The wicked problem of tobacco in Indonesia: UTS Design Studio is an immersive, interdisciplinary, collaborative and life-changing short-term program that provides UTS design students the opportunity to apply their skills to an important and wide reaching public health problem in Indonesia, while building a deep cultural understanding of Australia’s closest neighbour. The program takes a collaborative, practical, and research-based approach, and will include a hands-on project with local change makers in the city of study, as well as research with several stakeholders ranging from tobacco industry, to healthcare providers, and local government. Working with Vital Strategies (https://www.vitalstrategies.org/) the students will work on specific design communication projects that address the issue in multiple ways.

Location: Banjarmasin, Kalimantan

Dates: 7-21  January, 2018


The focus of 2017 was on design responses to public health challenges. We looked at current public health impacts of smoking, and considered how design could instead be used to achieve positive community health outcomes, especially in the context of rising rates of respiratory illness such as lung cancer, asthma, and COPD in our neighbouring region of Indonesia.

Location: Yogyakarta, Central Java

Dates: 29  January – 11 February, 2017


Students from the design faculty at UTS (University of Technology Sydney) from Fashion and Textiles Design, Integrated Product Design and Visual Communication Design participated in the 2016 in-country studio.

Locations: Salatiga, Central Java + Yogyakarta, Central Java

Dates: 15-26  February, 2016


Located in Indonesia, this subject provided students with the opportunity to be immersed in a design culture quite different from what they have previously experienced. They were challenged to develop skills in cross-cultural collaboration, to consider how local context shapes creative practice and to use design skills to research and process challenging environments. The focus was on design responses to environmental challenges. We considered the reduction and reuse of waste in the context of rapid economic development and urbanisation.

Students from the design faculty at UTS (University of Technology Sydney) were hosted by the UMN (Universitas Multimedia Nusantara), forming interdisciplinary and transnational groups with UMN students to research local stories and situations that informed collaborative design outcomes.

Locations: Salatiga, Central Java + Universitas Multimedia, Nusantara, Tangerang, Indonesia

Dates: 1-13  July, 2015

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello! My name is Sam and I’m the editor of an upcoming website called Indonesia Raw. The website is the first of a collection of the most interesting and real stories about Indonesia’s incredible cultures. Indonesia is arguably the most interestingly diverse country in the world and the website will share these stories. I would love to feature some of the content of the writers on this blog. Please contact me on samantha.lou.howard@gmail.com if you are interested in a chat, I’d love to hear from you.

    1. Hi Sam – thanks for getting in touch! Please let us know which stories you would like to feature and we’ll put you in touch with their respective authors. Kind regards, Jess (Admin).

      1. Thanks Jess!
        – Singgih Kartono 10/04/16 Nadialmunir
        – How to Act Indonesian 10/04/16 Nadialmunir
        – The Dayak People 10/04/16 Rommanyo
        – Against the Grain: Indonesian Punks 9/04/16 Samsonossedyrveri
        – Rice Rice Baby 8/04/16 Emmachegwyn
        – Political Mark Marking and Cross-Cultural Collaboration 2/05/15 Bernadettekeil
        – Punk Rock and Indonesia 2/05/15 Interlaba2014
        – Art on the Wall: Street Art 11/05/15 Ashwin
        – The Contexts of Busana Muslim in Indonesia 1/05/15 Aliceltimes
        – A case of Mistaken Identity 1/05/15 Sakura Rimal
        – Sex, Lies and Cigarettes 1/05/15 Loxley92

        Please don’t hesitate to email me for any questions 🙂 samantha.lou.howard@gmail.com

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