How to Make Impossible Designs. With Lasers.


Say the word “laser” and images of the future come to mind. However, what was once wildly exotic technology–laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation–has since become casually miraculous. Lasers can be seen in our printers, our pointers and, most intriguingly, in the cutting tools that allow for designers and architects like Walline’s Stefanus Irwan to realize creations that would have been inconceivable only a few years ago.

Photo by Walline Facade Wallart Doc.

Stefanus is an architect who has practiced his craft since 1999. As an interior designer, he has arranged his media–furnishes, fixtures and furnitures–to give comfort and evoke a certain ambiance. He often uses laser-cut panels to personalize the look and optimize visual effects. “Since a lot of my projects involve laser-cut panels, I decided to buy a laser machine two years ago and established Walline Facade Wallart,” Stefanus says.

He says that having his own laser allows him to do more exploration, especially when it comes to patterns. A computer-aided design system helps customers realize their vision in precise detail within a short period. “The most interesting point of making a laser cut is the knowledge that we can make any kind of appearance with this technology–and to enjoy the result of the design first hand.”

Walline regularly launches new collection of patterns, Stefanus adds. “I am inspired by publications on the internet, as well as the daily things in life, in making of these patterns”. The firm can also make customized designs, hence architects and designers are encouraged to submit their design to Walline. “After we get their designs, we will make a cutting plan and send it to them for approval before we do the laser cutting or engraving. The machine can do a board or plate at a time, as big as four-by-eight metres, while still achieving the smallest-millimetre details.”

Walline has a combination of Swedish- and Japanese-made machines that can cut through most surfaces, including timber, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), aluminium composite panels and acrylics. The firm also has a special machine that can process steel plates. The machines are run by artisans who have passed the training held by the manufacturer of the machines to operate the laser safely.

Stefanus guides customers to select the best material to ensure that customers can enjoy durable and artistic panels. “The key is knowing the humidity of the place where we want to put a laser-cut panels. If it is in a humid area, we will need to have a moisture-resistant surface.”

The detailed patterns of panels will steal glances and compel attention as people enter a room. Hence laser-cut works are mainly used as an accent. The panels are favoured as room partitions, while the wall-art versions have been favored for the walls of hotel lobbies and on the sides of bar tables.

Earlier this year, Walline completed a customized project, that, to Stefanus’ surprise, used an innovative material as a replacement for natural stone as requested by the architect. “I would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with young architects and designers and help them to achieve their dream projects.”

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Barbara Hahijary
Barbara earned her bachelor's degree in architecture from the Interior Architecture Program of the University of Indonesia in 2013. Historical or heritage buildings, as well as utilitarian design, fascinates her as it is the interaction between people and architecture that remains her favourite topic to explore. Besides architecture, her interests include design, handcrafts, literature and social issues.

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