POST A: Woodcut Print Processing Design

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For tens of thousands of years trees have been by people’s side, helping them out. These familiar trees can be found being used in the design world too. South East Asia too has a rich history; inside the designs are this history of tired lives and social and political issues. The technique known woodcut print processing design involved impressing the wood with a knife and using ink to stamp.

This technique involved getting a thick bit of wood and carving the bottom image, then using a different kind of knife to flesh out detail. This wooden printing press is an artistic technique. This technique originated from China as it allowed an easy method to print the Chinese characters and was intended for people to create letters and banners to show one another. In particular, advanced woodcutting techniques were one of the methods used to create posters or banners.

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The industrial revolution led to the creation of new techniques regarding print production methods in the modern area, though it demanded highly skilled hands. It also required waiting a long six hours or so until the ink dried.

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This engraving printing technique also shows some social issues; you’re able to find design that shows understanding and sympathy in Central Java’s Maya Tower Festival.

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There were many kinds of posters, but out of those, the bottom image ‘Ada Dan’ was a visual communication student’s piece of work, and contains a detailed beauty about calling for the protection of plant life, whilst also calling for the protection of the natural environment and Indonesia’s organic way of life.

Looking inside the poster, the movement of the clouds and waves, as well as the liveliness of the leaves of the plants produces a fresh feeling. The typography of the image, and it’s cleanliness, is enthralling of people. Of particular note, the alphabet had to be written backwards due to the nature of woodcut printing. If you look even closer, you can see even more political and social issues reflected in this traditional design.

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The image above of a door featuring a lion and a lady goes hand in hand with today’s high issues. This engraving involved cutting small wood blocks one by one and is one of the greatest designs which is packed full of meaning.

If you look at the contexts from top to bottom, the lion with and the diamond in its mouth represents the powerful government, and the dolled up woman is representative of the weak, simple human. The woman wears flowers and crystals in her ears, a short skirt and high heels, showing the beautiful modern style of women. Notably, on her left side there is an unripened pineapple, and this can be seen as a mark of Indonesia abandoning its traditional heritage. This also shows the sexual problems of modern men and women. There’s also something doing drugs and playing cards around the woman’s legs, representative of a society addicted to drugs and playing cards, and valuing money over kindness. The moon filled night also shows the darkness of the modern age.

Through this traditional woodcutting experience, the Indonesian designers have allowed the viewers a more rich depth of mixed feelings and images regarding the political and social issues of the world surrounding them.

References

Dalton, B. 1988, Indonesia handbook, Moon Publications, Chico, Calif., USA.

Art for the people – Inside Indonesia 2016, Inside Indonesia. viewed 10 March 2016, <http://www.insideindonesia.org/art-for-the-people&gt;.

Creating, cutting and printing your own woodblock 2016, Instructables.com. viewed 10 March 2016, <http://www.instructables.com/id/Creating-cutting-and-printing-your-own-woodblock/&gt;.

The Printed Image in the West: Woodcut | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art 2016, The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. viewed 10 March 2016, <http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/wdct/hd_wdct.htm&gt;.

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POST B: Hello, The Plastic World

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People hardly know to what extent they have been destroying nature just to appeal to their conveniences. We are ever so enveloped in plastic goods close by that we may well be living in a plastic world. After the industrial revolution, people have been comfortable and sought simple and time saving ways of living. However, plastic manufacturing has its pros and cons; while it is easy to make, inexpensive, light and rather versatile, it is so hard to decompose that people say plastic takes about 500 years to complete breakdown, and the waste caused by it results in environmental pollution. Random dumping is the main culprit of this pollution. Toxic wastes are washed away by rain or by other means, and contaminate streams; this is a major threat, as it can lead to water pollution and, consequently, various diseases. It also causes the air to become polluted resulting in ill effects on the human body such as pneumonia and unforeseen weather phenomena. In order to solve this, we should recycle plastic containers. However, by no means is this comprehensive answer to the problem. The world has suffered great losses because of abnormal changes in the weather, occurring all around the globe.

As consumer goods increase in number, so too do carbonic acid gases. 9% of the Northern Ice Caps thaw every 10 years; at this rate, low-lying areas like Florida, Shanghai, India and New York will be buried underwater. In addition to that, 40% of the world population resorting using glacial water as their water source may result in shortages.

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Contemporary designers come up with ideas to deal with environment issues that how can they deals with an environmental challenge in creative design way. Designer Manila from Women’s Co-Op, she created recycling bag by used plastics. The Women’s Co-Op design company presents plenty of designs.

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The other environment challenge designs on the website name is ‘My plastic free life’. They claim that we can put all groceries in glass vessels instead of plastic ones, use packages made of paper, and make flower vases out of used light bulbs. If we preserve and treasure nature on our own accord, nature depletion may slow down. For instance, if we keep the heat at its optimal level, save water and use personal glasses, not disposables, we will reduce our waste output.

 

References

The environmental toll of plastics — Environmental Health News 2016, Environmentalhealthnews.org. viewed 1 April 2016, <http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/dangers-of-plastic&gt;.

My Plastic-free Life, 2016, Home – My Plastic-free Life, viewed 13 March 2016, <http://myplasticfreelife.com/&gt;.

Recycling, 2009, Prairie: Recycling, viewed 29 March 2016, <http://prairie.typepad.com/my_weblog/recycling/&gt;.

Designer and recycling, 2015, 25 Impressive Works Of Art Made From Recycled Materials – Virtual University of Pakistan, viewed 29 March 2015,<http://vustudents.ning.com/m/blogpost?id=3783342%3ABlogPost%3A3093027&maxDate=2013-07-24T13%3A05%3A18.159Z&gt;.

POST C: Ecodesign by Singgih Kartono

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While I was staying in Central Java I had the excellent opportunity to interview the designer of “Magno”, Mr. Singgih Kartono. Mr Kartono explained the Ecovillage, a place that puts emphasis onto the environment and organic production, kindly and in detail. I asked about how Magno came to be his complete brand, what design inspired it, why the Magno headquarters is centred in a village , the issues of living in a village, and finally what the brand was worth and its future.

First off, Magno began as a 1994 wooden design product. It started as a wooden toy, designed to bring enjoyment to the lives of the local people. However, in 2003, a factory which came to be the foothold of Magno was established in a village. He also stated he wanted to create simpler and more special designs, and through his friend’s advice began to create big functional stationary product designs. Afterwards, through experience, in 2005 they successfully created an electronic product radio; when asked why he built it, he stated that he liked electronic equipment, and his girlfriend at the time (now wife) worked in a radio company.

The radio design was originally inspired by environmentally friendly Japanese design using bamboo; what more he wanted from the design was for it to be simple and fundamentally faithful. If he wants to design something and receives inspiration at some point, he’s one to begin design immediately, and said that the inspiration was to mix Indonesia’s traditional culture with a simple design.

The designer enjoys environmentally friendly design, and believes the organic natural environment is most familiar to the customers and will thus go far. Wood and bamboo are part of our natural world, after all. It was for these reasons that the company was founded in the middle of a village.

The problem with living in villages, however, is that people have their prejudices. I thought that living in a village would cause one to fall out with the times, but he stated that he found himself motivated and with renewed focus. Thanks to such challenges, the “Magno” brand was able to hold together.

Another challenge of living in a village is the difficulty of getting ingredients for food. The roads inside the village are narrow, and the thoroughfare situation isn’t great. However, he made a bike through booboo, and all these challenges assist him in being even more creative!

He added that he thought that if designers only design to sell, and for their own benefit, it would be no good, and that designers should also think of the functionality and comfort provided to users. When he completed environmentally friendly design, Magno’s value went up and he thought of himself as successful for the first time. He also stated that it was his goal for Magno to be a global brand representing environmentally-friendly design.

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References

Anon, 2016, viewed 1 March 2016, <http://blog.blomming.com/blog/wooden-radio-an-ecodesign-project/&gt;.

Magno 2016, Magno-design.com. viewed 2 March 2016, <http://www.magno-design.com/?id=skartono&gt;.

Magno wooden radio – Eco Design – Distributor for Europe / Importeur – Singgih Kartono 2016, Wooden-radio.com. viewed 3 March 2016, <http://www.wooden-radio.com/gb/wooden-radio-design.php&gt;.

Notes from Interview with Singgih Kartono, 21/2/16

 

POST D: The Traditional Beauty Architecture of Indonesia.

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The three most important things in people’s lives are their food, their clothes, and their homes. Of the three, the home has been, for the longest time, a resting place that people cannot live without. Houses from country to country differ based on culture and climate, and each shows a different beauty. Indonesia in South East Asia boasts humid weather, with high temperatures even in winter thanks to their tropical weather, and is a country well known as a holiday destination spot. In particular Java Island’s Yogyakarta’s building style are each unique, on the rooftops, you can witness the beauty of South East Asia.

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As said above, this is representative of the climate, the influence of the Netherlands, and of Japan’s colonialism; mixed together, the pains of history can be seen. If you look at it now, it’s a unique antique design mixed with the simplicity of Japan and the traditions and climates of Indonesia; together, they have formed something unique.

Indonesia’s climate is divided into wet and dry season; in the hottest period from March to October, temperatures soar, but the heat exits through the roofs of the building, keeping the temperature inside comfortable. To be more precise, the floor in people’s living spaces drops the air, and is a traditional design by the Indonesian people to make their lives more comfortable. In addition, through windows in the bathroom or on the balcony, heat escapes. Thus here we can see the influence of the inescapable climate they have to live through.

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World Heritage Site ‘Borobubur’ also features this Java design style. Borobubur is one of the seven wonder’s of the world, located in Merap, a region in Yogyakart; the temple is made by volcanic rock, and the story is that the remains of Buddha are to be found there. People often talk of the jagged style roof featured on the temple.

During the war of independence of Netherland , the temple was the capital and it was claimed that Buddha was inside the jagged roof, the people of the time stole the remains away and now the sad and unfortunate history is shared among many. In a word, the architecture only seen in Java now lies as a beautiful ruin. The growing national spirit of the people of Java considers this their homeland, and it remains loved even in the modern day. Watching the sunset from this area is like watching the sunset in a romantic movie.

The times when Hinduism and Buddhism were spread throughout Indonesia are estimated to be around a century apart, but even now the traditional style of building still remains standing. Even in modern day Islamic Indonesia, through tourism volunteers, the growing flowers of Buddhist scripts have caused many to seek out this great Buddhist shrine. Combined with the cultural pains of Indonesia, Borobubur stands as an amazingly beautiful world heritage site.

References

Kusno, A. 2000, Behind the postcolonial, Routledge, London.

Rumah Adat Indonesia By Kauwan On Deviantart | Genuardis Portal 2016, Pinterest. viewed 1 April 2016, <https://au.pinterest.com/pin/170785010844836805/&gt;.

The Traditional Architecture of Indonesia (Barry Dawson, John Gillow) 2016, Dannyreviews.com. viewed 1 April 2016, <http://dannyreviews.com/h/Architecture_Indonesia.html&gt;.

Traditional House Around, Church Building, Indonesian Traditional, Indonesia Beautiful, Indonesian Culture, Karo Indonesia 2016, Imgur. viewed 1 April 2016, <http://imgur.com/5yGmcW3&gt;.

Travel 2 Indonesia (The BorobudurTemple) 2016, Emp.pdx.edu. viewed 28 March 2016, <http://www.emp.pdx.edu/htliono/borobudu.html&gt;.