The three keynote speakers, Professor Olle Anderson, Professor Pamela Allara and Mr. William Harald-Wong represent diverse design and art specialisation areas to introduce new insights for the delegates.
PROFESSOR OLLE ANDERSON (SWEDEN)
Professor Anderson is the artistic leader and Chairman of White Design –an interdisciplinary design studio in Gothenburg, Sweden. He is a senior partner in White Architect’s, one of the largest architect’s practices in Europe. Olle Anderson is the President Elect of International Federation of Interior Design/Architects as from September 2001. He is a professor of Interior Architecture and Furniture Design at the Universities of Gothenburg, Oslo and Chalmes, and the receiver of numerous design awards. He is the founder and organiser of the international and experimental WOOD workshops and currently also involved in the design and making of textiles, glass art works and conceptual art installations.
PROFESSOR PAMELA ALLARA (BOSTON)
Pamela Allara is an Associate Professor in the Fine Arts Department at Brandeis University in Waltham Massachusetts, where she teaches modern and contemporary art, the history of film and video art, and women's art. The author of Pictures of People: Alice Neel's American Portrait Gallery, she is currently a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the Technikon Witwatersrand, where she is conducting research on contemporary South African art for an exhibition at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis. Her keynote address was titled: Design Feeds the Poor, and Art Historians, too!
WILLIAM HARALD-WONG (MALAYSIA)
William is the principal of William Harald-Wong & Associates, a corporate identity design consultancy based in Kuala Lumpur. Having worked on many far-flung projects, from Bali to Sydney, Mozambique to Uzbekistan, the company places a high value on local culture and beliefs, weaving them into its concepts and design where appropriate.
William also heads MOMENT Font Studio which focuses on intercultural research and documentation. Its research is aimed at traditions and beliefs throughout Southeast Asia from ancient times to the present and its findings will serve as a resource for the creation of meaningful contemporary Southeast Asian graphic design.
Moment's projects include recording the stories of elderly Balinese dancer sand musicians, and the reconstruction of lost dance pieces; documenting shamanistic ritual-performance and healing along the Malaysian/Thai border; and tracing Malay woodcarving design motifs back to the ancient Hindu/Buddhist kingdom of Langkasuka.
In Malaysia, as in other Southeast Asian nations, ancient values are being challenged by the values of mass consumption, with the threat of globalisation reducing all the richness of the region’s cultures to logos, not least because the majority of the people have a great propensity to erase the past and embrace the new and banal, equating it with being progressive and modern.
This collision of values spurs the creation of graphic design that is meaningful and vital, ideas that can reawaken our sense of place (geographical, historical, psychological, communal), push us to re-examine our own multicultural realities and reflect on the future of our past.
The 40-minute presentation explored the topics from around the region, and illustrated with works from William Harald-Wong & Associates and Moment Font Studio.