Matthew Butler & Phillipa Abbot & Judith Glover

This studio aims to engage students around different modes of research, collaborative design and cross pollination of age-old technique and cultural practice with contemporary design and innovation. It looks to situate this within dialogues of sustainable development – cultural, social, environmental and economic – within Semerang, Indonesia and Melbourne Australia. This studio is in partnership with the SANGAM Dialog Batik project, which applies a Socially Responsible code of practice for partnerships in craft and design. SANGAM founder Kevin Murray is the Asia Pacific President of the World Craft Council. The context for investigation is the cultural and economic development of Batik artisans in Kampoeng Semarang, Indonesia and the studio will concentrate on developing design solutions for the Batik industry of Kampoeng and a Melbourne based client. This sits within the wider context of understandings of design within discourses of globalisation, hyper-consumerism. The question will be asked – how do contemporary designers traverse this complexity through a design research based creative process? How could Melbourne based designers deal with the exploitation of natural resources and disregard for the health and social well-being of the people making and purchasing their products? Students will engage in cultural theory and research around the Indonesian Batik Artisans as part of a methodological approach that informs the practical components of the studio. Students will engage with a range of research methods that provide cultural insight and instigate innovative designs. They will be introduced to a very different mode of design practice and various tools such as participatory practice, co-design, D4S (Design for Sustainability), Eco-design, engagement techniques and supply chain analysis. Throughout the semester they will document and map their investigations and contribute to ‘active’ research as a design led process. Students will develop an artefact based individual project, a group based service design project and an individual research project engaging with the literature culminating in a book.
SANGAM Indonesian Artisan Collaboration
This studio is facilitated by Matthew Butler in partnership with SANGAM to discover new and interesting ways for designers to collaborate with Batik artisans in Semerang Indonesia. Students will learn about Social Enterprise and design a market ready product to assist the economic development of communities in Indonesia. The studio will have a research module facilitated by Judith Glover where students will learn about cultural sensitivities, sustainable life cycles, design ethics, marketing and supply chain viability. An important focus will be for students to gain inspiration, intuitive insight and personal development from this cross cultural collaboration.