Rethinking Design Policy in the Third World

Sulfikar Amir raises some very interesting points about the Design Policy that is currently implemented into the third world and how design based policies can be the basis of positive socio economic and personal development. Although there are amazing outcomes from generating a political economy of design, the current political targets and agendas of both the first and third worlds are muffling the potential of human based design policy.

Amir believes that when human based design policy is implemented properly and is relative to political ergonomics, it can create a fairer political setting of design policy that allows people to influence orientation. For this to happen the way designers think alike must shift to focus on basic human need as the centrepiece of progressive design. Design is still an emerging concept in many third world countries and is being used to try and minimise the on going debt that tie these countries to the larger financial strong holds of the first world by using it develop their industries.

Amir seems to believe that is not as important as I think it is. He is correct to say that the basic human needs of an individual are more important but it must be remembered that design is not a working miracle and that any country that plans to develop must first have a stable economic situation, if they are to not build their foundation supports with their debt that is owed to others.

It is amazing that so many developing countries are realising the power of design. For many, education only appeared this century and for design schools, councils and foundations to now be appearing is truly an amazing leapfrog in itself.

This will be the key to the design relevant development of these countries, as I believe is not only important for design to be human centred but also coming from the inside of these countries. From the people and for their people.   


Challenges and Opportunities in Contemporary Participatory Design

After reading this article, I began understand the key aspect towards this topic. The article talks about how the people demanded an increase say in decisions that affected many different aspect of their lives. The aim of this participatory design were to support users and enable them to use their skill while avoiding any unnecessary negative constraints towards their work task. User participation within information and communication technology is widely practiced through mock-ups and prototyping.

The writer talks about how Participatory design are always driven by ongoing reflection on how to involve users as full partners in design and how this involvement can unfold throughout the design process. Active participants needs to define participatory design because they are to design the future they wish to live, then those whose futures are affected must actively participate in the develop processes, tools, and methods. Participatory design is all about involving the people who understand the practices and environments where new products and services will be used, as active participant’s means that the process and its outcome are more likely to be accepted and sustained. In this sense I can relate to Taiwan participatory design role. Taiwan as we know it is the world’s largest PET producers, but this had a huge effects on the environment. The people there are trying to cope with all the plastic waste they have generated. Due to this situation a design firm call MINIWIZ has involved and participated in using the waste Taiwan had produced and creating a sustainable pavilion called EcoARK out of recycled POLLIBRICK. These are the changes that can genuinely improve the quality and acceptance of future systems and that drive the design of better systems in the future. 

Week 8: Design, Development, Culture, and Cultural Legacies in Asia.

hardythomas000's Blog

The paper starts by comparing two definitions of Asian design; one as the adoption of western design as a discipline to stimulate economic and industrial growth; the second as the idea that each nation has it’s own unique cultural identity that is evident in it’s traditional arts, crafts and architecture.

A brief history of the west’s influence on Asian countries through design and the complexities of balancing economic growth, social/cultural structure, and the environment are explored and discussed with thought provoking examples.

After reading I was given the impression that there is huge potential for nations of Asia to flourish, and for that to happen requires better communication between all concerned ie, designers, governments, manufactures, and the people.

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Design, Development, Culture and Cultural Legacies in Asia

This article discusses the economic and political value of design. How design can be used to create social change and alleviate poverty. 

The way in which an increase in industry production and value can decrease phone debt. That this all can be done through intelligent design.

This way of alleviating poverty and helping third world countries is one that I find very impersonal. It also has a chance creating a great divide between rich and poor. It doesn’t look at the strength and knowledge of the local culture. Which I believe is integral to create an equal relationship between East and West. That one culture  not valued over the other.

Week 8 Homework – Article 2, The Future of the Human Spirit

‘The Future of the Human Spirit’ discusses the influence of designers in politics. 

After reading this article I began to think about how designers are ‘really’ integrated into the world we live in, past and present. The writer implied that designers are at the centre spectrum for social, political, technological and environmental change, whether your specialty is product design, service design or a code writer.

Designers in a position of political power I believe would work, drawing from the article the writer tells the reader more than one that all designers are considering the future more and more in all aspects of their designs and therefore become heavier forward thinkers. For example; Jamie Lerner, who had a background in architecture and town planing was elected mayor three times in Curitiba, Brazil. From 1971 carried out hundreds of projects ranging from a new more efficient bus transport system to, a 100% recycled plastic toy making factory. I believe this is prime example of how designers when in political power get a lot done, just look at Japan, Korea, Singapore and China where designers are highly regard as influential figures for change.


Part 1

Bengal is a geographical region found in India. It comprises of the Indian state of west Bengal and part of Bangladesh. Its capital city is Kolkata, which is the main educational and commercial hub.

The region of Bengal is the most densely populated countries in the world, with a population of over 250 Million people with a population density of 900/km². The language spoken throughout the region is Bengali, and the population is known to be a mix of Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Austric and Tibeto-Burman ancestry

Its main forms of income come from agriculture, making up 67% of its labour force. In addition to this, trade and craft makeup the remainder.

The two major religions which are practiced in the region of Bengal are Islam and Hinduism.

The gross GDP for West Bengal is $150 billion as of 2011 and ranks the state of west Bengal

 The Flag of Bangladesh

 The Flag of West Bengal (KolKata)

File:20th Century Pre-Independence Calcutta Flag of India.png

The Region


My Infographic


Part 2

IMI, Kolkata by Abin Design Studio

IMI, Kolkata,

–          Educational Facility

This is an educational building built by Abin Design Studio for a school in west Bengal. The building is located within thick urban fabric and is a state of the arts educational facility. Its laminated and lively façade is a representation of the creativity of you and the unpredictability of nature. A structure which is inspired by its immediate surroundings

Mulo Ambulance

–          Patient transportation

This is a project by a Mumbai based design student, Smruti Adya. An ambulance which takes advantage of human power, solar energy and electric motors. I like this design because it takes into account the culture around bicycles as a mode of transportation in West Bengal. The ambulances will be for single patient use and will be human powered.

the toul stool   moulded jute fiber furniture

The Toul Stool

–          Furniture

Using Traditional Jute weaving methods, joran briand, corentin de chatelperron
and frédéric morand collaborated to create a furniture piece which would utilise the Hessian handicraft of Bengal in a new methods. Creating seats from Resin Casts and Jute Fibre. Creating a strong and effective composite material which helps local economy through the purchasing of Jute Weave from local factories.

Part 3

The Toul Stool is quite an interesting piece as it utilises local crafts with immense heritage in West Bengal, to create a new product and bring value of the local handicraft into another market.

The piece is made from a negative foam mould. The Jute Sheet is weaved in a local factory and brought to a workshop in west Bengal. The jute sheet is then cut out into a template and layered over the mould. It is covered in resin until is sets, after polishing the piece is a sturdy piece of hard Jute sheeting (the same material used in Hessian and burlap. I like this idea as it utilises only local workshops and factories, and could create an upscale market for an otherwise predominantly handicraft material.

Indonesian Crafts Go Contemporary – 10 Design Projects

1. Future Craft Workshop 2013 

Designer:  lanzavecchia + wa, Sadhiya Hanindita, Sean Bunjamin, Adhi Nugrana 

Client: 2013 International Furniture Fair Singapore 

Location: Solo City


The Future Craft Workshop is a project initiated by Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) and Himpunan Desainer Mebel Indonesia (HDMI) . The project gathered designers from Singapore, Sweden and Indonesia in order to go on an educational journey to Rempah Rumah Karya in Solo City, Indonesia, popular town for its gifted craftsmen on rattan, ceramics, bamboo, wood and teak. The purpose of this journey was to allow them to learn the traditional Indonesian crafts from the local experts. The goal was to encourage new approaches and perspectives towards modern-day design while using traditional Indonesian crafts, and applying contemporary design language while experimenting with natural materials such as teak, bamboo, rattan, recycled wood and ceramic. The final models were showcased at the 2013 International Furniture Fair Singapore (IFFS), Asia’s most prestigious furniture trade show. 

In depth information here:


2. AlvinT

Designer: Alvin Tjitrowirjo

Location: Jakarta 


Debonair, synthetic rattan

AlvinT is the brainchild of Indonesian-born designer Alvin Tjitrowirjo. Building from the rich and diverse cultural heritage of his homeland, Alvin’s designs signify a new approach to modern design. He involves the work of skilled local artisans, reinterpreting tradition for the urban public and bridging the gap between art and design itself. After graduating with a Bachelor of Industrial Design from RMIT University, Alvin joined the Melbourne Movement, an organization that promotes young Australian designers. It was during this time that the Bell Chair was selected to be exhibited at the world’s leading furniture fair, Salone Satelitte in Milan 2005. Following this success, the Snug was exhibited at Melbourne Design EAlvin is currently a part time lecturer of furniture and interior design in University of Pelita Harapan Jakarta. 


the Snug 

The philosophy of AlvinT, is to raise global awareness and offer an experience through which people can recognize and appreciate the beauty of Indonesian art and history. Although it is very important for them to retain the essence of history, considered the engine and soul of their creation, they are also commited to producing original designs with a touch of the avant-garde. All products are worked on almost entirely by the hand by Indonesia’s finest craftsmen. Tradition and innovations are merged seamlessly with the use of both the finest traditional and industrial materials such as aluminium, stainless steel, rattan and teakwood. 


Linger natural Rattan


Mingle, natural rattan with iron frame


Lampu Janur (inspired by the shape of janur, a traditional decorative handicraft that is normally used to decorate traditional ceremonies) plywood and teak veneer


3. BIN House

Designer: Josephine ‘Obin’ Komara

Location: Jalan Purworejo, Menteng 


Obin’s search to find contemporary fabrics that could compare with the antique textile pieces in her own collection, convinced her that the rich heritage of Indonesian textile weaving and dyeing had been almost forgotten in the midst of mass machine production. Rather than lamenting the passing of an era and the loss of an art, Obin set about breathing new life into the dying handmade cloth industry. In the 1986, BIN house opened its first shop in Jakarta, which was soon followed with scores of textile exhibi-tions, mainly in Japan and in Indonesia 


Inspired and intrigued by the centuries-old cloth making techniques of batik, ikat weaving, tie & dye and stitch & dye that have made Indonesian fabrics famous, the exquisite fabrics from BIN house are entirely hand-spun and had-woven by the finest Indonesian artisans, with no assistance from modern technology. Each piece of cloth is a product of meticulous craftsmanship that often takes months-sometimes a whole year—to finish. Very often, more than 40 artisans are involved in this lengthy labour of love. The intricate patterns depicting ancient and near-extinct mo-tifs are results of complex methods of fabric weaving and batik dyeing . 



4. Jenggala Keramik 

Designer: Ade Waworuntu, Jesika Tirtanimala

Location: Bali 


Handbag Collection by Jesika Tirtanimala, exhibited at Asia Now, LA. Ceramic and teakwood

Founded in 1976 by three creative minds: artist Brent Hesselyn from New Zealand who specialises in pottery and ceramics, hotel owner magnate Wija Waworunto and his daughter Wade Waworunto. It started as an experiment and has developed in a refined industry. Inspired by Bali’s traditional crafts and materials, their aim is to invent products that will appeal and endure. 



Kendi, Indonesia’s traditional drinking vessel made of terracotta. The new approach is with ceramics and wood and the neck is detachable for easy washing to adapt to modern lifestyle. 



Rantang: lunch carrier by Jesika Tirtanimala



5. Treecycled Furniture

Designer: pt. epos modern indonesi

Location: Jepara, Central Java


Established in 1996, indonesian based, dutch company pt. epos modern indonesia develops 
finger joint laminated and solid wood furniture made from recycled wood. off-cuts from local furniture industry and pieces of old, drifted wood are glued together with resin to create benches, stools, tables, … Some of the ‘treecycled’ furniture include LED lighting –  the company’s new collection with the motto ‘LED’s treecycled’, has been presented at the IFFS singapore furniture fair 2010. The company has developed methods to combine old wood pieces with LED lighting technology. The eroded wood lit with blue and green have an underwater scene effect.


MDF and manggo wood




6. Mbaru Niang Preservation

Location: Wae Rebo Village, Flores Island, Indonesia (South-East Asia)
Architect: Rumah Asuh/Yori Antar, Tangerang, Indonesia
Client: Wae Rebo Community
Completed: 2011
Design: 2008
Site size: 6’500 m²


Ocal, Angerang-based architect Yori Ansar started the Rumah Ansu project as a movement to preserve traditional houses and building technologies throughout indonesia. the architect takes young designers to distant villages to both experience and renovate existing traditional homes– all under the premise that indigenous culture has time-tested methods for building effective and perfectly acclimated dwellings. Believing in the power of local wisdom has proved fruitful for the architect, who just earned a spot on the shortlist for the aga khan prize for architecture, shortly on the heels of garnering UNESCO asia-pacific award for cultural heritage conservation, specifically for his work with the wae rebo community in Flores Island, Indonesia. in the ‘mbaru niang preservation’ the architect initiated a community-led revival of the vernacular ‘worok’ homes, conical constructions of tied-together wood and bamboo. 


7. Tulola

Designer: Sri Luce Rusna 

Location: Semingyak Bali 


Tulola is a contemporary jewelry label with the simple quest to craft beautiful jewelry through celebrating rare artisanal skills, timelessness in design, and purity in materials. Central to the Tulola mission is the design studio and workshop. The Tulola Workshop reworks familiar influences by resurrecting age-old motifs and gold-smithing techniques into new shapes, forms and applications. The workshop brings together a group of experienced and passionate individuals committed to elevating an ancient art form. By crafting our pieces in-house we are able to ensure the quality of workmanship of each and every piece that carries our name. 



8. Anhar Setdjadibrata

Architect: Ahar Setdjadibrata

Location: Bali 

a. Villa Tugu

b. Jimbaran Bay

c. Tugu Malang 

9. John Hardy Jewelry

Designer: Guy Bedarida

Location: Bali


John Hardy’s first partners, the descendants of the goldsmiths to the royal courts of Bali, were the basis of today’s partnership between designers and artisans. Together, they meld time-honored jewelry-making techniques with fresh design to create John Hardy pieces.

John Hardy jewelry is born of the encounter between designers and artisans, the relationship shaping the development of the brand’s signature luxury craftsmanship. Each piece is fully designed and intricately crafted by virtuoso artisans on the brand’s compound in Bali. Head Designer Guy Bedarida sketches his inspired pieces, and the team of artisans gives his vision life as they carve and smith sterling silver, gold and gemstones into jewelry. The art of jewelry-making is an ancient skill dating back to the time of kings on the island nation; descendants of those original artisans make up our team today.






10. Tulisan 

Designer: Melissa Sunjaya


What’s Tulisan? 

dynamic guild of storytellers, poets, illustrators, and talented dreamers who love what they do and put their heart and soul into every Tulisan product they help create.

How It Started

Melissa and her mother started Tulisan in 2010 with tea towels, aprons, and cushion covers. For her first tote prototype, Melissa worked out of her garage alongside an upholstery tailor using her grandmother’s Singer sewing machine from the 1940s. Today this antique sewing machine is still used in the creation of all of our home ware collections.

The Origin of Name

‘Tulisan’ (pronounced two-lee-saan) means ‘handwriting’ in Indonesian. This simple word is about making your mark while staying true to yourself and sharing with others. It is about colorful storytelling through handcrafted products made with love in small batches.


Illustrations and products are each based on a story. Some stories are original fiction while others are inspired by traditional folktales.