Gamia Dewanggamanik

Job Title:

PhD Research Student


Innovation School



Ikat weaving community in Tomia, the Wakatobi Islands.
Photo credit Alfian Widi.

Ikat weaving community in Tomia, the Wakatobi Islands.


Gamia Dewanggamanik

Future-making through material culture study within community development practices in rural areas of Indonesia

Primary Supervisor: Prof. Lynn-Sayers McHattie
Co Supervisor: Dr Cara Broadley

Gamia’s research project explores the intersection of future-making and material culture study situated in community development practices in Indonesia. It explores how the methods and strategies employed in design as a future-making practice can operate in contexts of social innovation and make room for more generative sustainable changes in rural areas of Indonesia that are facing complex socio-economic and environmental challenges; including Teluk Kulbi village in Jambi Province and the Wakatobi Islands in Southeast Sulawesi. With the uncertainties these communities are facing, how can designers engage and collaborate with these communities to explore the unknown and collectively shape desirable futures and build a more resilient community?

The research investigates how the exploration of social and cultural assets can be used for designers to engage with communities, appreciate local strengths and capabilities, and use these to inform actions that enables ownership of the futures. The research seeks to challenge the dominant narratives existing in traditional community empowerment practices. It provides a critical trajectory for social-led design by building in-depth understandings about the notion of communities’ resilience and vulnerability that are culturally, socially and geographically context-specific. By addressing the multidimensional nature of these concepts, the research aims to demonstrate how empowerment can be built through actions, vernacularity and narratives that emerge from communities’ adaptation to changes, and how it can be implemented for policy-making.

The research is a part of Global Challenges Research Fund program.