Wayang Golek is a three-dimensional wooden doll art performance originating in the traditional Sundanese culture of West Java. It is now one of the many cultural practices facing the threat of extinction due to the lack of knowledge in young Sundanese generations and the emergence of new westernized cultures in day-to-day mainstream media exposure. It is timely, therefore, to document these practices and reflect on their utility for modern educational contexts.
This research project aims to observe the current state of Cultural Arts course in primary schools in Indonesia, particularly in West Java, and intends to explore strategies to infuse culture into the course through activity-based learning that preferences creativity and performativity in order to help preserve culture and educate young Sundanese generations on the practices and forms of Wayang Golek.
Based on the findings in this research, student-centred learning resulted in better student engagement and in-class participation. Especially in terms of subject understanding and lesson direction, students enjoy doing activities and mapping their own learning process to understand why and for what they’re learning something. Cultural values preservation must also be executed in a way so that not much of the original cultural values are lost in translation.
As a designer, this research has imposed new understandings in performing experiments and taking further steps into materializing concepts into appliable modules. This research also sheds a light into the role of communication design in multidisciplinary settings, especially in the education sector. Also for those who are specifically working with culture, to develop sensitivity to cultural contexts, explain how knowledge is constructed differently in various cultures through design, construct frameworks and approaches on communicating cultural values through design, and produce a research-driven design strategy to add value in cultural preservation.