IFEX 2016: Design, Beyond the Artifact

March 15, 2016

The word 'design' and its role in Indonesia today is like a part of an iceberg, floating on the water surface. Some know where to go, some just don't.

Guys, do you know design is kind of a big deal for Indonesia today? Design is always a big deal, but I mean it's going to be taken very seriously for years ahead; because government are now very into it. Remember that time when Jokowi made a statement about creative industry should be a backbone of Indonesian economic? Yeah, a little bit late but hey that's an improvement, don't you think?
img source: setkab

Last Saturday I attended a seminar held by IFEX 2016, titled 'Reimagining Craft and Design in Asia'. There was a man from Bekraf, giving us facts about situation of creative industry in Indonesia. Here are some of them;

1. The growth of Indonesian craft & design economic sector is slow, but it has the highest growth than any other sector in Indonesia
2. Creative industry sector is the second biggest contributor in Indonesian economic
3. Contribution of creative economy to the world is 230% bigger than oil exports (srsly guys stop the war)

Yeah, wow.

Anyway that's just a brief intro in the purpose of waking people up, making sure of it's not just me who thinks that this industry is no joke. (I'm scared though now)

Tri Anugrah, BDA Design

Miss Tri, or Miss Anu, was the first speaker in the first session of the seminar. Her background is graphic design and now she engaged in the world of design trend forecasting.

Sure, she talked about design forecasting in Indonesia in her speech last Saturday. While on 2016/2017 the trend is called 'Resistance', on 2017/2018 the trend goes to 'Grey Zone'. There are four main themes, Archean (the mix of nature & artificial), Cryptic (material experiment), Digitarian (when age doesn't matter), and Vigilant (the mix of manual and digital luxury).
Trend Forecasting 2016/2017

img source: BDA Design

But it wasn't the point.

She talked about how Indonesian, generally Asian, has slow design. In this case, slow design means that we all Asians see and respect the beautiful of design in the making process. Batik, for example. You tint it manually. It goes through a long, delicate journey. There's a story behind the process.

In the topic of local research which includes ideas, artifact, and activity in it, Miss Anu talked about how the situation is now and how the way we Asian think.

For example, in the airport or souvenir area, can you guys spot a mass produce, manually made, wayang key chain? How can we sell a delicate product with a relatively cheap price? Don't you guys think it indirectly degrades the artifact itself?


She also talked about how we often focus only to the artifact and set aside the other aspects. When we know that our traditional design is something like an identity of our country, and when we look back to traditional design, the important thing is we have to look beyond the artifact and see the story behind it. Because basically, artifact is just an object.

The point i got is, you know, trend is one of many aspects that guides you to design. She said trend was made not to be followed. The main focus is not to create the artifact, because the whole point and what made it expensive is the rich story behind it.

Her speech followed by five others speakers. Last Saturday was a big punch on my face, to be honest. I'd like to punch you too, that's why I wrote this. If this post doesn't make a good enough punch, don't worry, I'll be back with another!

So, I hope this post pops a thought inside your brain. And, umm, stay tuned, I guess?

Next speaker: Budi Pradono & Golf Jakkapun

See ya!

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