Post A: Design vs Ethics

Designers and creative culture makers play a key role in the success or enablement of tobacco industry. This is reinforced as design is embraced in advertising and this is what connects to humans on a wide scale in Yogyakarta as we have seen. The design establishes a political stance that is determines what is acceptable and what is almost deviant to cultural expectations. Due to the economic influence of the tobacco industry on the government and economy, it only seems right that in order to maintain a continuous flow of income, that the government would encourage tobacco and smoking. Thus, design has enabled humans to ultimately fit and connect with a wide range of other people without verbally speaking to them. 

Design is influenced by the target consumers and these customers may be altered accordingly. For example, a business may be a client of the designer and want it to send a political message. Designers have the potential to become an ethical influencer through full consideration of cultural appropriation. It is crucial that the designer understands what is socially acceptable also considering religious influences in order to remain sensitive to that society. However, the advertisements which promote tobacco use situated on billboards around Yogyakarta acts as a form of pressure as it says “Pro Never Quit” in order for men especially to maintain a ‘macho’ image to others. 

Depicts the images which Indonesians are surrounded by daily (The Interpreter, 2018).

Unfortunately, it is evident that although the designs of these advertisements are very unethical as they don’t consider the health impacts and act as a form of ‘provocation’ to the audience. This is due to the ongoing stigma which strips men of their ‘manliness’ if they don’t smoke particularly in society settings. Overall, a designers ultimate goal is to fulfil the requirements and develop customer satisfaction from the stakeholder, however it is our decision to decide how the power of design could inevitably be used as a form of satisfaction of information. 


Binnekamp R, Gusteren L.V, Van Look P.P, 2006, Open Design, a Stakeholder-oriented Approach in Architecture, Urban Planning and Project Management, IOS Press, Canada.

BMJ, 2019, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia, London, viewed on the 19th of December 2019, <>.

Faith B, Klein E, 2014, Advertising and Design. Transcript Verlag, Bielfeld. 

The Interpreter, 2018, Quitting cigarettes in Indonesia, Australia, viewed on the 19th of December 2019, <>.

Post C: Analysis of the active fight against tobacco

During my time in Yogyakarta, I had the privilege of travelling to the tobacco farming area with my group where I met a group of amazing people from Muhammadiyah Tobacco Control Centre, (Communication Of Muhammadiyah Tobacco Control Centre Yogyakarta, 2019). 

From these people, I was able to speak with Uje, who is a participant in this group with the aim of campaigning against tobacco in Indonesia. Uje, grew up in a very strict religious household who based on their beliefs, forbid smoking in their family and therefore never smoked themselves. Therefore, Uje doesn’t recommend tobacco use and is completely opposed and appalled by the idea of children using it in particular, but admits to having tried it before himself. He states that he tried smoking in a social environment so that his friends didn’t think that he was a “coward” for not joining them but has now become well aware of the dangers of tobacco use and has come to the conclusion that it is not worth it to sacrifice your own well being in order not to be made fun of by your friends. Uje appreciates the income which is provided by the tobacco farming, (The Agricultural Economy of Indonesia, 1952), and use in Indonesia and therefore believes that the government should inform the citizens of the impacts and dangers and support the mission of the Muhammadiyah Tobacco Control Centre.

He suggests initially running tobacco advertisements at night where it will only be viewed by adults therefore preventing use of tobacco by children. I found it very interesting to look at Uje’s perspective of tobacco as he is actively trying to promote a greater future for Indonesia by minimising tobacco use. However, he continues to acknowledge the ongoing impact which is has on the economy and therefore promotes use of tobacco when the individual is conscious of the health dangers (Consequences of E-Cigarettes, 2018) and when they are old enough to make the decision for themselves rather than based on the pressures of their friends and advertisements which are constantly surrounding them.


Metcalf J.E, 1952, The Agricultural Economy of Indonesia, U.S Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2018. Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Universitas Ahmad Dahlan, 2019, Communication Of Muhammadiyah Tobacco Control Centre Yogyakarta, Indonesia, viewed 19th of December 2019, <>.

Post D: Influence of cultural impacts towards tobacco use.

Due to the different cultural influences in Indonesia, the country has grown to have the highest smoking rate in the world! Unfortunately, the government undermines the effects of tobacco in different means such as advertisements and sponsorships which creates a lack of knowledge and understanding from the user. Currently, Indonesia is referred to as “the tobacco industry’s Disneyland” (Webster, 2019), and without any government regulations, it is only developing a greater influence on society negatively. The impacts go as far as to drain individuals financially, not only impacting themselves, but their families as well reinforced in, “Then I came to realise that men with small incomes who smoke often deprive their families of basic needs” (Webster, 2019). It is devastating to consider the negative impact that tobacco will have towards the youth of Indonesia, as they have now become the target market for the campaigns, setting them up with the most tragic health impacts long term. This is reinforced due to the death rate as tobacco kills over 225,720 people each year in Indonesia. 

Map of Indonesia with statistics. 

The government however, refuses to see the ongoing and detrimental health effects as they are blinded by the financial benefits for the country as they are the largest tobacco producers in the world. As shown in the map below, we learn that there are over 57 million smokers, men making up 63 percent of this group and women being 5 percent. The culture in Yogyakarta in particular is just as astounding as the ads are displayed regularly in order to promote this deadly habit as a norm and a form of portraying and encouraging masculinity to the public. Dr. Richard Hurt, director of the Nicotine Dependence Research Program states that “Because Indonesians are Islamic, alcohol is less of a curse than in many countries,” he explains. “Unfortunately, though, tobacco addiction inflicts huge damage on household incomes and health.” This is an additional cultural influence which may have significant impact towards the number of users within Indonesia as this is their form of comfort in tobacco. In order to prevent it, the government are required to successfully inform people of the terrible and ongoing impacts of tobacco on their own lives financially and health wise.


H.T.F Putra, A.W.M Suhartini, 2015, ‘The Competitiveness Analysis Of Indonesia’s Tobacco In The International Market’, Volume XXVI, Issue 0853-5167, pp. 57-60.

Webster, P.C. 2013, ‘Indonesia: The tobacco industry’s “Disneyland’: CMAJ CMAJ”, Canadian Medical Association.Journal, vol. 185, no. 2, pp. E97-8.

World Health Organisation, 2018, Factsheet Indonesia 2018, Tobacco Use In Indonesia, Apps, South East Asia, viewed 22nd of November 2019, <>.

Post B: Seeing the effects of PTSD through design.

It’s amazing to think of the power which design provides in order to communicate information and potentially influence change. After looking at different ways health concerns are communicated, I thought it would be most interesting to explore mental health, particularly post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An interesting form of interdisciplinary design used to communicate this was a sculpture displayed at ‘Sculpture By The Sea’ in 2018, “ Look Inside My Mind”. This sculpture was used as a tool to promote a greater understanding as the audience is able to experience a first hand point of view. “PTSD is a major global challenge and capturing an experience of PTSD through video and the eyes of someone who has the disorder is highly valuable in providing a window for others to better understand the debilitating nature of this condition that often can go undiagnosed,” says Professor Steel.

This non profitable exhibition is a successful way of creating awareness through its ability to reach over half a million people annually. Although this initiative has not resolved the way mental health is portrayed, it has been successful in “Raising public awareness of PTSD..” and will “..go a long way to lifting low mental health literacy and continuing to destigmatise mental health,” he stated. By allowing the audience to look into the viewing stations positioned around the head, they witness a veterans experience of PTSD in the environment by which they are surrounded. I believe that this method is successful in promoting an emotional engagement to be developed which is crucial in encouraging change and awareness. The viewer can become completely absorbed in this experience and gain “a sense of frustration that you don’t see the full picture or make sense of the order of images.”

This design initiative has encouraged me to explore demonstrating the effects of Tobacco in regards to the Central Java campaign in order to encourage a greater understanding of the health impacts on their lives. I would also like to portray methods which may trigger emotional engagement from the audience just as “Look Inside My Mind”, in order to encourage the person to become apart of the tragic experiences and effects of tobacco on the human body. Overall, I aim to encourage the same message through our design initiative just as “Framework Convention on Tobacco Control” (FCTC), in order to encourage the highest standard of health for all individuals.


Boadie W. Dunlop, MD O. Rothbaum, B. 2019, ‘Medication-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD’, Volume 30/NO. 3  Issue 1050 -1835, page 1-3, <>.

Carroll , L. 2018, ‘UNSW exhibit shows Sculpture by the Sea visitors the complexity of PTSD’, UNSW Sydney Medicine, Sydney, viewed 17th of November, <>.

UNSW, 2018, Sculpture By The Sea – UNSW making of., Youtube,<>.