Monday, January 28, 2008

From Insights to Design _21Jan smalltalk review

review by: Irina Muis
From paper cutting to luxury cars and diamonds, Michael Quay treads a thin line between being a con artist and a consumer expert.

Started out cutting ads for a year after finishing a double degree, Michael Quay showed that by being persistent and blindly courageous, you might accidentally end up being a strategic planner in an ad agency. This gave way to his topic for the night, “From Insights to Design.”
With his relaxed style of presentation, Michael proceeded to share his vast experience on how consumers’ insights help shape ideas for amazing ad campaigns and marketable products.

As an exercise, the group was given 5 minutes to dig an insight from the person next to them and to relate it to the group. The exercise demonstrated how asking simple questions could uncover unique knowledge in people.
Mike continued to give examples on insights that formed the design of products, starting from the Ford Mondeo to DeBeers diamonds. At times insights even help ensure the saleability of the product even before they are produced.As designers we are responsible in producing goods for the masses but still encouraging commercial success for our clients. Michael’s advice to designers, be more sensitive in observing the behaviour of consumers.

After Michael’s presentation, some of the young designers said how the exposure has made them realize how insights can help them produce better designs, rather than merely as an aesthetic value but also in its commercial sense.

+ + UPDATED + +
Mike has kindly agreed to let us download screenshots of his powerpoint for a limited time. Plus his notes are in the comments section.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Show off your anim/design skills on MTV

Remember those mesmerising, wild and wacky MTV logo animations that you see on the MTV channel and you go "I can do that!". Now, here's your chance...

MTV Asia call for entries -- create your original MTV idents (MTV logo) in any artform - live action, 2D, 3D, stop motion anim, claymation, photography, etc. Selected entries will be aired on MTV channels. Individual or team entries accepted. You are allowed to put your signature on the work. Outstanding participants may be offered internship at MTV Asia.

Details > MTV Asia website.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Nextgen Contentpreneur Awards

Astro + MDeC are organising this competition that honors creativity in the creative content/media industry. They value the IDEA that drives a campaign along with the execution of the idea. Exclusively for students - esp. those pursuing a career in the content, communication, broadcasting and multimedia industry. Cash prize: RM10,000. Closing: 07 Mar 2008. Details: Astro website.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Searching for Ideas - How Creative Can We Be?

Designers are generally expected to possess creative flair. How creative are we really... compared to an inventor?

Attend this FREE talk and rub shoulders with a bunch of down-to-earth innovative Malaysian entrepreneurs. Be inspired with a tip or three & make new biz contacts to marry good design with good inventions to make it great!

Searching for Ideas - How Creative Can We Be?
by: Dato Ghazi Sheikh Ramli, President, MACRI
26 January 2008 (SAT) -- 2:30pm
MACRI Club, S2, Level 2, Center Point, Bandar Utama, PJ.

contact Ramesh Pillai, or call 017-8828302 to reserve a seat.

Face to Face Forum is Malaysian Association of Creativity & Innovation (MACRI)'s monthly networking session, held on the last Saturday of every month.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Rise of the Creative Class

Came across an interesting article - Wanted: A 'bulldozer' for Malaysia by ChanHoYing (The Strait Times, S'pore) about how Singapore is cultivating the "creative class" to fuel its economic development into a metropolitan "creative city". Which explains why they have a national design library and recently, a design museum plus substantial government support on local organised design-related events.

Reading the article led me to some even more interesting articles on current thinking about how certain successful economies/companies owe their success to nurturing and attracting this very creative class (which includes designers like u and me). I wonder when the Malaysian government will ever catch on...

read this:
The Rise of the Creative Class: Why cities without gays and rock bands are losing the economic development race.

The 'creative class' (wikipedia), a term coined by social scientist Dr. Richard Florida, refers to a group of highly imaginative and creative citizens.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Insights to Creative Strategy Talk

7:21 smalltalk 6.0

7:21pm - - Ole Cafe, Changkat Bukit Bintang, K. L.
Come listen to the best creatives talk big & meet other designers over small talk. Light refreshments provided
. Seating available for 30 people only... so come early. FREE Entrance. TOPICS/SPEAKERS

"From Insights to Creative Strategy
by Michael Quay
Strategic Planner, M&C Saatchi

Real life stories of how unique consumer insights help create the best advertising campaigns.

"i love Dogs"
new media installation

by Edwin Yiing
Multimedia Designer, Pathfinder FX

Experimental design project pushing the limits of webcam & microphone.

kakireka 7:21 smalltalk - - 7th & 21st of every month @ 7:21pm - -

Saturday, January 19, 2008

So we finally made the move from blogger to wordpress as the blog platform of choice. The reason is that there are so many things we tried to do with kakireka that we very quickly hit upon the wall of structural & design limitations with the free publishing engine provided by blogger/blogspot. Blogger was free, simple, intuitive, with essential features which makes it easy to startup a blog. But the lack of 3rd party plug-ins and not being able to setup sub-sections is a real pain for a growing content-rich site that kakireka is meant to be…

Many thanks to Asri for sponsoring our move which meant getting our own domain name “” and a proper paid web-hosting services with AN Hosting.

Deciding on a web-host is an adventure in itself for designers like me who are basically lost at sea with all the IT issues to consider with various options and a minefield of hidden costs and fly-by-night web-hosts. Luckily, Kay and Jai has been a great help providing me with real world advice on what works and whose tech support is better. And these websites helped me make my decisions, with their expert tips - and reviews of the best web-hosts -

The importing of the whole blog content was clear-cut and wizard-aided but not without its challenges so pls. bear with us while we iron out the kinks, esp. the wonky font settings and some missing pictures. Plus the look & feel might change drastically over the next few weeks as we experiment with a few site templates from thousands available to find the best fit. This blog is all about design so it better have a kick-ass web-design & aesthetics, right?

New blogsite…
The old blog is still there… and we will continue to maintain it during this transition period.

Lastly, with the move, expect to see much more exciting & useful features for designers to interact with one another at the new web/blogsite very soon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Collaborative Work with D-Fuse?

This is a great opportunity for multimedia/video designers/artists.

British Council and acclaimed UK cross-media outfit
onedotzero are looking for video artists, sound artists or film-makers to collaborate with London-based creative media artists D-Fuse.

You will need to, on your own time, gather video footage between end FEB - end MAR. And commit from 1-6 APR 2008 for work with D-Fuse and presentation of "Surface".

The collaborative piece "Surface", will be performed live in Kuala Lumpur. Local artists (you) will collect
time-lapse panoramic footage of the urban landscape and work with D-Fuse in putting it together for an amazing original piece of work.

Interested? Closing date for application: 31JAN 2008
Details here >

Re-imagining the City - an audio-visual project which explores how artists are both influenced by, and can help shape, cities, through the use of digital and other emergent technologies. Aiming to give artists a voice in how cities are planned and experienced, this project will also attempt to address issues of creativity, community and connectivity, identity, planning and sustainability.

Manga Manga Where Art Thou Manga?

Here's something for you manga artists and fans. Manga meets Shakespeare? Holy Hamlet!

Book Talk & Signing Session
8.00pm WED | 23 January 2008 | Kinokuniya, Suria KLCC

Come and meet:
Paul Duffield - Artist for The Tempest, winner of Tokyopop’s Rising Stars of Manga and the International Manga and Anime Festival grand prizes.
Emma Hayley - Director, SelfMadeHero, which publishes the Manga Shakespeare series, shortlisted as Young Publisher of the Year in the British Book Industry Awards.

Win Kinokuniya Vouchers!
If you’re a Manga/Comic artist, bring your best artwork and the Top 3 as selected by Paul and Emma will win Kinokuniya vouchers.

For more info about Manga Shakespeare, Paul Duffield and Emma Hayley, click here. Organised by

Monday, January 14, 2008

What is Web 2.0?

The Machine is Us/ing Us
Our smalltalk speakers in the past have uttered the words "Web 2.0 this & that" so what exactly is Web 2.0, some of you may ask? Here's the best explanation I've seen yet, in the form of a video/animation designed by Michael Wesch, assistant professor of cultural anthropology from Kansas State U, USA.

It starts simply with just pencil and paper then transitions to various computer screens displaying relevant websites, while deftly deconstructing the code behind the websites in a way that makes the medium part of the message. And it's simple enough for a layman to understand - brilliant! Check it out > The Machine is Us/ing Us.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Malaysian Animation Education Seminar

Date: 21-22 Jan2008
Venue: Dewan Orkestra ASWARA, Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan, 464, Jalan Tun Ismail, KL.

For those interested or dabbling in animation as a designer, academic or artist - here's something that should get you into an animated state...
There is a FREE animation seminar organised by ASWARA with the objectives of bringing about better awareness of the latest advances and insights into the challenges & coping strategies to thrive in the world of animation. 12 papers to be presented in 4 sessions over 2 days. Theme is "Malaysian Animation Education Development" (my direct BM translation).

Closing date: 16 Jan 2008. Limited to 200 participants. > Apply now .
More info: Azlim Ibrahim 03-2697 5978, Azizi Ismail 03-2697 5337

To read the original notice in BM from kakiseni, click into the comments section. Note: both ASWARA and ASK websites seems to be down at the time of writing this.

smalltalk 4.0 - kakireka ChillOut Nite Report

Wan Hazmer's Emergent Behaviour in Game Design talk was a fascinating insight into the latest game design trends. He brought lots of gifts to encourage audience participation. So basically nearly everyone went home with a gift present. Note: someone left behind their designer gift tall glass - email me to claim it back... There wasn't enough time for Hazmer to show more of his own award-winning work so he is willing to come back for another talk and maybe design/demo a real game LIVE (online) in the near future.

Meanwhile, Jo Kukathas's talk was an
eye-opening acting workshop, very hands-on and movement and enjoyable role-play. Body language awareness. Something about body posture/positioning influencing own state of mind. Natural ice-breaker as side-effect. Very well-received by attendees. More photos & a short videoclip here > facebook kakiREKA group.

Jo also indicated her interest to do another talk/workshop, on theatrical stage design with hands-on creative design work for the participants, maybe with a fictitious play or something. Wouldn't that be cool? Based on her reveal that too few local designers dabble in stage design. Wants to develop interest/collaborate with us in that area.

Food & drinks from OleCafe were simple & good. Finger food & fried rice(?). The cauliflower tempura bit was deli-c. Collected RM5 from guests total = RM60. Thanks to all of you who donated. CheeMoong came early to lend a hand. OleCafe staff ever so helpful. Event started on time but 1st talk only began at 8:45pm. slightly 10+ people at the time.
Many thanks also to Irina Muis who help out with the guest registration.

average = 15+ only incl. organisers. interestingly, ALL new faces! Wonder what happened to all the kakireka smalltalk regulars?

potential speakers
wREGA past president Hanan was there. He will be guest speaker in future smalltalk. Need to followup for details. Spoke to One Academy new graduate Eva Wong to do a 15min showcase of her fashion-themed social networking website project at next smalltalk on 21Jan. Will follow up to confirm.

Note to ALL new design graduates, if you want to practice your presentation skills, and showcase your work, kakireka smalltalk is your stage. Email us to book your spot, it's FREE publicity for you.

kakireka admin
Gary intro-ed the new kakireka logo strategy. All invited to submit designs and give comments on
Chee Moong agrees to join committee.
Newcomer Irina Muis (who's doing her Masters in Graphic Design at UiTM) also invited to join committee. New blood! which brings our small kakireka volunteer organising committee to 6-strong.

NEXT: smalltalk 5.0 _21Jan2008 Preview
Michael Quay - Insights > Strategy > Concept > Execution
Edwin Yiing - "i love Dogs" interactive virtual canine demo
Eva Wong - "Dazzlers" teen fashion diary portal demo

Friday, January 4, 2008

smalltalk 7:21 _07Jan2008

'ChillOut' Nite

: 07 Jan 2008 (Monday)

:Ole Cafe

Talks are FREE, only RM5 for food/drinks.

Come & meet other designers over small talk,
cool music, finger food & games. Seating available for 30 people only... so come early.

7:21pm -- welcome & makan

8:00pm --
"Using Emergent Behaviours for
Digital Game Design"
by Wan Hazmer of Easy Only Games

9:00pm --
"Acting Tips & Maximising Space
for Creative Presentations"

by Jo Kukathas of Instant Cafe Theatre

10:00pm -- makan, minum & mingle
11:00pm -- bye bye

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

What is Copyright, Patent, Registered, Trademark?

This is the 2nd part of the summarised transcript of the last 7:21 smalltalk by lawyer Rajendran Packiry as requested by some kakireka members. Raj covered the 2 topics that interests many designers, esp. if you're a freelance designer or you own a small design house setup.

Raj also spoke about Malaysian Intellectual Property Law - copyright, trademarks, patents, registered designs. And the difference between authorship and ownership of a copyright and how it applies to freelance designers.

Part 2
- "Who Owns The Design" or Intellectual Property

To read article, click into the comments link under this post.

If you have any questions, post it as a comment or email direct to Raj if you want more privacy.