What is Design as Generator (DAG)?

Imagine Design as Generator (DAG).

Imagine design works like a generator, building up energy and transform the energy to light others.

Imagine design as living organism, like a spider web, connect, influence, stir up and inspire other lives. Imagine design as virulent virus, spreading ferociously, and forcing people to change their life’s perspective as if it was their only way to be cured

In the world of DAG, design should be practical and applicable as it served its own goal: to enhance the quality of human life.

In the world of DAG design where never meant for building its exclusiveness but rather design meant for others than itself: design serves, design generate,

Thus we, designer are the initiator, inventor and the operator of this (life) generator.[1],[2]
II. WHY Design as Generator (DAG)?

Design as Generator

Design as Generator

Change fast. We need to change fast. There are two main reasons why we need to change fast: (1) Global climate change as a fact and (2) more specifically Indonesia’s slow reaction to it, thus it pushed this notion into even greater needs. The first reason strongly relate to the second because these deteriorated global climate condition required global action yet has to response contextually and very specific depending on the character of every region.

Indonesia’s common strategies and responses, especially in the context for its societies towards these fact-issues usually led to the discussion of what we known as traditional approach of design participation and community empowerment. The common approach could be identified as:
(a) The very usual Bottom Up approach, where in some extent, government will gave support – as this approach valued as the most sustain. The approach will need champions in the area either individual or groups of people that will dedicated his/her life for the program.
(b) The Top Down approach, with regulation, direct and transparent implementation from the acting government. The approach will showed the quality of good governance derived from best practice of leadership, in this sense the government will acting as champion with capabilities of making policies and its implementations.
Both of these approaches mainly targeting low class and poor people, emphasizing on improving their economic condition by designing activities based on their daily activities (i.e: greening, waste management and recycling production activities) but not directly related to their dwelling and dwelling activities.

The main problem of this traditional approach is: it is VAST and always not FAST. It needed vast and extensive time frame with tendency of life long process involvement, thus it always need champions to keep it sustain. The other problems are the detachment of dwelling and its dwelling activities (in terms of design and built environment scope).
Thus what we need to provide are: (1) what (Sustainable) Design (Approach) can actually contribute (; more personally) to society (; yet could be implemented in general)? and (2) How it can give rapid change and accurate as this is what we need, comparing to the latter traditional approach?

Here, where and why DAG comes in: Design as Generator with Design Thinking Approach.

DAG believes that:
(1) (Sustainable) Design can give rapid changes and accurate opposed to the traditional approach of design participation and community empowerment;
(2) Design should be and can change everyday life. It influence everyone and as design thinking proposed is the only way that is necessary to endorse innovation in human life, while innovation itself is the only way for human to survive current life;
(3) Sustainable design approach can only be sustained with active participation of its user. Design as Generator (DAG) offered as the sustainability elements of this particular design approach;
(4) DAG will acting as a hard proof of design virulent effects in the area of build environment, which will causing change trend movement into better life for its user, from personal to communities.

In order to create DAG, it should be best seen as a series of design experiment to enhance dwelling activities with an active involvement and contribution from its user. The design experiment are: (1) Creating D(welling)PaD – A(rea)PaD + series of D(welling)Apps with Design Thinking Approach; (2) Prototyping; (3) DAG Implementation; (4) DAG Evaluation and; (5) DAG As Sustainable Design Implementation for General Purpose and Community + DAG as Design Policy.

The acronym of D-PaD, A-PaD and D-Apps, derived from the genius idea of Apple’s Ipad by the late Steve Jobs. D-PaD stands for Dwelling-Prototype Applicative Design, is dwelling deliberatley designed to innovate sustainable or life changing event approach of its dwellers. Innovations emerged from personal creativity of its user then will be known as D-Apps, Dwelling-Applications. D-PaD and D-Apps will generate others, thus design in the context of dwelling and built environment will be a generator. If the generator already on and it generate other D-PaD and DApps, thus it should generate and form A-PaD, stands as Area-Prototype Applicative Design.[2]

please follow this link in Bahasa Indonesia

Martin L KATOPPO & Ruth E OPPUSUNGGU (2013), “What is and Why Design as Generator?”-International Conference on Creative Industry (ICCI) 2013, Department of Industrial Design, ITS, Surabaya, 2013. Full paper will be published on 13th November 2013.


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