Post A: Banjarmasin’s Taksi Kuning

‘As different groups give different meanings to space, it becomes a multilayered place, reflecting the way places are socially constructed’ – (Knox, 1995). Design change by context and space will begin to form its own meaning and notions; creating its own signature style. The original concept and idea of a design from the designer can often be interchangeable. However, it does not mean the product itself has been misused incorrectly but merely given a new meaning and purpose. An example of this would be Banjarmasin’s public transport ‘Taksi Kuning’ (Yellow Taxi) design and its service.

Taksi Kuning are usually yellow coloured mini-bus with altered back seats to accommodate people travelling short distances. This public transport from the 80s is quite popular transport choice and is cheap allowing for regular use by the locals to travel around the city. Instead of the usual car seats, the back has been replaced with two long seats facing each other. Taksi Kuning does not have seatbelts. The door of Taksi Kuning are always open for easy access. The setup of Taksi Kuning itself reflects the idea of short distance travel due to the unique design of the car.  During the Banjarmasin trip, we used this service to travel from our hotel to Menara Pandang.

taksi kuning.jpg(banjarmasinpost 2017)

(Tjeng 2018)

In comparison to Australia, mini buses are usually used as hired transportation services such as car rentals to travel long distances or private use. The difference in service provided between Australian and Indonesian mini buses and its inner vehicular layout reflects on the context of these buses themselves.


(Altoff 2017)

According to the Stanford University of Physical Activity Research, Indonesia was lacking physical activity, especially in the walking department with 3513 steps per day (Althoff et al). This could be a direct result of the existence of many forms of public transport such as Taksi Kuning on the streets of Indonesia which prevents Indonesians to walk and prefer to use public transport that enables them to arrive to their desired location conveniently. Hairulsyah 2013 mentioned ‘The sustainability of urban public transportation which has involved public participation, as it has been mentioned above, such as economic, social, and environmental sustainability, should be maintained. Even though Taksi Kuning has their own travel route, it can freely stop at any time. Hence not a very sustainable transport for the public.

Due to these findings, context do change the meaning of a design. In this case, Banjarmasin’s public transport system and service is comparatively different than Australia’s due to the differing culture and custom of the people living in each country.



Althoff, T., Sosič R., Hicks L, J., King, A. C.,  Delp, S, L., Leskovec, J. 2017, ‘Large-scale Physical activity data reveal worldwide activity inequality.’, Nature, vol. 547

Hairulsyah 2013, ‘The Influence of Public Participation on Sustainable Transportation and Regional Development in Medan’, The Indonesian Journal of Geography, vol. 45, no. 1

Madanipour, A. 1999, ‘Why are the design and development of public spaces significant for cities?’, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 1999, vol. 26. 2017, Taksi Kuning terus tergerus: Puluhan Trayek Tak Lagi Beroperasi, kalimantanpost, viewed on 6 February 2018, <;

Post C: Interview with Junaidi

A trip to Banjarmasin, Indonesia has shown me many interesting perspectives of the country I thought I knew. Fortunate with the opportunity to grow up in two contrasting countries, Australia and Indonesia, I have witnessed the difference of smoking culture and the attitudes surrounding “Rokok”.From living in Australia, where Rokok would be heavily criticised, coming to Indonesia and experiencing first hand the Rokok culture has been astonishing. Many young Indonesians in Banjarmasin still believe that smoking is a symbol of masculinity and bravery (Ng 2006). This belief is also true for Junaidi, my interviewee, from a young age.


(source: Nicholl 2017)

Junaidi is a 43 year old man who worked in Menara Pandang as a page during our stay in Banjarmasin. His stories revealed an insight different to what I’d have thought toward Rokok based on his own experiences. Junaidi admitted that he was a smoker, labelling himself as a casual smoker based on his financial instabilities and being wary of the long-term negative impacts of smoking which deterred him from falling to severe dependency and complete addiction. Junaidi confessed that one of the reasons why he picked up smoking in his high school years is because the act was perceived as a cool, brave thing to do. This emphasizes the idea of peer pressures alongside the false sense of self-image as a prevalent catalyst of smoking and its addiction in Indonesia. Junaidi, despite being aware of the consequences of smoking, continues to smoke occasionally. Junaidi said “Sudah terlanjur”, saying that the reason he continues is because he has already had a taste of the cigarette; the tobacco along with the bravado he believed came with it. He acknowledged that had it not been for his current financial situation, he would most likely consume more cigarettes and become dependent on them as many of the population has.

The supposed disadvantage of being unable to purchase as many cigarettes as he’d like has actually helped Junaidi in some areas. He mentioned that with his limited funds he could only buy cigarettes individually. The one stick may not satisfy his overall addiction however it allows him to work toward consuming less cigarettes, because he is forced to. This method gave me an insight to the different ways tobacco can be sold to accommodate the different lifestyles of the Indonesian population.

Junaidi, aware of the dangers of smoking, strongly advises his children not to smoke. His father was a smoker and he wished he had been taught the same thing. He believes that his children, as a new generation of young non-smokers, can pass the ideal onto the future generations, smoking addiction decreasing with each generation until it’s completely abolished. In spite of being a casual smoker himself, Junaidi is slowly carving a healthier future for his family and also others around him.

My interview with Junaidi was definitely an interesting and memorable.Through the interview, one can easily recognise the big impact of ‘Rokok’ culture in Indonesia that sellers can even accommodate low income people by selling it individually. Our small exchange convinced me that Indonesia’s Rokok culture can change for the better as it is slowly being recognised as bad.




Nawi Ng, Weinehall, L., Öhman, A. 2006., ‘If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man’—Indonesian teenage boys’ views about smoking’ ,Health Education Research, vol. 22, no.6, pp. 795

Nicholl, A. 2017, Untitled, Slack, viewed 25 January 2018

Semba, R., Kalm, L., de Pee, S., Ricks, M. 2016, ‘Paternal smoking is associated with risk of child  malnutrition among poor urban families in Indonesia’, Public Health Nutrition, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 10



Post B: Fear Factor, The Smoking Edition


Tobacco addiction is one of the world’s most common health issue. According to Botvin and Eng in 1980, anti-smoking campaigns have always succeeded with young children. This level of effectiveness is most likely due to educational programs that inform them on the consequences and negative impacts of smoking. (Alvaro et al 2009) Another reason why it is effective is because the concept of fear is being implemented into the campaigns itself. “The heightened sense of fear of a particular subject will eventually lead to behaviour change“ (Thompson et al 2009) The direct implementation of fear in anti smoking campaigns has produced reliable results that its use are popularised by other groups attempting to prevent children from smoking in the future. However, is this method really effective to young adults?

The Cancer Society of Finland (CSF) is a charitable organisation and the main private contributor of cancer research in Finland. CSF also engages in movements promoting health towards adults interested in reducing their risk of cancer and health in younger generation, especially in tobacco consumption (Cancer Society of Finland 2016). Thus, their anti-smoking campaigns are often visually appaling

The Voice of Addiction (source:, 2017)


Lungs/ Ashtray (source:, 2017)

White, T et al (2003) believes that fear is not enough to drive change in young adults. Infact, they believe that for fear to flourish, there needs to be a method or solution that allows young adults to avoid the negative consequences. This form of fear-themed campaigns can be seen through one of The Cancer Society of Finland campaigns named ‘Tobacco Body’


Tobacco body (source: VK | Design & Concept,  2017)

Tobacco Body is an interactive app designed by CSF alongside designer ‘Havas Worldwide – Helsinki’ in 2010. The app is a simple and creatively designed interactive tool that illustrates the contrast between the impacts of smoking towards a smoker and a healthy body. It is a highly versatile product that can be used as an effective educational tool for teachers educating young adults. The app successfully instilled fear on young adults as a way to persuade them to not smoke.

Tobacco Body’s interactive simple swiping feature reveals a healthy smoke-free body and a damaged smoker body which convey a sense of contrast between the two which encourage people to quit smoking. Moreover, the app has been designed with appealing flares and interactive elements complemented with easy navigation and clean template reinforces the success and sense of engagement towards the viewer. Thus, Tobacco Body is an example of an effective fear-themed campaigns as it provides the viewer information towards the health problem that raises due to smoking.

Smoking is still prevalent issue that needs to be constantly addressed. It is crucial to educate the future generation as they are responsible for their own lives and others around them.



Alvaro, E. M., Burgoon, M., Grandpre, J., Hall, J. H., Miller, C. H. 2009,’ Adolescent Reactance and Anti-Smoking Campaigns: A Theoretical Approach’, Health Communication, vol.15 , no.3 , pp.349.

Cancer Society of Finland. 2016, Cancer Foundation,Finland, viewed on 13 December 2017, <>.

Cancer Society of Finland. 2010, Tobacco Body, Finland, viewed on 13 December 2017, <>.

Coloribus. 2017, “Lungs / Ashtray” by Bob Helsinki for Cancer Society Of Finland, viewed on 13 December 2017, <;.

Designleak. 2017, The Voice of Addiction, Finland, viewed on 13 December 2017, <;

Thompson, L. E., Barnett, J. R., Pearce J. R. 2009, ‘Scared straight? Fear-appeal anti-smoking campaigns, risks, self-efficacy and addiction’ ,Health, Risk & Society, vol. 11 , no. 2 , pp. 182.

VK | Design & Concept. 2017, Tobacco Body, viewed on 13 December 2017, <;.

White, T., Tan, N., Wakefield, M., Hill, D. 2003, ‘Do adult focused anti-smoking campaigns have an impact on adolescents? The case of the Australian National Tobacco Campaign’, Tobacco Control, Vol. 12, no. 2, pp.24 .


POST D: The ever-so intricate: Batik.

When thinking of one aspect of Indonesian culture, one cannot ignore the intricate textile art of fabric decorating or also known as Batik. Batik has faced major evolutions in its purpose, styles and presence within society overtime. Nevertheless, Through the layers of symbols and patterns, Batik strongly represents Indonesian identity, culture and heritage.



Map of Central Java, Indonesia


Location of Batik Sawat Pengantin

The influence of many foreign visitors in Indonesia has resulted in a variety of new styles of regional Batik across central Java. Each Batik styles has their own unique symbolical pattern and meanings. (Biranul & Yan Yan 2014) Furthermore, the motifs were also heavily influenced by the environments at the time. For example,“Batik Sawat Pengantin” a traditional Batik from Trusmi, Cirebon used to be worn by Royal Sultans symbolises protection of life, which is now worn by Brides. While, “Batik Sekar Jagad” symbolises beauty and diversity found throughout the world. (UBatik 2010)


Batik Sekar Jagad, source: ( 2010),  Batik Sawat Pengantin, source: (nunung, n.d.)

Nationally, Batik clothes are recognised and strongly rooted to Indonesian culture. However, it is important to have a sense of awareness upon preserving this unique heritage to avoid loss of Indonesian heritage. “…Gradually batik entering the common society’s life style, hence, this is a responsibility for the next young generation to have it and to wear it” (Gatut & Aryanto 2010)

To maintain Batik as a treasured cultural heritage, it is important to introduce and familiarise younger generation into wearing Batik. Triwik Kurniasari, a Jakartapost journalist in 2009 stated that there has been stigmas regarding batik as being unfashionable and worn mainly by elderly. (Chong 2012)  Hence, currently various Indonesian brands and designers such have progressively incorporated batik elements into their fashion pieces and accessories. An example of this is a 90 year old Batik brand “Batik Keris”. Batik Keris collections which consists of clothing for male and female; from adults to young children, and has progressively developing their clothing line overtime. Batik Keris highlights the importance of modification and evolution of heritage in preserving the cultural heritage. Hence, they continuously designed many ‘traditional’ pieces that is modern whilst consistently focuses on Batik elements. (Batik Keris 2017)

source: (batik keris 2017)

Disputes regarding ownership of Batik between Indonesia and Malaysia has also unified and encourage Indonesian to conserve their own cultural heritage. Indonesia and Malaysia are two neighbouring countries that share common historical roots and cultural heritage (Chong 2012). These similarities are language, traditional arts and cuisine. Due to significant marketability and commercial leverage of their cultural heritage products, there has been a heated dispute upon ownership of Batik. (Chong 2012). This dispute has raised awareness towards the importance of a National heritage, unifying Indonesia and its People.

“Intangible heritage contributes to social cohesion, encouraging a sense of identity and responsibility which helps individuals to feel part of one or different communities and to feel part of society at large” (UNESCO 2009)

In conclusion, despite experiencing major evolution of purpose, style and presence, Batik is one of aspects of Indonesia that must be preserved and protected due to its value and intricate nature. It is a responsibility for its People to continuously preserve this cultural heritage, especially within the younger generations.




Batik Keris 2017, About Us, Indonesia, viewed on 7 December 2017,<>

Biranul, A., Yan Yan, S. 2014. ‘The Priangan Batik in the Constellation of Modern Aesthetics’, Journal of Visual Art and Design, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 11.

Chong, J, W. 2012, ‘Mine, Yours or Ours: The Indonesia-Malaysia Disputes over Shared Cultural Heritage’, Sojourn, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 1, 28, 32.

Gatut, B., Aryanto, V. 2010. ‘BATIK INDUSTRY OF INDONESIA: THE RISE, FALL AND PROSPECTS’, Studies in Business and Economics, pp. 162.

Nunung n.d., Batik Cirebon Motif Sawat Pengantin, Indonesia, viewed on 7 December 2017, <>

Ubatik 2010, Motif Batik Ciamis , Indonesia, viewed on 7 December 2017, <>

Ubatik 2010, Motif Batik Sekar Jagad , Indonesia, viewed on 7 December 2017, <>