Sunday, November 25, 2007

Design Malaysia vs. Australia

Back to our discussion on graphic design, in Australia, there are lots of design movement and some are well known not only to graphic designers but also to others from different discipline backgrounds. I would say that designers can be considered to have 'a strong and loud voice' here. Although we designers in Melbourne are fighting to establish our roles in the society, especially in communication/graphic design areas but I would say it's moving... slowly. We try to collaborate with others in different background (e.g. industrial, product, interior, interaction, branding, culture studies, education etc.). We hope by doing this we could define our roles in the communities.

I think would be good to start communication design/graphic design association in Malaysia and try to do some project that involved communities. What I can see here in Melbourne, most graphic designers are playing their roles to collaborate projects with others and get involved with society. Not all but some are active. Get involved! After all who are we designing for? Ourself or society? Are we designer 'syok sendiri'? We sometimes think that our design is great that we tend to ignore others opinion and what our contribution to others.

I guess old time school in graphic design college or intuition would educate the designers to think about the client, mainly corporates or company. Like 'client always right' term always been applied. But now days, we designers have to be strong in opinion, not just a plain opinion but we need to educate ourselves about other things around us. Research and update ourselves with what's happening in the world, etc. Then we can be confident and strong when we consult our client and also start to think about our roles and what can WE, graphic designers offer to the society. - - Nurul Rahman

Readers, care to comment? - - K


izani said...

hi,great to know ya

Anonymous said...

so much different and so much exposure here! and it is better over here where design can breath freely. unlimited talented designers and one thing that makes it great is Australia designs get full support from locals. we look and help each other. for malaysia, sadly to say...we still have to 'plead' in every single involvement :(

Anonymous said...

I think there are far too many stereotypes in your article.

There are designers currently in Malaysia who are already designing for community arts project such as AYA (Asian Youth Artsmall), Aids Council, Freedom Film Festival and as well as alot of other community based projects. The only difference is these designers do not need or choose to be prominent in the limelight.

And regarding design education in design schools, they are teaching us about sustainable design as well as the social responsibility that goes behind a designer.

I think its difficult to make statements when one is studying abroad and has no clear evidence that in Malaysia things are happening.

- N

Suffian said...

Dude, we do have a web design movement here and it's called Web Standards Malaysia. You can check us out at We are web designers, developers, programmers, writers and thinkers who are into creating websites with best practices. We're not a typical 'design' group but we champion the cause of web design that is simple, affordable and accessible to all.

kakireka admin said...

The situation here is that design-related news are not given much publicity in the local media.

There may be exciting initiatives in design education, community service, etc. that's design related but if it's not well publicised and discussed, we can't blame a casual observer to surmise that there's not much going on.

Being in the limelight and publicity can be a blessing for designers locally to 'up the game'. Or is the fear of being criticised publicly so ingrained in our local designers psyche that we prefer to shun the limelight?

Perhaps designers here need to learn to play together more, share more and look beyond our obvious differences, who knows what we can learn from each other.

And view other designers not as competition but potential collaborators in new exciting design avenues.