Zhang, M, Sas, C, Lambert, Z. and Ahmad, M.

Designing for the Infrastructure of the Supply Chain of Malay Handwoven Songket in Terengganu

The growing HCI interest in developing contexts and cultural craft practices is ripe to focus on the under-explored homegrown sociotechnical infrastructures in such contexts. This paper explores the creative infrastructural actions embedded within the practices of songket’s supply chain in Terengganu, Malaysia. We report on contextual interviews with 92 participants including preparation workers, weavers, designers, merchants, and customers. Findings indicate that increased creative infrastructural actions are reflected in these actors’ resourcefulness for mobilizing information, materials, and equipment, and for making creative artifacts through new technologies weaved within traditional practices. We propose two approaches to design in this craft-based infrastructure. First, we explore designing for the social layer of infrastructure and its mutually advantageous exploitative relationships rooted in culture and traditions. Second, we suggest designing for roaming value-creation artifacts, which blend physical and digital materializations of songket textile design. Developed through a collaborative and asynchronous process, we argue that these artifacts represent less-explored vehicles for value co-creation, and that both them and their sociotechnical infrastructure as emerging sites of innovation could benefit from HCI research.


Zhang, M, Sas, C, and Ahmad, M.

Design for Songket Weaving in Malay Cottage Industry


Songket is a traditional cultural heritage and national identity of Malaysia. Yet the hand-weaving practices are increasingly endangered and we know little about the current challenges faced by rural songket weavers. This paper reports interviews with 12 home-based weavers from a Malay village. We recognized two key actors in songket supply and demand chain: weavers and middleman, and outlined the motivations and challenges of three types of weavers, alongside the multiple roles played by the middleman. We concluded with three design implications supporting songket cultural heritage and weavers’ economic empowerment.



Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency which has received increasing interest over the last five years. Built upon a decentralized peer to peer system, it supports transparent, fast, cost effective, and irreversible transactions, without the need for trusting third party financial institutions. We know however little about people's motivation and experience with bitcoin currency. This paper reports on interviews with 20 bitcoin users in Malaysia about their experience and trust challenges. Findings show that bitcoins are used more as store of value for speculative investment or savings' protection. The paper advances the HCI theories on trust by identifying main bitcoin characteristics and their impact on trust, such as decentralization, unregulation, embedded expertise, and reputation, as well as transactions' transparency, low cost, and easiness to complete. We discuss insecure transactions, the risk of dishonest traders and its mitigating strategies. The paper concludes with design implications including support for the transparency of two-way transactions, tools for materializing trust, and tools for supporting reversible transactions.