Post A: Smoking in Design

To an extent design is shaped by local context as it is a natural response to the current trends of social, political and environmental context. These contexts change the shape of design for the current needs making it more accessible to those targeted for. It creates an innovative way for designers to continually work creative ways in making a successful design.

While design in cities may focus on the visual aspects of consumerism, others tend to create attention towards the need to live. Indonesia and its tobacco advertisements are an example of design focusing on both visual and the idea for the ‘need to live’. Social aspects of smoking are an important factor in influencing tobacco users, further highlighting the emphasis on its advertising focus towards young, cool, sporty men as a few of the ideas used to promote tobacco companies.


Tobacco companies compete to design an engaging advert towards men enticing them to buy their products. With obvious slogans like ‘Don’t Quit’ it would be difficult to discourage users about the negative effects of smoking. Companies find ways to advertise their ads in media, mainly through billboards and TV adverts. Although there are laws on for TV advertisements that only allow companies to show their TV ads only after 9:30 p.m., however cigarette logos are commonly seen through music and sporting events which is another form of adverting. The Indonesian government are somewhat lenient on the advertisement of cigarettes and the access to cigarettes. It is illegal for cigarettes to be sold to minors and pregnant women, though there is no punishment to enforce those laws.

Top left you can see a billboard advertising a tobacco brand and underneath is Kali Code [1]
The evident exposure to cigarettes start from an early age, with many advertisements being designed to create a ‘need to live’ with the visual aspects appealing young men to smoke.Colours, slogans, and young image, create a visual appealing design that is created within the context of the target group as mentioned in Kharisma Rasa Indonesia. Social context also has a hand in the design context of advertising towards smoking in Indonesia, it’s influences towards young men are high with peer pressure not helping the situation of young smokers. The amount of publicity towards these companies with billboards seen on every corner of the street or even ‘shades’ being used as advertisement is too much.


“This health clinic is a smoke free zone” [1] Located at Dr Evy Health Clinic
NGOs like Vital Strategies fight against major tobacco companies in efforts to bring forth the negative effects of smoking but also the negative impacts these companies play in young lives around Indonesia. Local governments and organisations need to work to protect the young and control the use of tobacco by limiting the power these tobacco companies have in society. Like Dr Evy mention in our meeting with her, many adult smokers have limited understanding of the effects of smoking that important to educate and inform young children the negative effects of smoking at an early age to have a better understanding of the negative effects of smoking.



Public Radio International 2012, The Number of Children Smoking In Indonesia is Getting Out of Control, viewed 15th February 2017,<>

Jakarta Globe 2013, Smoking Among Minors Still a Major Problem in Indonesia, viewed on the 15th February 2017,<>

Vital Strategies 2017, viewed on 13th February 2017, <>

Jakarta Post 2016, Indonesia on track to world’s highest smoking rates, Jakarta, viewed 9 February 2017, <>

Vital Strategies – Tobacco Atlas 2015, Country Fact Sheet – Indonesia, viewed 9 February 2017, <>


Kharisma Rasa Indonesia 2007, That Charismatic Indonesian Feeling’: Cigarette Billboard advertising in the city of Yogyakarta, pp. 2


[1] Rachel Hansen

Post B: Water is a Basic Human Right

Water is a basic need for humans. It is a necessity that as humans we have many purposes for, drinking, domestic use, production use and recreational use. In 2010 water was recognised as a human right to water and sanitation through UN Resolution 64/292, recognising clean drinking water and sanitisation as essential. Access to water seems to be infinite in developed countries, with clean water at the twist of your hand. With many developing countries struggling to access to clean water, solutions to provide clean water have been developing for years.

[WHO,2017] Startling statics show

  • At least 1.8 billion people use a drinking-water source contaminated with faeces
  • Contaminated water can transmit diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Contaminated drinking-water is estimated to cause 502000 diarrhoeal deaths each year.
  • In low and middle incomer countries, 38% of health care facilities lack improved water source, 19% do not have improved sanitation and 35% lack water and soap for hand wash.

A product solution to those who have limited access to clean water or their only access to water is surface water, LifeStraw developed a straw that filtered contaminated water into drinkable water. Development started in 1994 when Carter Centre approached Swiss company Vestergaard to develop a filter to filter out Guinea worm larvae from water that was contaminated. Having designed a cloth filter to a more refined and effective pipe, the product has help many developing countries especially those after massive natural disasters to have access to drinkable water.

The design of the straw allows water to go through various process of filtration. First through mesh, followed by polyester mesh, then through chamber of beads then finally through granulated active carbon to filter out remaining parasites. This tolerates around 1000 litres of water, meaning it will last around 1 year before it needs to be replaces, although there is no alternate way to replace but to get a new unit each year.

Vestergaards core values is centred around “dedicated to improving the health of vulnerable people, most of whom live in developing countries”[Vestergaard, 2017]. While the LifeStraw started towards helping developing countries have drinkable water, they have expanded it into a business providing for survival uses. The design initiative to create a solution to drinkable water though only temporary provides many in developing countries their human right. Though temporary, this allows technology and governments to take a step forward in providing clean water for public health for those in need.



[1] World Health Organisation 2017, Drinking-Water, viewed on 15th February 2017, <>

[2] Vestergaard 2017, About-Us, Viewed 16th February 2017, <>

Life Straws 2017, Our Story, viewed on 16th February 2017, <>

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs 2010, Human Right to Water, viewed on 16th February 2017, <>

How Stuff Works, How LifeStraw Works, viewed on 16th February 2017, <>

Earth Easy 2015, Details, viewed on 16th February 2017, <>




Post C: Indo Living

Jakarta is a “busy, heavily dense city that continually makes you worry” as my friend Lydia Lim describes her city. Having grown up in Jakarta and currently live there, her view of her city has change after living in Sydney and having a family. She moved to Sydney to continue her university studies in Interior Design as well as working after graduating. After 6 years in Sydney she followed her husband back to Jakarta to take over his father’s business.

Jakarta at Night [1]
Lydia is the only person I know who has continually spoken her dislike about living in Jakarta, she states “When you have a kid here you’re constantly worrying about everything that you shouldn’t, like going to the doctors, day care, mall, and banks, you don’t know what their agenda is and that’s scary”. While people may see living in Indonesia can be like royalty with your maids, drivers, and nannies, it is easy to settle in, though it can also show a distinct separation between relationships within the family. The importance of earning money and creating a safety net is what drives the people today, “it is difficult to separate work and family when needed, whereas in Sydney you the weekend is the rest days and you know that work will be put aside on those days” as Lydia explains how her husband’s work constantly interferes with rest days. The culture within Indonesia seem to be changing with current generations, the need to focus on work and business outweigh family and personal relationships. Although the need to provide for families play an important role in many of these situations, with opportunities that allow the wife to be a stay at home also in consideration.

Lydia gave insight to the changing notions within Indonesia’s culture, the aspects of distant relationship in family and safety in the city are what drives her dislike of Jakarta, constantly comparing to Sydney. Whilst there are positives in having her family like her parents and mother in law see her child grow up, there is a continual unsettling feeling living in Jakarta. The endless worry of her child growing up in Indonesia and the somewhat limited possibilities that she is open to, like great education, good doctors, government benefits, the list is never-ending. She said “living with peace of mind is what I want, and I don’t have that here in Jakarta like I did in Sydney”. She hopes to return to Sydney soon.

Lydia L. interviewed by Rachel Hansen on 12th February 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Countries and Their Cultures 2009, Indonesia, viewed on 13th February 2017, <>

Expat Arrivals 2017, Moving to Indonesia, viewed on the 14th February 2017, <>

[1] Rachel Hansen 2015.

Post D : Batik 101

Indonesian batik is an art form that is globally recognised, a traditional form that has been practice for centuries in Indonesia. The art of batik is decorating cloths, using wax and dying it. To create a batik, areas of cloth are blocked by using hot wax with a brush or drawing using a special tool called the canting made specifically for the batik process, it is then used over it before dying it with natural ingredients to make up the colours, repeating the process to make layers. Once done with the design and the process the cloth is boiled downs to clean the cloth of the hot wax.

While it is not known where it originated, people believe the batik art form reached its peak in of ‘artistic expression’ in Indonesia, mainly in Central Java. Javanese people have perfected the design of batik making it their own and adding to their history. Though the designs of modern batik still stem from traditional designs many contemporary design have changed to suit the style of the independent designer. Using more variety of tools and fabrics to create their works as well as artistic freedom to create their own works.

Designs of the batik vary depending on the occasion, though there are popular batik designs that can be found throughout some of the batik designs. Kawung, Ceplok and Parang are certain designs that had specific meanings to them. Kawung is an old design that can be found in many temples such as Prambanan in Yogyakarta, it suggests the meaning to represent flora such as kapok or aren. Ceplok is a geometric design that symoblises flowers, bud, animals and seeds, it is mainly used within the Muslim religion as it represents some of their beliefs. Parang was once used within the royal courts of Central Java, it indicates meanings such as ‘rugged rock, ‘knife pattern’ or ‘broken blade’. The designs found also showed of social standings, like the Parang design it was used by the royal family in Yogyakarta showing their higher rank by the designs of the batiks.

Batiks continually play a major role within the Indonesian society, during festivities like weddings or Independence Day, many Indonesians wear their batik in celebration. Batik design is highly influenced by their history and its meaning, traditional designs from batik continue to thrive in modern Indonesia with the influx of tourism in many cities.


The Batik Guild 2011, What Is Batik?, viewed on 14th February 2017,<>

Asia Art 2008, Indonesian Batik, viewed on 14th February 2017, <>

Living in Indonesia 2017, Batik, The Traditional Fabric of Indonesia, viewed on the 15th February 2017, <>

Australian Muesum 2011, Batik: The Forbidden Designs of Java, viewed on the 15th February 2017, <>


[1] [2] Living in Indonesia 2017, Batik, The Traditional Fabric of Indonesia, viewed on the 15th February 2017, <>

[3] Rachel Hansen 2017,