A Way to Communicate: A New Signage System for the Mah Meri Indigenous Community

By Nur Hisham Ibrahim, Jennifer Butler and Russell Kennedy.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Today, designers use a diverse range of alternative media to have a more efficient form of communication. This research is to investigate the potential of traditionally-inspired contemporary communication design to bridge cultural understandings between and among Malaysians of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Specifically, I propose to design a new signage system in the Mah Meri indigenous community in Malaysia. This is in view that despite the development of the latest media alternatives in use today, the Mah Meri community still lags behind in terms of utilization of these new communication facilities. This project aims to improve social interactions between this community and visitors. The signage system that I propose will help outsiders to navigate in and around the Mah Meri settlements easier and faster because the system provides relevant information in a simple and easy to understand method. Without this signage system visitors will have difficulty in finding the right directions. This work also endeavours, through the notion of creating a new signage system to enrich the cultural identity of the Mah Meri community based on their beliefs in the elements of nature. This, in turn, will create a niche for the community to promote the uniqueness of their culture and identity to outsiders.

Keywords: Communication, Signage System, Indigenous, Mah Meri

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.579-598. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 22.638MB).

Nur Hisham Ibrahim

PhD Candidate (Monash) and Senior Lecturer (UiTM), Faculty of Art & Design (Monash), Department of Graphic Design (UiTM), Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Hisham is a senior lecturer at the Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia and currently a PhD candidate in Art & Design at Monash University, Australia. Hisham graduated from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, United States, in 2002 with an MFA in Advertising Design and received a BA in Graphic Design from Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia in 1993. He worked in the design industry for several years before beginning a teaching career. He has participated in numerous exhibitions and won many awards at national and international level. Hisham also a member of ICOGRADA (The International Council of Graphic Design Associations). As a researcher and designer, Hisham is now looking for a highly creative new environment where he can continue to grow, discover new challenges and share his creative knowledge and experience. Most importantly, he hopes to gain new notions of creativity in order to be a good educator and designer.

Dr. Jennifer Butler

Faculty of Art & Design, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Jennifer is a coordinator 1st year Interdisciplinary Design Studio, coordinator of Master of Design (coursework) and during 2010 acting coordinator for Bachelor of Interior Architecture. Jennifer also lecturers within these programmes at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. In 2008 she obtained a PhD Structural Thinking: Thinking Structure, Faculty of Art & Design, Monash University and 1967 BA Fine Arts (1st Class Hons) Sculpture with Drawing, Ravensbourne College of Art & Design, UK. Her works has been exhibited locally and overseas. For more information about Jennifer please visit her website www.jenbutler.com.au.

Russell Kennedy

Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


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