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Roempi, by Nadia Natalia

Various users

Various authors

A research done in order to find the reason why this phenomena can happen. It is shown in many cases, some local products are not designed well. They look old and obsolete, and do not suit the ‘nowadays style’ anymore. And because of the poor quality standard, some of them are even made in bad quality.

Luckily, things are started to change. Nowadays, young designers started to take inspiration from culture. They are trying to modify and transform what is called traditional before into something contemporary and modern. Having been inspired by culture, gives a greater advantage because the products created will have their own uniqueness. This uniqueness is an important thing, because it shows the identity and distincts one product to the others. Moreover, with the rising awareness in cultural heritage, locally and culturally, it could give an added value to the product. This method could also be a great way to promote Indonesian culture not only for the foreigners, but for the locals as well. They can learn and experience Indonesia in an interesting way. Thus my thesis aims to create a product that still portrays local richness, for the user’s unique experience of Indonesia.

POCI TEA. The research about Indonesian culture brought me to a tea-drinking habbit in a small city called Tegal in Central Java, Indonesia. The habit was started for the first time by the workers of a tea plantation owned by the Dutch, during the Dutch colonization in Indonesia. The workers used to take leftover tea leaves, no longer used by the Dutch, made tea from those leaves. They would gather together to enjoy the tea after their working hour. Those tea leaves is the reason why Poci Tea has unique sour taste, because it was actually a leftover that Poci Tea did not meet the standard set by the Dutch at that period. But as the time goes by, locals started to love this tea, and soon the sour taste became the characteristic of Poci Tea. Nowadays, Poci Tea is a symbol of a close relathionship: being served with Poci Tea when visiting families or friends signifies a welcoming gesture of the host. What makes it meaningful? The habit holds a deep concept as a way of socializing. They will gather with friends and family after their working hour. That is the time for locals to share and discuss on any issues. The ritual itself encourages people to talk to each other, and the rock sugar also plays a part: the drinker will have to wait for the sugar to dissolve as it does not require stirring. That way, the interval between preparing and drinking the tea will be long enough for people to start a conversation among themselves.

There are three design features to be included in designing a new product based on culture. The design features work as a parameter to measure the changes from the traditional one to the new one. Those features represent cultural levels inside a product. The first design feature is called visceral design. It is in the tangible level so it can be seen physically. This aspect can be seen through product’s appearance, form, color, pattern, and texture. The second feature is called behavioral design. This feature is also on the tangible level because it speaks about product’s function and usability, safety, and important feature. The third feature is named reflective design. It is the only feature that can not be measured physically. It speaks about the intangible part of a product that can be seen through the emotion and affection created by the product to affect the user, based on the original cultutal issue. The three features interwave both emotion and cognition.