Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is Malaysia ready to become a Creative Economy?

Creative Economy

Report 2008
The Challenge of Assessing the Creative Economy: towards informed Policy-making

This report makes good reading for policymakers and anyone interested to be in the creative business. Also comes with a forest of facts & figures to be plucked & used in your own biz presentations.

"The creative economy has the potential to generate income and jobs while promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development."

"This Report provides empirical evidence that the creative industries are among the most dynamic emerging sectors in world trade."

"The large majority of developing countries are not yet able to harness their creative capacities for development."

"The policy-oriented analysis presented in this Report represents an initial contribution to developing a better understanding of the key issues underlying the creative economy and its development dimension."

A more thorough overview of the report can be found here.

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> Download report (pdf 2.5Mb).

This Report is the fruit of a collaborative effort that was led by UNCTAD and the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation and that included a team of experts from the collaborating UN agencies – UNCTAD, UNDP, UNESCO, WIPO and ITC – as well as international consultants.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Design & Crisis

kakireka smalltalk 11.0 -- Design & Crisis
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Implications of current financial crisis on Brands
by: Liza Low, Identity Matters

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Bukit Antarabangsa landslide aftermath from a designer/victim's point of view
by: Asri Ahmad, wREGA member

19 Dec 2008 - FRIDAY
7:00 - 9:00pm
Ole Cafe (upstairs), Changkat Bukit Bintang, K.L.

FREE & open to public. Light refreshments served. come early to mingle & chat.
limited seats.

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2009 schedule for
kakireka smalltalks

JAN - Design & Cultural Heritage
"Malaysian Design - a vernacular or copycat?"
FEB - Design & the Built Environment
MAR - Design & Photography
APR - Design & Event Management
MAY - Design & Character Animation
JUN - Design & Print Publishing

Details will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.
If you would like to attend or be a speaker at any of these smalltalk events, drop us a line for an invite. Venue will be at Ole Cafe unless specified otherwise. All are welcome.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pipit 2nd. Anniversary at Zouk

Pipit celebrates their 2nd. Anniversary in true artsy designer style! With short film screenings, installations, design product booths, LIVE digital art demo, DJ performance. Go for the ideation, demonstration and collaboration.
> details here.

Pipit is a project that actively support worldwide independent artist and designer, promote art design related project, exhibition and other creative activities, keen to provide source , information.

Pipit is also an online community , publisher , agency that produce independent creative issue, organize event and crossover project.

- congrats, Mike! & all the best from kakireka.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MDeC Targets 6 Partnerships In Creative Content Industry

Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) is targeting at least six co-production partnerships between Malaysian companies and regional counterparts for animation, television, games and virtual reality projects.

Its vice president of creative multimedia department, Kamil Othman, said four companies in Malaysia were currently involved in co-production with Korean parties in creative content covering animation, television, games and virtual reality. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Second MSC Malaysia Creative Industry Dialogue Session today, Kamil said MDeC was eyeing more successful partnerships between Malaysian companies and those from Thailand, Australia and South Africa next year.

He said the formalization of cooperation treaties between the National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) and its counterparts in Canada, Australia and Singapore scheduled next year will also boost the local creative content industry.

Kamil said to take the local creative content industry to greater heights, Malaysia will need to adopt a different approach. Previously, local content players have been focusing on production. We need to put more emphasis on pre-production in churning ideas and designs as well as scripting," he said.

According to Kamil, MDeC is passionate about its vision to help local content players be more successful globally. "When we go overseas for our trade missions, we bring these companies along so that they can find their potential partners and see how other players in the world are doing," he said.

Kamil said another area that MDeC wanted to do more was to help local content players in intellectual property. We will assist them by creating more awareness in intellectual property through cyberlaw conferences so that they will not be exploited," he said.

In addition, MDeC was also providing assistance in the form of grants to help local content players, Kamil said. He also said that the biggest opportunity for the content industry was the government's plan to have high speed broadband for the nation.

Source: Bernama 14Nov2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kyoorius Design Yatra Powerup

Being a "jaga pintu", it is inevitable to bump into so many familiar faces from my past during the Kyoorius DesignYatra conference event held last week 14Nov2008. And also nice to have made quite a few new friends too.

These design conference-type events are so important to designers to get a boost of insight, inspiration and brief respite from our hectic agency life of never-ending deadlines. The event topics covered was not only inspirational, but also aspirational with bits of the cynical and critical all rojak mix-up "ABC campur-campur" like what Kath Tudball would say. Maybe will post a detailed review later.

Meanwhile, here's to hoping there will be many more conferences to come in negaraku.

Watch this space for lots of interesting kakireka monthly smalltalk events from the contacts I've made at this Kyoorius design event.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

May Those Who Help The Most Win

Are you a do-gooder? Do you like helping others? Occasionally dreams of being a hero? Imagine yourself saving the world by saving the cheerleader? But you don't have a superpower to speak of.
And yet, you have big ideas on how to make the world a better place but lack the resources to carry them out. Well, now here's your chance.

Google has just announced
Project 10100 (pronounced "Project 10 to the 100th"), a worldwide call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible. This is in conjunction with their 10th birthday.

Why is Google doing this?
The short answer is that Google thinks helping people is a good thing, and empowering people to help others is an even better thing. Here's the long answer.

How it works:

1. Send Google your idea by October 20th. Describe the gist of your idea by filling out the official entry form. You can supplement your proposal with a 30-second video.
2. Voting on ideas begins on January 27th on the Best 100 ideas and the public to vote the Top 20 semi-finalists. Then an advisory board will select up to 5 final ideas.
3. Google will help bring these ideas to life by committing $10 million to implement these projects, and the goal is to help as many people as possible.

Idea Categories:
// Community: How can we help connect people, build communities and protect unique cultures? // Opportunity: How can we help people better provide for themselves and their families? // Energy: How can we help move the world toward safe, clean, inexpensive energy? // Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem? // Health: How can we help individuals lead longer, healthier lives? // Education: How can we help more people get more access to better education? // Shelter: How can we help ensure that everyone has a safe place to live? // Everything else: Sometimes the best ideas don't fit into any category at all.

- Reach: How many people would this idea affect?
- Depth: How deeply are people impacted? How urgent is the need?
- Attainability: Can this idea be implemented within a year or two?
- Efficiency: How simple and cost-effective is your idea?
- Longevity: How long will the idea's impact last?

This is a great example of branding at its best. The whole concept & idea is so ideal v& unique to the Google brand. From the project name "
Project 10100" which is basically a googol, to the scale, scope & overall goal of helping to make the world a better place. Go Google Go!

note: the reward is simply making the world a better place. If you read the FAQ, you'll discover there's no $ in it for you even if you win. But if you're a true superhero, you wouldn't care about that, would you?

Monday, September 22, 2008

wREGA Members Night

wREGA or the Graphic Designers Association of Malaysia will be having a Members Night this coming Wednesday in KL.

An informal get-together over drinks and snacks and for members to find out more about wREGA's activities & exciting plans for 2008 & 2009. All existing members will receive their official 2008-09 members pack from the current wREGA President, Koh Lee Meng.

Date: 24 SEPT 2008 (WED)
Time: 7:00pm* - 10:00pm *updated

Non-members & guests are also most welcome - if you wish to join the official registered design association in Malaysia, wREGA, attend this event to find out more & introduce yourself to other designers/members.

note: wREGA = wakaf REka GrAfik

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

FREE Seminar
Independent Filmmaking: Creative Strategies and Multi-Market Thinking for Film

by: Michael Wiese,
(International Producer & Publisher)

25 Sept 2008 - THUR 10am - 5pm
26 Sept 2008 - FRI 10am - 1pm
Venue : Theater P.Ramlee, FINAS

A lively and informal seminar of 'must-know' information for professional filmmakers, writers, producers and covers the creative business and programming strategies necessary for creating success with your project and getting noticed in the overcrowded world arena.

Michael Wiese will share tips for raising financing, finding distributors and avoiding the traps found in standard distribution contracts. His specially designed PITCH SESSION, Wiese will help you find your unique voice and skills and turn your special gifts into a vocation. Participants at Michael's previous seminars have rated Michael's seminar 93% to 96% "at meeting or exceeding expectations". An engaging and challenging event is anticipated for the Kuala Lumpur creative and business community.

The seminar, will be tailored to attendees needs and may cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Case Study of "Bali Brothers"
  • Develop a Successful script
  • Give Investors What They Want
  • Get Financing from Investors, Distributors and others
  • Add Promotable Elements to Your Package
  • Prepare a Business Plan
  • Prepare Income Projections
  • Spin Plates Among Stars, Investors, Distributors and Sponsors
  • Assemble a Winning Team
  • Obtain Marketing which is More Important than Dollars
  • Cover Yourself Legally
  • Put Together Financial Projections
  • Identify Hidden Sources of Money In Your Project
  • Find Producing Partners
  • Target Distributors
  • Develop Your Own Pitch that Sells
  • Identify Your Own Unique Skills
  • Choose The Right Digital Tools
  • Get Into Production
Michael Wiese is an America filmmaker, author, seminar leader, and publisher who lives in England. He was formerly Vice President at Vestron, at one time America's largest independent studio, where he oversaw the production and distribution of over 200 videos in all genres grossing over $100 million. He was also responsible for launching video lines for National Geographic, Smithsonian, NOVA and PBS. Currently he oversees Michael Wiese Productions which publishes over 100 professional film and video books that are used in the major motion picture studios and in 600+ film schools throughout the world. He had presented filmmaking seminars for Kodak (Cannes Film Festival), The Independent Feature Project, The American Film Institute (15 yrs) and Rockport's International Film and Television Workshops. He is currently is preparing to direct a feature film based on his 1995 novel in Bali. interview1, interview2.

REGISTER here to get your free DVD, CDROM and course material.

Monday, September 8, 2008

JayLim's Ms.Hua Dances with Flowers to Nanyang via Penang

What's up in Penang's design scene?
An upcoming exhibition
by JayLim who will reveal his first signature style & character design, "Miss Hua" – the fictional character of a young woman based on the Shanghai 50’s era.

is part of a cross-cultural project with a group of talented artist/designers from Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan, namely Nakanari, Josef Lee, Muid Latif, Urban-Cr3atures and Fusionwave.

“There is a huge following in western culture and modern living, and this situation will have an effect on the identity of a country, or a person. Even the cultural heritage that we see still standing along Petaling Street and Jalan Mesui, for example, is an integral link between the past and the future that continuously shape our perspective and understanding of the present world". - JL.

The exhibition will have designers sharing stories and their experiences in the ever-demanding creative industry through keynote speakers Lim Chun-Woei (Han Chiang College), Muid Latif (CD/founder of DMP), Luk Chee Chew (Fusionwave) & JayLim. The exhibition will feature a variety of styles and perspectives through poster designs.

Exhibition & Talks
"A Journey to Nanyang – Dance with the Flowers"
19 & 20 Sept 2008 11am – 5pm
Han Chiang College, Lim Lean Teng Road, Georgetown, Penang.

note: the above article content is adapted from JayLim's event blog.

Friday, June 27, 2008

smalltalk // 28 June 2008

kakireka will be having a special smalltalk event in conjunction with wREGA's Annual General Meeting & Elections 2008 to be held at the same venue (Ole Cafe) earlier from 2pm onwards. If you're interested to hear what's the Malaysian Graphic Designers Association about, come earlier, details in the blog post before this one.
100 Characters inside my Bag
A talk on designing unique characters
Tintoy Chuo, character designer

ActionTintoy Studio

28 June 2008 (SAT)
Ole Cafe, Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL.
Entrance is FREE but limited seats: to book a seat, click here.

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Studio profile:
ActionTintoy Studio is a character design & illustration studio located in Kuala Lumpur, founded by Tintoy Chuo, a multimedia designer who's passionate about cartoon & character creation. Besides being conventional artists, ActionTintoy Studio is also involved in new media design such as animation & game development. His creative expertise has reached across the globe and back: Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong, Sweden, Canada and USA.

ActionTintoy Studio's works were also featured in many design magazines, as well as design web-portals. Tintoy Chuo is constantly involved in international design collaboration campaigns to promote & increase the awareness of Malaysian design and character design.

Monday, June 23, 2008

wREGA - Malaysian Graphic Designers Association Annual General Meeting & Elections 2008

Calling all graphic designers! If you like kakireka's activities but would like to join an actual professional body for designers in Malaysia, look no further than... wREGA or Wakaf Reka Grafik Malaysia (the one and only association for graphic designers in Malaysia that is recognised by ICOGRADA). Anyway, we share similar goals but wREGA is a registered organisation while kakireka only exist online... for now.

wREGA's been around for 9 years now and will be having their 10th Annual General Meeting this Saturday, 28 June 2008. Incidentally, the meeting will be held at the same venue as kakireka's smalltalk, good old "Ole Cafe" at 48, Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL.

Drop by and find out what lies in the future of design in Malaysia and maybe how you can benefit or contribute as a designer. Membership is open to all design professionals, design students and even associate members (ppl in biz related to design) are welcome to join.

Malaysia is changing rapidly in the aftermath of the 2008 general elections. There is a social awakening among Malaysians about the power the rakyat has and even designers should step up and be counted. Now's the time to get involved and let your voice be heard if you have something to say about the design profession on a national level. Can design be used to provide creative solutions to what ails this beloved country of ours? Racism? Culture drift? Transportation woes? The environment? Effective town-planning?

Instead of just bitching about agency politics or racist politicians or what coulda woulda shoulda, join wREGA now, get into the organising committee and make some serious changes for the betterment of us all. And make design be sexy, be better valued, be useful... before we all drown in the rising prices of everything due to wasted resources and not being able to work together becos we are different.

wREGA 10th AGM -- 28 June 2008 (SAT)

2pm - 6pm
Ole Cafe, Changkat Bukit Bintang, K. L.

Interested, email wREGA today to book your place. Do indicate if you're interested to serve in the organising committee.

Friday, May 30, 2008

smalltalk // 07 June 2008

07 June (SATURDAY)
Ole Cafe, Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL.

speaker // topic:

"Learning Mathematics
Can Be Creative & Fun
by: Dr. Kien H. Lim, University of Texas at El Paso, USA

Is the math taught in schools killing the creativity in our children? What does the the field of mathematics education in the West (US & Europe) propose to resolve this issue? Are the strategies applicable here?

In the talk, Dr. Lim will share the challenges he is facing in helping his students (prospective teachers) in the US develop ways of thinking instead of memorizing facts, formulas, and algorithms.

He will discuss how math problems can be designed so that the math can be learned in a fun and meaningful way. You will experience it through an activity for yourself.

Who should attend:

Designers dealing with finance industry clients, e.g. you need to make sense of all the numbers in the corporate annual report. Anyone who's afraid to deal with numbers or just want to stop hating maths. Anyone who need to solve a math problem but have no idea what it all means. Parents with school-going children. & maths teachers?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why kakireka? Part I

(published with permission)
Dear Kenneth,
Hi. I was really glad that I stumbled upon kakireka.com on the internet. I am certainly quite impressed by the initiatives taken to form talks/forums such as 7:21. It was with pleasure that I realized you are the co-founder and that you previously worked at O&M as I did a short stint there as an intern during my undergraduate study in 2004. I am a Malaysian currently doing my MPhil/PhD in Graphic Design in UK. Unfortunately, I am not sure of how much I can do to help as I am not in Malaysia, would certainly be an active participant if I were in Malaysia! Also, I am hoping that we could have a discourse and probably an interview later on as I am interested in your direct experience in this field, as well as your perspective on the perception and practice of graphic design in Malaysia, as part of my research. Thanks so much, in advance, I am looking forward to contacting you for any insight and advice you would be willing to share. Meanwhile, I would constantly keep up with the site. Thank you for your consideration. Regards, Debbie

(kakireka reply)
Hi Debbie,
well met indeed. sorry i dun remember if we crossed paths in O&M but i left end of 2004. which dept were you in? kakireka needs more people like you to provide some food for thought and academic insights into why what we do matters to who how when. As design practitioners, we often get caught up in our own client's self-serving world of sell sell sell and neglect the social aspects of the creative power we truly possess. One of the objectives of kakireka is to buildup a repository of public discourse and research into local design history, methods, culture, best practices, etc. We welcome any researcher to publish their papers/ prelim. findings on our site. Heck, we might even help facilitate your research by giving you access to our readers/members if you want their opinion or other support (case-by-case basis) online or offline during one of our live events.
It's a crying shame that till today, 50yrs of merdeka, there can't be found any substantial (published) research on malaysian DESIGN history (compared to arts & craft), as Irina, our exco member cum Masters student researcher from UiTM can attest to. With no discernible history to relate to or learn from, it is no wonder young designers generally lack a sense of pride in their chosen profession. Survival in the industry becomes a personal battle against other competitors /designers. Dog eat dog world. price cutting counter-measures. Or who has the better skill, the latest software weapons, etc. We are like designer mercenaries. Next, we enter & win creative industry awards to show off we're the best... NOT to learn from each other. There are so many stories of fresh graduates who get disillusioned and quit the profession within the first year of graduating. To break this pattern, we have to build a sense of community where we must help each other if we are to grow professionally. And to be open to new ideas, new collaborations and experimentations of new techniques, new fundamental practices that may make us grow to be a better person as well. So, welcome again to kakireka. We're, in turn, also interested in your progress and future research contributions on "the perception and practice of graphic design in malaysia". Do share with us your insights. May I know what's your thesis/research about? cheers, Kenneth

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

smalltalk // 30 May 2008

30 May (FRIDAY)
Ole Cafe, Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL.

speaker // topic:
"Asia, Heart & Bowl"
A talk about Experience, Creativity and the Heart over Mind.
by: Melisa Wong, Octagon Creative

Who should attend:

Graphic Designers, Theatrical Set Designers, Video/Multimedia Artists.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Are you Malaysia's hottest young design entrepreneur?

Are you running your own design business with panache and flair?
Do you feel passionate about making a difference in design?
Fancy hanging out with the likes of Tom Dixon & Sir Terrence Conran?

If that's you, you're our Malaysian Young Design Entrepreneur to send to the UK!

As the Malaysian finalist, you will take part in a 12-day all expenses paid tour of the UK’s design sector, along with the finalists from 9 other countries. The tour will comprise visits, meetings, seminars, events and shows, including 100% Design and London Design Festival where you get to schmooze with the big players and your peers. Plus the shot at winning prize money of £7500 and being chosen the International Young Design Entrepreneur 2008.

3 Easy Steps to becoming Malaysia’s representative to IYDE 2008
Step 1: Get noticed - submit your application by 30 JUNE 2008
Step 2: SHOW not just tell us and you’re on the short list
Step 3: Speak up and be heard - IMPRESS the judges at the interviews

Visit www.britishcouncil.org.my now for the application form!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pecha Kucha Night Kuala Lumpur Vol.3

24 May 2008 (SAT)
The Annexe Gallery, Central Market Annexe
7.30pm – 10.00pm

What is Pecha Kucha you ask?

It’s a night of music (by Blastique), drinks and swift and slick presentations (20 slides, 20 secs/slide) by people of the creative persuasions.

And who’s on the line up?
Ridwan Kamil, architect and urban planner, Bandung Indonesia
Creative United Movement (C.U.M.). design collective and fun folks
Munkao, visual artist and bawdy humorist
Simon Keogh, architect and curator, transplanted from Ireland
PopMalaya, tee-shirt designers
Elaine Foster, poet and humble servant to the Freedom Film Festival
Zhin Teng, emerging architect

It’s going to be a night like none other so make sure you’re there!
Email British Council or call 03 2723 7931/7988 if you need to talk about Pecha Kucha. And check out Pecha Kucha Global – it’s happening almost everywhere!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Olympic Games Beijing 2008 Graphic Language

Click here for the 2nd of 3 parts of an interview with Min Wang, the Design Director for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Interesting read with cross cultural design strategies, forming a graphic language that speaks to the world and yet retains an unique chinese flavour.

Learn how the team fuses Eastern & Western ideas, values & aesthetics.

Examples include the unique inlaid circular ancient jade "bi" (transl. talisman tablet?) into the olympic games medal design.

And how the sports pictograms were inspired by oracle bone calligraphy and chinese seal characteristics.

Also check out the Beijing 2008 graphic elements and compare it with past years designs.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

smalltalk // 09 May 2008

09 May (FRIDAY)
Ole Cafe, Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL.

"Online Games Design showcase"
by: EasyOnly!Games

Award-winning game designer Hazmer will showcase his latest original online games from his EasyOnly!Games studio.

Their latest release, "The Last Canopy", a manic top-down shooter got rave reviews and won First Place at the recent JayisGames.com's Casual Gameplay Flash Game Design Competition #5.

Come & get some insights on how to design a great flash game & release it online.

Admission is FREE. Limited seats. Come early.

Monday, May 5, 2008

OGC unveils new logo to red faces

(left) The OGC logo, seen as it was intended.

It cost £14,000 to create, but clearly no-one at the smart London design outfit that came up with the new logo for HM Treasury thought to turn it on its side. The logo, for the Office of Government Commerce, was intended to signify a bold commitment to the body’s aim of “improving value for money by driving up standards and capability in procurement”.

Instead, it has generated howls of mirth and what is likely to be a barrage of teasing emails from mandarins in other departments.

According to insiders, the graphic was already proudly etched on mousemats and pens before it was unveiled for employees, who spotted the clanger within seconds.
> read original article here
Aislinn Simpson, Telegraph.co.uk

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Designers Graduation 2008 // The One Academy

The One Academy Designers Graduation Show (Batch 55).
Majors in: Advertising and Graphic Design, Multimedia Design, Interior Design, Digital Animation, Illustration.


05 - 15 May 2008
Exhibition at The One Gallery, 28 Jalan PJS 11/28A, Bandar Sunway, PJ.
Enquiries: Sam Goh m:012-220 0911 Dora Lau m:016-3778 390

+ + + + + +
Note: to all design students reading this, let kakireka help promote your own college graduation showcase when the time comes. Send us the necessary info in the format shown above with a key graphic/picture (150x150 pixels) and we will post a blog entry on your event. Free-of-charge service by kakireka as a show of support to all young designers.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Freak Factor - What's My Problem?

Designers, have you ever felt or made to feel like you're a freak, a nerd, or a geek just be'cos you don't want to conform to the masses? That you don't fit in? Your friends/peers/boss/parents tells you that you have this and that weakness in your character that needs to be fixed or else you won't be liked/accepted?

Well, don't despair and don't simply give in to peer pressure & this overwhelming desire to change yourself - just to conform. You might do more harm than good to yourself if you do so. To find out why, go download this PDF file, read on and be inspired...

The Freak Factor: Discovering Uniqueness by Flaunting Weakness

by: David Rendall

...short excerpt from the document...

2. What’s My Problem?
I have a lot of weaknesses. According to my parents, teachers, managers, friends and wife, I am:

  • hyperactive
  • impatient
  • impulsive
  • easily distracted
  • resistant to authority
  • need to be the center of attention
  • not open to the ideas of others
  • too focused on the big picture
  • unable to manage administrative details
  • a poor listener
  • a bad team player
  • disorganized
Even with these weaknesses, I’ve been able to achieve a moderate level of success. So, how did I do it? How did I overcome my problems? How did I finally conquer my weaknesses?

I didn’t.
I didn’t overcome my problems or conquer my weakness. I didn’t get better. Instead, I discovered that my apparent flaws were clues to my true strengths.
Because of this insight, I became a professor, speaker and consultant. Now, the hyperactive guy, who can’t sit down or stay quiet, gets paid to stand up and talk.

The guy who isn’t a team player works alone. The guy who doesn’t like authority runs his own business as a leadership and strategy consultant,
which means that the guy who isn’t good with the details helps people to see the big picture when they are too busy with daily operations.

All of my supposed flaws are still there, they just don’t matter that much. In fact, I’ve succeeded because of my weaknesses, not in spite of them.
These examples from my life illustrate the three primary lessons of this manifesto.

1. There is nothing wrong with you.
Weaknesses are important clues to your strengths.

2. You find success when you find the right fit.
You need to match your unique characteristics to situations that reward those qualities.

3. Your weaknesses make you different.
They make you a freak and it’s good to be a freak.

"My experience as an individual, consultant, parent and leader indicates that efforts to fix weaknesses are ineffective. Furthermore, I believe that the goal of being well-rounded is both undesirable and impossible to attain. The purpose of this manifesto is to explain why I believe this and to offer a better alternative."
David Rendall

... end excerpt...

Download full PDF file from the ChangeThis Manifesto website...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

smalltalk // 21 April 2008

+ + Announcement + +

With regret, our next smalltalk scheduled for 21 April is cancelled due to the unavailability of our main guest speakers who were invited to share their experience working behind-the-scenes on the Making of "Re-imagining the City" project in collaboration with onedotzero in KL earlier this month.

We hope we'll have them at a later date, esp. for those who missed the entire 5-6April multimedia performance workshop/event/forum exploring how Art & City Life can each affect and cause change in the other and the roles artists can play.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

So You Think You Can Act? Write? Direct a Film?

by: Kenneth Lam

They say every art director secretly aspires to be a film director and every writer harbour dreams to pen an award-winning screenplay one day. They also say life is short, so go explore these new dramatic horizons.

For aspiring film directors, actors and writers, FINAS (National Film Development Corporation Malaysia) offers many short courses on the craft of film-making. Courses are available on film production processes from screen-writing to short film to documentary workshops and technical workshops from camera techniques to set deco to makeup, sound design and film editing, etc. These intensive short courses mostly takes up 5-days (full-time) and reasonably costs RM600 each.

To find out what's hot in the local film industry, here's a decent web portal by FINAS called SinemaMalaysia launched sometime in 2007.

Check out the latest film industry news, discussion forums, search the comprehensive database of made-in-Malaysia films dating back to the 1930's!

There are also searchable directories of actors, new talents, film crews, producers, various creative companies providing professional services for the local film industry. Designers, get yourself listed-lah.

Interact 10-ways

by: Kenneth Lam

Walk into any design studio and you will see stacks of stock image sample books opened on tables, stacked on the floor, stuffed in shelves, all over the place. I love image catalogs.

Besides sourcing for that right picture from the imagebank to use in a campaign, I know many designers/art directors flip through these catalogs to get inspiration, sort of like brainstorming free-association style. They don't know what they are looking for ...but they will know it when they see it, ...you know.

I just wish there is a "less clutter" way of doing this as the collection of books pile up sky high. Like going online and searching through the various imagebanks or google images. But that only works when you know exactly what you're looking for and the experience of searching is often slow, clunky and clinical (like going to the dentist and getting your teeth drilled).

Recently, I came across this new site commissioned by GettyImages designed to inspire via imagery organised by 10 themes. Which is nothing new by itself compared with printed image catalogs but along with each theme comes 10 separate conceptual experience with an edgy interface that's simple and involving. Go interact, play, experience visual imagery and see where it can take you.

check it out >> interact10ways.com

Sunday, April 6, 2008

smalltalk 7:21 // 07Apr2008

Our next kakireka smalltalk is on 07 April, this coming MONDAY!
8pm -- Ole Cafe, Cangkat Bukit Bintang, KL. FREE Entrance.

Commercial Design in Siam
A Malaysian Designer's Experience in Bangkok
by: Jazmi, Dotiro

All about Chatting
Online Meeting Tools
by: Josh Hong

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Re-imagining the City

It's finally here.
An arty farty multimedia event by onedotzero and British Council.
Performances, film screenings on SAT plus a panel discussion on SUN.
Not to be missed.

> Click on pix or visit the British Council website for details.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Design Field Trip // Islamic Arts Museum

Have you heard good things about the Malaysian Islamic Arts Museum and always wanted to visit but just couldn't find the time or the right group of people to go with?

Here's your chance to go with a bunch of designers keen to broaden their minds to explore the aesthetics of Islamic world of art & design. You're all invited to tour the museum with the kakireka.com organisers this Saturday.

Come feast your eyes on 7,000 exquisite artefacts spread out over 12 galleries with emphasis on the thematic Malaysian melting pot that comprises Malay, Chinese & Indian Worlds.

Marvel at the artistic craftmanship of illuminated calligraphic manuscripts, armaments, ceramics, jewellery design to textiles, etc. in breath-takingly beautiful architectural surroundings.

Come and be inspired with a 360 degrees experience of a brand.

Interested to join us, meet at Museum's main reception area.
05April, SATURDAY -- 2:00pm

Museum admission fees:
Adults -- RM12
Students -- RM6 (with ID)

note: all photos are taken from the official Islamic Arts Museum website.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Helvetica Rules OK!

Who would have guessed there would be so much interest among local designers in a film about typography and specifically that oldie but goodie, Helvetica. This is very encouraging, no? More than 60 people turned up during our last kakireka smalltalk film screening on 21 Mar. The room above OleCafe never looked "cosier". And afterwards, more than half you agreed you're interested in similar typography themed events in future. interesting... hmmm. What shall we do next to top that?

Previously, I've observed young designers nowadays would just use whatever font that comes pre-installed in their Mac/PC and not blink twice. Or the other end of the spectrum for others I have seen would force fit as many font as they can like there's no tomorrow in a single job. That inevitable rojak font circus parade gives that creative edge, no? To each their own, you say? Down with conformity and readability? The rule is that there are no rules? I wonder how many of you who watched the film discovered a new found appreciation for Helvetica or typography in general.

> View photos from the event, photog by JoshTew.

A big thank you to all those who stayed back for that little typo exercise with the kakireka ident. We hold events so designers can meet up & collaborate so we thot of that game to help break the ice. Hope many of you made few new friends that night. But we do appreciate your creative contributions and will showcase all of the new kakireka logos at the top of this blogsite in due time.

We do this to also show you that kakireka is created for all of you and each new designer that comes in contact with kakireka will slowly but surely, help evolve the kakireka brand. So our logo ident will be never be the same, ever-changing, quirky yet trendy.

Many thanks also to our sponsors, OleCafe (venue), BasheerBooks (refreshments). And thankyou to all those who slogged & helped to make that smalltalk a success, incl. Irina's friends who helped with guest registrations. See y'all again on the 7th of April. Details coming soon.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I want to be the new crony

by: Kay H Khoo
Now that we have a new state government, I am hoping that real change will happen.

As a resident of PJ, we will be getting a new MBPJ. I last read that they are looking for an outdoor advertising man to monitor the billboards. I think designers are looking at a nice rebranding project about to happen.

How can they not do a rebranding? MBPJ (PJ City Council) looks like an old and arrogant establishment. We need new ways to communicate to its target audience. The branding exercise also needs to motivate the demoralised existing staff who aren't sure whether they would still be in the office, if they are those who earn a paltry official RM1200 salary, yet staying in a 2-storey bungalow and driving black perdanas.

I am almost certain of this: for the first time, the job will not automatically fall into the hands of cronies. How about this - DAP-PKR-PAS, if you are listening, I want to be your new crony. I want to give your new foothold a makeover.

This is what I would like to propose to the new MBPJ.

The arrogant authoritarian image of MBPJ has to go. They are to serve the residents, not to rule over them. A dark blue uniform chap wearing a police looking emblem is nothing close to being friendly or approachable.

I usually don't like to recommend disposing off the existing logo, even though it is a very designer thing to equate rebranding with a new logo. For MBPJ, the logo simply has to go. Do a bungaraya, a dove, a smiley face, a heart shape, or just typeset MBPJ in Frutiger. Whatever. It doesn't matter. It's just a logo! The priority is to make it say "MBPJ is here to serve you" and not "MBPJ is here looking for ways to saman you".

Let me start with the normal designer's package deal. Do the logo change. Establish brand identity guidelines. Redesign the uniform - perhaps a smart causal with a tie would do. Repaint the vans - especially those raiders of the DVDs and mamak stalls.

What I would like to recommend is to use the budget wisely. Upgrade your MBPJ contact points. The payment hall's environment is gloomy and dreadful. The PJ civic centre chairs are breaking apart. The library needs new books and magazines. Get a good interior person to work along the brand guidelines and improve these touch points. I won't say this will make paying fines and taxes a joyful experience, but at least, it is not so depressing.

I would also propose that MBPJ invests heavily in the web. The latest news is no news. The sistem semakan kompaun is not working. The current web reflects the owner - irrelevant and obsolete. Don't say the internet penetration rate is low. Young working classes do run errands and help their parents pay bills - the summons and the cukai pintu. If MBPJ gives them a more efficient method to do so and eliminates the agony of queuing up, the city council's revenues should increase. That is ROI-talk, if MBPJ needs a reason to invest in good web design. Coming fresh from the election victories, the new state government should know better about the power of internet. Still not convinced? Ask Jeff Ooi.

MBPJ should reduce unnecessary printed collaterals. It is ironic to scream aloud big words like green sustainability while pumping out pompous leaflets declaring PJ as a smart city. While we are at the subject of printed collaterals, I would like to offer my design services to redesign all the official forms. It's not because I want to show off what I can do with Helvetica. Seriously, the borang-borang just don't make sense to most people. One word of caution though, to keep up with the "we care" positioning, MBPJ may be required to create new job opportunities for the professional form-fillers outside the MBPJ premises.

Most importantly, please don't put up buntings and billboards all over PJ to tell people how great MBPJ is. When one is great, the people will know - there's no need to scream. Don't cut corners on the identity development and then spend a bomb telling the world about the logo change. Bad is bad - didn't we already learn the lesson from Telekom's rebranding?

I wish to go on with the list, but I am reminded about the need to protect our profession. We are dealing with intellectual property here! I can't give anymore free ideas.

There are other areas which MBPJ should look into if they were to take rebranding seriously. An extensive brand audit and research needs to be conducted. A proper proposal needs to be prepared and evaluated. Most crucially, MBPJ should prepare to build a long term relationship with a good design consultancy, making them a partner until 2013 elections. Why does that sentence sound creepily alike rewarding a crony with a lucrative contract?

I know as a designer, it's definitely a nice challenge to rebrand a city council.

For that, I don't mind being a DAP crony!

- by Kay H Khoo / figtree, reflecting on Malaysian design.

In your (type)face

kakireka 7:21 smalltalk _21Mar2008 (FRIDAY)
Ole Cafe, Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL.
FREE Entrance but limited seats.

film screening:
"Helvetica", a feature-length documentary about that typeface. Millions of people use and read this typeface every day, on public transport, newspapers, shop fronts and computers. Through provocative, lively interviews with designers and type enthusiasts (eg. David Carson, Stefan Sagmeister), the film tells the story of how a typeface drawn by a little-known Swiss designer in 1957 became one of the most popular ways to communicate. Though it has gone in and out of fashion it has never gone away - is this a symptom of globalisation or simply a reflection that it is the ultimate typeface?

Come and get up close and personal with the world's most popular typeface which celebrated its 50th birthday last year.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

No smalltalk 07Mar - eve of Election Day

kakireka smalltalk event on 07Mar (FRI) has been called off due to the National General Elections the very next day 08Mar2008. Many will want to balik kampung on Friday night. Others may want to squeeze in that last ceramah/political rally or two, listen to politicians talk big one last time before making up their minds in this most hotly contested general election in recent memory. Go and VOTE!

+ P R E V I E W +
next smalltalk will be on
21st Mar 2008
Typography in Design
by the
fans of helvetica.

Since this is election month, come join in the debate on whether
Helvetica is truly the best public service typeface ever designed... or not? Other contenders?
Come & find out.

poster design: peter jarvis

Thursday, February 28, 2008

ChangeThis Manifesto

In this election season in Malaysia, we see manifestos flying left & right as the powers that be or just wannabe attempt to communicate/sell their unique brand/political point of view to the rakyat. Is it just me or do most if not ALL the design & layout of the contesting parties' manifesto statement documents look tired, dated, so "last century" and not very inspiring visually? eg. download > BN (5.2Mb), DAP (0.4Mb), Keadilan (2.6Mb), PAS (15Mb). Last minute rush jobs? Can't afford to hire art directors/graphic designers? What does that say about the understanding or appreciation for good design among those who walks in the corridors of power in Malaysia? Does it even matter? What do you think?

But wait-a-minute, manifestos aren't just churned out by political parties. ChangeThis is creating a new kind of media that uses existing tools (eg. Adobe PDFs) on a mission to spread important ideas ("manifestos") and change minds. What strikes me is their consistent use of a simple grid that accommodates the wide variety of ideas, each with a simple functional & attractive design & layout. Even if some are just text-based, it still looks good and compelling. You can download some of the best examples below. Good ideas presented with good layout & design.

The Elongating Tail of Brand Communication
This topic touched on by Kay Khoo during kakireka's 1st smalltalk in Nov2007. Now you can find out more about the web 2.0 mass media cultural revolution and how it affects brand
communication today.
> Download (695Kb)

Build Your Brand in Bits & Bytes
Welcome to the Me Millennium. The World Wide Web is an indispensa
ble tool for communicating your value as a professional, expressing your differentiation, networking and performing career research. Not only will you be researching opportunities online, others will be researching you.
> Download (263Kb)

One-Minute Site
The end of the corporate website as usual. How to get rid of this model that doesn╩╝t work and prevents you from getting what you were promised from the Web. Missions 1--Kill the homepage. 2--Avoid brochure site model. 3--Stop worshipping technology.
> Download (478Kb)

Calling All Designers - Learn to Write!
User experience isn’t just visual design. It’s time we designers stop thinking of ourselves as merely pixel people, and start thinking of ourselves as the creators of experiences. And when it comes to experience on the web, there’s no better way to create it than to write, and write well.
> Download (652Kb)

The Personal MBA
Mastering Business Without Spending a Fortune. Business schools don’t have a monopoly on worldly wisdom. If you care more about increasing your effectiveness at work than a diploma and a few lines on your resume, the Personal MBA is for you.
> Download (747Kb)

ChangeThis Manifesto
The original manifesto of manifestos. Sometimes it seems as though our disagreements over everything, from politics to business to the designated hitter rule - are more serious and more divisive than ever before.
> Download (198Kb)

As you can see, I love well-designed Adobe PDF documents. This format gives designers the total ease & freedom of laying out design elements for print, with some basic interactivity & accessibility that rivals a website or interactive cd-rom format. But without all the technical fuss &
steep learning curve for its production. Future article will have examples of cutting-edge PDF documents with multimedia...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Malaysian Graphic Design Survey 1

Our resident researcher, Irina invites you to take part in her little survey on the Malaysian design scene as part of her UiTM masters research which investigates the need for a centralised design resource center in Malaysia. It's only 10 short questions, click here to begin.