In September 2013 a group of design students from UTS’s u.lab travelled to Banda Aceh in Indonesia to help start-up Kupi Culture roll out their plans for an innovation hub that will strengthen the Banda Aceh community and the engagement of young people in community life.
Undergraduate student Ashley was one of 6 undergraduate students supported by BUiLD to attend this session. Check out Ashley’s beautiful photographic reflection piece that captures the heart of Banda Aceh’s unique community spirit here.
There is nothing quite like the experience of being able to go over to Banda Aceh to work within the community. The skills which I have picked up during the workshop from both the students and other members from the trip are invaluable. The most rewarding part of the workshop was being able to present our projects to the local community, the project which was shaped by each group. Each day having students who were willing to take us around to their local coffee shops and to see the city as they would, created what I felt was a far more authentic experience for a visitor to their beautiful city. It was easy to come into Aceh with a lot of misguided pre-conceptions about how the Acehnese lived life, but this was broken extremely quickly as we were able to assimilate into their relaxed way of life. Through extremely open conversations with the locals we could begin to understand how they felt about Banda Aceh’s way of life and its history in a way that I now consider extremely unlikely in more westernised societies. With all the locals so friendly, I felt completely comfortable within Banda Aceh.
– Ashley, Kupi Culture in Banda Aceh, September 2013