Current Edition Sat, 31 Jan 2015 16:31:29 GMT FeedCreator 1.8.0-dev ( Design and architecture in Indonesia   Alexandra Crosby

The role of design in social change has received increasing public attention in the last decade. User-centred, iterative, participatory flexible approaches to the design of objects, spaces, communications, services and experiences are valued by policy makers and firms all over the world to address issues of social justice, sustainability and urban development. Simultaneously the territory within which design operates has been changing. Design is sometimes used synonymously with consumerism, urban tastes, and globalisation, such as ‘designer handbags’, but what design is and what it does is much more complex, and many of these new definitions of design are emerging in Indonesia.


1-editorial-crosbyThe cocoon homestay houses, designed by Errik Irwan and constructed by Muslih Nu, blend into the surroundings of Kandangan coffee plantation in Central Java - Jessica Lea Dunn

Indeed one of the motivations of this edition of Inside Indonesia has been to make Indonesian design more visible. The resulting collection of articles also challenges the definitions and boundaries of design as they shift in global discourse.

This issue brings together instances of participatory design, design action, citizen design, design thinking and social design that are specific to local Indonesian contexts. This includes the development of new processes that address overtly social, environmental and political issues as well as the employment of design forms that can make political statements. In some ways design is considered in this edition as a form of activism, a movement that resists the ‘better, faster, cheaper’ mantra of neoliberalism, anticipates uncertain futures and responds to the immense challenges of urbanisation, poverty and climate change.

The edition opens with a visually rich essay by Jessica Lea Dunn exploring the work of legendary product designer Singgih Kartono. From his iconic wooden Magno wooden radio to his bamboo bicycles, Kartono’s designs focus on community needs, local economies, and sustainable resource use. His manufacturing methods model an alternative to large scale production in urban factories while challenging the inevitability of mass urbanisation by firmly placing design practice and business in a village context.

The next article also addresses urbanisation but turns our focus to the role of architects in ensuring that kampung upgrades address the needs of residents through participatory design practices. Muhammad Kamil describes how for socially concerned architects, such as Romo Mangunwijaya, design has come to include immaterial processes that facilitate new forms of interaction. Here architects ‘facilitate’ the design of kampung structures and systems, directed and implemented by residents themselves. The opening up of such processes to participation means that design can be a form of resistance to eviction, rather than fait accompli in the development process.

Further questions challenging the traditional role of architecture are taken up by Amanda Achmadi and Agung Sentausa. They propose that, in the face of rising religious intolerance, design plays a role in ensuring peaceful everyday interactions within diverse urban populations. Their analysis shows how Jakarta’s malls are in part about consumerism but also contribute to the continual reorientation of religious identities that is so important to Indonesian society.

Also exploring the issue of religious expression, farid rakun reveals an unexamined history of vernacular graphic design in Jakarta by linking the production of urban stickers to urban semiotics. As with the design of shopping malls, the design of image and text combinations in these tiny canvases has provided necessary space for the interplay of seemingly incongruent messages of religion and popular culture.

Sybrand Zijlstra takes a step back to look at a local application of the idea of design thinking, that is, applying design approaches and methods outside design situations. He points to the example of the Bandung Creative City Forum which has been using an ‘urban acupuncture’ approach to connect local neighbourhoods with Mayor Ridwan Kamil’s broader ‘creative city’ initiatives.

We then move to Yogyakarta, where Malcolm Smith looks at how artists are using their skills in graphics, fashion, textiles and product design to create merchandise that is sustaining their arts practices while bringing critical dimensions to contemporary design products. These design practices speak to the particular pressures felt by young Indonesian artists working in a highly commercialised art as pointed out by Adrian Vickers in his editorial for Inside Indonesia’s most recent visual arts edition (

Continuing in the fertile territory between art and design practices, Rebecca Conroy chats with cross-disciplinary artist Andreas Siagian about how social design can facilitate DIY education. Siagian’s work always begins with curiosity, demonstrated by his recent ‘wine project’ about local alcohol manufacture. By working with communities in ways that intersect science, art and design, he says, new forms of knowledge are created and circulated.

The articles in this edition reveal a diversity of approaches taken up by Indonesia’s contemporary designers and architects. Each identifies design practice as force of change and contributes to a broad spectrum of design activism. The critical question is not whether design is political or not, but what kind of politics does design do?

Alexandra Crosby is a lecturer in Interdisciplinary Design Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. She runs a ‘Global Studio’ in Jakarta with the aim of facilitating collaborations between young designers in Australia and Indonesia.

Inside Indonesia 118: Oct-Dec 2014{jcomments on}
]]> (Alexandra Crosby) Sun, 28 Sep 2014 12:48:36 GMT
Between science, art and social design there is community An interview with Andreas Siagian

Rebecca Conroy

1 conroyKempsey Residency workshop with Melville High School – Yenny Huber/dLux Media Arts

Andreas Siagian is a cross-disciplinary artist with an engineering background focusing on creative communities, alternative education, DIY (Do it Yourself) and DIWO (Do It With Others) culture and interdisciplinary collaboration in art, design, science and technology. He was recently in Australia as the international visiting artist for dLux Media Arts dLab program. His collective, Lifepatch, is based in Yogyakarta and uses social design methods to encourage experimental thinking and practice amongst the community.

How did you get involved in the DIY art and science community in Indonesia?

My background is in Civil Engineering. I completed my undergraduate study (in Indonesia) between 1998 and 2005. During that time, there was major change in Indonesia politically, because it was the end of the regime of Suharto. I think for my generation, we were quite lucky to be growing up and witnessing these changes. Of course, it also impacted many layers of society and one of the biggest changes was to freedom of speech and freedom to express yourself. At that time, the art scene was impacted by Suharto because he was the enemy of the art movement, of politically engaged art practices. At that time, while I was at university there was a new culture emerging. I got involved in the electronic music scene, helping to organise electronic music gigs and events. One thing in particular that made me really change was an AV programming workshop by a collective, RYbN from France ( They were the reason why I was interested to jump into the art world.

What have been some of the changes in the post-reformasi era?

In the past ten years, most of the community were able to talk freely or make an artistic statement about what's going on, what's wrong with society and discuss political policies. Even so, since 2004, most of the intellectuals, 30 per cent, don't vote for the presidency. They're pessimistic about the failed realisation of many of the changes promised after 1998. But since the recent presidential election, many artists are once again seeing hope for the new leader. The use of social media in that sense was very much a part of helping them to state their support for Jokowi. This did not happen before 1998. Only the radical artist groups could really state their opposition to Suharto, like Taring Padi, for example. But I think there are still very few artistic groups that have a strong involvement in political activity the way Taring Padi did in 1998. Now it's more diverse. Community engagement is more about critiquing education policy in Indonesia.

Can you talk about Lifepatch, your organisation?

It’s been two years since I co-founded Lifepatch. I think there are limited options for young people in Indonesia looking to expand their knowledge. What is really ridiculous is that while there are possibilities that can come with the internet, the curriculum changes required for the formal education system are not up to speed. That is why the main focus of Lifepatch is on sharing knowledge with the people. Until now, there were no formal education options for learning about new media – there is no school for that. At Lifepatch, we question global technologies and science - the trends. We realised that Indonesia lost many traditional sciences during colonisation. We try to bring this specific issue of traditional science into our practices because we think it is very important and very interesting.

Can you give some examples of what those traditional sciences are and talk about your specific approach to disseminating that knowledge?

Alternative education forms and social design can really help us to innovate because there are limited options available in formal execution. Ideally, both groups should work together to address this issue. For example, the wine project starts with the question, ‘what are the local alcohol products from Indonesia?’ We discovered that there is no local beer. Bir Bintang is actually Heineken and Anker is from San Miguel. So we question what is this beer: it is made from a plant that is not naturally grown in Indonesia. Meanwhile, there are plenty of informal alcohol products that are made in Indonesia such as Ciu, Lapen, Arak, Tuak et cetera. Because of the suppression of alcohol cultures through government policy, people are inhibited from experimenting and developing a product that is drinkable - where people drink it because it's good, not because they want to get drunk. We started that project in 2010 when the government introduced a new policy, increasing the alcohol tax to 40 per cent. We started by asking the scientists from Microbiology at Gadjah Mada University (UGM) to help us understand fermentation and we commenced experimentation by making wine from tropical fruits. We experimented with 30 different fruits and tried to finesse the taste so that it tasted good and was safe and hygienic for the people. By understanding this process, we could creatively distribute the knowledge to the people. We conducted workshops and people were asked to bring their own water bottle, hose and candle to start their own fermentation project.

2 conroyKempsey Residency workshop with Melville High School – Yenny Huber/dLux Media Arts

What is the future vision for Lifepatch?

We want to continue delivering and organising small-scale workshops. We believe that small-scale and continuous is better than large-scale and one-off. I think this is more effective for our social practices in the community. Our tagline is ‘citizen initiative’ because our field is both art and science, and we really depend on the collaboration between people who are involved in both these practices. If we call it an art initiative, then scientists don’t feel they have a space in that. We try to make it neutral for people from different backgrounds.

Who else do you work with?

We work in Yogyakarta. Recently, we collaborated with Kedai Kebun Forum, a local space, to organise Hackteria lab with Hyphen, Otakatik, Permablitz, Teapot experience, and many artists. We also worked with ruangrupa in Jakarta and we recently established a network with Jatiwangi art factory. WAFT-LAB has been our collaborator for a while. Internationally, we are part of Hackteria, an international network that was started by Marc Dusseiller and others. They have been coming to Indonesia every year which has been really important for the collaboration. Their practices have significant use in the context of Asian communities. Each time, we try to develop a model for the workshop that can be easily distributed to the people. We recently finished Hackteria lab 2014, and held a two-week lab and residency for all the artists and scientists. We connected this with local communities who also worked with us, such as Green Tech Community, microbiology UGM, Otakatik. We work to connect them so that they can establish their own international collaboration.

What is the role of DIY and DIWO in Indonesia?

The truth is that DIY has been an established practice in Indonesia for centuries because the government never worked for us (laughs). So we have this mentality, this sense of community that emerged from having to rely on our own resources to do anything. The distribution of knowledge should work with this DIY mentality, which has for a long time existed in Indonesia. When I hear people talking about open source hardware and software… in Indonesia, it doesn't work like that. Like for us, for Arduino (an open source hardware that you can program) will cost Rp.300,000 (A$35)—that's a lot for an Indonesian—you can buy 30 meals with that amount of money. Indonesia doesn't operate like that. For example, if we want software, we can go to a CD rental shop, hand over our ID card and we can get a CD full of Microsoft software. So this hardcore attitude that you have to be open source, in reality we don't work like that. We work with professors that are using Windows and so we have to work with that. We can't say that you have to work with this open source Linux. This mentality can only grow with education. There is very little distribution of this knowledge in Indonesia, compared to the global movements and only alternative education practices can deliver this knowledge. That is why DIY and DIWO have to come with an awareness of sharing of knowledge and education to the society so that they can see that there is an alternative to what is made available by Bill Gates. At the moment, we just offer an alternative solution. But in the end, it is the community that must decide.

Rebecca Conroy is a writer and arts practitioner working across site, community engagement, and interventions through artist led activity. She completed her PhD in 2006 researching Oppositional Performance Practice in contemporary Indonesia, where she spent her ‘youth’.

Inside Indonesia 118: Oct-Dec 2014{jcomments on}
]]> (Rebecca Conroy) Sun, 28 Sep 2014 12:01:52 GMT
Urban stickers surfacing in time Stiker kota revisited

farid rakun

1 rakunCover of the book Stiker Kota

To talk about contemporary graphic design in Indonesia, we have to acknowledge the ubiquity of stiker kota, or city stickers. Stiker Kota are small (usually less than 15 centimetres wide), cheap, popular stickers that circulate widely through urban networks. Designers are generally anonymous and work by responding to the popularity of their designs (judged by sales and their appearance on urban surfaces) as well as trends in popular culture. Jakarta-based, artist-run initiative ruangrupa considers stiker kota a visually-rich social phenomena and has been researching and archiving them since 2001.

Stiker Kota have played an important role in mediating public opinion in Indonesia. Through the making-distributing-choosing-buying-pasting-consuming of the stickers, tensions can be raised and silently resolved between competing forces. It is on these surfaces that moralistic views and their liberal counterparts are provided an early and even battleground. Humour goes head-to-head with religiosity, neither ever clearly emerging as a winner. Here, Qur'anic calligraphy can sit next to a portrait of Jesus Christ, who is looking down to ‘Chewe Guepara’ (freely translated as ‘my girl is nasty’), a textual and visual pun of Che Guevara. All done in peace, without causing a rumpus: bebas tapi sopan (liberal but proper).

1a rakunCover of the 2nd volume of Karbon journal

These stickers were mainly produced in small villages, with the biggest supplier, AMP Prod, located in Pakisaji, near Malang in East Java. At least 70 per cent of stiker kota available in Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Surabaya, Malang, and Blitar were printed by AMP, whose history tells a story of urbanisation in Indonesia. First, with the change from agrarian to industrial society, the founder of AMP, Kusnadi, in 1974 stopped working as a sugarcane laborer, and worked as a courier for a company owned by Koh Beng, learning sticker production on the side. In 1977, with his wife Pujowati and her brother, Haryanto, Kusnadi founded his own company and named it AMP (Adi Mas Putra - little brother, big brother and son).

As with every commercial practice, the belief in growth and labor efficiency was paramount. Thanks to mechanisation, AMP slashed their number of workers from 150 at the end of the 1980s, to only 75 in 2008, while steadily increasing their productivity. Until 1998, the scale of production only allowed distribution to Malang, Surabaya and Blitar. During the 1997-98 recession, when a lot of the competition went bankrupt, AMP took on a lot of new clients making it the biggest player in the business nation-wide. AMP’s story demonstrates the ubiquitous effects of urbanisation. Hundreds of kilometres away from urban centres, villages also transform their industry, producing and linking to the communication systems of urbanites.

2 rakunGIliran diGOyang LOyo (impotent when rocky)
3 rakunConsistent. Enemies of revolution “go to hell with your aid”. Bung Karno

Additionally, we found in AMP’s history of product diversification a story analogous to the history of freedom of expression in Indonesia. The birth of the business was made possible through the production of religious stickers, but it then diversified, starting with the classic popular idioms such as ‘Sekarang bayar besok gratis’ (‘pay now, free tomorrow’). What followed was supply for the demands of an image-crazed society: sexy girls—scanned directly from calendars—were printed on the same presses as the verses from the Qur'an. The final culmination was the warning sticker series - which allowed a seamless juxtaposition of religious and popular culture with slogans such as ‘Utamakan Sholat’ (honour prayers) with ‘Mantan Preman’ (ex-gangster).

4 rakunDanger. Ex-gangster
5 rakunWarning. Satanic face, (sticky) rice package. The most common form of the Warning series, depicting a subtle sexual pun
6 rakunChe Guevara depicted as Benyamin Sueb, a legendary comedian from Jakarta

In recent years as online social media, personal publishing platforms and digital printing have emerged, stiker kota has been fading in the urban landscape. Instead of attaching a humorous image-text design to their motorcycle bumpers the trend is towards tweets and touchscreens. Stiker kota are becoming obsolete, and in that process, the urban surfaces that used to provide territory for shared entertainment are sterilised. As we reminisce over the design of the stickers, tagging #stikerkota on our smartphones, we also remember a time when one meme could literally be stuck over another in the mess of urban surfaces.

Stiker kota translates directly to ‘urban stickers’. A book of the same title was published in 2008, by ruangrupa (Ugeng T. Moetidjo, Ardi Yunanto, Ade Darmawan, and Mirwan Andan). It was a continuation of similar efforts, previously published in 2001 as the second volume of Karbon journal, entitled Cetak Urban: Yang Personal di Atas Tafsiran Sosiologis (Urban Printing: The Personal Upon Sociological Interpretation) for which Ade Darmawan, Hafiz, and Ronny Agustinus acted as editors. More recently, Ardi Yunanto revisited this subject in Mengenal, atau Mengenang, Stiker Kota (Knowing, or Remembering, Stiker Kota) for Jakarta Biennale 13: SIASAT (for which Ade Darmawan served as a curator). This essay is an attempt to briefly reintroduce these initiatives and their findings for non­Indonesian readers.

7 rakunMy girl is nasty. Collage remixing Che Guevara portrait
8 rakunCaution. My heart is for you but… your wealth is mine

farid rakun is an artist, writer, editor, teacher and instigator based in Jakarta. Trained as an architect, he currently serves as editor and researcher for the artists’ initiative ruangrupa, while teaching full-time at the University of Indonesia.

Inside Indonesia 118: Oct-Dec 2014{jcomments on}
]]> (farid rakun) Sun, 28 Sep 2014 11:02:50 GMT
Solid Krack! Artist merchandise in Yogyakarta

Malcolm Smith

1 smithHendra 'blangkon' Priyadhani, Not a young artist, not yet professional (tote bag, screenprinted on canvas) 2014 From Solid Krack! Krack Studio Yogyakarta 2014

Many artists see merchandising as a means to pay the bills while they wait for the big payday when they get famous for their ‘real work’. But the reality is often not that simple. Merchandising can take up a lot of time, for minimal returns, and can obscure the message of an artist or collective However, if done well, it can provide new ways of engaging audiences and new avenues of social commentary. And pay the rent. Few artists relish economics, but like they say: you either have to work it, or it ends up working you.

Last year, I attended a gallery opening in Sydney of an artist collective from Southeast Asia. As the night progressed, and the crowd became increasingly lubricated by the free wine on offer, the artists brought out a suitcase full of T-shirts, some of which were printed with exactly the same images as the editioned works hanging on the walls. The T-shirts cost A$20 each and were snapped up immediately. The printed works on the walls cost around A$150. The gallery owner grumbled to me, ‘I tried to hide those T-shirts. Every T-shirt that we sell is an artwork we didn’t sell.’

I’m involved with an alternative space slash printmaking studio in Yogyakarta called Krack! that critically examines issues and developments in our region, and explores innovative approaches with the print medium. We work mainly with artists in the first 10 years of their graduation and provide them with a space to develop their ideas and skills up to the point when they are able to maintain their practices independently.

A key issue for us since we started has been sustainability. This is in terms of the materials and methods that we use in the studio, and how we, as a studio, can continue to pay the rent, buy equipment and feed ourselves. Importantly, we are also interested in how we can diversify opportunities for artists aside from Indonesia’s problematic commercial art market or the very limited public funding opportunities.

This means that we need to sell stuff so that Krack! can keep paying its bills and artists can keep on making work. The three members of our collective, Prihatmoko Moki, Rudi Hermawan and myself, all have plenty of art experience but barely any sales experience. It’s been an interesting learning curve.

2 smithInstallation view, Solid Krack! Krack Studio Yogyakarta 2014

Most of Krack!’s sales are made outside of Yogyakarta, or to people visiting Yogyakarta from outside – mainly Jakarta, Singapore or Australia. We get visitors almost every day, who drink coffee and chat with us, and flip through our folders of previous exhibitions. Some of them are collectors, some are curators, some are artists but mostly, they are just people who love art, and are fascinated by the critical mass of artistic production in Yogyakarta and Southeast Asia generally, and want to understand it better. Often, they buy works. My feeling on this, generally, is that they buy the item not for its ‘investment’ value but because they like it, and also because they like us and they want to support what we are doing.

In May this year, Moki developed a range of merchandise for our studio called ‘Solid Krack!’. He invited a number of artists to contribute T-shirts, textiles, accessories and toys that are now on permanent display at the front of our gallery space. Our initial target market were our friends from Yogyakarta, who always attended our shows but couldn’t really ever afford to buy anything.

While the challenges of exploring new print techniques and new materials were interesting and fun, we couldn’t claim that the project was particularly successful for us financially. For a range of merchandise, that was the whole point. The problem was that after we had taken out the costs of production, the artist’s commission, and the costs of installation, packaging and so forth, the profit margin was pretty negligible. OK it was negative.

But we haven’t given up on Solid Krack!. Moki is now exploring practical alternatives, encouraging our artists to rethink their materials and processes, and to produce their work in larger editions without sacrificing quality. We hope this will reduce cost and time.

At the same time, we are reconsidering what it actually means for us to produce merchandise in a critical context. Increasingly, contemporary design in Indonesia, as in the rest of the world, is being used to comment on society, politics and the human condition. This can be done through the innovative use of materials, environmentally and socially friendly practices or through products which challenge traditional notions of luxury, brand or taste.

3 smithFront: Yudha Sandy, The Man Who Sold The World & Angry Young Man (series of brooches, etched brass with enamel) 2014. Rear: Hendra 'hehe' Harsono, Toys (paper mache, hand painted) 2014

For us, as a print studio, we are always aware of our medium’s heritage as a ‘democratiser’ of art and we try to honour that. Contemporary design offers a similar potential. When artworks are over-ascribed with hoity-toity theory and lofty price tags, there is something quite subversive about turning a sculpture into a candlestick holder or a painting into a tablecloth.

So I guess this my point: the reality is that artists in Indonesia (and everywhere, for that matter) cannot survive if they don’t think creatively and strategically about how they engage with their market as well as their audience. ‘Genius’ is not enough to assure anyone’s ongoing career as an artist. Having said that, it’s important to never lose sight of the fact that the real value of a work is not its price tag, but its ability to comment critically on the conditions in which we live and articulate the curly edges of social change as it unfurls before us.

Malcolm Smith is an Australian artist/art manager and curator based in Yogyakarta. Alongside Prihatmoko Moki and Rudi Hermawan, he is one of the founders of Krack!, a print studio and gallery that focuses on critically engaged, contemporary Indonesian printmaking. Before moving to Indonesia, he managed exhibition programmes in well-regarded contemporary art spaces around Australia, including the Australian Centre for Photography, Object: Australian Centre for Craft and Design, and the Northern Territory Centre for Contemporary Art.

Inside Indonesia 118: Oct-Dec 2014{jcomments on}
]]> (Malcolm Smith) Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:30:19 GMT
Design action Local design thinking in Bandung

Sybrand Zijlstra

1 ZijlstraActivating a public park as a playground, during Helarfest 2012- Galih Sedayu for BCCF 2012

Shortly before nightfall, the streets of Bandung undergo a remarkable transformation. Makeshift eateries are built up out of nowhere, often consisting of little more than a beat-up table and benches underneath a tarp held up by bamboo poles. Before long, people come in droves to eat simple meals while they are entertained by buskers.

By the next morning, everything has disappeared.

Pop-up restaurants and stores are a current trend in cities like New York and Sydney, celebrated for their quick response design style and ‘in the know’ marketing. In Indonesia, street food vendors are part of the grey economy and don’t officially exist. The people who run them have few rights, but they reflect an approach to design, through the arrangement of spaces, furniture and communications, that could be considered typically Indonesian.

All over the world, as organizations of all types grapple with the need to find attractive, effective, durable, human-centred solutions to complex problems, design is branching out under the name of design thinking. Design thinking means applying the methods and mind-set of designers in areas other than those normally reserved for design. There could be no better breeding ground than Indonesian society, which is full of citizen experts on adaptation to use, resourcefulness, scarcity, recycling, real needs, empowering people, etc. What is often perceived as a lack of discipline or lack of focus, can also be seen as an expression of the joy of letting things happen and responding to them – a fundamental joy of life combined with creativity and an open mind. These are in fact the tenets of design thinking.

In Bandung—where the term design action is preferred to design thinking—this has really taken off under the auspices of BCCF (Bandung Creative City Forum), an independent volunteers organisation co-founded and formerly led by Ridwan Kamil, now the mayor of Bandung. Since 2008, BCCF has served as a hub for the city’s creative communities. Its ‘urban acupuncture’ approach has attracted a lot of attention from policy makers in Indonesia and abroad. In the past couple of years, the group has been invited to present its methods and achievements in Berlin, Paris, London, Medellín, Chiang Mai, Jakarta, and many other places.

We consider design thinking as one of the methods that we can apply to come up with solutions that don’t require complicated bureaucracy, gigantic infrastructure, and massive financing. These are the kind of solutions that are feasible in the short-term, yet effective, although some might be temporary. – Tita Larasati, BCCF, General Secretary

Among many other activities, BCCF provides courses for budding entrepreneurs, organises street festivals, public discussions, and an international design thinking conference. It facilitates initiatives, and advises the local administration about potential urban solutions.

One of their programmes is called Kampung Kreatif, which aims to implement the idea of a creative city at the neighborhood level. It involves working with kampungs to find their own creative niche connected to specific local characteristics. Themes include food, art, craft, music and dance. The goals of Kampung Kreatif are to set up cottage industries, develop tourism, improve the local environment, and create a sense of community and pride.

2 ZijlstraOutdoor film screenings - Dwinita Larasati

An example is kampung Dago Pojok, located near the Dago waterfall in north Bandung. In 2003, local painter Rahmat Jabaril moved his studio to Dago Pojok and found poverty, tensions between youths, lack of education among adults, and neglected public space. In the years that followed, he started to give drawing lessons to young people from the neighborhood and reading and writing lessons to adults. He gained the trust of the locals and others joined him in organising activities with the goal of social change. Murals were painted to make the environment more lively and colorful, which had the added potential of attracting visitors as a way of generating income for the kampung dwellers.

In 2012, Rahmat Jabaril turned to BCCF for support. The activities already underway in Dago Pojok matched perfectly the ideas BCCF had for their Kampung Kreatif program. BCCF provided its network, helped find sponsorship and drew up a roadmap, making sure the Dago Pojok community was on board every step of the way. More and more people from the neighbourhood got involved, which led to more activities, such as a games festival, batik workshops, art exhibitions, free movie screenings, pencak silat (Indonesian martial arts) demonstrations, and a kampung guesthouse.

Unlike many officials in Indonesia, BCCF views people’s involvement in creatively shaping and improving their immediate environment as an asset rather than a nuisance. They work hard to move away from reproducing top-down solutions that require resources that may not be sustainable.

At first glance, design as a way to control processes and environments can seem to be incompatible with the Indonesian mentality that favours flow and improvisation. Is design in Indonesia a bad idea? Is it possible to ‘design’ in a climate that is characterised by continuous growth and decay?

The answers to these questions lie in the way design is understood. Design has its roots in the division of labor in industrial production processes: before production is started, detailed plans are laid out—much like a score or a script—that have to be executed to the letter. In an industrial setting this makes perfect sense.

In Indonesia, a reluctance to disrupt the flow makes other design approaches possible, even probable. Gamelan orchestras follow existing musical structures and patterns, but there is no score. Shadow puppet shows don’t follow a script but use known stories and adapt them on the spot, adding local and national characters to keep the stories alive and give them new meanings. Audiences behave accordingly. People come late, people leave early, they chat, they eat, they laugh and shout in response to what happens on stage. They become part of the performance, or more accurately the performance was never strictly separated from everyday life in the first place. Design in these contexts has more parallels with current global approaches to design than those that dominated the twentieth century.

The instant roadside restaurants lining the streets of Bandung at night demonstrate that a concerted effort goes a long way, creating constant flow in an impermanent environment and opportunities to make a living.


Sybrand Zijlstra ( is a freelance editor who lives and works in Bandung, writing on topics such as design and culture.

Inside Indonesia 118: Oct-Dec 2014{jcomments on}
]]> (Sybrand Zijlstra) Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:15:56 GMT
The architecture of fluid identities Faiths and consumerism collide peacefully in Jakarta’s glitzy shopping malls

Amanda Achmadi and Agung Sentausa

1 achmadiPrayer hall in Jakarta mall - Agung Sentausa

After decades of having planning and development controlled by the private sector, it is not surprising that Jakarta’s most prominent urban feature is the shopping mall. Compensating for the city’s lack of civic spaces and maintained public amenities, the manicured spaces of the shopping mall have emerged as ‘the urban living room’ for the city’s diverse population: students, professionals, and families from different social, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Beyond shopping, practices such as dating, working, business meetings, social clubs, after-school play, exhibitions, and now religious activities flourish in the well-maintained space of the mall. Shopping malls no longer compete with each other only in terms of the collection of shops, brands and restaurants, but also in terms of the social facilities on offer. These include children’s playgrounds, prayer halls, and multi-purpose rentable spaces. Unsurprisingly, the areas surrounding the malls have also developed quite rapidly. This has in recent times been driven by small-scale entrepreneurships responding to the opportunities created by the centrality of the malls in everyday life.

The emergence of pseudo-religious spaces and the growing use of religious symbolism within these monuments to 21st century consumerism is a fascinating dimension of Jakarta’s shopping malls. Prayer halls for Muslims (mushola) and rentable multi-purposed rooms for religious gatherings held by members of Indonesia’s Christian community are becoming standard features of shopping malls, particularly those built in the last ten years. The interior design and architecture of such facilities have also shifted significantly from the ad hoc arrangements of the past. They are no longer hidden outdoors or in the underground parking spaces, but have rather become more integrated into the design of the main shopping areas. Often they are strategically situated on the ground floor for easy access and proximity to supermarkets and food courts. Some of the larger shopping malls, such as Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, Lotte Shopping Avenue and Pondok Indah Mall 1 and 2, feature mushola facilities on each floor.

Mushola facilities in shopping malls mostly use luxurious, corporate-style architectural finishes consistent with those used generally in the mall. They offer higher levels of comfort and hygiene than many of the more traditional prayer halls found elsewhere in Jakarta’s densely populated urban neighborhoods. They are typically equipped with the essential counter to deposit shoes and bags, mukena and sarong (praying attire for women and men respectively) rental, and a spacious ablutions area as well as toilet facilities. Prayer times are regularly announced inside the malls.

2 achmadiPrayer hall foyers are kept clean and orderly with counters to deposit belongings - Agung Sentausa

Some of the shopping malls also hold regular Qur’an recital sessions. The availability of a digital Qur’an and internet access combined with the widespread use of mobile phone means that the mushola is also used as a religious study space. People spend time reading the digital Qur’an and accessing religion-related social media using their smartphones and tablets in the mushola and elsewhere in the shopping malls. The mushola is not only used by the mall’s visitors, but also by office workers from the surrounding area, since not all office buildings in Jakarta are equipped with prayer facilities. Office workers also regularly visit the malls at the end of their working day to spend time while waiting for Jakarta’s chronic peak hour traffic congestion to subside. As an alternative to spending time in cafes, restaurants and the cinema, the mushola offers these frequent visitors a free and comfortable ‘waiting room’ inside the mall.

Celebrations of religious holidays of different faiths are also commonly expressed in Jakarta’s shopping malls. Although certainly driven by commercial interests and often featuring caricatured images of each of the religious seasons (for example ketupat - diamond shaped rice cake wrapped in weaved palm leaves for Ramadan and Idul Fitri, Easter eggs, and Christmas trees) such celebrations are embraced by the malls’ visitors. These temporary design elements define the atmosphere of major religious holidays in the city.

Ngabuburit (social activities undertaken while waiting for the end of the fasting period at dusk during the Ramadan month) in the shopping mall is also becoming common practice in Jakarta. Muslims often go the malls’ cinemas to watch movies, despite their apparent contradiction with the spirit of the sacred month, to pass the time until they can break the fast. While in the past businesses were commonly encouraged to respect those who fast by using a temporary curtain to screen dining areas during Ramadan, this is no longer common in malls. Food courts and restaurants are full at the end of the day as families, students and office workers prepare to break their fasts. Traffic congestion around the shopping malls increases particularly during religious holidays, underscoring the centrality of these spaces to everyday religiosity.

3 achmadiVisual merchandising in preparation for Idul Fitri celebrations - Agung Sentausa

How the urban space of the shopping mall is here occupied, used, and shared peacefully by the diverse elements of the urban populations, contrasts with the current tension surrounding the construction of formal representations of religious identity in the form of religious buildings such as mosques and churches. The use of strong visual representation of religious symbols in some of the new mosques and churches in Jakarta, whether in the forms of building façade, layout or elements of physical separation such as high fencing, often intimidate even the followers of the religions themselves. Wide adoption of the perceived authentic and orthodox Middle Eastern mosque architecture in Indonesia, and the discriminatory procedure of requiring some minority groups to obtain permission to build churches and other sacred buildings contrasts with the coexistence of multi religious spaces inside shopping malls. The growing occurrence of Christian religious gatherings in the shopping malls is itself a phenomenon that directly results from the difficulty of obtaining permission to build new churches in the country. With no profound separation between the sacred and the profane, and so far without a significant sentiment to claim ownership of the mall by certain religious groups, shopping malls emerge as the face of religious tolerance, albeit a commercialised one.

Shopping malls, while often criticised for their effect on the city’s social environment due to their excessive celebration of consumptive lifestyles, can be seen as a blessing in disguise for Jakarta’s population. The commercial shell of Jakarta’s malls offers its urban population a sanctuary from the politicisation of religion and rising religious intolerance within the country’s political and public discourses. It offers a space where Indonesians can feel safe interacting with one another regardless of their religion. Here religious difference is respected while religious boundary is softened by the universal culture of consumerism. And in contrast to the reorientation of Islamic identity in the country towards Middle East traditions, as expressed through the pervasive adoption of Middle Eastern mosque architectural style at the cost of the more nuanced Indonesian vernacular mosque architecture, the contemporary architectural language used in these shopping mall musholas reflects an evolving urban reality which the majority of Indonesian Muslims enjoy. In its profanity, the shopping mall opens up a space of tolerance, a more fluid realm of religious encounter among Indonesia’s growing urban society. Here, the informal and peaceful everyday interactions between the different religious groups that form Indonesia continue to prevail in the face of the rising religious intolerance that has been worryingly and dangerously tolerated under the indecisive leadership of outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. With the recently concluded presidential election so profoundly marked with the rise of political consciousness and the participations of the country’s urban middle classes, this fluid emergence of an urban and tolerant identity might even spread beyond the glitzy walls of the shopping malls.

Amanda Achmadi is a lecturer in architectural design (Asian architecture and urbanism) at the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. She holds a Doctorate degree in architecture and Asian studies from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor degree in architecture from Parahyangan Catholic University.

Agung Sentausa graduated with a Bachelor degree in architecture from Parahyangan Catholic University. Based in Jakarta, he has worked in the audio-visual industry in the last 15 years as a film director, with a special interest in the socio-cultural lower-middle class landscape of Indonesian youth. He made his first feature film Garasi in 2005 followed by Badai di Ujung Negeri (2011) and contributed to Belkibolang (2011).

Inside Indonesia 118: Oct-Dec 2014{jcomments on}
]]> (Amanda Achmadi and Agung Sentausa) Thu, 25 Sep 2014 20:59:41 GMT
Participatory Design The social role of architects and architecture in kampung upgrading

Muhammad Kamil

1 kamilOne of the houses along Strenkali in need of renovation, and with a portion of the house removed

As capital cities in Indonesia undergo rapid development, with vast areas converted to luxurious apartments, hotels and townhouses, the question of how to integrate informal settlements, widely known as kampungs, remains. The right to adequate housing is, after all, enshrined in the Indonesian Constitution in Article 28H, Paragraph 1.

Architects may have a role in upholding this right. The Jakarta government in the past few years has been collaborating with the Indonesian Institute of Architects (AIA) in delivering seminars and has also run a number of architectural competitions on the design of public housing. But this is dealing strictly with the physicality of buildings. What has been emerging simultaneously is what is widely known as participatory design. In this scenario, architects no longer work just as designers, but also as grassroots facilitators. They thrive on the complexity of kampung conditions, self-consciously avoiding previous governments’ methods that involve eviction and the relocation of residents to high-rise towers.

Government-led kampung upgrading has a long history in Indonesia. The most famous example is the Kampung Improvement Program (KIP) that lasted from 1969 to 1998. The aim of the nationwide program was the provision of basic infrastructure to poor neighbourhoods in cities such as Jakarta and Surabaya. It was lauded as a success story by its funder, the World Bank, and is often used as an international example of successful slum upgrading due to its visible physical improvement and its comparatively low level of investment. The program was awarded the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1980.

At around the same time in the mid 1980s, an alternative approach to kampung upgrading emerged, led by Romo Mangunwijaya, an architect, theologian and writer. It began as a negotiation over the plan to evict a settlement along the bank of the Code River in Yogyakarta, and morphed into a bottom-up kampung upgrading program demonstrating the resilience of the residents and their aspiration for improvement. In contrast to the KIP, the emphasis was on the empowerment of the residents. The spirit of gotong royong, or participatory mutual aid, was visible in this undertaking that also involved volunteers including students, architects and journalists.

Rather than levelling kampungs to start from scratch, the architects working on the Code River upgrading encouraged housing rehabilitation and the social aspects of spaces. They helped in the design of a community centre made of bamboo that sits on the water stream, connecting the communities in the north and the south both physically and symbolically. The program was considered a significant success and it also received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1992 with the jury specifically citing its human-centred approach.

Romo Mangunwijaya’s activity has inspired a new generation of architects with participatory design at the core of their practice. Examples are many. In Yogjakarta, a group of young community-minded architects known as Arsitek Komunitas (Arkom) works on the other two rivers which run through Yogyakarta, the Winongo and Gajahwong. Ainun, one of the volunteers in Arkom, explains that by going from kampung to kampung, she and three other volunteers were able to convince residents to start an arisan, a community savings scheme based on a lottery system, with the aim of renovating their houses. Ainun says the scheme resulted in 140 renovations, with only one instance of the money being used for other purposes. Arkom facilitated the program, for example by teaching residents how to draft construction budgets, and by making a community map of the kampung to coordinate renovation efforts.

2 kamilA community centre in Pakuncen, Kali Winongo, Yogyakarta

The program also included the construction of a community centre sitting directly over the city’s drainage culvert. Designed by Arkom volunteer Andrea Fitrianto, the community centre was constructed entirely of bamboo except for the concrete foundation. During a public meeting, Gogor, the neighbourhood chief, was quick to point out that while the village men also took responsibility in constructing the centre, the women were the ones responsible for initiating and devising the program. Andrea remarked, ‘The difference between this and conventional architecture is that the concept and the technology proposed here are appropriate to the available skillset in the community; appropriate to the culture, which ensures participation.’ The centre was funded by the saving’s group and was completed in 2013.

Participatory upgrading is also visible in Strenkali, Surabaya, where riverbank residents were threatened with eviction due to river ‘normalisation’ which required any structure protruding into the river to be removed to make way for an inspection road. The residents worked with a coalition of urban activist groups comprising the UPLINK Architects, Urban Poor Consortium (UPC) and Arkom to negotiate with the city government for an alternate outcome. The solution devised and agreed to by the residents, the architects and the city government was to remove the riverside part of the house, leaving the houses completely open on one side. Subsequently, an architecture design competition was held to complete the alteration. A Jakarta-based firm, SUB, was selected as the winner with a simple solution of erecting an exposed brick wall—unpainted, showing the bricks—to cover the exposed side of the house, and taught the residents how to construct it themselves and avoid eviction.

These community architects and their methods of participatory upgrading are gaining momentum. They are working with various organisations in other Indonesian cities. In Jakarta, a group by the name of Ciliwung Merdeka undertook a series of community improvement programs through facilitations. While not an architecture group, Ciliwung Merdeka has worked with architects and has facilitated workshops that deal with spatial planning. Bandung also shares a similar history of grassroots efforts in kampung upgrading. Thanks to the increase in mobility and internet penetration, many of these architects are able to connect with their peers undertaking similar work internationally. For example, affiliating with Southeast Asia-wide associations such as Community Architects Network and Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, and associating with university research programs are not uncommon. This results in a fluid, autonomous method of organisation with no centralised body. They run periodic regional meetings with the aim of sharing updates and new knowledge.

These actions are timely as both the city and the central government, in their own limited capacity, attempt to address the issue of public housing. The government of Jakarta, for example, currently runs its own house renovation program called Kampung Deret, which involves the participation of architects and residents in selected kampungs. Public participation, unfortunately, seems to occur mainly during the construction phase in this program.

The community architects discussed here understand that through participatory design methods, a sense of agency and resilience can be established. However, while these upgradings help avoid eviction, they do not legalise the land tenure on which many of these kampungs are based, thus giving no guarantee that eviction will not take place in the future. The idea of participatory design is to come up with a solution that prioritises the aspirations of the residents while meeting the requirements of the city government. Now, more than ever, it needs to be recognised that informal settlement involves not merely provision of physical structure: the aspirations of those most affected by design must also be addressed.

Muhammad Insan Kamil ( is a Master of Architecture student at the University of Melbourne. His thesis focuses on a Jakarta riverside community and its response to the government's river normalisation project.

Inside Indonesia 118: Oct-Dec 2014{jcomments on}
]]> (Muhammad Kamil) Thu, 25 Sep 2014 20:48:08 GMT
Wooden radios, bamboo bicycles and human cocoons A Central Java village has been revitalised by sustainable, socially responsible design

Jessica Lea Dunn

1 dunnMap of Kandangan and surrounding area. Illustration by Jessica Lea Dunn

Nestled amongst a lush bamboo garden in the Javanese village Kandangan is the extraordinary home and studio of product design legend, Singgih Kartono, creator of the international award-winning Magno wooden radio. Alongside the designer's residence is the workshop and factory where the magic takes place - slabs of wood are cut, shaped, sanded and assembled to create high-end, hand-made craft objects with such perfect proportions that they almost could have been made by machine. For eco-design aficionados across Indonesia and internationally, the Magno company and its sister projects in Kandangan village are excellent examples of how sustainable, socially responsible product design can generate new business models for villages. When the focus in the design process shifts from mass production to direct community benefit, all kinds of transformations are possible.

The Magno radio

The story of Singgih Kartono and Magno is as unique as the quirky radio itself. The brand name 'Magno' comes from magnifying glass, which happened to be the first wooden product to be produced by the company, and became a symbol of the company's attention to design detail. Kartono began his company after graduating from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) with a major in Product Design. Noticing an acute deterioration of Kandangan's agricultural sector and village life, he returned to his community to use his knowledge, skills and experience to rebuild the village potential with craft-based manufacturing output.

Singgih Kartono never intended to create a design icon with his radio made from rosewood and East Indian pine - but that's exactly what he did. Conceived as a "Craft Radio" prototype in the mid-1990s—Kartono's graduating project from ITB—the refined Ikono design was eventually launched 10 years later after an initial struggle to obtain a regular supplier of the internal electronic components. In a world filled with mass-produced metal and plastic electronic products, the design of Magno was viewed as a refreshing response - inspiring a reaction across the internet with its surprising combination of materials, form and end use. Using a wooden casing to house an electronic product is actually an historical idea—if we look back to the radio cabinets of the past when the technology was first commercialised and then to the stereo systems of the 1970s and 1980s covered in wood veneer—but this was a new innovation to make the wooden radio into a contemporary product with a minimalist, modern, almost 'Scandinavian' form.

2 dunnThe Spedagi bamboo bicycle.

Kartono was successful in taking wood, traditionally seen as low-tech and used for larger-scale objects, and counter-intuitively matching the material with the relatively high-tech function of receiving and broadcasting sound. The result was the elegant, minimalist aesthetic of the original Ikono radio that continues to enrapture design lovers around the globe - the model is still the number one best seller for Magno, despite the subsequent launch of many new products.

Unlike many Indonesian wood products, Magno’s are unvarnished. Instead they are lightly polished with wood oil which maintains the surface shine, highlights the wood grain and enhances its natural colour. The owner of any Magno radio will also need to give it the occasional polish to maintain the surface. This is an integral part of a design philosophy that rejects mass consumption and throwaway culture in favour of conscious consumption and creating modern heirlooms for the end user to treasure.

For Singgih Kartono, the design philosophy behind the product is just as important as the physical object. It was a conscious philosophical choice for Magno, which now employs around 30 people, to produce small craft products only - the key is in the ratio of value added per amount of material used. By creating small, high value, functional items, much in the same way that the Swiss created watches, the environmental impact is vastly reduced, while the potential for positive human impact is increased. In this case, a relatively inexpensive material—wood—is treated as a precious resource which requires the investment of human resources—skill, labour and time— to create something special, resulting in many jobs being created for very little wood used.

3 dunnMagno's product range on display at the workshop in Temanggung

In contrast, Kartono regards furniture as a high wastage product that requires the use of a lot of natural material per product created. With forestry management in Indonesia still lacking transparency, and the first IKEA having just opened in Jakarta unlikely to be the last, Kartono believes furniture construction is an unsustainable use of resources in a village context. On the other hand, the Magno factory uses the equivalent of just two large trees per year to create their entire range of small wooden products. They also have a reforestation scheme, where each year almost 50 trees, of the same type used in making Magno craft products, are donated to local farmers, thereby generating a net positive effect.

Other positive impacts include building the overall skill capacity of individuals within the Kandangan community. Magno operates within a framework of the New Craft methodology, whereby the products are still hand-made and classified as handicraft, but are produced using modern principles of manufacturing management. This means that the designs are specified, production manuals are written and the methods followed step by step, so that individuals or even whole villages with no prior experience in craft can be easily and quickly trained, and that the resulting products are of a standard form and quality.

Despite having a standard appearance, every radio is unique, with a slightly different wood grain to the next, and every battery cover is shaped to exactly fit the radio for which it is intended. Parts cannot be interchanged. It is through this attention to detail and precision construction that we know the product is made with the highest quality craftsmanship.

4 dunnAn early drawings made by the architect Errik Irwan Wibowo for a two-story homestay bungalow

There's no computer aided manufacturing (CAM) setup in this workshop, no computer controlled cutting machines (CNC routers) that can automatically fashion out a shape. At Magno, each product is created by human labour; each hole in the radio grill created one by one with a hand press drill and each radio facade sanded to the perfect curvature by a skilled craftsperson. While the international trend is to move towards automated mass manufacture wherever possible, in the Javanese village setting, a labour intensive craft-based manufacturing process - when implemented correctly - is still the perfect fit. It creates jobs, lifts the specialised skill level of the community, and therefore increases the wealth and wellbeing of not only a few individuals or a company, but of many local people.

Spedagi – the bamboo bicycle and rural homestay

In recent years, Kartono's focus has been branching out into systems design, sustainable tourism, homestay guest houses, professional and student volunteer collaborations and organic farming. A recent addition to the factory product line is a bamboo bicycle called 'Spedagi', a shortened form of 'Sepeda Pagi', named after a local tradition of going about one's business in the early morning by bicycle.

The bamboo bicycle was created to be a conversation-starter about a sustainable design movement. While of course it is still a real product made by Indonesians for the local market, the purpose was never to focus solely on production of bamboo bicycles - there are many international companies already making bicycles out of alternative materials. The Spedagi is a way of showcasing local Indonesian design potential that doesn't rely on the export market for economic survival - as is mostly the case with Magno wooden products. Kartono's intentions also link to eco-tourism ambitions for the village. It is hoped that the bamboo bicycle acts as a magnet to draw people to the village, inviting curiosity, as well as being a handy method of transportation for visitors and volunteers who stay in the guesthouses.

6 dunnThe Magno radio factory workshop is well ventilated and filled with natural sunlight

Hopping on a bamboo bicycle is the best way to travel the short distance between the Spedagi guesthouses in Kandangan. These architect-designed wooden and bamboo constructions are dotted around the local area, along the fringes of existing residential settlements and backing onto vast rice fields. Those who stay are expected to lend their creative talent and leave a lasting impact in the form of village improvement projects, as well as having the opportunity to explore local natural materials such as wood, bamboo and palm leaf; learn building and construction techniques; and study traditional farming practices from the local residents. Kartono hopes that in the future it will be not only architects and product designers who are attracted to come to work together on co-design projects, but also experts and students from marketing and business management disciplines who also come to collaborate and help develop creative solutions for livelihood creation and revitalisation projects.

Architectural co-design: coffee plantation cocoons

One of the most exciting co-design projects under the Spedagi umbrella has been the creation of cocoon sleeping pods that look like they have been spun by giant insects amongst the coffee trees. The site is located on an existing coffee plantation adjoining the village of Kelingan, not far from Kandangan. A collaboration between Kartono, Errik Irwan Wibowo (architect) and Muslih Nu (cabinet maker and wood specialist), as well as many local builders, landowners and volunteers, these cocoon pods are intended to demonstrate liveable architectural structures that complement the surrounding environment. In creating these types of projects, an informal process of co-design between the architect/designer and the local stakeholders takes place - one that usually involves brainstorming and sketching ideas over coffee in a street-side food stall well into the night. The rich discussion, the friendship, and a sense of ownership over the concepts generated by the design process are just as important as the design concepts themselves. The end result of adopting a collaborative approach can be quite extraordinary, just as these human cocoons are both original and sensitive to local needs. The physical artefact of the cocoon is a visual reminder of the creative potential present in the wider community, waiting to be released if incubated under the right conditions. For it is not only the trained design professional who has valuable ideas, though they do have the potential to be catalysts for change.

Bringing communities and professionals together to cultivate change and envision positive scenarios for the sustainable village life of the future was the intention of The 1st International Conference on Village Revitalization. Held in March 2014 in a giant temporary tent amphitheatre in the middle of a bamboo grove in Kelingan, the forest space was converted into a lush green badminton court after the conference. Months later, the only evidence that remained of the event venue were photos on the architect's cell phone that show the magical, almost ethereal effect of the white parachute fabric tent amongst a sea of emerald bamboo stalks. By June 2014, co-created proposals for future uses of the space had evolved to include ideas of designing multi-functional outdoor furniture that could be used for pop-up markets, meeting spaces, as well as moonlight cinema seating.

7 dunnA Spedagi homestay bungalow, built entirely from locally available wood and bamboo, sleeps 4-5 people in bunk beds that fold up against the wall to create space during the day

In executing any of these concepts, the architect must embrace many roles, at times becoming a furniture designer, while at others becoming the events co-coordinator, project manager, anthropologist or consultant. The cross-over between design disciplines is a fluid and natural evolution of the creative professional working in such a local collaborative context. In much the same way, Singgih Kartono's work and life passion has evolved from a product design practice into a multi-disciplinary, collaborative, entrepreneurial practice spanning everything from unique architectural concepts, to organic farming practice, eco-sustainable and socially-responsible 'tourism', systems design, and new business model generation. With a shift in design focus to addressing real needs, the creation of new products is able to complement the rest of the holistic multidisciplinary design practice that occurs, and in so doing, an entire village community can reap the benefits.

Jessica Lea Dunn ( is a Sydney based designer with a passion for Indonesia and socially responsible design. She was briefly famous when her graduating project, a folding motorcycle helmet easily carried in a backpack inspired by her time in Indonesia, went viral online. Her other Indonesia-themed projects include creating playground equipment and dining hall furniture for Olifant preschool in Yogyakarta, and designing bags and accessories from recycled plastic packaging for XSProject in Jakarta.

Inside Indonesia 118: Oct-Dec 2014{jcomments on}
]]> (Jessica Lea Dunn) Thu, 25 Sep 2014 20:20:19 GMT