Story by Dr. Dina Dellyana
Having the twin advantages of its location and having ready access to a large pool of young people with a good formal education, Bandung has witnessed the rapid development of its creative economy, particularly in the design industry such as graphic design, interior design, fashion design and product design. From Antapani/Arcamanik, Ciumbuleuit, Cimenyan,Cibeunying, Dago, Gudang Selatan/Utara, Progo, Setiabudhi, Setrasari, Sudirman, Trunojoyo, to South Bandung, the emergence of creative businesses in design services and products, has been widespread across the city.
The strong design-preneur ecosystem has also supported the growth in creative spaces, access to non-formal education, access to materials, access to distribution channels, networking opportunities, events, media and many others areas of activity related to the design industry.
From the core of the industry to its backward and forward linkages, the design industry has had a hugely positive impact on Bandung. For instance, the design approach to the city’s development has increased the attractiveness of Bandung as a tourist destination. The design approach in the city has also produced beautifully designed galleries, restaurants, cafés, concept stores, and workshops run by young designers/entrepreneurs.
In Bandung, there are also places which are successfully mixing galleries, cafés, stores, and workshops together and provide a full design experience which attracts both youngsters and tourists: for example, Gudang Utara. Previously used by the local army to store their weapons, youngsters in this city have successfully revamped Gudang Utara to become a working space, café, store and a place to hang out and even for holding small concerts. The diversity of creative businesses and creative actors gathered there has sparked a wealth of collective and innovative action, and now the place feeds off its reputation and is becoming the centre of creative activity in the city. The collective movement in this place also supports the growth of other creative businesses such as music, video, fashion, photography, and much more.
Besides supporting the development of its forward linkages such as music, video, fashion, and the photography industry, the rising of the design industry in this capital of West Java also needs support from its backward linkages such as printing services, craftsmen, non-formal and informal education, just to name a few. If maintained at the current high level, the growth of the design industry could significantly increase job opportunities in the city. The increasing output and consumption of creative products and services in the city resulting from each of the activities above will boost Bandung’s Gross Domestic Product.
To understand more about this industry is important, mainly to help to promote and find ways to keep developing the players related to the design industry. So, hopefully, this article gives an overview while inspiring others, not only young designers or entrepreneurs, but also other stakeholders to keep giving their support to the development of the design industry in Bandung.