Yearn like a daughter

Linda Ng

See it On Campus: Level 2

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In Rennie Hall



When I think of home, I think of my dad. I realize now more than ever that home isn’t just about the place or the memories associated with it—it’s about the people who make it feel like home. For me, that person is my dad.

Through this reflection, I’ve realized the importance of nurturing these connections amidst the busyness of life. This graduate project has prompted me to explore how we can bridge these gaps and maintain authentic relationships, emphasizing the significance of being present and expressing love through actions. Although this idea was born from my relationship with my father, I intend for anyone to be able to use this tray and share moments of presence together. 

My artifact consists of three main components: the cement platform that sits on top, the tray that goes underneath and the bearings to hold and connect the pieces together. A candle sits in the hole of the bearing to keep the tea warm. 

The perforations on the platform are intended to allow tea to seep through and be collected by the tray underneath. As you can see only some parts of the top piece is perforated, this is meant to act as a map to give guidance as to where to pour the tea and where to serve the tea.

Concrete is super malleable—it can take on any shape, no matter how intricate. That’s why I chose it for the platform.

Since my project is so interlaced with presence, I wanted to show the interaction of people and objects. Cement has a beautiful relationship with water, it leaves a mark indicating the existence of connection.

I got a lot of push back for using cement as the platform initially, but I am glad I stuck it out and tried because there definitely is a space for cement in traditional tea culture. When people think of cement we often think brash, chunky and industrial but it can also embody a sense of softness, minimalism, and delicacy, challenging common perceptions.

I designed the tray to rotate, even though most tea trays don’t, as a nod to how we interact around dim sum tables. Picture this: ten people at a large table, each reaching for dishes across the way, yet everyone gets their share. One person gently turns the table, ensuring everyone has a chance to enjoy each dish. This rotation symbolizes a spirit of understanding, sharing, and care, echoing the lively and present atmosphere of gatherings over a table.

The bearing I chose is designed for lazy susan tables, featuring countersunk holes on both the outer and inner rings. This setup allows me to attach two pieces of material securely, ensuring smooth rotation with accurate measurements. Initially, I planned to conceal the mechanics, but I later revised the design to showcase the bearing, adding a sense of lightness to contrast with the visual weight of cement.

Last minute I opted to incorporate a perfectly fitting metal pipe into the bearing’s hole. This addition serves dual purposes: it aligns and stabilizes the structure while also providing protection for the wood from the candle that rests in the centre. The candle not only creates a warm and cozy atmosphere but also plays a functional role in keeping the tea pleasantly warm throughout the ritual.

Ultimately Yearn like a daughter is made to encourage connection, conversations, and presence. This project showed me what can be achieved through experimenting, testing, and research. I was working a lot with emotion and spirit, so it was hard for me to channel that into reality, but having the support from not only the professors, but my classmates propelled what I was able to achieve in the short time that we had to complete this project. So I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude once again!

Linda Ng

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