The name Hidajat Endramukti, an acclaimed interior designer with dozens of years of experience, does not only belong to Surabaya, where he is currently based. The graduate of Delft University in The Netherlands has become a guru for those involved in the Indonesian design scene. Hidajat started nurturing an interest in heritage buildings when in high school in his hometown of Malang, East Java. His numerous projects evince a sophistication that draws upon Peranakan architecture. Hidajat is also deeply concerned with the restoration of various projects and other heritage buildings, many of which have been explored in previous editions of Indonesia Design.
Interview by Anton Adianto
Photo by Anton Bagus Tri Laksono & Endramukti Design Doc.
What brought you into design?
I began to be interested in the design world after I started high school. At that time, I enjoyed looking at beautiful houses, including old ones.
What was your first professional project?
A holiday home that belonged to my grandfather in Batu, Malang, after I had recently graduated from [a university in] the Netherlands.
What one project in your career offers you the most profound memory?
The de Soematra project and my own residence in Malang. De Soematra is a public building, so it quickly became the topic of discussion for many people and has garnered a lot of media attention, even to this day. De Soematra is a Dutch colonial structure that we have managed to restore without too many alterations. It was possible because the owner was very cooperative. In the end we came up with an extremely attractive building.
What’s the inspiration behind your signature flourish of using Peranakan elements in your interior designs?
Actually, that is not always the case – but I frequently do so because of my interest in the Peranakan style in Indonesia, which is rich and varied. I believe that this distinctive style can only be found in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Who is your design role model?
I have many role models. I am very appreciative of people who do their work with the utmost passion.
Which is more fun: Finishing the interior of a residential project or a commercial building such as a hotel?
Both are fun to do for me – especially when the end result for both can be excellent.
What do you think about design in Surabaya?
The development of design in Surabaya has been quite advanced. Many wonderful young architects are coming out of this, the second-largest city in Indonesia, and are working here.