“If creativity survive the formal education, it’s a miracle.” Einstein

I think the title here says it all. It s a speech by Albert Einstein,’Speech on Education and Socialism”, in 1930, and yet we are still ‘there’. Here’s some reading wrote by Kate Strain discussion about it. Read here.

Someone I would love to meet in person, is a graphic design, Bruce Mau,. Here he talks about design and how it should be part of the ‘important’ list in our society. It is definitely,  a must listen and discuss among designers. I have been wondering about the same topic for years, and still I have not found any answers. If design is so important in our everyday life and everything we do, (and that is what I have been constantly telling my students) then why is it not part of our education syllabus, our practice, our community, our policies, our business oriented, our government and our thinking (even though we all talk about design thinking is important).

Design have the potential to make change.

Work on what you love Mau
Bruce Mau

Bruce Mau – Designing Thinking 

Roundtable Discussion 2012: The State of Design in Malaysia

The State of Design in Malaysia – A Roundtable discourse in IcoD Design Week in Sarawak.

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This is a dossier that was done through the discussion about design in Malaysia among local and international designers, what is ed educators and practitioners in the Sarawak Design week in 2012.

It was released rather late. I got to know about it in 2014. But at least its out. What’s more important is the content of the discussions. Its rate to have the design discourse in Malaysia documented as such. For that an applause should be given to the people who have put their efforts and hard work in making this happen.

I think we should have more design discourse (which is currently happening a lot in Malaysia) just that not many of the discourse can be accessed. This is because most of it focus on discussions but not on documentation. To get the voice out is to get the information spread out widely to every part of Malaysia (and the world if possible) to every designer (the first and foremost) and to others who is interested.

We should have a hub that provide all this archive beside that are fully funded and supported by the design industry and institutions such as MRM. Sadly it is more an efforts ( a very good effort) made by the Malaysian design archive to host it.

Its a valuable reference and it should be read by all so called designer and design academic in Malaysia. This is hope that the designers in Malaysia can have an idea about the state of design in Malaysia, or at least to have an overview of Malaysian design status. Furthermore to know the design community in Malaysia and who is Dato Johan Ariff.

You can read more about the Dossier The State of Design in Malaysia here.

Round Table Discussion 2012

Malaysian Design article is now published in The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design

My short and brief but concise providing an overview of Malaysian Design History has finally been published by the Bloomsbury Publisher in London. My article is among hundreds of articles representing each country around the world in the set of 3 books entitled The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design edited by Prof. Clive Edward from Loughborough University, UK.

The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design edited by Prof. Clive Edwards (2016)

I hope that this article will provide an introduction of Malaysian Design History to the world. I was given a task to write 500 words a seriously concise overview about design history in Malaysia. There’s much happening in the design world in Malaysia but not much is documented and written. I hope that this will add something. In writing the design history of a country, one cannot go away from including the history of the country itself. Who said history is boring? So here are my version of Malaysian Design (history).

Read the article: Malaysian Design by ZainurulRahman2016


Happy Chinese New Year 

This year Chinese New Year (CNY) is the monkey year. Let’s hope that all the monkey business will go well and that we all will be happy and live well together in this year.

Happy New Year my dear bloggers and visitors.

Visit Porto, Portugal: ECSM2015 – 6-11 July Paper Presentation and Visual Research documentation.

Some of the snap shots during my visit in the Universidate do Porto.

I had a chance to present my paper about digital archiving and current status of archiving in Malaysia in the 2nd European Conference on Social Media, in a beautiful city Porto in Portugal. Thanks to RCMO Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) for sponsoring the financial for the trip to the conference and supporting research in USM.

My paper entitled: An Exploration of how Networked Citizens Play the Main Role in Outsourcing: A Method of Creating Digital Collections of Malaysian Cultural Artefacts, discuss about the current status of archiving/digital archiving in Malaysia and then propose potential solution to managed the digital archiving issues that most countries is facing now, the funding and space, through the method of using networked citizen and also crowdsourcing. Although this is not a new method but it has not been apply in archiving. Mainly used as marketing tools and also data collections for most companies. 

Below is the abstract and if you’re interested in the paper, do send me an email at zainurulrahman @ gmail. com and you will be able to read the paper.


Architecture in Porto – Photo by: NurulRahman2015
Snapshots around Porto. Photo by: Nurul Rahman 2015

Some of the snap shots during my visit in the Universidate do Porto.




Design thinking enhancing ideas

When I saw this video published by a friend in YouTube I was stunned watching Jihong Yeom  a Korean designer twisting the wired hanger and transforming it to what ever you can think of. But what more interesting here is not only his ability to transform the hangers to another object but also his ways of seeing or visualising what he will do and also plans everything in his head.
I would like to discuss here the latter part in the this blog and yes if you watch his series in the Youtube you might be thinking ‘This is easy, anyone can do this, all you need is a hanger and a plier’. Indeed it looks easy, but what you’re missing here just, which would happen when you actually try to do it yourself, is that you have not much ideas of what to do and how to do it.
This is the technic of design thinking that anyone should be learning, and be aware that the wired hanger is just a tool to make anything that you think of happen. What really interesting is the thinking behind the designer Jihong Yeom, his process of visualising the object in a short time and then making it happen. His skills is not an overnight skills. It takes practice, trying and finding error, rework, rebuilt, rethink of a better way to approach and so on. Isn’t this is the design process that most successful designers do in their everyday life?


Yeom’s idea of designing the book holder was just to facilitates the way we can improve our life. to make life easier and to help each other. Not so much of to design something big, something awesome or  something fantastic. Simple idea can grow, and that is what each of us should be focussing on.

Watch Jihong Yeom

Happiness Project For George Town, a Visual Communication Class Project

This is a project that I did with my Visual Communication class. The idea comes from Dr. Chris Kueh from Edith Cowan University in Perth who is also working on the similar plan for his design students. We thought that it would be interesting to have a similar project based on a different city. So Chris will work on city of Freemantle, Perth and I will work on George Town, Penang.

In my visual comm class the project runs for 14 weeks with  110 students from different areas of design and arts, a mix between Graphic Comm. Design students, New Media Design students, Product Design Students, and Fine Arts students. The brief was short, as the whole idea of the project is based on the design thinking and the ideas that the students will discovered through out the process. The brief of the project is to visualised this: What does Happiness means for George Town, as a city? The students were taken on a trip to George Town in 2 buses, accompany by myself, and three tutors. I have designed the path for the students to go through and gathered some information. The idea behind this is to get the students (1st, 2nd and 3rd year of degree program) to discover the problems and then think of a way to facilitates the problem through design. Each of the students have to start documenting their design journey through personal blog. Most of the students are not familiar with having their own personal blog, as they are used to the site of social media such as FB and Instagram to post their thoughts, so creating their own blog is a new discovery for them.

There are lots our theres but here are some links.

Nur Azreen  Ng Seen Yen Blog Joan’s Blog Wong Shin Nin Blog Pong Ee Lin Blog Polly Lee Blog Nur Diyana Blog Chan Keat Tan Blog Amyhappyproject NgYunLai ChinPeiJun

Here is a video done by one of the student Ahnaf Hakimi.