Pollution in the ocean (Launay, C. 2015)

‘Historically the most common form of waste disposal was via waterways where up until the 1970’s it was legal to dump waste into the oceans with it being the most cheap and convenient practice.’ (Derraik, J. 2002) Reading up on water pollution after witnessing countless drains, waterways and rivers in Indonesia being blocked or filled more so by rubbish than water has shown how few implementations there are for proper waste management, especially when it comes to waste being swept to the ocean.

Man trying to row through debris (Griffiths, S. 2015)

Overall, plastic is the number one source of pollution in the ocean (as it does not degrade, only breaking down into progressively smaller pieces) along with oil which is the fastest source of deterioration, posing a significant health threat to the entire marine ecosystem. ‘The threat of plastics to the marine environment has been ignored for a long time, and its seriousness has been only recently recognised.’ (Stefatos, A. 1999)

Rubbish floating in the Holy River Ganges, India. (Doust, G. 2016)

A design initiative to this problem of waste disposal in the oceans has been developed by two Australian surfers from Perth, Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski who have created the Seabin. The Seabin is essentially a floating bin that sucks rubbish into it like a vacuum, catching everything floating from plastic bottles to paper, oils, fuel and detergent.

The designers behind the Seabins; Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski (Seabin Project, 2015)

How it works is similar to a pool skimmer box; ‘the bin is attached to a pump which keeps it docked in the water of marinas, private pontoons, inland waterways, residential lakes, harbours, water ways, ports and yacht clubs (controlled water environments where high levels of human activity are present) and this pump creates a flow of water that sucks all floating rubbish and debris into a natural fibre bag, before pumping the water back out.’ (Garty, L. 2015)                            

Diagram of how the Seabin works (Seabin Project, 2015)

It is built from recycled materials, with the pump running on shore power electricity costing around $20 a month to run however they are looking into alternative eco friendlier power sources. The bin is emptied like a rubbish bin on land, therefore people can see what is being caught, (what you are swimming in, what the fish are eating, what you are eating through the fish) and the goal is for the plastic that has been caught to be up-cycled into developing more Seabins.

The Seabin in action as it vacuum sucks rubbish floating on the waters surface (Seabin Project, 2015)

Pete and Andrew are Product Designers who were in the industry of making plastic products before realising there was no real need for what they were creating. They were fuelled by their passion to develop something better, something which would help. Growing up by the ocean, they realised it was in dire need of help and they had one mission: to keep the oceans tidy.       

The product was initially funded by their own savings however they wanted it to be built in the most sustainable and ecologically responsible way so they turned to crowd funding through Indiegogo (raising $270,000 USD.) Along with this Ceglinski stated “we also went to the METSTRADE show, which is the biggest trades show in the world for the marine industry and we’ve also been in contact with lots of mariners and governments around the world.”

Rubbish collected by the Seabin (Seabin Project, 2015)

The latest news states that “we’ve signed a partnership with Poralu Marine, a french industrial global leader of aluminium facilities for marinas, for the development, manufacturing and worldwide distribution of Seabins with first unit expected to start operating by the end of 2016.”

‘The concept aims to complement the more expensive option of using trash boats, vessels that drive around harbours scooping up rubbish with nets built into them.’ (Gartry, L. 2015) Whilst it will not be a quick solution or solve the bigger problems of “garbage islands,” the Seabin will be beneficial to minimising and controlling further waste being released into the ocean.

You can keep up to date with project on their website

or their instagram: @seabin_project

And you can view their promo video for the Seabin in full here;


Danluck, M. 2008, Garbage Island, Journeyman, England

Derraik, J. 2002, The pollution of the marine environment, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 44, Issue 9, September 2002, Pages 842–852, <>

Garty, L. 2015, ‘Seabin’ designed by Australian Surfers to clean up marinas, reduce ocean pollution, ABC News, Australia, viewed March 13th, <>

Griffiths, S. 2015, The ocean vacuum, Daily Mail, UK, viewed March 13th, <>

Jonathon, A. & Charles G. 1996, Waste water management for coastal cities, Springer, New York.

Launay, C. 2015, Study Shows 5 Countries Account For as Much as 60% of Plastic Ocean Pollution, The Inertia, Australia, viewed March 24th, <;

Stefatos, A. 1999, Marine debris on the seafloor of the Mediterranean Sea, Elsevier Science Ltd, UK

Turton, A & Ceglinski, P. 2015, The Seabin Project, Web & Seo, Australia, Viewed March 13th, <>


The power of design to transcend contexts lends itself to a perennial state of innovation and education to both designer and end-stage user.

The notion of sustainability in regards to its correlation with the fashion industry is one such example. With over ‘70 different definitions’ (Holmberg and Sandbrook, 1992), sustainability as an area of design is becoming an increasingly saturated social concept, with differences in the application and immediate reasoning for sustainable design highly dependent on direct environmental and social contexts, with congruence existing however between such differences through the all-embracing global intention for a cleaner, greener world.   From sustainability extends the concept of Slow Fashion, an abstraction that encompasses a ‘philosophy of attentiveness mindful of its various stakeholders’ needs’ (Pookulangara, 2013), further to being a means ‘of incorporating social responsibility and improving business practices’ (Fletcher, 2010).

And keeping this in mind, a mini case study presents itself, that of a brief comparison outlining sustainable practices in Indonesia, a developing nation, and Italy, by contrast developed, and how sustainable design is divergently accounted for in the respective fashion environments.

Batik is derived from an ancient textile tradition in Java and is an increasingly important player in the contemporary Indonesian (and global) fashion industry.  The many processes involved in manufacturing such garments with this resist wax technique present a multitude of environment considerations, with the foremost concern associated with water usage, including residual dyes, toxicity, colour waste, and heavy metal contamination (Azlin, Rahman and Shaari, 2011).  The use of paraffin wax and fume emissions are also of concern due to the discharge and release of harmful chemicals.  Much is being done to work with local batik SMEs to improve the environmental outputs of the practice, with the Clean Batik Initiative established in 2010 (Booth, 2010) being one such component.

batik_designTraditional batik. (Rohman, 2015)

A heavy polluter of CO2 emissions, keeping one of Indonesia’s most developed art forms in synergy and balance with the environment is important in ensuing the longevity of the tradition, with programs under the Clean Batik Initiative assisting batik SMEs ‘in implementing cleaner, safer and more efficient production…[through] reducing water and electrical consumption…as well as excessive toxic chemicals’ (Booth, 2010).

In linking back to the concept of sustainable design, an expanded definition of it sees the notion as pertaining to ‘the relationship with ourselves, our communities, our environments’ (Seidman, 2007), an apposite connection to the batik industry in it being a wholly traditional process, a practice intertwined in Indonesian lifestyle, economics and modern culture.

By contrast in Italy, a large component associated with sustainable design is the management of the fast fashion industry.  Here we can immediately see moreover, the differences in the contextualisation of sustainable design, with batik a reflection of traditional, Javanese culture, as yet largely uninfluenced by loss of tradition and skills, and Italy, struggling with the impact of globalisation and the cheap commercialisation of the fashion industry.   The fast fashion industry, with chains such as Zara and H&M, presents with it many ethical and environmental issues all falling under the umbrella concept of sustainability.  From worker conditions, to materiality, to the increasing ‘throw-away culture’ (Birtwhistle & Moore, 2007), there is much to expand on when considering sustainable design and management in this developed nation, and the various changes, procedures and campaigns being implemented to target such areas.

factoryClothes being made in Bangladesh for nations as varied as Italy, London and Australia. (Smith, H. 2013)

Sustainable design is ‘paired with social responsibility’ (Aguilera et al, 2007), and it is becoming increasingly clearer to comprehend how these two exceedingly different cultures use the core understandings and principals of sustainable design, a valid design branch, to improve and work towards a cleaner, healthier and for lack of a better word, sustainable world.


Aguilera, R. V., D. E. Rupp, C. A. Williams and J. Ganapathi. 2007. Putting the S Back in Corporate Social Responsibility: A Multi-level Theory of Social Change in Organizations in Joy, A., Sherry, J., Venkatesh, A., Wang, J., & Chan, R. 2012. Fast fashion, sustainability, and the ethical appeal of luxury brands, Fashion Theory, Vol. 16, Issue 3, pp. 273-296

Azlin K, Rahman A and Shaari N. 2011. Batik : Design for a Sustainable Environment. Working Paper. Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, (UNIMAS)

Birtwistle, G., Moore, C. M. 2007. Fashion clothing–where does it all end up? in Farrer, J and Fraser, K. 2011. Sustainable ‘v’ Unsustainable: Articulating division in the fashion textiles industry. Antipodes Design Journal, November 4 2011

Booth, A. 2011. ‘Aiming for clean, green, batik’.  The Jakarta Post. Accessed 30/03/2016. Available at:

Fletcher, K. 2010. Slow Fashion: An Invitation for Systems Change. Fashion Practice: The Journal of Design, Creative Process & the Fashion, 1 November 2010, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 259-266

Holmberg, J., & Sandbrook, R. 1992 ‘Sustainable Development: What is to be Done?’, Holmberg, J. Ed. 1992 Policies for a Small Planet, Earthscan, London

Pookulangara, S. Shepard, A. 2013. Slow Fashion Movement: Understanding consumer perceptions – an exploratory study. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 20 January, 2013, vol.20, pp. 200-206

Rohman, K. 2015. Batik for my world. Change Makers. Accessed 30/03/2016. Available at:

Seidman, D. 2007. How We Do Anything Means Everything in Joy, A., Sherry, J., Venkatesh, A., Wang, J., & Chan, R. 2012. Fast fashion, sustainability, and the ethical appeal of luxury brands, Fashion Theory, Vol. 16, Issue 3, pp. 273-296

Smith, H. 2013. Work, garment work and safety: clothes to die for? Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit. Accessed 30/03/2016.  Available at:

POST A: Indonesia & Design

Design is contextually shaped when various aspects are considered, such as the environment and the user. The Indonesian culture moulds the design context of the local designers which is evident through their design processes and solutions. The traditional art of decorating cloth called Batik and Pak Singgih Kartono, a local designer best exemplifies this notion as they are both majorly inspired and influenced by their culture.

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Batik prints by A. Higgins, R. O’Sullivan and C. Villanueva

During the studio, we were able to experience printing Batik and witness the manual intricate print process it undergoes prior the final product. Batik is a Javanese printmaking technique that utilises wax and dye to produce decorated clothing materials. This practice is part of Indonesia’s ancient tradition; therefore becoming a dominant part in their design making. In Architect Amos Rapoport‘s disseration Culture, Architecture and Design he states that “design needs to respond to culture” thus supporting the significance of culture to design; in order for a design to be effective, it has to suit the users and their environment. The interaction between the people and its environment is a pivotal aspect of designing in a culturally abundant location.

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Kandangan (EcoVillage), Central Java

Rapoport establishes that cultural variables play a significant role in design; this notion is practiced by Singgih Kartono – a local designer, specifically in his village. Pak Singgih’s design philosophy is to sensitise us with nature with which he practices through his products. Traditional farming was the economic backbone of Kandangan; the government’s attempt to ‘improve’ their farming through unsuitable ‘modern’ ways severely damaged the community therefore impacting the villagers and their income. This resulted to the exploitation of Kandangan’s forest and nature, this action became an acquired behaviour therefore becoming part of their culture. The environment in this village has contextually shaped Singgih’s design practice where he developed a belief in creating a relationship between his products and the user through the materials he utilises. Due to the lack of cultural connection of the villagers to their natural resources, Singgih used this opportunity to reinforce the importance of valuing the environment and its uses. He believes that the relationship between his products and their user, reflected through the villagers and the mishandling of their natural resource,  could be more humanised through using a combination of natural materials to deeply involve the user to his products.

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Singgih Kartono, Magno workshop

Indonesia is a creatively abundant country that was heavily influenced and inspired by their local culture and traditions. Both Batik printing and Singgih Kartono exemplifies the effect of local context in shaping the design, designers and their practice.


Kartono, S. 2000. Magno Design. [ONLINE] Available at:

Photos taken by C.Villanueva

Rapoport, A, 2003. Culture, Architecture and Design. 1st ed. US: Locke Publishing Company Inc.

Rapoport, A, 2016. Amos Rapoport. [ONLINE] Available at:


Waste Less, Recycle More [POST B]

An adverse by-product of today’s urban and all-consuming lifestyle, solid waste presents pressing environmental consequences as we plan for the future, with the global generation of solid waste set to increase 70% by 2050, exceeding more than 6 million tonnes of waste per day (Bhada-Tata and Hoornweg, 2012).

World wide, cities are embracing tactics that target waste reduction (Masaru, 2013),  with considerable disparities in societal attitudes, behaviors and strategies towards rubbish disposable evident amongst developed and developing nations.  Geographically and politically relevant, NSW government initiative Waste Less, Recycle More (WLRM), was designed in 2013 in direct response to the immediacy and severity of issues concerned with post consumer waste in a multitude of areas, and the challenges they engender in designing for the future.

Waste less, recycle more: a 5-year $465.7 million Waste and ResoEPA, 2015.

Specifically, WLRM is a $465.7 million package that is government funded with the intent to transform waste and recycling in NSW from 2013 to 2018 (EPA, 2015).   This transformation has been orchestrated and plans to be continued to be orchestrated through the individual funding of a collective of separate ‘children’ programs, all of which fall under the WLRM scheme.  These are programs such as Love Food Hate Waste, Resource Recovery Facility Expansion and Enhancement, and Improved Systems for Household Problem Wastes.  Furthermore, WLRM has in place an education strategy designed to support the key cause (reducing waste) and the ensuing programs it oversees, a strategy whose aim and vision is to ‘optimize the use and quality of education in all WLMR programs so that they promote positive behaviour change….and improvement in the environment and community wellbeing’ (EPA, 2015).

The effectiveness of the WLRM initiative is up for debate.  It is a tiered initiative,  and  its ultimate success is exceedingly dependent on the continued support of the NSW and federal government budgets and their overseers.  The Institute for Public Policy Research (a leading UK think tank), is against such tight government control over waste management, recognising and acknowledging that government foundations are key but that social enterprise policies can be considerably more effective and engaging, further summarizing that ‘our approach to resources [and by extension the wastage they generate] should be circular’ (Rowney, 2014).  By this, biological resources, such as foods, should be reused to their full extent before being returned to the Earth’s ecosystem, and non-biological resources such as metals, should be continually reused and recycled (Rowney, 2014).

Großer Stapel alter PET-Flaschen Large stack of old plastic botPlastic Waste. (Von Euen, 2013).

Many businesses worldwide are expanding on their own versions of circular reuse. H&M offers discounts in exchange for old clothes, which are then resourced for their materials, or directly outsourced to countries and situations where clothing is needed (Chegwyn, 2014). Supermarket chains are doing their part to redefine the way consumers approach food and avoid the potential for wastage to occur through such campaigns as Australia’s The Odd Bunch (Woolworths, 2016) and France’s Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables (Intermarche, 2015),  which both sell cheaper, non-calibrated and imperfect fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be thrown away.

foodwasteFood waste, primarily from grocery stores and food processors. (Sullivan, 2012).

It is not just household businesses redefining and challenging perceptions of waste. In Cateura, Paraguay, a youth orchestra plays with instruments manufactured entirely from waste materials sourced from the rubbish landfill from around which the community has built and developed basic living infrastructure, for ‘garbage is not garbage. If you have creative ideas you can do anything with it’ (CBN, 2015).

ORCHESTRAManufacturing.  (CBN, 2015).

The WLRM initiative is well supported, well documented and to date has been well received.  Its overarching success however, has yet to be concluded, and full judgement  and analysis of data can only be ascertained at the conclusion of the 5 year implementation.  It is refreshing however, to bear witness to alternative waste management schemes both large and small, with funding and a lack there of,  that unanimously agree on the detrimental effects that human waste disposal has on the multiplex layers of society and the environment, and that action is needed.  Not tomorrow, not today, but yesterday.  


Bhada-Tata, P. Hoornweg, D. 2012. What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management. The World Bank.  Accessed 25/03/2016. Available at:

CBN News.  2015.  ‘Recycled Orchestra’ Turns Trash into Music. CBN News Corporation. Accessed 26/03/2016.  Available at:

Chegwyn, Emma. 2014. A Fashion Paradox. Thesis major work.  University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Environment Protection Authority (EPA). 2015. Waste Less Recycle More Initiative. NSW EPA. Accessed 25/03/2016.  Available at:

Intermarche. 2015. Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables. Intermarche. Accessed 26/03/2016. Available at:

Masaru, G. 2013. Global Waste on Pace to Triple by 2100.  The World Bank. Accessed  25/03/2016. Available at:

Rowney, M. 2014. The wasteline: Redefining ‘waste’ and improving resource management policy.The Institute for Public Policy Research.  Accessed 25/03/2016. Available at:


Sullivan, D. 2012. New Jersey Composter Taps Food Waste Opportunities. Bio Cycle: The organics recycling authority. Accessed 26/03/2016. Available at:

Von Euen, N. 2013. Plastic Waste. Global Waste. Accessed 26/03/2016. Available at:

Woolworths.  2016. The Odd Bunch.  Woolworths, Australia.  Accessed 25/03/2016. Available at:



(POST A) Design Contexts: Urban and Rural

Design doesn’t exist in isolation. The context of a particular space influences its designed outcomes, just as the designed outcome has the power to alter contexts and even cultures (Cooper 1999.). This complex relationship means that design has differing definitions for the diverse groups of people in society.

A large part of design that we are exposed to, create and participate in is geared towards the context of westernized, urban areas and dense population. This comes as no great surprise when 89% of Australia’s population lives in urban areas (World Bank, 2015.). The effects of urbanization and globalization have imposed this westernized approach to design upon developing nations such as Indonesia. In 1991 only 32% of the Indonesian population lived in urban areas, jump forward 25 years to 2015 and that has risen to 53.3% thanks to rapid population growth, the development of infrastructure and a growing economy.

A suburb of Yogyakarta city.

The context of the city advocates a successful, fast paced lifestyle; through carefully designed products and services its inhabitants come to expect variety, convenience, efficiency and instant connectivity. It often seems that less emphasis is placed on a design’s longevity or afterlife. This has led to design outcomes such as: single use products (e.g. plastic bottled water), self-service, convenience stores and personal electronic devices.

Indomart, the most popular chain of convenience store in central Java.

Designed objects/services in urban spaces can have less consideration for the nuances of their context, giving them more power to change cultures and even create new ones (e.g. the rise of the internet and social media) because they are consumed en mass by a large demographic in close proximity. It is interesting to observe how different design ideologies clash and meld into the local culture.

A street art mural in Geneng exploring the struggling relationship between traditional and contemporary Indonesia.

If we shift our focus to one of Indonesia’s 79,075 villages (Badan Pusat Statistik, 2012.) it is clear that here design works in a different way. The rural village is a context, which continues to nurture Indonesian culture due to its geographical isolation and its members practicing traditional rituals, beliefs and skills. The Indonesian education system often doesn’t encourage critical thinking; Singgih Kartono an Indonesian product designer suggests that as a result of this most people see their daily work in the village (e.g. preparing meals or crafting items) as a necessary means to get by rather than viewing them as designerly activities. This humble outlook leads to a functional approach of problem solving with an emphasis on self-sustainability.

A rural farmer preparing rice fields for planting.

In a village there is a habitually participatory approach to making and communicating; the user becomes a critical component of the process (Sanders, 1999.) For example alone, a basket weaver can make and sell baskets at a market, however they can also teach others how to create a basket for themselves. By sharing knowledge, the design becomes open source and people are able to customize a basket for their personal needs. This collaborative approach is also made possible by members of the village having equal access to cheap, sustainable and local materials such as bamboo.

A member of Kelingan village teaching university students how to weave a bamboo basket.

The rapid growth of Indonesia as a nation has brought with it complex issues. An unorganized system of governance and a lack of education/services have exaggerated environmental challenges such as polluted waterways, clean drinking water and waste management. Kartono believes that we need to look urgently towards the context of the humble village when designing to combat the wicked environmental problems that Indonesia and the planet face. As designers we should immerse ourselves in different contexts to better understand the needs of our increasingly global society.

Reference list:

Badan Pusat Statistik. 2013, Indonesia demographic and health survey 2012, Ministry of Health, Viewed 14 March 2016, < >.

Cooper, R. 1999, Design Contexts, The Design Journal, vol. 2, no. 1, pp 1.

Sanders, E. 2002, ‘From User-Centered to Participatory Design Approaches’, in J.Frascara (Ed.), In Design and the Social Sciences, Taylor & Francis Books Limited

The World Bank. 2016, Urban population (% of total), The World Bank Group, Washington DC, viewed 14 March 2016, < >.

*All photographs used in this blog post are taken by the author


POST A: The Role Context Plays on Indonesian Graffiti

images post A

People have been witting graffiti on walls and in public spaces since the era of the colosseum, and today contemporary graffiti and street art can be found throughout the world, and has played a pivotal role in many social and political revolutions. When trying to understand graffiti or street art context is key, not only in place but also in time. This is relevant when looking at Indonesian graffiti, and its evolution over the past six decades.

Many people associate graffiti as we know it today as part of the New York hip hop scene of the 1970’s however this is only a tiny aspect of graffiti’s history. The act of drawing on walls has been around since prehistoric times. This is evident in Indonesia in Petta Kere cave in the Leang-leang Prehistoric Park in the Sout Sulawesi Province, which is printed with hand prints and an illustration of a boar, that are thought to be from around 5000 BCE.

image from; Panoramio

Modern graffiti has no one source, however it is often linked to the rise of muralismo in Latin America with artist such as Diego Rivera creating political murals in public spaces during the Mexican Revolution. Similarly contemporary Indonesia graffiti has its roots in political activism. Graffiti became an important aspect of Indonesia’s political scene in the 1940’s when Indonesia was still under colonial rule and fighting for independence, when phrases like like “Bung Ajoe Bung” (Come On Man), “Freedom is the glory of any nation. Indonesia for Indonesians” and “Hands off Indonesia!” began appearing in public spaces. Now days graffiti still has political roots. The murals that can be seen around Yogakarta often hold a political message such as the image below, which deals with the complexities of water ownership in Central Java.

images post A

The context of the graffiti changes the meaning of each political piece, for example the piece of social commentary in Chile below would take on a very different meaning in Yogakarta and in Australia, as abortion is still a illegal in both Chile and Indonesia, therefore the best way to spread awareness and information about this taboo issue is through underground means.

images post A

This is in stark contrast to near by city nation state Singapore where graffiti is not only illegal, but includes caning as corporal punishment under the Vandalism Act of 1966. Therefore to see a piece of graffiti one must understand the local context of the piece for its true meaning and value to be understood.


Title images all by author

Continue reading

Kartono Philosophy: Interview – POST C

During my time in Central Java I had the opportunity to meet with Singgih Kartono, a local product designer whose design philosophy aimed to inspire the locals, who lived in villages, a sense of pride in what they can produce from their village. He also aims to encourage those who have been educated to a tertiary level, to not move out of the country but rather develop their own brands and work through the villages they grew up in. These philosophies and his selfless nature inspired me to find out more about him and his background that led him to becoming the designer he is, and where he sees himself and his brands in the future.

I had a chance to interview Kartono during the festival Matai Air. We sat by one of the stalls and I spoke with him about his early design experiences as well as other aspects of his design work.

From my initial questions I found that he has been working on many of the products he creates for a long time. The wooden radio project, that he is best known for, is a development of what he did as his major design project in 1992 during his university education in design arts. He elaborated on how he designs using natural materials that are local to him, such as bamboo wood, with the exception of the internal electronic parts to his products which he sources from Panasonic.

It was soon after his university education that he was encouraged by his friends to pursue a career in designing hand crafted wooden products that were not just beautiful decorative pieces but highly reliable and functional products.  After 11 years of working for a toy design company designing wooden toys he left to start his own brand Magno.

Kartono likes to mix hand crafts and art into his design as he sees these two as being a part of each other. This way of thinking is a clear relation to design philosophies in the context of Central Java which is explored further in the earlier post “Context Defining Design”.

In the future, Kartono would like to develop a new ‘daily life’ product brand targeting people and students with products they use in their day to day life. This will aim to shift ideas that the village is a trap, to rather inspiring a realisation that the village can be a beneficial part of their lives when they aim to reach successful futures.



Notes from Interview with Singgih Kartono, 21/2/16

Living in Indonesia, 1997-2016, Practical Information for Expats Living in Indonesia, Jakarta, Last viewed 20/3/16, <;

Singgih Kartono, 2016, Origin of the Wooden Radio, Wooden-Radio, Indonesia, Last viewed 20/3/16, <;

ibark, 2015, Magno Designs, Australia, Last viewed 20/3/16, <;


How to Act Indonesian with 20 Easy Steps – POST D

Indonesia has a vastly rich culture shown in their culinary styles, material craft practice, social etiquette/ behaviour and so much more. A broad and humorous summary of some of the social behaviours found within the culture can be enjoyed in Sacha Stevensen’s video playlist on ‘How to Act Indonesian’.

The first of her videos highlights the large amount of rice that Indonesians consumer and how they believe that eating plenty of rice regularly will maintain good health. From my experience this is certainly true with rice almost always being served with every meal. The video then shows how popular black berry phones are throughout the country even for those who are homeless. Offering drinks to guests and behaviour around dogs is covered next highlighting their differences from most cultures. Lastly the reckless nature of most drivers in Indonesia is shown through a driver offering to bribe an officer who caught them disobeying road rules.


The second video begins by showing the poor waste disposal habits that many Indonesians have where rubbish is often just dropped on the side of the road. The video goes on identifying the trend for Indonesians squatting in most places if staying still and often offering to pose for a photo with tourists. The next point the video raises makes a hyperbole on the butt hose and how it always results in a wet toilet seat which is a very uncomfortable experience for most tourists to deal with. Lastly the video covers the ‘socially acceptable’ way that Indonesians steal from customers by giving them back change that is close to what they should receive…


Her third video begins by looking into the religious practices of the large Muslim population within Indonesia and how the early Morning Prayer sessions can often be a disturbance to most tourists…  which I know from my own experiences. The video later looks into the social norms with pet ownership which tends to go for more exotic and endangered species over dogs which are often frowned upon. Lastly the video touches on the way some Indonesians will look to scam for money.

Her fourth and latest video touches on the important issue with work equality where sexism and ageism plays a large role in employment. The video finishes by touching on the health care practices within Indonesia and how they commonly involve witch doctors or if not, doctors that will simply prescribe you to an antibiotic in the hope that it helps.



Sacha Stevensen, 2013, How to Act Indonesian, YouTube, Last viewed 20/3/16, <>


The LEED Initiative:  Making Better Buildings as our Legacy – POST B

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building rating system that has originated in the US and spread around the globe.  LEED is the most widely used program for green rating systems in the world accounting for 175 000 meters squared of construction space certification every day. LEED aims to benefit a triple bottom line through its rating system, benefiting people, the planet and profits.


The core issue that LEED aims to address is the consumption of natural resources, specifically Water consumption, electricity consumption and the emission of carbon dioxide gas from the built human environment. This is a major issue facing our developing world as we start to see the effects of climate change on the earth. In the US, buildings account for 38% of all CO2 emissions, consume 13.6% of all portable water and consume 73% of all electricity consumption. LEED has identified these statistics as representing a large issue that we face and aim to reduce the impacts that the built environment has on the wider world.

The projects LEED is involved with are responsible for diverting over 80 million tons of land fill waste since they were established. Compared to the average commercial building, the LEED Gold rank of buildings consume 25% less energy and generate 35% less CO2 emissions.


The LEED Initiative is funded by the US Green Building Council and is spread across over 150 countries and territories. They have been involved with over 72000 projects covering over 1.3 Billion meters squared. LEED collaborates with environmental scientists, construction and built environment professionals from around the globe making it a highly multidisciplinary initiative.


Since LEED started in 1994 it has broadened its scope of projects moving from just commercial buildings rating to interior design, construction, building operations, maintenance, neighbourhood development and personal homes. With these expanded projects came multiple certificates of approval from the LEED rating system. Specific certifications for each type of building ranged from certified, to silver, gold and then Platinum depending on the points earned by the building on the rating system which measured the power consumption, water consumption and CO2 emissions as well as any features of the building that gave back to the environment such as solar generators, gardens and water recycling systems.



U.S. Green Building Council, 2016, This is LEED, USA, Last viewed 20/3/16, <>

U.S. Green Building Council, 2016, Better Buildings are our Legacy, USA, Last viewed 20/3/2016, <>

Wikipedia, 2016, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Last viewed 20/3/16, <>

Context Defining Design: POST A

What design means will often be directly related to the context in which it is created and presented. There is no clear cut way to explain what design means in every context, making understanding what design is, in its entirety, a difficult task to accomplish for any individual.

From my recent global studio working in Indonesia, I have been exposed to a new perspective on what design is and what it can mean to people, culture, politics and much more. During the festival Matai Air, designers from all over the country had sent in prints they had created that reflected a part of their perspective on the issues to do with waste management and water management within the water catchments in Central Java.  In other contexts this kind of design work may be given different names. This kind of work in Sydney Australia would be seen as Contemporary Visual Arts. A change in context can result in design taking a different form from what an individual coming from a different context may perceive as design.


Design is often undertaken for different reasons in different contexts. Product design within Australia is often done with the goal of creating a profitable business that can produce products that will sell to create this profit. While in Central Java I saw that product design could be undertaken for different reasons. Singgih Kartono is a product designer working in Central Java. He designs his products with the aim of providing skilled work for the people living in local villages as well as aiming to instil a sense of pride in local students, who he thinks should realise that achieving wealth and brand success can be done while living in the villages of Central Java. This kind of product design is very similar to what we can find in Australia; however the motif and goals of the design are drastically different from each other. It is clear that a change in context will not just change the form of design that is produced but can rather change the goals that the design is trying to achieve.

It is clear that from comparing only two contexts of design that there are differences in the way design is physically embodies as well as the reason design in undertaken in the first place.



Sophie Finney, 2016, Intricate Designs: Indonesian Craft Textiles, The Culture Trip, Last viewed 20/3/16, <;

Living in Indonesia, 1997-2016, Practical Information for Expats Living in Indonesia, Jakarta, Last viewed 20/3/16, <;

Siu-Tsen, 2006, Towards Culture Centred Design,Science Direct, London, Last viewed 20/3/16, <;