Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tell the world: Why do you value design?

wREGA will be celebrating World Graphics Day 2010 with KBU International College for the 2nd year

World Graphics Day has been celebrated annually on 27 April since 1995 as an occasion for designers to reflect and hope that Icograda's global network can contribute to greater understanding between people and help build bridges where divides and inequities exist. This is an opportunity to recognise communication design and its role in the world, besides celebrating Icograda's birthday.

This year, tell the world: Why do you value design?

Based on this working theme, once again, wREGA will be working together with the School of Design at KBU International College, in commemorating this auspicious day. There will be a forum and a student project being planned out, where professional designers, design educators and design students will have an exchange on design's value. All these will take place from 19 April leading to 27 April, 2010. More details available soon.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Notice of wREGA Twelfth Annual General Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the Twelfth Annual General Meeting of Pertubuhan Wakaf Reka Grafik Malaysia (Graphic Design Association of Malaysia) will be held on Saturday, 24 April 2010 at 9.00am till 1.00pm at KBU International College, 1 Persiaran Bukit Utama, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan for the following purpose:

  1. To receive and adopt the Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2009
  2. To receive and, if approved, adopt the Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2009
  3. To elect officers for the year 2010 - 2011
  4. To re-appoint two internal auditors for the year 2010 - 2011
  5. To consider any other business for which due notice has been given in writing to the Honorary Secretary

By order of the Executive Committee

Koh Lee Meng

For enquiry, kindly contact us or visit wrega.org/2010election

Thursday, December 31, 2009

RM200 Million Creative Industry Fund Takes Off

A RM200 million fund to help stimulate the creative industry took off the ground on Thursday.
- 31Dec2009 - BERNAMA -

Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the credit facility of between RM50,000 and RM5 million, which was meant for commercial creative activities, offered competitive interests and flexible conditions.

"As the credit facility is meant for commercialisation, it has to be governed by conditions imposed by the authorities and this is contrary to assumptions that the fund is free.

"There is no such thing as a free fund for business. But with interest rates of between two and four per cent, the rate is not only very low and flexible but also fair," he told reporters after launching the Creative Industry Fund here on Thursday.

The fund, which will is meant for filmmaking, musical production, animation, and related activities, was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in the 2010 Budget in October.

Rais said the credit facility, which would be disbursed through Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), would also be extended for asset purchases to facilitate commercial activities.

"Only sole owners, joint partners and private limited companies, and business entities with 51 per cent Malaysian ownership are eligible for the loan.

"Those, who are getting grants from the government agencies for projects or products are not entitled to the loan," he added.

He said 22 creative activities in four sectors, namely audio visual and new media (animation, interactive, film and television production), design (fashion, accessories), arts and craft (arts performances, handicraft, galleries), and print media (publishing, writing) can apply for the fund.

On the interest rates, he said it would be two per cent a year, calculated on a monthly basis for short-term projects and four per cent per year for projects lasting five years.

He said applicants could seek financing up to 90 per cent of their cost from a special committee set up by the ministry.

"The contract documents can be pledged as collaterals, which could be handed to the banks subject to conditions imposed, by producing eligible guarantors or by determining the adequacy of company assets," he added.

On the repayment, he said BSN would fix the instalments throughout project period, loan period or fast track repayment for those posting "blockbuster" revenue.

Rais said the credit facility coul
d be taken in stages or one lump sum based on the conditions set by the bank.

other related news:

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MyIPO-WIPO Survey Reveal Creative Industries Are A Major Driver Of Economic Growth In Malaysia
- 31Dec2009 - BERNAMA -

- excerpts -
...To raise awareness on the important role played by the creative industries, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), in 2003, conducted a series of surveys focused on defining and mapping out the creative industries, and their economic contribution in over 30 countries worldwide.

"The idea was to gain a more accurate picture of the creative industry's contribution to the economy, promote creativity and Intellectual Property (IP) rights, and raise awareness and understanding of the importance of copyright as a contributor to the economy," WIPO's Acting Director for Creative Industries Division, Dr Dimiter Gantchev told Bernama.

Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind like inventions, literary and artistic works; and symbols, names, images and designs used in commerce.

It is the bedrock of the creative industries, yet many companies fail to appreciate its value, and so underestimate the need to protect their IP rights.

The surveys' results provided indisputable evidence that the creative industries are indeed economically significant and are comparable to other high profile sectors in terms of their contribution to income, employment and trade...

...These statistics are the 'smoking gun' that conclusively proved creative industries are a major driver of economic growth in Malaysia.

"The figures demonstrate that creative industries are the drivers of the economy, are more dynamic than many of the other sectors in Malaysia, and have managed to cushion the effect of the 2005 global recession," said Dr Vijatakumari Kanapathy, the independent consultant who carried out the survey...
> read more

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The Malaysian Film Industry
- 31Dec2009 - BERNAMA -

- excerpts -
...Nevertheless, Manjafilm's Managing Director, Anwardi Jamil noted that while the European and American viewers can easily differentiate films from other Asian countries that are screened at these festivals, our films are not easily identifiable as a Malaysian production because they lack that 'Malaysian' ambience.

"Look inwards for your source and inspiration, do not just borrow and adapt ideas from foreign productions," Anwardi urged.

However, the parameters of what constitutes a Malaysian film are not clearly defined.

"As long the producer is a Malaysian citizen, it is considered a Malaysian film," FINAS Director of Planning and Research, Balaraman Narayanasamy told this writer.

On the other hand, Film Directors' Association of Malaysia (FDAM) President, Ahmad Ibrahim stressed that in line with the 'Filem Kita, Wajah Kita' (Our Film, Our Image) mantra, a Malaysian film should be in the Malay language, with a Malay-majority cast.

While cultural diversity and ethnic plurality is aggressively being promoted in tourism billboards and brochures, why is there this assumption among some groups, that 'Our Image' is cohesive and homogenous?

When posed with this question, film producer Abdul Rahman Sallehudin concurred that there must be multi-ethnic characters in contemporary Malaysian cinema.

"It should reflect our culture and tradition, but only within the context of a multi-racial setting, and should not be dominated by any particular race," he added...
> read more

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thinklab Design Conference

This event is endorsed by wREGA

The theme ‘THE LOCAL DESIGN CULTURE’ is targeted towards future young creative individuals, acting as agents of change and also working professionals that are open to new ideas and insights to respective design industries. This title set the context as a beginning for a new local thinking design culture that is currently making a huge impact across the globe.

With 6 of brilliant design industry talents, such as William Harald-Wong of WHW & Associates and Suzy Sulaiman of Re-cap, this title will open the local design context to international design scene.

Details of the events are as below:

Date: Saturday, 12th of Dec 2009
Time: 9.00 am to 1.00 pm
Venue: Conference Room, National Art Gallery
Fee: RM30 for students; RM250 for professionals

Thinklab is offering our professional & associate members RM150 for group discount rate.
Please register and make your payment through Pooi at secretariat@wrega.org.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yellow Pencils!

The awards is here once more.

The D&AD Awards 2010 are open for entry. To be in with a chance to see your best work in the Annual next year, enter now.

Save 10%, enter by

Wednesday 18 November 2009

An exerpt from the website:
"Yellow Pencils are recognised the world over as a symbol of true creative achievement.

D&AD has celebrated and nurtured outstanding work in design and advertising since 1962. Year on year the D&AD Annual showcases the very best work and continues to provide an unrivalled source of creative inspiration.

D&AD is about brilliant commercial creativity, wherever and however it's produced. Whether you work in Design, Advertising or Digital there is an awards category for your entry."

Visit the website.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

KUASA Conference 2009

What a great year for design events in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. Seeds of a creative economy?

So soon after the landmark event - KL DesignWeek 2009, now here's the next design conference rolling into town on 08-09 Aug 2009, brought to you by wREGA (THE graphic design association of Malaysia).

Event: Design Conference
KUASA -- Design Power Asia

Date: 08-09 AUG 2009 (SAT - SUN)
Venue: University Malaya city campus, Jalan Tun Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.
Costs: RM280 (professionals), RM230 (wREGA professional member), RM200 (students), RM180 (wREGA student member). USD100 (Foreign delegates). Workshops (minimal admin fee). Design Showcase/Party (FREE).

Top design minds from Asian region will present their topics for the conference on SATURDAY while SUNDAY is for post-conference student workshops... or any designer who's into "life-long-learning" (who isn't?). Some notable names: Ahn Sang-soo, Freeman Lau, Sudhir Sharma (of Elephant Design fame?), Hermawan Tanzil, Little Ong, Tarek Atrissi (he's Asian??). Details on speakers here.

Heard that the workshops have very limited seats (becos of venue limitations & the fact that all the workshops run concurrently - so you must choose one)... hope there isn't a mad rush for those... no news yet on who the speakers/facilitators/topic for the workshops yet. (heard some good stuff TBC - watch this space).

Also heard that the organisers wREGA pulled all stops in favors big & small from all their associates & suppliers to make the conference very affordable and great value for money. Since wREGA is a "not-for-profit" organisation, rest assured that every ringgit will be plowed back into organising bigger and better design activities/events for the benefit of the local design industry.

Heard some grumblings about the lack of local representation at a few previous local design conferences and this conference is no different as there's no Malaysian speaker on the speakers list. Sigh... maybe the Malaysian designers (there are really quite a few) are still shy to tap into the conference circuit celebrity thing.

But at least there will be a hands-on
design workshop conducted by local designers (rumored to be about comics graphic novel production) and also a local Designers Showcase/Art Installation + Party on SUNDAY which will be curated by JayLim & Vivian of Moooving Art / Tsubaki Studios / Miss Hua fame. More on the showcase /party later.

All in all, sounds like a-lot of fun while learning & exploring design matters.
See you all there!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Everyone is a designer. Yes?

by: Thierry van Kerm

Besides the common question about what is design, another is what is a designer or rather, who is a designer? If we are convinced that design is all around us, and that we live in a designed world, then is everyone a designer? And, in that sense, how can a designer make a living or make a difference?

When lecturing I am often asked by designers or companies, who is a designer and who is not. I simply ask the audience, who has a camera? Usually all hands go up because everyone has a camera. Then I ask, who takes pictures? All hands go up again. Why would you have a camera if not to take pictures? Then I ask, who has had images published? A few hands down but most people keep pointing their fingers to the ceiling. We all have published an image in a book, in a newsletter or on a blog, haven’t we? Then I ask, who is a photographer? Only a couple of hands are still up. So, most of us are taking pictures and most of us are publishing pictures. In this situation, how is the professional photographer supposed to earn a living? What does a professional photographer have to do to convince you to pay for his or her services?

Designers face exactly the same problem, how to convince clients who have managed for years without a designer to pay for their services? The answer is very simple. By demonstrating sound strong expertise, skills, knowledge and competences on the one hand and on the other demonstrating that paying for the services of a designer will in the end be a benefit to the client not a cost. Working with a professional designer has to make the difference in terms of return on the client’s investment. It’s not a question of being money-driven or not, its just a question of understanding the client’s concerns.

It sounds easy but it doesn’t always work out that way would be the usual answer from designers. It is not easy not because what I said was wrong but because they may have not been taught in terms of expertise, skills, competence and knowledge. Designers may have gained some of these capabilities through their education or careers but it may never been given its due priority. Therefore, they may not be able to demonstrate to clients or potential employers a designer’s added value.

As we see, the key is education, whether in school, college, university or lifelong learning. Educators have a major role to play helping designers acquire appropriate skills, competences and knowledge. They can make a difference by proposing projects in terms of conscious skills, competence and knowledge development, by assessing skills, competences and knowledge development as well the aesthetics of the projects. And, they can help students evaluate their projects against a clear predefined brief and test the outcomes against real world values.

Of course, the next question is, what are the relevant skills, competences and knowledge that are required, and how can students and graduates gain these capabilities? Good questions for a future debate.

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article source: EDTI (European Design Training Incubator)

illustration by Jonathan Puckey, a graphic designer based in amsterdam who creates work that borders on art and employs technology in new ways.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Panel Discussion: Examining the Aesthetic Choices of our Urban Environment

Galeri Petronas,
Suria KLCC.

09 May 2009 - SAT,

Bringing a range of perspectives from architecture to design, the session will explore a range of issues concerning the development of our urban environment, from the selection of public sculptures to urban planning and architecture as well as the relationship between urban communities and the space that they inhabit.

Panelists: William Harald-Wong, Kevin Mark Low and Azhar Ahmad
Sharaad Kuttan

FREE. Open to all. Find out more here.
Interests: architecture, art/sculpture, design, local/urban culture

This forum is held in-conjunction with the art exhibition "Cadangan-cadangan untuk Negara Ku" (Suggestions for my Nation) by Liew Kung Yu.
Inspired by the monuments and public sculptures found in Malaysia, artist Liew Kung Yu has created eight new works that offers the viewers of what Malaysia could look like in the future. The sculptural works comprise a Photoshop montage of various public sculptures found in the country such as the giant Pitcher Plant at Dataran Merdeka and the concrete tigers at Zoo Negara. Kung Yu's works are playful, theatrical, extremely kitsch and strangely beautiful.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Living abroad? Study shows you’re likely to be creative

SINGAPORE, April 24 — Living abroad helps people expand their experiences and also their minds, according to an international study into the link between moving to another country and creativity.

The research, published by the American Psychological Association, consisted of five studies involving students at Paris’ Sorbonne University, at INSEAD, a business school with campuses in France and Singapore and at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in the United States.

Researchers said that although the studies show a strong relationship between living abroad and creativity, they do not prove that living abroad and adapting to a new culture actually cause people to be more creative. “This research may have something to say about the increasing impact of globalisation on the world, a fact that has been hammered home by the recent financial crisis,” said the study’s lead author, William Maddux, assistant professor of organisational behaviour at INSEAD.

“Knowing that experiences abroad are critical for creative output makes study abroad programmes and job assignments in other countries that much more important, especially for people and companies that put a premium on creativity and innovation.”

In one study, MBA students at the Kellogg School were asked to solve the Duncker candle problem, a classic test of creative insight in which individuals are presented with three objects on a table placed next to a cardboard wall: a candle, a pack of matches and a box of tacks. The task is to attach the candle to the wall so that the candle burns properly and does not drip wax on the table or the floor and the correct solution involves using the empty box of tacks as a candleholder, and then tack it to the wall.

The solution is considered a measure of creative insight because it involves the ability to see objects as performing different functions from what is typical and the results showed that the longer students had spent living abroad, the more likely they were to come up with the solution.

The findings appear in the May issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association.

— Reuters

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Defining the design arena: Join the ‘design umbrella’

article source: EDTI (European Design Training Incubator)
Recently, at design innovation, we were looking for new trainers to talk about the different design domains. My first question to the candidates was, who is a designer? Only half raised their hands. To my surprise, apart from artists or art historians, the others who kept their hands down were graphic designers, fashion designers or interior architects, people we assume to be designers.

It means that designers themselves do not know they are part of the design business. I’ve heard many times designers complaining about clients who don’t know what design is. How do we expect a client to know what design is if designers themselves don’t know? How therefore can we expect someone to buy design services or expertise? This confused situation has direct economic impacts in terms of clients not using designers.

Defining design domains does not mean restricting creativity. It just helps outsiders to apprehend what design is, who to call and for what services. It helps design businesses and client satisfaction. Health-care (designers love comparing themselves to doctors) is a huge area of expertise: doctors, surgeons, paediatricians, dentists, anaesthetists, general practitioners, orthodontists and many others. We, as clients, know which door to knock at if we have a cold or a broken leg. We are aware there are different doors but we know they are all doctors. Why can it not be the same with design? All designers should know they are ‘designers’, and they should know how to position themselves on the design map. This should be communicated to clients to understand the scope of design.

While developing the EDTI surveys, we faced the question of listing design domains. It sounded easy and obvious but it ended up in lengthy debates. The question was not that easy. Nevertheless, we finally came up with a list of 7 main design domains, some 40 sub-domains and close to 200 sub-sub-domains. Is this the final list of design domains? Most likely not but it might become a standard or a foundation for a future standard. Comments on the list are invited.

All designers, design schools, design associations and design organisations could gather under a common ‘design’ umbrella and use a common language and organisational structure for design disciplines, design domains or design categories. This would be a huge step towards the development of the design and creative industries. At an individual level, it would be a huge step forward in each designer’s career development.

Thierry Van Kerm
EDTI co-ordinator

+ + + + + + + + +
Be proactive -- join wREGA (wakaf Reka Grafik) Malaysia, speak up and make a difference on things that matter to you as a designer.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wonderful Market + 1st Pipiteer Gathering

1st Designer Hand-made Creative Market

03 May 2009 - SUN

11am - 8pm

Level 7, Berjaya Times Square, KL (near Theme Park entrance)

click here to see some of the latest cool artsy designer products that will be available at the market.

Enquiries: Mike (Pipit)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Scandinavian DesignLab talk

29 April 2009 -- WED
10:00am – 12:00pm

Jesper von Wieding, strategic Creative Director and Founding partner of Scandinavian DesignLab from Denmark will be giving a lecture at Dasein Academy of Art.

FREE - all welcome.

Dasein Academy Of Art
3A-12-G, Jln Wangsa Delima 10, Desa Wangsa, Setapak, KL
For more information: email Shanli or call Mdm. Lim +603-4142 2990