Then comes the actual construction and fabrication process for the lanterns, which the students were not involved in.
But they understand how things can get lost in translation, from the designs to the build, which inevitably led to the online criticism.
“I feel that from design to fabrication, there is a gap but for this year, I can say that at least 80 per cent of our designs are coming to life, which is quite heartening to see,” Ms Gan said.
TODAY has reached out to the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee to find out more about the contractor who fabricated and assembled the lantern designs.
Ms Gan, who took part in last year’s project, said that the criticism received for the rabbit design was something they took on board.
The problem with the rabbit design was that it did not come off well when viewed from certain angles.
So for this year, the team tried to create a more symmetrical design that would appeal to people viewing from both sides of the road.
“With every bad comment, we take it as a learning point and move on from them to improve our next design,” Ms Gan said.
Fellow volunteer Chua Shuei Ray Eusebius, 24, said that the team also keeps a folder of past designs so that the next team could learn from the design process and take into account public sentiment to design something better than the last one.
“As long as I’m happy and my project team is happy and most of the public sentiment is all right, then I think we would have done a good job,” he said.
When asked what they gained from this experience, Ms Tan said that she learned how to improve her time management, as she had been working on the project while she was overseas on a student exchange programme.
For Ms Gan, it was dealing with stakeholders — which include the committee as well as the public.
“(I learnt) how to be receptive to criticism and not feel discouraged by the comments, but to filter out the good and constructive parts to improve our designs,” she said.
Dr Zheng Kai, an SUTD lecturer who guides the students as their faculty advisor, believes that the students grew as team players in the course of their work.
“I think it’s never easy to work on design with a team, but when you come together and complement each other to present a final deliverable design that they are proud of, it is a testament to their teamwork, bond and skills,” he said.