POST A: Design in Contexts

Too often design processes are separated from insights into the use of the designed artifact, and even designers themselves may use models and concepts that focus on the artifact without paying attention to the context in which the artifact is used. To address the issue, it’s important to understand the context and use complementary perspectives (Kyng & Mathiassen, 1997) to develop a better perception of the situation and come up with useful solutions.

With the rapid growth of technology, the smartphone has largely fulfilled most people’s needs for telephone, camera, media player, etc., and it has become indispensable in people’s lives. The iOS and Android are considered to be the most popular operating systems globally; together, they have created a duopoly and account for more than 99% (Moon Technolabs, 2017) in smartphone sales. However, Android has a more market share in developing nations like Asia and Africa while iOS leads the market in developed countries like US, Australia, Europe, etc.

Geography Distribution
Geography Distribution of Android and iOS (Moon Technolabs, 2017)

Thus, to build an app for an operating system, the designer needs to consider the context in which it will be used; and identify user needs and preference to deliver ‘native’ (Babentsov, 2017) user experience as users have a fixed understanding of the UX pattern on a particular platform.

The billboard project of ‘The Hidden Voices of Banjarmasin’ created by Group Durian that is designed in WhatsApp’s Android interface. The context of smartphones in Indonesia is dominated by the Android operating system, which shares 88.37% of the market (Statista, 2017). Designing billboard in Android interface would trigger audience’s emotional responses more effectively because people are more familiar with the system.


Billboard Project ‘The Hidden Voices of Banjarmasin’ (Group Durian, 2018)


Contrasty, in the US, Messenger is rated as one of the most popular social media as it conveniently connects with Facebook as well as local contacts. The billboard could be designed in Messenger’s iOS interface as a metaphor to communicate and resonate with audiences.

Design is making sense (of things). It can be read as design is a sense creating activity (Krippendorff, 1989) that is recognisable and understandable. Be aware of the local context, designer can effectively minimise the failures and straightforwardly convince audience. Various approaches and solutions are shaped by contexts to reduce conflicts and enhance user experience.


Babentsov, 2017, ANDROID VS. IOS: UI/UX DIFFERENCES, Luanapps, viewed 31 Jan 2018,

Group Durian, 2018, The Hidden Voices of Banjarmasin, WordPress, viewed 31 Jan 2018,

Krippendorff, 1989, On the Essential Contexts of Artifacts or on the Proposition That “Design Is Making Sense (Of Things)”, JSTOR, viewed 31 Jan 2018,

Kyng, M. & Mathiassen, L. 1997, Computers and Design in Context, GoogleBooks, viewed 31 Jan 2018,

Moon Technolabs, 2017, Apple Vs Android — A comparative study 2017, AndroidPub, viewed 31 Jan 2018,

Statista, 2017, Market share of mobile operating systems in Indonesia from January 2012 to December 2017, viewed 31 Jan 2018,

POST C: Interview with Desy Nurmanita — Sasirangan

Sasirangan is a traditional cloth of Banjar tribe society and is commonly used in Banjar indigenous events. The word sasirangan comes from the word “Menyirang”(RedDot TripNusa Indonesia, 2017) which means drawing the patterns, tying with threads and dyeing, until now sasirangan still made manually and become one of the traditional handicraft city of Banjarmasin.

Desy, a student of Primary School Teacher Education, Lambung Mangkurat University, kindly shared her experience and understanding of traditional sasirangan. Historically, the sacred cloth was believed as a means of healing for the sick and protecting from ghosts. Each design of motif has different meanings created by sasirangan artists, and it often follows the will of the buyers.

I was very fortunate to be invited to the sasirangan studio operated by Orie, who is known as one of the best sasirangan designers in the city. From the very first steps of designing and drawing patterns; threading lines with a tiny needle, to dyeing with the mixture of magic powders, the idea is gained that massive effort and patient contributed to creating a special and unique piece of sasirangan.


Sasirangan Process: Material Preparation –
Cut Cloth According to Size –
Make Motif –
Stitch Cloth –
Dye –
Remove Stitches –
Wash Off Extra Colour –
Pickling –
Drain –




As the complicated and fussy motif of sasirangan, people in Banjarmasin often purchase it from trusted and professional stores rather than make it themselves. The price is decided depends on the designs, patterns and colour of sasirangan. More complicated, higher the price. Nowadays, people prefer to choose the print version over hand-made one as the price is much cheaper and the colour is more diverse.


Desy and her friend wear sasirangan kebaya



According to Desy, she usually wears sasirangan as kebaya, a traditional blouse-dress worn by women in Indonesia, in formal situations. Moreover, most of publics showed up in the anti-smoking event day wore sasirangan as shirts, dresses, etc., to show their recognition and awareness towards the issue.

Sasirangan is often puzzled with Batik, a traditional and famous Javanese technique that creates motif by drawing dots and lines of the resist with a special tool then applying wax resist dyes to allow the designer to colour selectively by soaking the cloth in one colour, removing the wax with boiling water, and repeating if multiple colours are desired. Similarly, the diverse patterns of sasirangan and batik are influenced by a variety of cultures and inhabit; both of them are considered to be the intangible heritage of humanity(UNESCO, 2009). Sasirangan was embedded in modern designs in New York fashion week 2017, the collaboration endowed a new meaning to traditional heritage and allowed it to spread world-widely.


new york fashion week
2017 New York Fashion Week







Asikbelajar, n.d., Kain Sasirangan: Sejarah, Arti dan Motif, viewed 24 Jan 2018,

RedDot TripNusa Indonesia, 2017, SASIRANGAN “Traditional Clothing” BANJARMASIN South Borneo INDONESIA, Linkdin, viewed 24 Jan 2018,

UNESCO, 2009, viewed 24 Jan 2018,

Zubedi, V. 2017,  New York Fashion Week: First Stage – Runway, gettyimages, viewed 24 Jan 2018, 

Group Nanas – PROJECT

Our brief was to create 6 banners to be displayed on boats in a 3×3 formation as they drove down the river. They were to be visually striking with a thought-provoking anti-smoking message.

Inspiration and influences

On our initial exploration, we were surprised by the vibrancy of the architecture and public spaces. Locations such as the rainbow bridge, the post office and primary school exhibited striking yellows, blues, greens and pastels. Following the walk, it became paramount that we showcase these colours to portray the city appropriately. Our tour of the floating markets unearthed the ways in which the river underpinned the livelihood of residents. Families washed clothes, bathed, traded and played in the muddy water. This was the first time we truly understood that Banjarmasin was the City of a Thousand Rivers.

Mood Board

The meetings with Vital Strategies, the Mayor and Health Minister attributed the smoking problem to the context of Banjarmasin’s youth and highlighted their pride and commitment to health. The video workshop allowed our group members to build friendships with Banjarmasin high-school and university students, which slowly revealed deep insights into youth attitudes towards smoking and their interactions.


We began our idea generation with an image of a fish across four boats, which progressed from healthy to ill from cigarette consumption. This metaphor played on the idea that cigarettes endanger Banjarmasin’s wildlife as well as its people. Our second idea was to have a photograph of schoolchildren displaying the “tanpa rokok” fist action we had performed at the mayor’s office. We hoped the image of innocent youths would generate sympathy and encourage proactive behaviour. Thirdly, we brainstormed a river inspired by Sasirangan patterns with an anti-smoking message interwoven in the design. This was celebrated as the one with the most potential in our first meeting, so we continued to develop it to be aesthetic and logical.

Feedback and iterations

In the meeting with other groups, we came to the conclusion that we wanted the spirit of the event to be positive and uplifting, so that we could inspire people to join together and make a difference. Vital Strategies emphasised that the banners should be brightly coloured and visible from the riverbank. This provided a slight challenge as when observed from this angle, only a sliver was able to be seen. We also experimented with large type across all of the boats, but didn’t want to result in one boat with the word “smoking” on it which would undermine the impact of the campaign. We settled on the idea of a tiled puzzle pattern which was more visually appealing than verbally affecting, and continued iterating our graphics and typography.

Decision making and outcome

We designed our Banjarmasin banner to meet four key challenges; puzzle, visibility, longevity and effectiveness of the message.

The river, an important and recognisable symbol of the city, is used to divide the chunks of colour and construct the puzzle to flow from one klotok to another.

While the detail of the banners will elude spectators on the riverbank, the vibrant colours chosen will hopefully catch their attention and encourage investigation, photography and social media activity.

Banjarmasin Tanpa Rokok is stamped boldly onto each boat, which allows them to travel separately in the future without one reading “Rokok”. The stamp design alludes to the commitment that the government and people have put into reducing the smoking rate in the city.

Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 12.48.09Print

We designed a watermark, using the plant on Banjarmasin’s city crest to add another intriguing layer to our banner for people sitting atop the klotok. If the banners remain on the klotok after the festival, the anti-smoking message will continue to resonate through Banjarmasin.

The Sydney banner is designed to incorporate the same design elements as Banjarmasin’s banner. The watermark was an elegant wattle flower, and the river was simplified and took the shape of Sydney’s Parramatta River. The blue reflects Sydney’s oceans and rivers, with a message to inspire other cities to follow Banjarmasin’s lead.


While the iterative process was lengthy with multiple iterations and rounds of feedback, it allowed us to establish a clearer idea of the brief. An important point of feedback was that we should have communicated with Vital Strategies in a way they allowed them to understand our design elements and share our vision for the banner. Given our vague brief, we made a recipe when we had been given a soup. We were grateful that we could take part in this enriching design process and produce something that is visually appealing, purposeful and enduring.

Banners final mockup

Post B: Tobacco Plain Packaging Act Australia

Regarded as the key factor to cause a wide range of diseases including many types of cancer, heart disease and stroke, chest and lung illnesses and stomach ulcers, tobacco smoking leads to over 7 million (WHO 2017) deaths annually. It does not only destroy the health of the smokers, but also ‘…exacerbates poverty, reduces economic productivity, contributes to poor household food choices, and pollutes indoor air’ (Chan 2017).

In December 2012, Australia successfully became the first country to introduce the legislation of Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 that requires all cigarettes sold from July 2012 to be packed in olive brown packages without brand design elements except for their brand names and product names displayed in a standardised font, colour and location (Wakefield 2011). Plain packaging eliminates the function of cigarette packs as portable advertising methods for tobacco companies, by smokers conveniently disseminating branding and imagery wherever they go. The Act went further to include large warning depictions of diseases caused by tobacco smoking, which was required by FCTC to cover at least 30% or 50% of the front and back of the packages (Hammond 2011). It aims to improve the public health by discouraging people from using tobacco products, discouraging relapse of tobacco use and reducing exposure to tobacco smoke (The Department of Health 2017).

plain packaging
Plain packaging (WHO 2016)

The government’s announcement of Plain Packaging Act showed Australia’s serious commitment to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. However, the paths through its realisation have continued to be opposed and attacked by tobacco companies, who are desperate to prevent its implementation in Australia. (Wakefield 2011) The victory of Philip Morris’ case against plain packaging law, which was criticised by the court as an ‘abuse’ (Knaus 2017) of trade agreements, was invigorated and it established an important precedent for plain packaging to be implemented elsewhere.

plain packaging 2
Before and after photos of cigarette packs from Australia, where plain packaging was introduced in 2012. (Hammond 2012)

Following the treaty of plain packaging and comprehensive graphic health warnings on cigarette and tobacco packs, the pack display declined by 15% (Zacher 2014). It has effectively minimised the exposure to tobacco promotion and has increased attention of health knowledge and perceptions of risk by smokers and non-smokers to promote smoking cessation (Hammond 2011). The drop of 0.55% points (Belluz 2016) of smoking rates between 2012 and 2015 attributed to the packaging changes that shows the success of plain packaging. The expectation aims to accrue the benefits of the Act overtime to protect young people from the tobacco industry.




Australian Government Department of Health, 2017, Evaluation of tobacco plain packaging in Australia, viewed 14 December 2017,

Belluz, J. 2016, Cigarette packs are being stripped of advertising around the world. But not in the US, Vox, viewed 14 December 2017,

Hammond, D. 2011, Health warning messages on tobacco products: a review, Tobacco Control, viewed 14 December 2017,

Knaus, C. 2017, Philip Morris cigarettes charged millions after losing plain packaging case against Australia, the guardian, viewed 14 December 2017,

Wakefield, M. 2011, Welcome to cardboard country: how plain packaging could change the subjective experience of smoking, Tobacco Control 2011,  Tobacco Control, viewed 14 December 2017,

World Health Organisation, 2017, Noncommunicable diseases: the slow motion disaster, viewed 14 December 2017,

World Health Organisation, 2017, World No Tobacco Day 2017: Beating tobacco for health, prosperity, the environment and national development, viewed 14 December 2017,

Zacher, M., Bayly, M., Brennan, E., Dono, J., Miller, C., Durkin, S., Scollo, M. & Wakefield, M. 2014, Personal tobacco pack display before and after the introduction of plain packaging with larger pictorial health warnings in Australia: an observational study of outdoor café strips, Wiley Online Library, pp. 653–662, viewed 14 December 2017,

POST D: Trade on Water

Considered as one of the greatest archipelagoes, the Indonesian landscape of forest and sea drew archipelago communities into the orbits of land-based civilisations. Special land and sea products (resins, fragrant barks from trees, pearls, etc.) make the archipelago important to foreigners, attracted them to its water lanes and jungle paths, and brought in new knowledge. Living more on sea than on land, archipelago sailors put products into ‘water-borne chains of exchange’ (Taylor 2003). Some of these products ended up in distant societies with different sets of cultural requirements and different inheritances of knowledge. When objects circulating in trade networks reflected the growing manufacturing capacity of Asian civilisations, they triggered a corresponding development in some archipelago communities on the coasts of Kalimantan, Sumatra, and Java. These communities grew into ports which specialised in collecting products from their immediate hinterland, from their neighbours, and from places that could be reached across the water.

Floating Market in South Borneo, Indonesia

In South Kalimantan, there are hundreds of rivers became an important transportation route to the present. The capital of South Kalimantan, Banjarmasin, is located near the junction of the Barito and Martapura rivers. Known as ‘River City’, Banjarmasin is a few inches feet below sea level and laced with flood-prone waterways, and many houses are built on rafts or stilts over the water. The city split by the river Martapura provides its own characteristics on the lives of its people, especially the use of rivers for water transportation, trade and tourism. Floating Market Kuin Estuary is a traditional floating market on the river at the mouth of the river Barito Kuin, Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan. The market is not only the reflection of the culture that has taken place long ago, but it also shows respects for the unique traditional trading wisdom of Banjarmasin Banjar.

Floating market is one of the cultural heritages in selling goods among community along rivers ecosystems which are recently grown as tourism attraction. (Normaleni 2015) Linking floating market and tourism offers opportunities for local economic development. The local style of floating market opens early in the morning and only lasts for 3 hours. The specialty of this market increases the tourism as well as remains the traditional barter transactions between local merchants. Women traders of boating sell their own production, while the second-hand purchase from the hamlet called panyambangan for resale.The Floating Market is inseparable from the formation of Banjarmasin and its surroundings as ‘Leading Tourism Icons’. (Rahmini, Pudjihardjo, Hoetoro & Manzilati 2015)



Floating Market, Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan



Maududdin, F. Lok Baintan Floating Market in South Borneo, Indonesia, viewed 07 Dec 2017,

Normaleni, E. 2015, Tourist profiles and perception as a basic planning for sustainable tourism development Lok Baitan Floating Market, South Kalimantan, Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology, pp. 11-16, viewed 07 Dec 2017,

Rahmini, N., Pudjihardjo, M., Hoetoro, A. & Manzilati, A. 2015, The Role of Bonding, Bridging and Linking at Traditional Markets in Indonesia: A Study at Lok Baintan Floating Market Banjar Regency South Kalimantan, Journal of Applied Economics and Business, viewed 07 Dec 2017,

Taylor, J.G., 2003,  Indonesia : Peoples and Histories, Yale University Press, ProQuest Ebook Central, viewed 07 Dec 2017,