When we think about design, we should think about designing for the real world.

I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while but I was taking the whole issues slowly thinking that I wanted to know more to be able to convince myself about it. This is about how designers can contributes in facilitating the way we do things in Malaysia. If you meet a Malaysian and start a conversation with one, you will soon come to realised that Malaysian (most of us), loves eating out and loves food. And if you have the chance to visit Malaysia you will soon come to understand why, or may be will be able to make a reason out of it. This is because there are plenty of hawker’s styles food around, and most of them are selling cheap and sometimes they do served fresh food.

Lucky enough, in Malaysia we can get hold to this hawker’s style food easily, but on the other side come to think about it, there is not much choice of food to eat. On perception, it does seems that there are varieties of Malaysian cuisine. Yes indeed, I agree there are plenty of Malaysian cuisine, but then when you start eating out, you will soon understand what I mean here. The selections are limited to the Malaysian favorite food style, or perhaps, what people think is Malaysian favorite food, such as Nasi lemak, Nasi Ayam, selections of Nasi Goreng, Chicken curry, Mee Goreng, Roti Canai, Nasi Kandar, Rendang, and so on is j

Ephemeral Memorabilis
Ephemeral Memorabilis by Nurul Rahman 2013 – Submission for Korean Design Trend Exhibition

“All men are designers. All that we do,
almost all the time,
is design, for design is basic to all human activity.

Any attempt to separate design, to make it a thing-by-itself, works counter to the fact that design is the primary underlying matrix of life. Design is composing an epic poem, executing a mural, painting a masterpiece, writing a concerto.

But design is also cleaning and reorganizing a desk drawer, pulling an impacted tooth, baking an apple pie, choosing sides for a backlot baseball game, and educating a child.” Victor Papanek – Design for the real world.

Design thinking are we?

This semester I started teaching and supervising final year student and postgraduate students. All of the sudden I have limited time for research and even time to spend writing and posting in this blog. Times just fly and now I am at my third weeks of my teaching. And currently I am supervising eight final year students, two Masters and one PhD. My post today will be more on discussion about my final year graphic design students. As I go through with them in groups once a week and individually once every two weeks, I realised that the level of design thinking is very low. Yes the students are very talented, as they should be because that is how they get to be excepted in the School of the Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, but in terms of their knowledge in constructing ideas, they seems lost. I think the biggest challenge in teaching design in Malaysia is the about the design thinking. To empower the creativity and use it in various ways. To also understand that design is not only about creating layout for print or for online, the space, the color, the principles but also the purpose, the rational and most importantly how the whole design process and outcome can contribute to the society. I think designer need to rethink about the designer’s tagline, “design is about problem solving”. I think design is not about solving the problem but to facilitate the situation by proposing several ways to manage it. Nothing can be solved, what designer was doing before was just trying to solve problem. Most of the time by doing so, another problem arise. In creating the awareness of design thinking to the students I think it will be a long new journey by reshuffling the course syllabus, the way of thinking and the way of doing. Designer need to be able to questions and critics not only about design but also about what’s happening around them. Remember design is not just for fun or for the glam, but it is about people, and what it can do to the people, individual, society and the county.