The lure of the city, the possibilities of the village: crowdsourcing graphic designers in Indonesia

Hong Kong Design Institute and Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Cumulus Working Papers 33/16: Cumulus Hong Kong 2016 – Open Design for E-very-thing, 2017, pp. 255 - 259
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Indonesia provides an enormous number of world’s design- ers, many of them as subscribers to world’s major design-task marketplaces, Somewhat surprisingly, many of these designers are not located in cities and many have no formal training in design. They are linked to the global design profession, through crowdsourcing platforms. These kinds of platforms offer advantages both to clients and designers, saving energy resourc- es and costs. In addition, they potentially lessen the pressures of urbanisation, an increasingly ‘wicked’ problem as Indonesia’s economy develops, population increases and natural resources are depleted. But this kind of employment is also provoking strong reactions from professional designers and design organisations in Indonesia. This paper traces those reactions and argues for more sensitivity in global design discourse to how the profession plays out in local contexts. In this paper we present research into emerging design practices in Indonesia and their links to crowdsourcing platforms. In doing so, we open up the process of innovation to a diversity of actors who encounter and engage design processes in a variety of ways. We look at open modes of design production that do not privilege the big city and that provide new platforms for public participation in the challenges of our time.
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