Can design help offset the raise of consumption in Asia?

Can design help offset the raise of consumption in Asia?

Asia is gearing up for a strong growth in next following years, with the latest forecasts from international financial institutions adding to the upbeat trend.


However, with the rapid rise in the rate development, what will it mean our ecological footprint considering almost half of the worlds population reside in it localities?


It is a well known fact that it would take the resources of over five Earths to sustainably support our lifestyle if everyone relied on one car per commuter, purchasing a new phone every 12 months and generally consuming like its running out tomorrow. Currently, over 7 billion of us are consuming about 50% more resources than Earth is producing.


However with the forecast showing a rapid rise in economy, in what ways can design help the very people jumping from drinking murky water into drinking fancy white wine, ease the progression from a sustainable lens?


Although not necessarily a design focus action, learning from the mistakes of yesterdays past would be the most obvious answer. Solar power being brought to developing countries and directly skipping the burning of fossil fuel would be a great example of this. Progressing from this, the ability of gaining from the mistakes of other countries can also be found in the sustainable method of ‘leap frogging’.


The concept of leapfrogging entails a product service or a system to be directly accelerated within the confines of a new environment. This skips inferior, less efficient and expenses put into the development of products, and provide them with more up to date models. Leapfrogging empowers and neutralizes the playing field, however most importantly avoids environmentally harmful stages of development.


Adding onto this, closed loop cycling tackles the problem of waste head on…How? By not producing any at all. Closing the loop means moving from traditional design, being the making, the use and then the disposal – to how the waste when reaching its ‘end of life’ could be re fed into the system via recycling.


Although the consumption levels of us as a race will inevitably continue to rise, with the help of smart manufacturing and thinking with a more sustainable lens, design deffinantly can help offset the aforementioned consumption level by tackling the issue before it even reaches the consumer.



Religious influence in design for United Arab Emeritus

Religion in the United Arab Emeritus (UAE) has always been deeply engrained in the local culture in all cities within the country. Looking through pictures of the future and current architecture it is evident that religious influence is a common design consideration. With 76% of the countries population followers of Islam, patterns and markings are often presented across the buildings external and internal features to show their devotion.  


The Islamic religion has no painting of God or Jesus; they are shown through symbols and patterns, for instance Allah (Islamic word for god) is shown through a symbol that looks similar to a ‘w’ with a trident shaped into it. Because Islam never shows their god in picture form, they express their devotion to Allah through patterns and symbols that represents him. 

Religious expression in domestic regions are commonly shown using a Mashrariya, a patterned window that serves two functions, one: to stop wind, two: to allow light to shine through, representing Allah’s presence. First discovered in the 12th century (earliest evidence of use) they have been heavily used since, even branching outside the UAE into other countries. Professional architects living in the UAE have incorporated the wind breaking function of the Mashrariva and applies them to large-scale structures to protect them from wind and sand damage due to the harsh environment, the Al Bahar Towers located in Abu Dhabi (picture) is just one example of this ‘large scale Marshrariva’ in use.

 It seems that religion and design are linked but finely balanced when it comes to architecture in the United Arab Emeritus. Designs like the Masrariva have been a very successful mixture of the two, through engineering and design innovation they have been able to be used on a grand scale serving an important function. But religion and design branch out further than just architecture; it goes into fashion shaping a cultural way of life. The Burqa for example has its own fashion industry and designer names like ‘Shukr’. Serving the initial purpose of covering women in public, Muslim societies have incorporated design patterns reflecting religious belief, going to show that religion and design are linked in certain circumstances

“Design Industries – Samsung group”

Design industries help South Korean’s economy to grow faster and the Samsung Group is South Korean multinational conglomerate company which covers wide areas in South Korean life such as electronics, insurance, supermarkets, hotels, bank, television, newspaper and education system. Why are they so successful? The average of employees graduated from Samsung’s own university and most of them are postgraduate students or Drs.This made sure that their employees possess high level of qualification. Also, they built a center, which is called “Art& Innovation Design Centre”. The center is in cooperation with global studios and some design institutes, which is also why Samsung electronic products can be one of best brands in the world. They sent a team on design journeys t who have traveled around Hong Kong, Japan, China, United State and Germany each year. Their design innovation is faster than other countries because they invest a lot of recourse in their employees. The employees learn more things from other culture and background in order to keep their brain electrified. This reduces the chance of “bottle neck” in developing new technologies and products. They have Samsung town, which is located in Seoul. It serves as IT and electronic hub for multinational cooperation Samsung. 


However, some people think Samsung group are underground principle because Samsung group can control South Korea economy so some people called Samsung founder Lee Byung-chui the economic principle in South Korea. Some people believe if Samsung group keeps to grow up become stronger than others, they will be authoritarian group in South Korea. 


As we know, Samsung electronic is the one of top brands in the world and also the majority of South Korean used Samsung mobile phone. How can they beat the large company like Apple or HTC? How can their mobile phone design attract young generations and make them royal. Most of their mobile devices are touch screen and also their screen is bigger than other brands which are their special features. This year one marketing company said that “we should feel scared of Samsung, they will take over the world of technology after a decade.”

Design, development, culture and cultural legacies in Asia


This paper covered a number of different issues in regards to the development of design in Asia. As I went through it, it was important for me to keep realizing that it was written in 1989. Most of what was written still has great importance today. A key concept in the paper is that Asia is struggling to find its own design identity post colonialism. It lacks the confidence to comment, appraise and judge design as it is seen as a totally Western tool. There are certain circles of designers in China and particularly in India that are ahead of their time in that they saw the need and value for their governments to invest in schools and colleges the educate their own stream of designers. Another key issue was the idea that many poor design projects – whether they are architectural or industrial – were doomed from the beginning…

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climate is a double sword in Thailand

‘The climate in Thailand plays as a double side sword, which contribute a unique style of traditional architecture designs but also against the local agriculture.’


Thailand climate is controlled by tropical monsoons and the weather in Thailand is generally hot and humid across most of the country throughout most the year. Due to this special climate, Thailand achieved a unique traditional architecture design style and it was welcomed by the world.

The basic Thai house of the past, rarely seen today was simple structure of bamboo and thatch, raised off the ground for protection against floods and wild animals. One practical feature of the Thai house is the ease with which it can be assembled or taken down.  The entire house is built in light, pre-fabricated sections with each section forming a wall. In former time, the fact that the house could be taken down and re-assembled with relative ease was well suited to the indigenous way of life. While flood season coming, the house would be taken down, stacked on a raft and gloated down above the water to a new location. 

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Due to the terrible flood, Thailand’s architectures accumulated a lot of experienced about how to transform the house to suit this changeable climate and they also keep trying and thinking better designs to make life a lot easier and happier. However, Thailand also faces threat of climate change against local agriculture.  According to researchers, severe flooding and drought throughout the region could reduce agricultural yields by up to 50% in the next three decades. In 2010, Thailand experienced $450 million in crop damage due to a severe drought. The following year, flooding decimated rice crops, causing $40 billion in damage throughout the country’s economy. Through the striking data, Thailand should take some actions to prevent the disasters happen.  For instance, Thailand could build terraced fields on the highland as china did when drought, and build dams near the klong to make sure that flood is stoppable.

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It is very impressive that Thailand considered climate as an element to their architecture design and its design is very useful and featured social conditions but they should also think about the agriculture issues and start to take some actions as other countries did.