To teach is to learn..

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.

A chapter to start with..

It has been a while since the last time I wrote in this blog. It’s not that I’m no longer involve in writing, instead I still do. I’ve just been busy writing for a chapter for my PhD. This chapter is about the case study that I undertake in the beginning of my PhD. I was searching for Malaysian Identity. To search for this identity is very close to impossible, at least I think so…

I started to look what is not Malaysian Identity? Actually quite a lot, and some can be confusing because ti can be part of identity but it is not belong to the Malaysia. For example rendang (Malay think curry sause that were cook usually for celebrating the first day after Ramadhan – fasting month. Rendang is claimed comes from Indonesia, and lots of indonesia are ready to fight if I said not them. Come to think about it, it is not impossible that the rendang comes from Indonesia. But then though time, rendang that were brought to us in Malaysia are now adopted in the Malaysian taste and flavor. Therefore there are the version of the rendang that could identify that it comes from Malaysia. Instead of claming that the rendang is from Malaysia, we should acknowledge that it is not but mentioned that it is an adaptation of the original rendang from Indonesia.