Post A: Designing for Good

When people think of design they may have a fixed idea of what it may consist of, however design is malleable and can be compromised of tangible and intangible aspects that designers are able to use to communicate ideas and messages for a variety of motives. It can be used for commercial goods, advertising or simply creating aesthetically pleasing things although some designers like New Yorker Patricia Moore embarked on a 3 year experiment disguised as an 85 year old, travelling around North America to experience life as a senior citizen (Mike Press & Rachel Cooper, 2003). 

“At a time when populations throughout the industrialised world are ageing rapidly, with life expectancy rising, the birthrate slowing down and most consumer spending power already in the hands of those aged over 50, design professionals have to find new ways of seeing the world through the eyes of others…”

Mike Press, Rachel Cooper

I think using alternative methods in order to better understand what consumers want is important regardless of what area of design it may be. Designers hold responsibility for their work whether they are working for profit or to make a difference, Indonesian marketing and advertisements for example strategically target male and female consumers in different ways usually linking gendered stereotypes to products.

A well known example of this is their association of masculinity and smoking, alluding that smoking makes you appear stronger, in control and more of a “man” while quitting is like giving up. figures 1 and 2 below were just two of the many creatively designed advertisements most likely aimed at males aged below 30, bold ads being able to reach audience of all ages would be easily understood regardless of language barriers.

Figure.1 ‘Never Quit’ Figure.2 ‘We are stronger’

A similar issue according to Sandra C.Jones and Christopher A.Magee is the lack of alcoholic advertisement regulations in Australia which are reaching under 18’s much easier than expected. According to their study conducted on Australian teenagers aged 12-15 they were exposed to “alcohol advertisements on television, in newspapers and magazines, on the Internet, on billboards/posters and pro- motional materials and in bottleshops, bars and pubs.”(Sandra Jones, Christopher Majee, 2003) whom also admit to drinking alcohol in the past 4 weeks.

Designers can and should be used as catalysts for good, however when designing for companies that make profit off of their customers habits e.g. gambling, drinking etc, there may be a disconnect between design and the possible negative outcomes the product or packaging is associated with.

Mike Press, Rachel Cooper, 2003, ’The Design Experience – The Role of Design and Designers in the Twenty-First Century’, Viewed 27 Jan 2019.


Sandra C. Jones and Christopher A. Magee, 2003,‘Exposure to Alcohol Advertising and Alcohol Consumption among Australian Adolescents’, Viewed 27 Jan 2019.


Post C: A different perspective on tobacco

It is evident after extensive research and observations during my time in Ambon that the tobacco problem is quite worse than I had expected in the coming weeks before arriving, under the impression it was just as toxic as any other country. Focusing on the amount of advertisements I never really got an inside look at how people view tobacco use, specifically non-smokers until meeting Yudith Wacanno a regular visitor of Pattimura park while working on my group’s mural design. Yudith approached us recognising the anti smoking symbol from afar with her friend who ironically was smoking and observing. 

After explaining the intentions of the mural Yudith revealed she was also against tobacco use and why she felt so strongly about the topic. We first discussed why smoking is so evident in men rather than women and the causes that entice people to begin smoking in the first place. she explained that in recent years the amount of women who smoke has gradually risen, according to her own observations with friends and family… however it is an act that women often practice in their homes rather than in public due to the negative associations such as rebellion and prostitution.

Yudith has many friends who smoke but has made it clear that she does not like them smoking around her in an enclosed space such as cafes, restaurants, at home or while driving, unfortunately it is not that easy to escape second hand smoke in a small city like Ambon nor are there many people who are aware of the effects of it. Yudith has many friends who smoke but has made it clear that she does not like them smoking around her in an enclosed space such as cafes, restaurants, at home or while driving, unfortunately it is not that easy to escape second hand smoke in a small city like Ambon nor are there many people who are aware of the effects of it.

It’s just not comfortable being in public sometimes”- Yudith Waccano

Yudith opposes smoking due to seeing her fathers health slowly disintegrate since she was a child, like most boys aged as young as 12 her father began smoking at this age during school. In 2005 38% of boys smoked while 41% of boys aged between 13-15 currently smoke (Marie Dhumieres n.d.), although this is a small increase it’s still extremely problematic as most children are not receiving education about the implications of smoking from school, the government or more importantly at home from their parents. She then goes on to say that the most probable causes for smoking would be directly linked to stress and smokers not having access to resources that would support one to successfully quit. With the recent decision to stop tobacco funded music events, Ambon and Indonesia as a whole have a long way to go until they can reach a tobacco-free life.

Marie Dhumieres,The number of children smoking in Indonesia is getting out of control’, Global Post, Viewed 24 Jan 2019.


Nawi Ng, L. Weinehall, A. Ohman, 2006, ’If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man’ — Indonesian boys’ views about smoking, Viewed 24 Jan 2019.


Post D: Tobacco’s Infiltration in Ambon

China, India and Indonesia, the three leading countries with the highest numbers of smokers are the main targets for large tobacco companies (Nawi N. et al), some of which were frequently seen on the streets of Ambon such as Lucky Strike (light) , Marlboro (Red), Dunhill (mild), Sampoerna (A mild), Djarum Super Mild and L.A Bold. Interestingly enough out of the brands mentioned the most evident in terms of size of billboards and posters were Indonesian. Tobacco plays a huge role in the Indonesian lifestyle and culture, The industry supplies around 10% of all Indonesian tax revenue and employs 2.5 million workers (Nathalia Tjandra, 2018). 

According to Patu Astuti and Becky Freeman Sampoerna is one of the largest tobacco companies operating in Indonesia which has systematically linked a music concert series SoundrenAline, who not only promotes smoking at events but also has reached social media via the hashtag trend, the obvious target audience being the youth to encourage and associate smoking to “music, creativity and self expression” (Astuti, Freeman, 2018) An example of this being the audience were encouraged by the performers and emcee to “go ahead people” which is a popular ‘A’ company (Sampoerna A Mild) tagline for their cigarettes. Upon meeting the mayor of the city Richard Louhanapessy, he came to a decision to refuse all funding from tobacco companies for the city’s music festivals and events. While seeking to become the official city of music through UNESCO will this be possible with the lack of funding and the possibility of little to no music events in the coming future? 

(Dagher, 2019)

Chris McCall interviews 47 year old Yogykartan resident Sambudiono who claims to have smoked since high school, trying to quit once but couldn’t go through with it. Many others like Sambudiono will experience the same struggle if advertisements are not made illegal. (Chris McCall, 2014)

“Like most smokers, Sambudiono does not think he is influenced by cigarette advertising, although he sees it all the time and he has been smoking since he was about 15 years old.” – Chris McCall, 2014

The first walk-about I completed was during midday which spanned the suburbs hidden along side the river up until the Jembatan Merah Putih bridge. Regardless of area, house, apartment building or grocery store there was a consistent presence of tobacco advertisements within the communities. While observing I tracked the amount of posters per alleyway or street, amount of smokers (male/female) and whether the smokers were indoors or outdoors. Many of the posters and banners were used as material for shelters, matts and even table cloths, I think these are just some of the few ways tobacco companies are physically infiltrating Ambon’s streets. Although there has been some initiatives to reduce advertisements and smoking in public areas it is not enough, the city of Ambon facilitates smokers instead of deterring them from smoking


  • Nawi Ng L., Weinehall A.Ohman, 20 Sep 2006, ‘If I don’t Smoke, I’m not a real man’—Indonesian teenage boys’ views about smoking Health Education Research’, Volume 22, Issue 6, 1 December 2007, Pages 794–804, Viewed 15 Jan 2019.
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Blog B: International Case Study of Design for Tobacco Control

Smoking is the leading cause for preventable diseases and staggering mortality rates worldwide (Manuel C. Pietsche, 2018) while many countries are attempting to reduce the mortality rate, Indonesia is one of the few countries that has the highest number of smokers globally. With a population of around 260 million at least 214,000 people die each year, 19% of which are males and 7% are females (, 2017) 

Looking at how some organisations are trying to combat these issues in other countries the question is: are these initiatives proving successful? According to G.T Fong “It is not possible to conduct randomised experimental studies to evaluate the effects of tobacco control policies because governments, not researchers, control policy implementation”. A well known example in Australia is the cigarette packaging featuring graphic images of what may result from prolonged tobacco use which came into place thanks to the Department of Health by December 2012. However a recent study released by The Cancer Council of Victoria found that plain packaging in Australia has failed. “Smoking rates in Australia have increased by 21,000 smokers from 2013 (one year after the new cigarette packaging was implemented) to 2016. This is marked the first time in decades that there hasn’t been a reduction in smoking rates.”(Sarah Ray, 2018)

Probing into recent initiatives, based in the U.S aims to prevent young adults from early addiction to tobacco, cigarette smoking usually begins at an early age especially in lower economic countries and regions (Saadiyah Rao, 2014). One of many of their initiatives is ‘Kick Butts Day’ dedicated to encourage youths to “stand out, speak up and seize control” (  KBD now organises events globally and hopes to reach more countries, the campaign aims to achieve a smoke-free future with the following:

fig.1 KBD logo

  • Promote policies reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, higher tobacco taxes, smoke-free laws enforced in public spaces, funded tobacco prevention programs.
  • Expose and counter tobacco industry efforts to market to children and mislead the public.
  • Uniting organisations to join the fight against tobacco.
  • Empower a tobacco-free generation by fostering youth leadership and activism.
  • Inform the public, policy makers and the media about tobacco’s devastating consequences and the effectiveness of the policies we support.

KBD offers wide a range of activities aimed at students from elementary school to college, extensive support and resources that would have a prolonged effect for children and young adults in the future. Rather than aiming their campaigns at adult smokers they are educating students before they feel the pressure of having to smoke. 


The conceptual framework of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Policy Evaluation Project

 G.T Fong, K.M Cummings, R Borland, G Hastings, A Hyland, G.A Giovino, D Hammond, M.E Thompson

Next-generation tobacco and nicotine products: Substantiating harm reduction and supporting tobacco regulatory science 

Manuel C Peitsch, Riccardo Polosa, Christopher Proctor, Thord Hassler, Marianna Gaca, Erin Hill, Julia Hoeng, and 

A Wallace Hayes

Anti-smoking initiatives and current smoking among 19,643 adolescents in South Asia: findings from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey
Saadiyah Rao, Syeda Kanwal Aslam, Sidra Zaheer and Kashif Shafique


The Department of Health, Tobacco: Health Warnings, April 2018

<> Viewed 8/1/19

The Toll of Tobacco In Indonesia

<> Viewed 7/1/19

Plain Packaging a graphic study in Failure, Spectator Australia, Sarah Ray, July 2018

<> Viewed 9/1/19

Kick Butts Day, For Youth Advocates

<> Viewed 8/1/19

fig 1. Kick Butts Day Logo, Illustrator Unknown