Project: Pilihan Kita

Indonesia is one of the biggest consumers of tobacco in the world with 70% of their population being smokers (WHO, 2018). Aggressive marketing tactics and misinformation contribute to a misinformed understanding of the health risks associated with smoking. This is in conjunction with an endearing view of tobacco in the hearts and minds of the Indonesian people. In a distinctly difficult problem space, we worked to create a campaign focused upon recontextualising and subverting the aspirational perception of tobacco and highlighting the benefits of a smoke-free lifestyle in both the long and short term.

From our research, we distilled a series of key insights that influenced our ideation process. We categorised our insights into 3 pillars of a STEEP analysis: socio-cultural, economic and political  – as we found these to be the most dominant influencers of tobacco culture within Indonesia. We deduced that the most effective way to implement any real change would be to have a bottom-up approach. Through our ethnographic observations, and empirical insights it was evident that community enforced codes of conduct were received with more compliance than government legislation.

By drawing upon multiple streams of information we hoped to quickly gain a comprehensive understanding of the statistics associated with tobacco usage and its complex intrinsicness within Indonesian culture. In tandem with the information ascertained, we conducted interviews with a number of stakeholders to better understand the local perception of Indonesia’s tobacco industry, as well as their understanding of smoking-related disease.


Following the collation of our research, we began the process of quickly interpreting these insights into various viable strategies in order to assess both a direction and intention for the rest of our design campaign. Following the research phase, we formulated a consensus on our target group being young Indonesians aged between 15 – 25.

Studies have found that a non-smoker identity was a major influence on intention to quit and was positively correlated with higher success rates of quitting (Meijer et al., 2015). In Indonesia, tobacco marketing has spent years building a powerful aspirational narrative around smoking, one that frames the protagonist (the smoker) as more successful, more attractive, more confident and more masculine. It follows that the antithesis of these qualities; unsuccessful, unattractive, meek, weak, etc., start to become associated with the passive act of refraining. For adolescent Indonesians that are highly affected by social and peer pressures, this highlights the importance of addressing and fostering social identities for non-smokers.

Our design solution is a campaign that outlines how to initiate these ideas to create a brand and hopefully a movement.

Pilihan Kita (our choice) is a campaign which draws on the aspirational marketing misused in Indonesia, creating a social identity for people looking to quit smoking. Stemming from second and first-hand accounts, we have created a multi-channel campaign that facilitates a safe and positive community for like-minded individuals.


This notion of personal aspiration was continued within the creation of small comic strips. These comic strips effectively depict contextually significant aspirational stories with the aim being to change the perception of smoking as a roadblock on the path to achieve personal goals. The aspirations we chose to depict focused on the social and economic consequences of habitual smoking (which largely remain unnoticed by the Indonesians, courtesy of big tobacco). By focusing on these consequences we hope to open a new conversation about the effects of smoking in the present rather than long-term health impacts due to the relevance of these issues for young Surabaya’s.

The Instagram page is designed to facilitate a community and accountability which is proven to increase the success rate of quitting smoking. It allows people to share their stories, their motivations and location enabling them to feel like they are part of a community that is making the choice to live healthier, richer and tobacco-free.

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People who are interested in our movement can contact us via the landing page and ask for stickers and signage free of charge. This is a way for them to actually help us by making their tangible mark on public space. This will aid in ensuring the sustainability of the movement. Once we have amplified and instilled the message, it’s important to make sure that it remains present in the everyday lives of Surabaya’s, even just in a small way. Walking through the streets of Surabaya you are bombarded with imagery from Big Tobacco. We can claim back some space ourselves in our own small way. Signage can assist neighbourhoods and businesses in their efforts to keep public spaces smoke free, but this collateral also fosters solidarity and recognition amongst strangers. It fosters the notion that each one of us is not alone, and we have strength in numbers, that together we have the power to influence real and permanent social change.

Tobacco companies are not selling a product; they are selling the dream of a better future which is something much more powerful and mobilising. Our campaign recognises this. The way that we have chosen to respond is through the construction of another narrative. The difference is that this one is real, it’s based on facts and science, and it can have a positive impact on Surabayan society today.

In summary, the campaign is drawing on the success of aspirational marketing narratives that are commonly misused in tobacco advertising. Our multi-platform campaign will work to foster a new social identity, a community and as a result, an effective support system. With the implementation of this campaign, Surabaya could see the growth of a community that sees through the lies of the tobacco advertising and strives to support each other, working together to lead better lives.


Meijer, E., Gebhardt, W., Dijkstra, A., Willemsen, M. & Van Laar, C., 2015, ‘Quitting smoking: The importance of non-smoker identity in predicting smoking behaviour and responses to a smoking ban’, Psychology & Health, vol 30, no 12, pp.1387-1409.

World Health Organization 2018, Tobacco Control in Indonesia, viewed 8 December 2018, <>.



The tobacco industry has become an ingrained foundation in Indonesian culture. With a population of over 260 million people and 336 billion cigarettes being produced in 2015 (1), an enormous percentage of the population smoke cigarettes. The World Health Organisation suggests that 65% of the male population smokes and there are over 214,000 tobacco related deaths each year (2). Problematically, it has become a huge factor in the Indonesian economy, with the industry funding sporting events, large scale advertising and owning a dominating presence within the communities. Additionally, the extremely affordable pricing and the widespread access makes devising a solution a complicated and intricate process.

We used an old Australian TV advertisement which demonstrated the symptoms of emphysema through an interactive breathing exercise as inspiration for out project. This advertisement was extremely successful as it allowed you to step into the shoes of a smoker who is experiencing the disease and physically empathise with the smoker. We found this sort of experience informative but also effective in communicating a difficult point through interaction.

Australian Emphysema Ad

Our intervention is an informative package intended to be handed out to small communities or groups to create discussion, inform and encourage change through community members strengthening one another. The package includes six cards, candles and straws; one of the cards feature the mission statement and QR code to the website, another is fact sheet on the causes, symptoms and prevention of emphysema and four breathing exercises that replicate the shortness of breath experienced with the late stages of emphysema. The candles and straws included in the package are necessary for
experiments one and three.

mcok up instructions

With further time consideration and funding, we believe we can improve upon this idea in several ways.  Our media outreach is currently limited to Instagram and a webpage. We intend to further spread our influence through other social media sites to reach a wider audience and hopefully, spread awareness of tobacco related diseases. Furthermore, a more extensive list of experiments could be devised with further research which could further explain symptoms of tobacco related diseases to help better resonate with youth. Additionally, we could aim to create the packages with more sustainable materials, as well as reusable household items such as bamboo and plastic bottles in future experiments to reduce costs in terms of shipping, material sourcing and also provide a second use for the products, rather than simply discarding them.

Being made aware of the minute advertisement there is for anti-smoking in Surabaya, our intervention aims to bring further awareness of the damaging health effects of smoking.  Through our initiative we hope to bring people to a closer understanding, through emphasising with the negative experiences caused by smoking. Our kits are just one step forward for our incentive. With support from community members and organisations we envision that Tahan Nafas will inspire and move people to make a change.

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PROJECT: Group Durian: Untangling the wicked problem of tobacco in Indonesia

Indonesia is an incredibly interesting space to be in with tobacco influencing many, many faucets of Indonesia’s complex economy, social nuances and cultural mentalities. There is no single solution to tackle such a large and complex issue however there are many aspects of life, here in Indonesia, that one might argue could be improved without the presence of tobacco.

Key insights are rarely found in books – but instead hidden in the conversations with locals, the backends of streets and deep within the art and spirit of the city. The insights we found most valuable are as follows:

  1. Masculinity and Tradition: Smoking in Indonesia is almost exclusively for males, as they make up 62% of the smoking population whilst only 1-3% of women are smokers (Rosemary, 2018). Our interviews with students at ITS highlighted the way in which tobacco is engrained in Javanese tradition, which allows for its normalisation and stigmas surrounding those who choose not to smoke. The young individuals found that males who did not smoke were seen as less masculine or incapable of socialising, with teenage boys stating that “If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man.” (Aditama, 2002)


  1. The importance and strength of communities: The Kampung,  Warna Warni, is a slum located on the riverbank. Working with a local university and a paint company they repainted the village with colour (Indo Indians 2017). The way in which colour is used has transformed the way people behave and interact in the space, changing social attitudes towards the slum area and empower the spirit of creativity in Indonesia and revealing the nations deeper values of diversity and unity (Putri 2018).


  1. The lack of community for non-smokers: Smoking is socially accepted by most Indonesians and with many public spaces facilitating social interaction around smoking culture. In contrast, non-smokers seem to not get the same privilege as smokers, as there are rarely smoke-free areas for non smokers in public spaces.


From this, our campaign stemmed. In a singular sentence, we want to change the role tobacco plays within Indonesia’s narrative and normalise non-smoking. We aim to achieve this by giving smokers tools to quit but even deeper than this we want to create a place for non-smokers in Indonesia. This means more non-smoking spaces, it means giving non-smokers the respect and acknowledgement that they deserve when it comes to smoking around them and it means creating a community for those who choose not to use tobacco. 

Our campaign is broken down into four main aspects:





First of we start with #30DayChallenge movement. Projected to start on the 31st of May 2019 inline with World Tobacco Day. In essence, this is designed to be something that piggy backs off the hype from a large anti-tobacco event such as World Tobacco Day and provides a reason or time for people to begin quitting. The 30 Day challenge can also be followed on our social media movement, Suara Tanpa Rokok, which will give daily inspiration and encouragement for all those trying to quit for the month. 


This is followed up by the wristbands movement which is the tangible symbol of this campaign. The wristbands play a couple of important roles in all of this especially when it comes to creating communities. We see three main advantages:

  • People that are trying to quit that might be feeling isolated have the ability to walk down the street and still feel part of a community by seeing others walking around also wearing the bands. 
  • It also informs smokers how to act and be respectful around those trying to quit or those that don’t want to be associated with smoke. By seeing people wearing the band we would hope people begin to learn not to offer cigarettes, or not begin smoking around these people. 
  • Finally amongst the youth, through our interview process with students we found merchandise to often attract a lot of curiosity. By sparking curiosity and sharing the wristbands through social media we also believe this will further perpetuate our campaign. 


Following on this notion of perpetuating our movement through social media we have created a hand symbol to allow people to show the are part of a bigger movement through their varying social media platforms  (Tsotra et al., 2004). The hands represent lungs and also the connection between individuals. Its a visible gesture which will increase engagement, awareness online and shows solidarity in the community we are creating.


The social media movement will likely be the main platform promoting this campaign. Social media promotes communities and people, shares stories, links people up, gives people a voice, allows people to feel part of something bigger and also acts as a collection of tools, resources and information to encourage, inspire and educate. 

48371920_599468713818228_6272527615270060032_n.jpgTo start creating community notions from the get go, this campaign is actually targeted at groups of people. The idea being that groups such as educational institutions, workplaces or entire geographical communities could sign up for a ‘package’, which would contain all the necessary merchandise, advertising and messages. Local businesses and vendors would also be given an opportunity to sign up from a different angle and contribute products that meet a criteria as well creating small business opportunities. All products are collated through vital strategies and then distributed to the communities and groups. Which then markets itself through social media and word of mouth.


A typical flow of this campaign might run as follows;


We believe that having a campaign stemming from strong primary research and reaffirmed through secondary sources that really targets communities has the chance to create real change in Indonesia’s narrative and creating accepted places for the non-smoking community. 



Aditama, T. Y. 2002, “Smoking Problem in Indonesia”, Medical Journal of Indonesia, vol.11, no. 1, pp. 56-65.

Indo Indians 2017, Kampung Warna Warni Jodipan, a Colorful Village in Malang, viewed on 13 December, <>.

Putri, E. 2018, Jodipan: Indonesia’s Amazing Rainbow Village, Culture Trip, viewed on 13 December, <>.

Rosemary, R. 2018, Forbidden Smoke, Inside Indonesia, viewed on 13 December, <>.

Tsotra, D., Janson, M. and Cecez-Kecmanovic, D. (2004). Marketing on the Internet: A Semiotic Analysis. In: Americas Conference on Information Systems. [online] New York: Association for Information Systems, pp.4211-4220. Available at: [Accessed 11 Dec. 2018].

Group Pisang–PROJECT

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Through our prep research in Sydney we could see some of the problems. We could see how a developing country could struggle to make a dent in a socially instituted problem. We could see how the industry within thenation caused issues and that our job would not be easy. But it was all theoretical. We didn’t really know anything about the city. We didn’t know how the food tasted, or that we’d be celebrities, or that we’d become mates with people from an utterly different cultural context. More importantly, we didn’t understand how we would help, we just presumed we’d be important, because our help and design skills were the purpose of the trip, right? But of course all the theory in the world would fail to illustrate the reality of Banjarmasin to us, and we felt thus as soon as we arrived.Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 8.50.23 PM


Initial Mapping

As we recorded our observations we quickly realised we were trying to draw conclusions from what we’d seen; the reasons behind design and behaviour. Despite our efforts, our cultural ignorance and limited language isolated us from a genuine understanding of the things we were seeing. We imagined ourselves as bubbles of another culture floating in the much larger cultural bubble of Banjarmasin. This idea formed the foundation of our map; the misshapen bubble.

But realising our deductions were worth nought, we zoomed out to consider the larger structure of our observations; how did the architecture and the food and the work ethic link? We noticed a lack of urgency in behaviour and a fluidity of environment. The city is inconstant, and the people seem unconcerned. The cultural bubble is fluid. The reasons for this and the goodness or badness of it are beside the point; we don’t have the cultural comprehension to decipher it, we only have the authority to experience it.Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 8.09.20 PM

Design Audit

Nonetheless we took quantitative data from our walk, giving us a better sense of the problem. We noticed that the market is predominantly male, with young people smoking more often socially and older men smoking whilst working. This was consolidated in one of our interviews, where the subject shared that smoking is considered masculine; it’s for the ‘gentlemen’. Street vendors and super markets seemed to be primary points of sale, with the most advertising in the city centre dedicated to L.A. Lights. Cigarettes are only purchasable by adults, but it is legal to smoke at any age, with children as young as 4 and 5 engaging in the activity.

Life in Banjarmasin

In addition to this research, we slowly gained cultural literacy through interaction with locals on the street and in shops and with food and in cars, but this was largely superfluous. More significantly, we learned by the friends we made–we were no longer scrabbling at the top of the culture, accepting what leftovers we could; we were invited to be a part of the city with them. This provided the comprehension necessary to deduce, from the little we knew, enough to develop relevant designs for the stakeholders. And even that is generous to say.Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 8.09.31 PM

Concept vision

Rather than perpetuating the traditional fear campaign, we wanted to celebrate the vision of a tobacco-free Banjarmasin; a festival isn’t for playing on guilt or anxiety. So our inspiration came from fostering this positivity; healthy lungs for yourself, a safer environment for your family, a good example for your children.

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After establishing our vision, we had a mind dump session to brainstorm as many ideas for each pitch as possible. Some of the highlights included floating hashtags, Batik-styled imagery, and anti-smoking narrative, a 3D/layered frame, a cloth frame and lungs ‘as wings’.

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Concept development

After consultation with Jess and Ali, we settled on a floral mobile frame, and a lung mural to develop as our final designs. We then invested in these to refine and improve them both in line with our vision and according to the advice from the tutors.Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 8.10.07 PM

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After taking the Sasirangan workshop we were inspired to adapt our concept development to incorporate the style into our illustrations, to offer more recognisable motifs through our final design.

In choosing colour, we collated our photos of the city to create a palette reflective of the city. We colour-swatched from the images and chose a colourful pastel theme, as shown below.

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Collaborative drawing

In order to develop the floral theme, the four of us sat down together and drew free form interpretations of floral patterns. We took inspiration from one another as we did so and gathered the most successful elements to adapt as refined illustrations.

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Refined visual elements

We did this in Illustrator, tidying edges and refining the forms to reflect the desired style, adding colour according to our palette. Our illustrations were designed to ensure relevance to both a mobile and static frame.Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 8.10.40 PM

Final Mobile Frame Design

So to lean into the empowerment theme we had established, we used our floral imagery to encourage that positive association with the anti-smoking campaign. We borrowed from local floral and Sasirangan tradition for inspiration in our illustrations, and used pastel colouring to compliment the theme. We balanced the dimensions to maintain ease of use, for holding and carrying, whilst retaining it’s recognition as an Instagram reminiscent frame.

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Final Static Frame Design

With our vision in mind, we modelled the lungs off wing murals around the world. Festival-goers could pose in between the healthy, life-filled lungs as though they were wings, becoming themselves a part of the art and of the message.

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But the process was not smooth! The first mistake we made was in creating a to-scale photoshop(raster) document for the wall, making it a 12m^2 document. The laptop we were using couldn’t handle the size, capping the RAM and preventing us from saving. As a result, we were unable to offer a print version of our design.

On top of this, we took for granted our own role in the production process, and projected onto the VS team our experience of the design industry in Australia. This caused misunderstandings in the executables we needed to undertake, what we needed to follow up and what required further communications. As a result, we had a brief panic after realising we had potentially two large projects to construct and paint ourselves, one more than we’d understood to be in the brief, and only a couple of days to complete them. Fortunately, this stress was alleviated after realising that this was just an extension of our errors in communication.

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Collaboration was woven throughout the whole process. After receiving our briefs, before beginning to undertake them, we met as a whole group to manage the thematic design of our individual responsibilities in order to ensure cohesion throughout the festival. Before completing our own brief, we assisted the hat group with preparation for and execution of their event. We communicated with them regarding materials and used their leftovers to avoid excess expenditure.

Though as valuable as the in-team collaboration has been, far more significant was the work of VS, in seeing our designs through their production, and working with the media and the local government to make all of it possible.Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 8.11.08 PM



Of course, through this whole process we were keen to make what impact we could, but over the last few days that feeling has solidified into something more valuable. Now far from a costless philosophy, a city with which we’ve connected, people whom we care about, a movement to lengthen the lives of people we meet every day here, and many more across the nation. In our interviews we heard about worry for parents to the discomfort felt when a friend lights up. From pride in their own health to the tragedy of 5-year old’s smoking. The problem has become real, and our keenness has become a passion. Despite our ignorance we’re proud to be involved.Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 8.11.24 PM

Group Rambutan – Light Signage Project

To combat the growing tobacco use in Banjarmasin, we worked in partnership with Vital Strategies to create light signage that would ultimately be used to raise awareness within the public and across social media channels via the following hashtags #AyoKeBanjarmasin, #KadaHandakRokok, #SuaraTanpaRokok.

Understanding Banjarmasin and its use of Tobacco

Known as the ‘city of a thousand rivers’, Banjarmasin is the capital of South Kalimantan that has a growing problem of tobacco use amongst youth. To grasp the city’s hustle and bustle and understand how tobacco is used, we conducted primary research by walking the streets of the city and reported our observations through the following map, which presents the ‘life cycle of a cigarette pack’.

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Observation Map (Group Rambutan 2018)

This map illustrates, through the use of symbols, where cigarettes are purchased, where and how they are advertised, where they are used and then disposed of. The small kiosks which sold the cigarettes displayed poster advertisements or large tarps which were produced and distributed by the cigarette companies. However, they were not only used for the purpose of advertising with their vibrant commercialised designs, the tarps had adopted a multi-purpose use and were also being used for shade. This was a key observation which we could potentially explore in the future.



Tobacco Advertisements in Banjarmasin (7 Jan 2018)

The use of tobacco in Banjarmasin was popular along the river which seemed to be the perfect setting for locals to relax and smoke. The majority of the smokers seemed to be men leading us to question why there was a lack of women smokers. This prompted secondary research which revealed that this was due to mainly religious and cultural purposes but could also be for health reasons (Barraclough 1999).

Following this, it became evident that most of the cigarette packets were being disposed of in or by the river. The irony of this was they were polluting the river, one of Banjarmasin’s most iconic features. Overall, our walk allowed us to immerse ourselves in the contexts of the city we were designing for and ultimately resulted in a greater understanding of how we could create a successful design.


Combining our prior research about smoking in Indonesia with our mapping observations, we began to consider how we as designers might respond to the issue of smoking in Banjarmasin both today and in the future. We were initially inspired by IDEO’s Diva Centres project in Zambia to inform young women about contraception and sexual health (IDEO 2017). We wanted to explore how we might be able to create an educational kit for youth in Banjarmasin about the health risks associated with smoking to prevent them from becoming future smokers.

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( n.d.)

Subsequently, we began undertaking further research regarding smoking culture in Indonesia, the nature of smoking advertisements as well as how an educational kit might actually be achievable in Banjarmasin. However, we were soon presented with our signage assignment and became aware that an educational kit might be too big an endeavour especially in such a limited time period and with limited resources.

Design Research

After receiving our brief, we begun undertaking visual research both via online resources such as Pinterest to explore both material and conceptual possibilities as well as investigating typography across the streets of Banjarmasin. We were inspired by the wide range of possibilities that we might be able to achieve with the style by utilizing layers of material and combination of colours.

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Similarly, we undertook a site visit to the watchtower to take some photos of the space where our signage would be displayed as well as to determine the size of the hashtags for the riverside (which had not been decided yet). Whilst we were able to get a good sense of the space, we were unable to ascend the watchtower on that day and neglected to view it from the other side of the river, which did cause us some issues later down the track as we tried to ensure the legibility of our signage from a distance.

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Whilst we enjoyed generating a wide variety of different options for our signage, following a meeting with stakeholders we were made aware of the strict limitations that we had in the materiality and layout of our signage. This meant that we had to reconsider our approach to the design to ensure that we fulfilled all the criteria.

The Design Process

Drawing inspiration from our research, we imagined various outcomes in which the signage could be executed in. Combining methods of hand sketching as well as re-working these with additional techniques on Illustrator and Photoshop, we wanted to test out what concepts were feasible to set up digitally. However, we failed to consider the time frame in which this were to be completed as well as the funding of this project. Once it was realised that the signage were to be hand-cut by the vendor, styles where the text was oblique, had shadowing or separated into multiple lines were ruled out to be economically and practically impossible. We also had to revise the typeface choice for the signage placed on the Menara Pandang to consider the marquee lights, which were to be added in afterwards. Issues relating to the weight of the material used and how it would hold up against the railings, as well as its legibility from a distance were also later recognised.


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#AyoKeBanjarmasin Design (Group Rambutan 2018)

After re-establishing restrictions and re-working our designs, the style above was noted as our most successful design as it complied to the criteria given. We then experimented with a variety of colour combinations to further test the visibility of letters. Although our initial colour choice was considered as the strongest idea, upon presenting these to the stakeholders it was suggested that the green outline should be black instead, as there was a greater contrast between the yellow and black which allowed the signs to be more visible in the dark. These changes were then made with the exception of the #AyoKeBanjarmasin sign, as it was argued that the city’s colours should be kept with relevance to the city hashtag.

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#AyoKeBanjarmasin Design (Group Rambutan 2018)

The decision of a geometric sans-serif font for the signage placed on the Menara Pandang was made to ensure the functionality in accordance with the marquee lights as well as its legibility from a tall height. On the other hand, the hashtags along the river railing were more stylised in order to appeal to the targeted youth of Banjarmasin. Rather than a sans-serif which created separation between the letters, the script font created movement and a sense of flow, alluding to the motion of water and thus, suited the city’s acclaimed title of Banjarmasin as ‘The City Of A Thousand Rivers’.

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#AyoKeBanjarmasin Design (Group Rambutan 2018)

Signage in Context


#KadaHandakRokok #AyoKeBanjarmasin at Menara Pendang Banjarmasin (18 January 2018)



#KadaHandakRokok #AyoKeBanjarmasin at Menara Pendang Banjarmasin (19 January 2018)


Overall, designing for Vital Strategies and the city of Banjarmasin was an immense learning experience for Group Rambutan. Through fast-failing and quick iterations, we learnt how to work within a high-pressured environment to meet the demands of a project with a short turnaround time. Having the opportunity to design for a real life client taught us how to liaise with professionals who do not have the design experience to visualise the ideas we were generating. We were able to combat this through placing the designs in its context by creating mock-ups. Our biggest learning curve was understanding how to work within the restrictions provided by the client. As students, we are often given the creative freedom to let our imaginations run wild, however, working in partnership with Vital Strategies gave us a taste of the industry and the intrinsic rewards that come with designing for a great cause. Although our duties as designers have come to a close for this project, we hope that what we have produced will play an integral role in combating the rise of tobacco use in Banjarmasin and beyond.


Barraclough, S. 1999, ‘Women and tobacco in Indonesia’, Tobacco Control, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 327-332. 2017, Diva Centres,, viewed 8 January 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.

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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

Group Manggis- Tanggui Project

Designing in partnership with Vital Strategies and the community of Banjarmasin was a experience in cross-cultural, interdisciplinary collaboration that required observation and negotiation both with the local community and global stakeholders.

The Not for Profit organisation Vital Strategies, work with social and environmental issues in local settings to reflect on major global issues. The collaborative campaign that we been involved on revolves around the growing problem of tobacco consumption in Indonesia, in particular amongst the youth of Banjarmasin. Our first hand observations combining primary and secondary research allowed us to gain a sense of how the cultural history and economic state of tobacco itself has influenced the popularity of tobacco consumption in Indonesia today.


Observational Documentation of Day in Banjarmasin (Group Manggis, 2018)


Concept Development: A Response to our Observations

Our brief required us to ‘add an element to the junkung’. We were wary of making changes to the existing colour and vibrancy of the boats as their wooden structures are ornately and decoratively painted. Instead, we observed the potential of the acil acil hats, as distinctive features of the river boats, and a key space to be seen from afar and above. Our project aims to hero the women behind one of the most iconic aspects of Banjarmasin culture; engage with the youth; start a conversation about healthy living; all whilst spreading the word and building excitement for our Friday festival. Inspired by the generosity and enthusiasm of the local youth we’ve met in our short time here, our project is a response to the integral collaborative spirit of Banjarmasin.

Conceptual Process and Visual Development (Group Manggis, 2018)

Primary research surrounding our task consisted predominantly of formal and informal interviews. In preparation for the event we surveyed two key stakeholders: the student workshop participants, and the acil-acil. At the Sunday morning markets, and with the help of some local friends, we found that the acil-acil were enthusiastic towards the sketched prototypes we showed them; they were excited about the hats being free, and even began choosing which design they liked most.

Suwandi Chandra Photography
Acil Acil at the Floating Markets, Banjarmasin (Suwandi Chandra Photography, 2017)

Informal interviews with our student workshop participants brought about two crucial amendments to our plan. The first of which was to extend the hours of the workshop to accommodate for more high school students, which alleviated a lot of the stress we had about not having enough participants. The second revision came about in response to a few of our friends being unsure of their design and painting abilities and participation in the workshop. To remedy this, we created a template with several template and design ideas, as well as clear, translated instructions to aid clarity and accessibility. Furthermore, to accommodate for the collaborative painting of the hats to to go as smoothly as possible, we prepped the hats with a base coat. This acted as a guide of where the writing would sit and a inner circle for the workshop participants to paint their design within.

The Design Process:

We sourced 70 hats, paint, drop sheets, brushes and snacks. The choice of paint was chosen through a process of elimination and prototyping. We tested to see how quickly it would dry, if it was water soluble and how strong the fumes were. We decided that the design would be in a centralised circle with hashtags on the outer rim.  Each individual participant would have the freedom of creating their own design within the central circle to create uniformity. On the outer rim the hashtags would be placed and the only black feature for clear visibility.

When speaking with people potentially joining the workshop, found that some weren’t as confident with painting their own design, thus we created a simple guide with examples and instructions for the people attending. We aimed to make this predominantly visual and easily transferable so to cut down difficulties encountered by a the language and encourage people passing by to get involved.

We decided on the location of the watch tower (Menara Pandang) for its central location, communal ground floor space, and open area; being easily visible to people passing along the river. This public space also allowed us to capture the public’s attention, raise awareness of our anti smoking message before the event, and also building anticipation. We also designed a social media flyer to promote the event on platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp which are popular in Banjarmasin. The willingness of the community and the contacts we made over the past two weeks allowed the word to be spread quickly and resulted in a successful day. 

MANGGIS workshop
Workshop Visual Aid (Left) Social Media Poster (Right)



As a result of the connections we made during our stay in Banjarmasin we were able to run a community based workshop. The numbers of helpers created a time efficient way of painting the hats. All 70 hats were completed by early afternoon and ready for the dress rehearsal. We aimed to make the painting workshop into an ‘event’ where a mutual cross cultural trust could be reached and established. As is emphasised in  Tom Boellstorff’s words: “The need to establish trust in order to develop a stable relationship is universal… developing trust is an issue that has to be resolved in any multicultural collaboration”.

We aimed to do this through the act of invitation and creation where the action of painting – a non verbal activity created a platform to break down barriers of cultural difference and create a channel of communication. This opening we used to promote healthy living and the anti-smoking notion. The hats were designed for longevity with the hope that they will be worn well after the event. The paint selected is waterproof to assist in giving the hats further durability. The bright and uniquely hand-painted hats are made with care and are the antithesis to the tobacco advertisement commercial and sensationalised images. The hats promote a communal, celebratory image.


The impact of the hat event went beyond the day as we were delighted with the turnout of our local friends, UTS student, government staff, vital strategies members, and a number of the public. This impact was made threefold as it generated interested in the festival, a visit from a local news team, and the Health Department meant greater publicity of the anti-smoking message. The public response and willingness to be involved and welcome us, made the experience an enriching cross-cultural collaboration, and a testament to the warm spirit of Banjarmasin. In this light, we endeavoured to tackle a global phenomenon through a local initiative.

The unique and iconic structure of the floating markets are integral to Banjarmasin’s historical and cultural identity and embody their proud culture. The markets thrives in creating a communal social hub this fabricated a platform heightened by their ability to move up and down the central river. The care and handcrafted additions to the traditional hats, combines the traditional past and a message of healthy living for the future. We hope it will continue to exist, spreading a positive anti-tobacco message as it moves up and down the flowing heart of Banjarmasin, well after the event.

workshop process
Tanggui Painting Workshop (17th Jan, 2018)

Watch a short video of the workshop here: 

Reference List: 

Chadra, S. (2017) Suwandi Chandra Photography. Floating Markets, Banjarmasin. Available at: [Accessed 14th January, 2018]

Anshari, D.(2017). Effectiveness of Pictorial Health Warning Labels for Indonesia’s Cigarette Packages. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from

Nawi Ng, L. Weinehall, A. Öhman; ‘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

Piper, S. (2008). Gang re:Publik : Indonesia-Australia creative adventures. Newtown, N.S.W.: Gang Inc, pp.80 – 82.

Bird, A &  Osland, J.S. (2005) Making Sense of Intercultural Collaboration, International Studies of Management & Organization, 35:4, 115-132

Project Kambing

In Central Java, Indonesia in early February 2017 the NGO ‘Vital Strategies’ launched the anti-smoking campaign “Tunjukkan Warna Aslimu”, (“Show Your True Colors”) in the village of Kali Code, in Yogyakarta. UTS Sydney sent a team of design students to Yogyakarta to take part in this campaign and support the NGO by creating their own miniature community projects within Kali Code. From this collaboration, our team ‘Project Kambing’ was created.

Kali Code’s early murals, photographed from the bridge above.

Our project began with a briefing with ‘Vital Strategies,’ which also presented a chance to brainstorm project ideas. During this meeting, we established that our project outcome would need to meet 4 key criteria.

1.       Benefit the community of Kali Code
2.       Be practical and tangible
3.       Be visual and creative
4.       Feature a clear and visible anti-smoking message.

Having only visited the village briefly, many of our initial ideas were not site specific or well suited to the needs of the Kampung (village). However, we had observed that the riverside promenade area was incredibly hot and uncomfortable to stand on for extended periods. This lack of protection from the sun discouraged some of the residents from coming down to socialize and play. We settled on a plan for a shade structure which we hoped would enable the community to enjoy the space.

Manon and Karla, with help from Kali Code villagers, setting up a demo shade.

Our brainstorming technique involved Manon and I generated a variety of ideas at rapid fire and Rachel and Yilin quietly establishing which were practical. Many early ideas involved a fan like structure as well as a Becak inspired design which would be adjustable and foldable. These first sketches were accompanied by numerous ambitious side projects (herb gardens, play equipment, hopscotch) which, during our budget meeting with ‘Vital Strategies’ we were able to whittle down to something modest and achievable. We decided to focus purely on creating shade structures which would be secured to the existing riverside metal plant frames. By painting an anti-smoking message on the top of these shade structures we hoped to fulfill the wishes of both the village and the NGO.

We further refined our shade idea on site during the second visit to Kampung Kali Code and it became clear that our design needed to be user centred and site specific – any structure that wasn’t durable, flexible and suited to the environment would become obsolete, or worse inhibit the residents from using the space to carry out daily activities. Tarp, for example, is often used in Australia due to its lightweight and durable properties. But an evening of Indonesia monsoon weather can easily damage a tarp structure. Inspired by local materials, we decided bamboo was best suited for our purposes and we settled on a simple bamboo blind design which would roll over the top of the metal structure.

indo_8Creating stencils out of masking tape for each of the sun shades.

It also became apparent that compromise and adaptability were central to working within Kali Code. There were ideas the village head would immediately veto due to impracticality, materials were not always readily available and weather inhibited progress. These are all challenges that designers face on a daily basis, but which were amplified by the time constraints of our project and the foreign environment.

Team Kambing putting final touches to the anti-smoking imagery on the shades.

Durable and sustainable local materials such as bamboo were not difficult to find and soon we were prototyping our first blind and beginning the process of painting while Manon set to work collaborating with ‘Vital Strategies’ and the village head to create an anti-smoking design for the blinds. The reaction of local villagers to their ‘time bomb’ design illustrates the power of visual communication in overcoming cultural and language barriers.

In the planning, construction and set up of the structures we received assistance and collaborated with numerous people. Vital Strategies acted as valuable translators, mediators, and advisors for our project, while the villagers of Kali Code provided us with crucial feedback, technical help and direction.

indo_6Washing brushes and rollers after painting our sunshades in Kali Code with Nanda (middle) and friend.

The success of our project depended upon our ability to effectively collaborate with various different stakeholders. As undergraduates, this was the first time we had been involved in a professional project and we had to learn how to navigate the interests of the various organizations involved. Our finished product is a testament to our ability not only to work effectively within an interdisciplinary group but also to engage in lively communication, interaction and collaboration with ‘Vital Strategies’ and the tight-knit community of Kali Code to create an effective and holistic outcome.


Pikir Tentang Anak Mu

By Marcella Cheng, Jennifer Kim and Miyoung Kang

Kampung Code, once an “urban slum” now dubbed as “Yogyakarta’s Rio de Janeiro”, is famous for its brightly coloured homes that stand out spectacularly on the banks of Kali Code. These vividly coloured roofs have often become a platform for many advertising companies to take advantage of, including cigarette factories, but now have been subverted in a colourful Anti-Smoking campaign that we were proud to be a part of. The project started on Monday the 30th of January, until opening night on Saturday, the 4th of February. Our project was to design and paint a wall mural to fit in with and as an artistic response to the campaign.

The wall itself spanned about 1.5m x 2m. We aimed to design something bright and eye-catching, yet fitting with the other murals that were in the vicinity. Most importantly, the mural would have to clearly and strongly convey our anti-smoking message. Our greatest concern was being able to design something simple enough to be able to produce, as this was the first time any of us were going to be using spray paint as a medium. What we came up with had to be strong in its message, yet at the same time, not so revolting as it was going to be a permanent addition among the villagers’ homes.


The two people who were most influential in our project were two artists; Koma and his assistant Mosaif. Koma is a talented graffiti artist from Jakarta who has worked in various fields of graffiti world wide and has led an innovative design movement in his field using comic illustration. In Kali Code, he painted the roofs and walls of the village with vivid anti-smoking murals, and was our inspiration and guide for our work. However, it was his assistant, Mosaif, that helped us the most with our work. While he was officially there as Koma’s assistant, he spend many hours with us, even taking us to the paint shop and helping clean up our mural.

It was interesting to find that while most countries regard wall painting without permission of the proprietor as the destruction of the arts or an act of vandalism, graffiti and mural painting is actually permitted in most streets of Yogyakarta legally, and the government even encourages the autonomous participation of artists (Yogyantaro, 2017). For example, we often encountered murals in every corner of the city, which was also a source of inspiration for us.

(Rough Photoshopped sketch)

After many iterations, we eventually decided on a cartoon-like design that Jennifer drew, featuring a grotesque adult smoker suffocating their child with passive smoking. This illustration style was agreed to be the most fitting with Koma’s mural style, although still being uniquely different. The bright, eye-catching colours and cartoon style aims to attract youth and younger audiences, who most easily fall into the smoking culture in Indonesia. This was combined the words “Pikir tentang anak mu”, which translate to “Think about your children.” We agreed that the effect of smoking on their children or loved ones was a significant factor that often helped smokers to at least think about quitting, and that this was we were going to focus on.

Transferring our design onto the wall was a different problem altogether. By using different caps on the the spray cans, we could control hardness, sizes, thickness, consistency, compatibility and also patterns as well. Using all of them created different linework and gave hierarchy to our design. The spray cans themselves ranged from about 13000 to 55000rp ($1.3 – $5.5 AUD) each, with the most expensive being the flurouscent colours. Mosaif mentioned that it was these incredibly cheap prices that made street art so popular amongst the youth in Yogya (compared to Sydney, where the cans average about $10 or $12 each).


Overall, this was an amazing opportunity and project to work on. It was really interesting to see the Anti-Smoking campaign come to life in Kali Code and to see our work in practice. One of the best things that came out of this project was meeting and working with professional Indonesian artists, whose work was not only incredible to watch, but also a great inspiration to us all. Learning about and immersing ourselves in their culture and art, within the village of Kali Code was crucial in understanding the way the local context shapes design. For us, it was also a great opportunity to design this mural in response to their work, and to show an alternate way of illustrating the same message. It was fun to dip into an art style and medium we have never tried before, but is so central to Yogyakartan street art, and a great way to experience the local design culture.



Koma_Indo, 2017, Koma (@koma_indo), Instagram photos and videos, viewed 09 February 2017, <;., Indonesian street arts, viewed 09 February 2017, .

Linda, P. Untitled,, viewed 4 March 2014, .

Diply. Heart Waffle Iron,, viewed 4 March 2014, .

BHa, P. Graffiti font,, viewed 4 March 2014, .

Kang, M. Kim, Gguerim. Cheng, M. 2017, Show your colours, Kali code, Indonesia.

Yogyantaro, H. 2017, interview, 4 Feb.

Project Tote Bags – IKAN Group

By Annie Su, Jessica Xie and Anjana Sridharan

For this subject, we were located in Yogyakarta, Indonesia where we had the opportunity to experience and challenged ourselves in many ways to develop skills in a cross-cultural collaboration with Vital Strategies; an NGO who envision a world where every person is protected by a strong public health system. Our focus was to research the public health challenges and the influence of smoking at Kampeong Code and propose one design solution.

screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-11-16-26-amSu, A. 2017, Draft Sketches

Our proposal and focus was on children and how much they were affected by the strong smoking culture in Indonesia. It was a culture shock to a lot of us as we have observed so many people smoking, and it concerned us that the children were influenced to pick up the habit too. We wanted to involve the kids in our project, and to create more exposure and bring light to this situation.

Our comic personifies a health consequence of smoking, both educating and metaphorically warning the audience that smoking will have grave consequences both on themselves and the people around them.

Our initial ideas consisted of a mural, finger painting or hand prints involving children, t-shirts, tote bags & book covers with a comic strip of an anti-smoking story on them.

From multiple feedback sessions, we decided to think about who else was affected by smoking. It was brought to our attention the alarming percentage of gender specific smokers (men 68%, women 4%) Yet many women as well as children are still affected by passive smoking. Because of this, we wanted to create something that would involve both children and women. We decided to print tote bags with an anti-smoking comic strip for women to use and to organize a workshop for the children to join in with the printing.

screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-11-19-39-amSu, A. 2017, First initial Comic Strip Illustrations

For our comic design, we initially wanted to reflect the way smoking can deteriorate one’s health and also shock the viewer to refrain from smoking. Through research we discovered many negative effects smoking has on an individual’s body, particularly the way it can affect the smokers lungs. We decided to create a simple design because of time constraints but also because we wanted the message to be bold and clear to understand. The comic style is used as we didn’t want to create gory images as there would be young children working with us. We also chose to use the colours red, blue, yellow, and grey to coincide with the Vital Strategies’ Show Your True Colors campagin.

After some thought and a discussion with the members of Vital Strategies, we decided to refine our comic to make the message clearer.

Screen Shot 2017-02-11 at 11.19.48 am.pngSu, A. 2017, Final Comic Strip Illustrations

Screen Shot 2017-02-11 at 11.39.56 am.png

Sridharan, A. 2017, Mockup of Tote Bags

The first panel of the comic reads, “Jangan Sakiti Kami!!” which translates to “Don’t Hurt Us!!” showing the first stage of a smoker’s lung when they start the habit of smoking. They start to be affected by harmful chemicals from cigarettes.

Our comic strip’s second panel reads, “Kamu Baik-Baik Saja??” meaning “Are you ok??”, shows the next stage of a smoker’s lung. Where one’s lung starts showing signs of serious health-hazards making it harder to breathe and even trigger asthma.

The third panel reads, “Jangan Tinggalkan Aku!!” translating to “Don’t Leave Me!!” showing the third stage of a smoker’s lung where one lung gives up and starts to collapse leaving the one single lung to support it’s owner.

Our final comic square “Berhentilah Merokok!!” meaning “Stop Smoking” presents the very last stage of the smoker’s lungs where they lose a lung due to continuous smoking and ignoring the signs and symptoms.

We held a printing workshop with the kids and it got a little out of hand as paint went everywhere and the children printed wherever they want, even on the newspapers, and our hands. Even so, the printed totes still share our anti-smoking message through the campaign hashtags that are written on the bottom of the bag. The mothers of the children also got involved and created some totes for themselves and everyone had a great time.

18_Kids.JPGSu, A. 2017, Wood Block Printing Workshop with the children.

33_Kids.jpgSu, A. 2017, Wood Block Printing Workshop with the children.

19_Kids.JPGSu, A. 2017, Wood Block Printing Workshop with the children.
Through our time working on this campaign we realised that it is very hard for Indonesians to reject smoking as it is ingrained into their culture just like drinking alcohol is ingrained in the Australian culture. We as outsiders may look in and not understand why they would purposely harm themselves but they would think the same of us with our drinking. This anti-smoking movement may be happening at the moment however it will take many years before it becomes common for smoking to be seen as negative in Indonesia.

34_Kids.JPGSu, A. 2017, Completed Tote Bags

Su, A. 2017, IKAN group


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