

  • Speculative Design

  • Ethnographic Research

  • Anthropological Research

  • Secondary Research

(text, film, exhibitions, case studies)

  • Speculation

  • Ideation

  • Prototyping

  • Rhinoceros 6

  • Keyshot

  • 3D Printing

  • Vacuum Forming

  • Adobe Illustrator

As industrialization and urbanization popularized, a certain status quo was established between employer and employees, and working more hours meant not only more productivity, but also higher wage. Eventually, employees started receiving almost no satisfaction from jobs that gradually took over their family time, social lives, and play. The value of leisure in this capitalist economy has gone from being desirable to a concept that’s feared for being a reminder of unemployment.  

The low wages, long working hours and the gap in the economic statuses of the rich and poor proves the toll that work has created on human lives. Each time humans progress, multiple jobs are replaced by automation. At this rate, machines will eventually end up replacing all kinds of jobs, especially those that are repetitive and laborious (Srnicek and Williams 110). This will result in humans having an abundance of leisure. The “post-work” future can impact humankind in two possible ways; it can either create an unstable economy due to mass unemployment or an economy with social stability where people can express themselves creatively (Lee 2018) and through leisure activities. Each scenario helps suggest what an individual’s relationship with work would be and his/her understanding of the meaning of work and its place in society. Comparing these future scenarios to the current system of work help create new social and political values that define ‘work’ and ‘leisure’ in a world where all jobs are replaced by automation.  

A future world where all work is replaced by automation and a universal basic income is provided to everyone.

The question remains: What will people do with their time? Will they use it wisely to do activities they don't get to do currently or will they waste that time? 



  • A universal basic income is provided to everyone.

  • All work is automated.

  • People use their time to build relationships and express themselves creatively through leisure activities.


To create a ‘currency system’ based on leisure activities performed:

  • To create an element of surprise. (To create different outcomes when the same rules are followed and same tools are used.

  • To sustain the lifestyle (create energy, biomass, oxygen).

  • To create a temporary currency system. 

target audience

Qualitative demographics:

  • People with lack of motivation 

  • Having a lazy lifestyle

  • People having jobs with less social value and are working only for money.

literature reviews

  • Srnicek, Nick, and Alex Williams. Inventing The Future: Post-Capitalism And A Future Without Work. 

  • Frase, Peter. Four Futures: Visions Of The World After Capitalism.

case studies

​The work of living labor  - Art Exhibition

  • Each of these artists has showcased their meaning of work from different perspectives using different media

  •  The main aim of this exhibition is to act as a starting point to future alternatives to our current system of labor by creating narratives that confront the present organization of work and the values that define it.

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H.O.R.T.U.S. - Interactive Installation

  • It is based on the future evolution of urban gardening where agriculture, renewable energy, city lifestyles and technology intersect.

  •  It is a thought-provoking installation that suggests the possibility of a future where leisure activities like gardening may be the main source of resources. 

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Walden Note Money - Speculative Product

  • Creates a new method of exchange that encourages the destruction of money during a transaction by creating music from burning the money within the transaction machine.

primary research

Conducted Primary Research based on retired and unemployed people.

  •  Kampung Admiralty - A development created for the retired citizens of Singapore. It consists of housing, a medical center, and recreational activities allowing elderly people to live independently and actively.

    • The Active Ageing Hub, among other activities, hosts inter-generational activities helping the retired connect with young kindergarten students. ​​​

    • The 8th floor at the recreation and health center allows residents to do gardening creating not only an activity but interesting architecture.

  • ORTO, a recreational center for people of all ages - providing activities like fishing and prawning.

  • Life Recreation center that is an initiative by a church where retired people come to socialize, exercise, and play games. Interviewed both volunteering employees and the retired. 


Conducted on 7 different people aged 45-70. Their backgrounds were:

    • Currently working​

    • Voluntary retirement from work

    • Involuntary retirement due to age or disability

    • Homemakers that have never worked in a professional work setting



how might we?

  • Quantify a leisure activity/ create a currency system based on leisure activities

  • Create a currency system based on virtue

  • Use leisure activities to create better relationships

  • Use a currency system to build better relationships

  • Use the benefits of each leisure activity as a motivating factor

  • Create a temporary currency system

  • Create a currency system for ‘wants’ as needs are already being met by UBI

  • Create a concept of luxury in a world of leisure

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  • A “currency” is required for people to gain some sort of satisfaction/ motivation (driving factor).

  • The only thing that separated ‘work’ from passion is survival.

  • Jobs with special value don't need monetary motivation and are satisfied by the relationships created.

  • There will always be some kind of hierarchy system as long as there exists a ‘currency’ with a long store of value.

design process

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