Introducing RekaCipta: Malaysian Design Podcast by Nurul Rahman

The notion that Design plays a role in the Malaysian society to my opinion is fairly new. In fact, design so far is not considered as part of the high school curriculums. Design is seen as separated identity, here and there in different forms not as one. It is part of Engineering, part of Science, part of Arts (this is not there yet), part of Management, part of Communication and so it is always parts of here and there.

But I think Design should stand alone and it should be the mother of all rather than be part of all these areas of practice and studies. It is not anyone false, it is for my opinion is that each of us ( the design practitioner, educator, etc) did not take Design seriously and did not make much efforts to bring Design in higher respected level in Malaysia.

However, I do believe this phenomena will change and it is changing at the moment, as the world is changing and Design is becoming a stand alone identity. Not part of others.

Many schools (mainly private university’s in Malaysia) are now putting Design as the frontline and one of its own main subject. There are high numbers of design activities happening in the under Design. There are increasing numbers of Design associations established in recents years. People are taking about design practices, how to increase the power of design. More jobs are positions under the category of Design. More companies are looking for designers and creating the Designer’s position. This is all good, however.. like anything when it’s becoming a kind of a trend, not many really understand what Design means, its role, its position and many more.

Before the notion of Design starts to become anything, it is crucial to gathered all the experienced designers, design practitioners, design academics and people who are involved in many design practices in early days that understood the important roles that design can play to enhance the business, the people, the society and the country to come on board for a critical discussion about design.

There are lots of talks taken place in Malaysia for the past five years, where local and international designers come together and share their ideas. Well, mainly international speakers, as naturally in any society the outsiders seems to know more than the native as it perceived. I do believe that we have enough highly experienced and educated design practitioners that we can learned from in relation to the local experience. People like Dato Johan, Abdullah Arif, William Harald Wong, Kamil Yunus, Joseph Foo, Jimmy Choo, Hannan, Asri Ahmad, Prof. Dr. Ahmad Zainuddin, Melissa Wong, Zac Ong, Ezrena Marwan, and many more. And there are many local designers that have make their name overseas and no many local know about them, such as Din Amri, Dr. Joyce Yee, Dr. Christopher Kueh and many more. We need to have our own design idol that our new generation can look up to.

This is why I think its about time we should start our own design podcast. As multi-designer, a design practices since 1994, having completed higher education in Design (Masters and PhD), teaching design and performing in jazz concerts and gigs, part time broadcaster, it seems that all this experience is a great help for me to pull out this podcast together.

So this week I have launched (online) Malaysian own Design Podcast: RekaCipta. You can look up for RekaCipta in FB or listen to the podcast through soundcloud. The first podcast with Asri Ahmad will be uploaded this week.

Visit Porto, Portugal: ECSM2015 – 6-11 July Paper Presentation and Visual Research documentation.

Some of the snap shots during my visit in the Universidate do Porto.

I had a chance to present my paper about digital archiving and current status of archiving in Malaysia in the 2nd European Conference on Social Media, in a beautiful city Porto in Portugal. Thanks to RCMO Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) for sponsoring the financial for the trip to the conference and supporting research in USM.

My paper entitled: An Exploration of how Networked Citizens Play the Main Role in Outsourcing: A Method of Creating Digital Collections of Malaysian Cultural Artefacts, discuss about the current status of archiving/digital archiving in Malaysia and then propose potential solution to managed the digital archiving issues that most countries is facing now, the funding and space, through the method of using networked citizen and also crowdsourcing. Although this is not a new method but it has not been apply in archiving. Mainly used as marketing tools and also data collections for most companies.

Below is the abstract and if you’re interested in the paper, do send me an email at zainurulrahman @ gmail. com and you will be able to read the paper.


Architecture in Porto – Photo by: NurulRahman2015
Snapshots around Porto. Photo by: Nurul Rahman 2015

Some of the snap shots during my visit in the Universidate do Porto.




Kereta Lembu ‘Cow-Cart’ : Why it has been omitted, and why it’s reappearing?

Malacca Carnival Logo, Malaysia in 1988
Malacca Carnival Logo, Malaysia in 1988

Why it has been omitted for decades, and why it is reappearing now?

For many fellow Malaysian mainly generation X cannot miss to remember an icons of a Kereta Lembu : Cow cart. It is always been associated with the historical city Melaka or Malacca. It might not be part of most generation X life time experience but the image of it is clear in many Malaysian. However, it may be an familiar icon for Malaysia generation Y, like my nephews and nieces. They might either be extra excited or scared to be near the Kereta Lembu, this is if they are lucky to have a chance to experience one. Kereta Lembu had become an icon that projected the image for the state of Melaka since sixties.

For few decades, Kereta Lembu has become a significant icon that are heavily use as a graphic elements such as in the company logo, signage, design for flyers, etc. Having said that, it was a significant icon not only because it represented the state, but also the image were associated with the cultural practice of Malaccanian citizen. Kereta Lembu was one of the main transportation for everyday life it takes passengers, villagers, school children, goods, and sometime are used as a ‘moving van’ from one village to another or from a village to town.

Since late late 90’s, the use of Kereta Lembu gradually began be forgotten as the new way of transportation took place. However, the icons stayed not only as a collection of Melaka’s historical artifacts but also adding in the stereotypical icons of Malaysian national identity. Kereta Lembu vanished forever from Malaysian everyday life as its used now been replaced by cars, buses, motorbike and other new vehicles. Generation Y might not be able to imagine that Kereta Lembu was one of the only vehicle that are available in their parents generation allowing them to move around, but this logo of Malaccanian Carnival in 1988 is one of the evidences that could trace back the significant contribution Kereta Lembu have made for the people in Melaka. In fact the evidences that Kereta Lembu were useful for Malaccanian people can also be seen in songs and movies produced around the seventies. One of the songs that has been captured and expressed is called Kereta Lembu by Helen Velu or her real name Halina Abdul Wahab, a well known seventies female singer. Fairly recent, (see Utusan Online) after few decades since the song was Kereta Lembu song become well-known again. One of the reason is because it is nostalgic, but more over because it is an icon that has been promoted for branding and tourism.

Below, in a newly constructed video clip of the song includes some snap shots of scene the use of Kereta Lembu in people’s everyday life. Thanks to Abang Jebat for sharing this video.


How what it project, shaped what others think?

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A PhD investigation on comm. design contribution on Malaysian Identity by Nurul Rahman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License.
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Now when you read this title what do you think can go under ‘it’? It in this context could be any form of media, but what I want to discuss today about ‘it’ falls under comics. So ‘it’ in this column means comics, yes only comics, because under comics there’s comic books, comic strips and perhaps other ‘unknown’ type of comic.

Next questions is the question that I asked at the top (title). So what do you think? Let’s makes it easier in putting comic in the sentences. So ‘How what comics [it] project, shaped what others think? What I’m asking here is the role of comics. Hmm..but what is comic? Well, if you look at the comic definition in then the meaning of comic is this – a comedian, a comic book, comic strips, comedy shows or a behaviors that could induces smiles or laughters. Yes, I did said comics is just comic and nothing more, not comedian and not the act of making others laugh.

Sadly because of this ‘unpopular’ areas or medium, people don’t really understand what comic is. The word comic are broadly use, in different situation, depending on the purpose. It is also because comic is not something that are educational appreciated, it use to be considered as a bad influences. But not anymore. Nowadays comic are much more popular, between children and adults. It has become an exclusive desire artifacts for some and cartoonist has become as popular as an artist.

Back to the question asked – what influence or impact does comic have in our life and how it can influence our thinking process or our lifestyle? First, lets see where can we find comics? Traditionally we could only in find comic in newspapers (classic), in children books, in comic books and in magazine. But nowadays we could see them in advertising, in poster and in many other promotional items. So in conjunction to this, comic is no longer a medium under other media, but it is the medium by itself, therefore as what McLuhan (1954) stated “The medium is the message” – comic is the message. Comic has its own ‘content’ through the message it carries , except the content of the message have extended to certain human understanding of comics. Therefore the meaning of the ‘content’ of comic could change and evolve through time. Now if we see the use of new media on comic, this is happening because comic could give meaning and its own interpretation of comic with out reading what it contained. To include comic in advertising work is to create the feeling of comedy, relax, take it easy kind of meaning. Then the content of the comics comes in.

McCloud in his most influential book ‘Understanding Comic’ (1993) describe his extended meaning of comic and shows examples on how to read and understand comic, breaking it into different parts. Comic is a the most subtle communication medium to communicate. Through comic one can express, tell, suggest and perhaps persuade others for different purpose.

understanding comics

To be able to read comic, one needs to understand the culture background of the comics, a western comic could portray towards Western lifestyle and so on with others cultures around the world. In contrast to this, comic also is a medium of study, one could examine the culture, identity, background of others from different countries through comic. So how does this influences what others think?

Well it is a norm human reaction to imitate others, particularly when is it different from others. Lifestyle, fashion, trends, custom etc, are something everyone of use appreciate, and want to learn or at least curious enough to know. This process could shape our thinking, our views on something and perhaps could even alter our behaviors.

Of course this blog hopes to stimulate some awareness or discussion about design, and guess what, comic is part of communication design. Have a think..Now, what do you say again about comic…is it or is it not influential?

Is there any vernacular Malaysian Design?

Time have fly fast, year 2008 is now reaching at the end. Moi? I’m still in the progress of writing up…It’s been a hard year for me although I have to admin I have learned a lot. Few weeks ago I presented a paper in ICPE’08 (International Conference of Postgraduate Education) organised by USM in Gurney Hotel, Penang. As I imagined the crowd is not from the design background therefore the critics and comments I received is different, positive at least. It is interesting to see what others who come from non-designed background think about design project. I think designers should present more in the conference and write, it is very important to make others understand what we’re doing, and by doing so we will get a better idea and understanding of what we’re doing or working on. I have learned this process while teaching. I’ve been teaching more than 5 years now, casual, part-time and full-time. I found myself fascinated with the student behaviours and reaction with the subject. I came to understand that teaching requires a never ending learning process. To teach is to learn, by doing so one will never stop learning.

In our day to day life, unwittingly we practice this process. Progressively we learn and teach regardless the small actions, issues or thinking. And we talk about it to our families, friends etc. For example, we learn to have a breakfast everyday, by observing or by learning it from our parent. Breakfast, depending which cluster or ethnic group one belong to have its own way. It can be heavy, light, spicy, sweet, etc. Then we practiced and teach it to our children or friends. It is by nature a way of practicing our life..anyway..I shall not continue this discussion until I can articulate this topic clearer.

In relations to my blog title, I’m still asking the question about the notion of Malaysian Identity, I wonder if I ever would have the answer, or not? But I’m hoping I would be able at least to understand a lot more about Malaysia and its intimate connection to the design practice.

To open the new year event I will be giving a talk about Malaysian Design in particular on a topic or vernacular design in Malaysia, whether it is genuine or merely a copycat act. I’m exited about this topic and hoping to get something out of this discussion with other Malaysian designers.

Meanwhile I’m still continue writing my pieces of collected design exploration through my PhD. Rewrite is the words that I’m now more and more getting comfortable with. It is now my close friend. If you in KL and interested to listen more about design in Malaysia and its relation to identity please do drop by to on the 14th of January 2009.
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A PhD investigation on comm. design contribution on Malaysian Identity by Nurul Rahman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License.
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I havent been writing much in this blog lately, not that I dont have anything to write but I been busy writing somewhere else. I have some thought now and then, I wish I could go online and see how it goes but sadly its just not as easy as sketching. Well, I should start by wishing you my friend who regularly spend time reading my 5 cents ideas and thought about design checking whats new in my blog. To you I wish Happy New Year and hope this year will give us more guts in provoking design studies, practices and theory around.

Ive been travelling around for a short break, and presenting paper in a conference. Now I have arrived and settle where I came from in Melbourne as I have a lot more to finish, the unfinished research. While Im travelling, in the country I spend most is France, not all region but some places, enough to realise some interesting fact about French or I could say in this case it is not only on France but many other country. Language is very intriguing. Not all countries speak English although it was claimed as the most important language in the world. Indeed, is one of the languages that will allow us to communicate to other, after all almost everybody at least knows one words in English, thanks to film and music industry.
While laying in front of the television after lunch in Reims, I turn on the remote to see whats on. Yes, I know most of the people know this but for me its shocking. Why everything is in French? We could view this from different angle. I ˜m looking at it from identity issues, mainly national identity. Clearly language is another medium to connect and to be able to communicate to each other. Apart from the language also represent or identify almost which country the person comes from. Lying in front of the tele I was wondering, could it be possible with the standardized the language French thinks other people around the world speak French? Every France citizen or permanent residency speaks French. How does the authority get to this? Definitely tv program and promotional advertisements is one of the way to construct this idea. When nothing else is use except one language, one dont have much choice then start learning or else would be left all alone. This idea has strong relation to choice and freedom.

In country like Malaysia, if the freedom of choice is so far away and theres not much choice left, nothing much one can do apart from taking the risk rather then taking the risk to be left alone. Dont get me wrong nothing going towards issues such as politics, blog can become a sensitive issues in Malaysia, therefore I have to say it out loud, nothing political in here. Now because of this limited choice to be able to choose Malaysian have lack of design understanding. What is design and what does it mean to most Malaysian designers? I was supposed to give a talk in KL on kakireka small talk in KL organised by Wrega (Malaysian Non Profit Graphic Design Association), but then something came out and we have to call it off. But the topic I have in mind came after my visit in Penang in December last year and Im writing a chapter about it to publish in a design journal.

The issue that Ive found quite interesting is about the vernacular of Malaysian design. Is there any? One could argue and said that there are, depending on what it the word design means to oneself. Some would say no because nothing reach the standard. What standard? Again this also will goes to what they mean with the word design.
If we look at the Oxford Concise dictionary (11 ed. 2004 since 1911), the word design means:
a) A plan or drawing produced to show the look and function of something before it is built or made.
b) The art or action of conceiving of and producing of something
c) The arrangement of the features of artefacts.
d) The propose or planning that exists behind an action or object.

Now what that mean here if we look at most of the artefact that are available in Malaysia from massive advertisement to the one that are photocopy, from the logo of the big shopping mall to the logo of the small hawker shop, regardless what is the visual looks like, the aesthetic part of it, these artefacts does fit in under the action of designing. So back to the question is there any design in Malaysia, the answer is yes, definitely. But whether it can be claim as Malaysian design, we will find out later on. Is there any vernacular Malaysian Design?

NewViews Exhibitions

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A PhD investigation on comm. design contribution on Malaysian Identity by Nurul Rahman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License.
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Got my poster accepted for an online exhibitions – Newviews Design Conference
Here’s the link. There’s also an exhibition running in Melbourne Museums, have a look at the Newviews websites for more information. Graphic Design Posters and graphic design discourse is part of the program on the opening days – 15 November 2008. Prof. Teal Triggs from London College of Arts will present a talk about Scissors and Glue in the postgraduate public talk.

Malaysian National Identity is a constructed identity?

I found this ads in you tube while browsing around looking for Malaysian Ads. This is an ads from Malaysian Tourism for Promotions of Visit Malaysia 50 years of Independence.

The song that is sang in this ads is called ‘Rasa Sayang Eh! ‘ which means ‘Feeling of loves’. However the meaning is more that the feeling of love, this song has a strong connection with construction of Malaysian National Identity. This song has been taught from kindergarten to University since Malaysian Independence.

It is a popular Malaysian song that most of the Malaysian knows how to sing it. It is very easy, just the ‘Pantun’ part is a bit hard because it needs a knowledge of creating ‘Pantun’ like making rhymes, that can be anything. ‘Pantun’ is an old idioms that is use for teasing people in the olden days. Nowadays ‘Pantun’ is used in mainly Malay festive and wedding, as an introduction before the function starts.
Here are the original lyrics of this song.

Rasa Sayang Eh!
Rasa Sayang Sayang Eh!
Hey! Lihat Nona Jauh,
Rasa Sayang, Sayang Eh!

In between of this paragraph is ‘Pantun’ which is a Malay quatrains with a stanza of four lines.

Now back to the ads. In this ads, 4 main ethnic in Malaysia are used to sing the ‘Rasa Sayang’ song. Together with it, different cultural practices is projected to distinguish the cultural differences in Malaysia such as food, national dresses, nature, modernity, cultural behavior etc.. At the same time, the images of Malaysian living in harmony with happy faces is shown. The part that each ethics is singing the same song but in their own language, with the similar meaning shows that Malaysia is united with multi-ethnics. Notice that the song begins with ‘Bahasa Melayu’ Malay language, then English, followed by Chinese, Indigenous and Indian. It is follow by the percentage of the ethnics in Malaysia. The Malays is the dominant ethnic in Malaysia. Hmmm! Interesting… but why? Is it deliberately or just a coincidently?

Only recently in Malaysian ads images of indigenous people started to appear, event better their language is now been used as one of the strategies to promote Malaysia. This kind of ads is fairly new, projecting the Indigenous where else in 70’s and 80’s it is hardly seen in any Malaysian ads. Why and how does this happen in Malaysia where this images was dissolve in our past life? Why now?

Uniquness – to exist or not to exist?

It has been a long while since I logged in and put my thoughts here. I took a long break from putting some entries on this blog to focus on finishing my PhD’s corrections and then took a break from study and related. I used my time to read books (not directly related to my PhD) that I bought and been eager to read since I started my PhD. I have read several so far and lots more waiting to be read on the shelves. I also allocated that time to visits some places around Australia, around Victoria, Sydney, Adelaide and Cairns, a short break holiday, and the first one that I am able to fully enjoy with an empty head without my PhD since I submitted the correction. Apart from that, I enjoy my time cooking different types of cuisine and of course, enjoy eating it with my sweetheart. That was such a relief! I was not able to imaging the sense of liberty that I am feeling now before I submitted the work. Now, I am truly free from it.

Since then, I realised that I have not logged into my blog for couple of months. And for the first time since I have started this blog in 2006, I missed the very first one month entry, last month in February. But let’s take it as my holiday month and a gift for my final correction submission of my PhD.

I feel like I am opening a new book, and have closed the last one that I started in 2006. Thus, I am thinking that this time in my blog writing or ranting, I will write something a bit different, still about design teaching and practices, cultural history, etc., but I hope to be able to be more reflective and critical on what I post here. Oh, yes, there might be new ideas, thoughts and perhaps comments on people’s work, but I hope that this idea will be a shared knowledge and if anyone interested to apply or adopt the ideas that I published in this blog, you will at least ask for my permission and then put the credit to it. Let’s be an ethical human being, and designer shall we.

I am keen and interested in agriculture nowadays, perhaps because both me and my partner enjoy eating tasty food made with love and fresh, healthy ingredients. Slowly I am growing some herbs in my balcony, when more often to the farmers market than a supermarket and from time to time, enjoy eating at a delicious fresh food restaurant. Yes, there’s plenty of them in Melbourne. We were a bit disappointed when we were in Cairns in the beginning of our trip there, but we managed to find some of the lovely delicious place to eat. And for the price, I can tell you that it’s worth to try. Anyway, yes, agriculture, and sustainability in agriculture that interest me.

My last trip in Malaysia, a couple of months ago, again had opened up my eyes. Living here for almost 8 years in Melbourne, I think like many Melbournian, we take things for granted. Yes, we are grateful that we are able to get good farmers markets and organic products here but, it is not until we travels around to other places that we soon will realised that we are such a lucky community.But this is for people who love to cook and prepare their own cuisine. The local ingredient are fresh and cheap compare to it you eating out everyday. With this experience in my mind, I went back to my birth place with open mind and hope that I will be able to find similar experience in Penang.

On my last trip in Malaysia, I spent my time in Penang, an island also known as the Pearl of Orient by the Frnacis Light, a British officer who govern the island before the independent of Malaysia. Apart from enjoying the delicious cuisine that I could get for very cheap price in Penang, such as all day snack of nasi lemak (coconut rice wrapped in banana leave, served with fried anchovies and peanuts, cooked chili paste, half boiled eggs and slices of cucumbers) and nasi kandar, an indian Muslim influence from Northern India style of cuisine (plain or briyani rice served with your own selection of dishes that you can choose from the shelves, such as different type of curry, vegetable and fried fish and chicken). Now the list does not stop that, Penang people are blessed with other dishes such as Laksa Penang, Satay, Mee Kari, Pasembor, Mee Goreng Mamak, Cucur Udang and so on. Penang is a wonderful place if you like to eat, and love eating out. Cheap and tasty food. It is know as the Malaysian Food Heaven because it is full with hawker style, shops and restaurant that served good food. To the extend I actually make my long list of different style of cuisine that I wanted to eat while I was there.

But after a while, I got sick of eating out and wanted to cook again. My search moved from food stalls to markets to look for local ingredients that I can use in my cooking. There are plenty and enough to start with but the freshness and the taste of the fresh products sold in the market or event in supermarket is far compare to Melbourne. Far in this sense is that yes, there are some ingredients that you can get there but the are now as good or tasty as the one I have eaten here in Melbourne. For example, the tomato taste plain, the sweetness and the delicious sour taste of tomato is not there, and I believe it is an industrial way of producing this tomato. That is sad because if you want to cook, from fresh ingredients the ingredients needs to be at their very best state, otherwise it will change the taste of the dish that you cook. And the same goes with other vegetables, fruits, meat, seafood etc. But after a while of searching I found several places that tried to sell the good fresh, organic ingredients, thank God! But seriously, I think we can do better Malaysia, we need good food, healthy food. I remember a friend of my Nora was telling me how she hated tomato and other vegetables when she was in Malaysia. Nora is currently living in Melbourne and she have discovered the delicious taste of tomato, fruits and vegetables. She didn’t realised that the fresh ingredients can be so tasty and delicious. My answer to that is, not many places sells fresh and organic produced vegetable in Malaysia, therefore we (Malaysian) are only expose to the not so good products, but because we didn’t have the option, we just take it as it is. I think this is another design challenge for fellow Malaysian. How can we facilitates the process of sustai
Does this mean that cultural identity did not exist until the globalization arrived? Why is it a product of globalization? John Tomlinson argued that the cultural identity is a product of globalization than a victim. I would like to discuss only on this topic further.f

What makes each one of us want to appear differently in a society and why?

These days, it seems like everyone is searching for singularity, differences, authenticity and uniqueness in any kind of products. It could be fashion, places, language, design and even countries. It used to be a marketing strategies to differentiate each product with other as a way to sell the product, and now days this methodsis been used in any areas.

Why? Because there is an impact.

I had this discussion with Xavier after reading a book chapter from John Tomlinson

It is a regular discussion that I had with Laurene and I cannot see why she seldom disagreed with the idea that each country is unique in their owns different ways. Or perhaps I did not see what she was trying to say. Are we talking on the same thing or we both agree and disagree on different topic? I argued that the uniqueness does exist through the connection between people with object, places, space, weather, etc. Somehow there is some kind of emotional connection happen in between that makes one felt special and unique of the object, places or space. One who visited Paris will said that no other place like Paris because of the cuisine, Eiffel tower, language etc. Paris is unique in some ways comparing to other city. Others might disagree with it and said that Sydney is unique in one eyes because of the Sydney harbour, food, weather and people. Looking at both with experiencing each places, one could not said that its unique. It relates with emotion and the kind of experience that one got through with others, objects and places.

But what Laurene might means when she said that there is no uniqueness in identity in my research, she might be referring to the advertisements and womans magazine cover I had from Malaysia. Indeed looking at the printed artefact doesnt demonstrate the idea of uniqueness. There no such thing as uniqueness if there is no experience connected to it. Is that what Laurene mean? And no, Im not trying to defend my personal feeling here but what I think about it in relation to my research.

In relation to the notion of uniqueness…


Thanks. Hmmm…..Responding to what you wrote “what you think is unique for you, you then find out is unique for others.”
Indeed, that after all it is not more as unique as because as you mentioned that unique usually implies one. But unique also implies being one of its kind and original. But it could go the opposite such as it would be unique for one but not for others. In this case it could be called unique.
In relation to the notion of uniqueness in my research, in the context of Malaysia, like any other country the people will find it unique as most of them have experience and memory that relates to the country/place/object etc. I cannot say that the notion of uniqueness does not exist in identity, because there do exist and I strongly think that the notion of uniqueness do contribute heavily in the creation of identity.

Presenting at a conference…

I’m presenting a paper at a 17th Biennial Conference of Asian Studies Associations of Australia (ASAA). It at Albert Park Hotel, in St Kilda, Melbourne.

In this paper I will discuss about the earliest project in the beginning of my PhD, the Online Forum and is the case study of this paper. As my PhD is a practice-based design research project, it is challenging to explain it to the non-design background what is design research and what is practice-based research. Here’s the abstract of my paper. If you interested to read the whole paper, please do email me.

Can an online discussion be used as a new research practice? A case study

Nurul Rahman

With the rise of web 2.0, and collaborative web sites and communication platforms, there is the temptation and the possibility of utilising innovative technology for research methods and practices.

As part of a practice-based design PhD research project, I used an online discussion forum as an environment to enable focus group discussions. The aim was to gather together a selection of research participants (artists and designers) involved in creative fields, to start a conversation, and explore ideas about, Malaysian identity and its representations within cultural artifacts. I facilitated this discussion, exploring particular topics; and through the use of open-ended questions and threads within the forum, encouraged participants to present their ideas and engage with others.

This paper will discuss how an online tool can be used within a research project to experiment and confront ideas, to find new directions for investigation or to have a general discussion about a specific subject with research participants who are located in diverse international locations, asynchronously.

The forum will be used as a case study to explore the advantages and challenges such a solution may present.

Full paper

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Can online discussion be used as a new research practices? by Nurul Rahman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.