BINUS International Office

Unfolding Context-Informed Designs with China

Hanny Wijaya, Head of Internationalization & Partnership Program at BINUS UNIVERSITY School of Design, combines her research interests with her internationalization duties to develop strategic partnerships abroad. For her, collaboration is the tool for shaping design education in Asia into a research focused interdisciplinary field repositioning the region and addressing common problems. China has taken Hanny’s eye over the last period for its curiosity in crossroads of design and sustainability.

At 2015 international “Design Workshop for Water and Sustainable Asia” at Shenzhen Polytechnic, hosted by Professor Xiao Yong, funded by Chinese organizations, and supported by the UNESCO, she guided students to create beautiful artwork addressing the global water pollution problem. The students created installations of layered acrylics. Interplay of light in layers, beautiful from afar, became a pollution problem at a closer look – garbage, oil and chemicals.

Through faculty and student exchange sponsored by Hubei University of Technology, the two institutions support one another in bringing students from different backgrounds together to learn importance of cultural and historical contexts and research thinking. Good example is Hanny’s seminar, workshop and exhibition “World Landmarks in Chinese Perspectives.” Students from different backgrounds (animation, public art, graphic design, etc.) collaborated for an interdisciplinary art experience bringing to life representations of world landmarks from a contemporary Asian perspective.

Titled “The World of Innocence,” the exhibition Hanny is curating together with 8 other curators from various countries, encourages academics and students to compare perspectives of an ideal world. The exhibition is part of the annual activities of Intercultural Academic International Forum. Organized by the Creative Advertising Program, BINUS University School of Design, is unrolling this July in China. Digitally curated artwork will be exhibited at the One Space Gallery and published in the ArtPlus Magazine.

Hanny finds the rewards from international cooperation to be invaluable at both personal and professional levels: “I have made many lasting friendships, broadened my perspectives, and co-created memorable design projects. It is also reassuring to see that we share similar challenges. I encourage everyone to partake in the faculty exchange programs. I am looking forward to learn more from our colleagues in China. We will hold a workshop on art and cultural research for Taiwan students around mid-July this year. We will also soon host students from Gengdan Institue of Beijing University of Technology for art and cultural immersion ….”