Among the exhibitors at Maison & Objet Paris 2017, an outstanding booth showcased weaving, a contemporary Indonesian craftsmanship which is used to wrap up architecture and even bigger massive urban project. The display was curated by Byo Living which has been reviving Indonesian weaving culture and bringing it to the attention of the international market. Directed by its founder, Lim Masulin, Byo Living has continued to promote the eco-living theme after their successful exhibition “Earth Dwelling” at Maison & Objet Paris 2016. This year, Byo Living highlighted how environmentally-friendly master crafts can be used in bigger scale projects to provide energy-efficient architecture, using ultra functional ecomaterials, progressive stone craftsmanship and groundbreaking concepts in both buildings and public spaces.
Byo Living was founded in 2013 by Lim Masulin, as he was concerned with the steady demise of the weaving culture in Indonesia. “The product is considered a tangible heritage and the weaving-making culture is considered an intangible heritage, yet it appears only in small products and at a low price – meaning that people don’t appreciate it that much. I believe that we can use it in a bigger scale to beautify bigger objects and to solve bigger problems, just as we saw started by several architects,” shares Lim.
Byo Living is best known for its synthetic rattan products, but it actually makes woven products out of a diverse range of materials, including steel. It is not only appreciated by designers because of its intricate hand-made process and highly skilled craftsmanship, but also for its flexibility and durability. The raw materials are taken from industrial leftovers to reduce waste and to contribute to a better environment.
Byo Living exhibited works by celebrated Indonesian architects who have been keen to support this heritage initiative, and who have already found applications for this art-form in their projects: architects such as Andra Matin, Budi Pradono, Heru M. Prasetyo, Irianto Purnomo Hadi, Jeffrey Budiman, Riri Yakub and Yanto Effendi. They told Indonesia Design about the benefits of using the woven products and how they applied them into their projects.
Andra Matin (Principal of andramatin)
Known for his clean and modern take, Andra Matin, the principal of Andramatin, sees his passion for travelling and his love of contemporary jazz music and art house films as the underlying inspirations for his projects. In search of fulfilling experiences, Andra strives to continuously develop and evolve his ideas. He has been featured in various international media such as Amsterdam-based MARK magazine and Japanese architecture magazine GA Houses, and he has published a collective architecture journal about Japan Haikk! in 2007. He has also won numerous awards including the Association of Indonesian Architects (IAI) in 1999, 2002, 2006 and 2011.
The region of Tubaba in Lampung sits in an area of natural richness including large rubber plantations. The area inspired Andra to create a well-designed contemporary market where up to 850 vendors can meet up with local buyers to ply their trade. Andra has translated the landscape into his architecture style. “For example, the rubber tree trunks inspired the high, thin umbrella-like columns inside the market,” he says. Meanwhile, the façade was intentionally designed to be open and partially covered with woven rattan, allowing natural light and air flow, hence ensuring a bright and well ventilated space. In his search for woven rattan products, Andra has partnered with BYO Living not only for the light weight and durability of their panels, but also because of their overall attention to detail. “The master weavers at BYO Living are easy to work with and willing to customise their product the way we wanted it.”
Budi Pradono (Principal of Budi Pradono Architects)
Award-winning architect Budi Pradono studied architecture at Duta Wacana Christian University, Yogyakarta and at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. He established Budi Pradono Architects and Jakarta Digital Lab Foundation, a research-based architecture and urban design bureau, in 2005 after having worked in world-renowned firms including Beverley Garlick Architects in Australia and Kengo Kuma & Associates in Japan. His works have been exhibited around the world: at Maison&Objet, France, Venice Architecture Biennale and Milan Design Week in Italy; the AR Awards, UK, WAF in Spain, UIA in Japan, and also at AIA New York, US.
THE JOG HOUSE
Rattan woven walls are often seen in vernacular architecture across the archipelago. This material is well suited to our tropical climate, thanks to its pores that allow the walls to breath. Budi Pradono has taken advantage of this feature, using synthetic rattan provided by Byo Living, to give him specific benefits such as durability and ease of application.
Located in the village of Kleben, in Northern Yogyakarta, The Jog House is made up of several scattered buildings within the site that are brought together under a giant shell made of woven panels. The pores in the panels let fresh air into the “interior”, which also offers useful protection from excessive heat. The panels also reduce and regulate the amount of natural light coming inside, resulting in a magnificent lighting composition while the heritage look of the weaving highlights the geographical identity.
Heru M. Prasetyo (Principal of HMP Architects)
Founder of architecture and interior design firm HMP Architects, Heru Mudito Prasetyo, believes that design should hold some humane sense. Since 2007, the firm has been focusing on clients with specific functional needs, such as private offices, clinics, manufacturing and other commercial spaces. To cater for the specific needs of each project, Heru and his team deliver contextual, robust and affordable designs that focus on the user’s experience.
The Bandung-based dermatology clinic in Cilimanuk went through a rejuvenation that drew from local, elegant weaving techniques for a variety of interior furniture and adornments. Built in 2003, the exterior and interior of the building needed a refurbishment to create a bright and fresh ambience for visitors to the clinic. Infusing Sundanese culture into a modern design, Heru and his team picked weave as a theme that was applied to the furniture, the outside canopy and a range of decorative elements. For example, the light-colour toned relaxing chairs and the woven wall panels that are displayed against white walls are neatly contrasted with other furniture in darker shades. “We chose the woven panels to incorporate Indonesian culture within the overall ambience,” Heru says.
THE POWER HOUSE
Meanwhile, in Surabaya, a standalone electricity station namely the Power House exposes the subtle beauty of weaving without over-emphasising the bold identity of the building. HMP Architects developed woven panels to cover the façade of the building. Because the building generates high temperatures from the inside, it is crucial for the façade to be protected on the outside from solar radiation. Made of recycled plastic and industrial waste, the panels come in dark shades and provide natural ventilation between the panels and the building.
Irianto Purnomo Hadi (Principal of Antara Studio)
Irianto Purnomo Hadi puts confidence in the integration of architecture and nature. The brain behind Antara Studio, Irianto is passionate about delivering an environmentally friendly approach, particularly with regard to the economic aspects and to generating less wasteful consumption patterns. His work has been recognised in the national and international sphere, including the Jakarta Architecture Triennale 2009 and Indonesian Architects for the International Union of Architects Congress 2011 in Tokyo.
In his quest to explore the possibilities of stone craftsmanship, Irianto partnered with MM Gallery, Surabaya-based artisans to create ‘Batu Suar’ or Flared Stone. “I would like to explore a new technique that people would not expect,” Irianto says. The result, the luminous Batu Suar, has a unique twist, by showing both opacity and translucency in a way that retains the massiveness of the block of stone while also suggesting hollowness. Taking a closer look, the iridescent stone was made of a 3mm-thinned stone slice that was folded or bent to contrive cubic forms. “The process we use is efficient and environmentally friendly because we need less raw material.” Irianto shares the same spirit with BYO Living in showcasing innovation through cutting-edge techniques and technology that are also ecologically sound.
Jeffrey Budiman (Principal of Grain & Green)
Jeffrey Budiman started his own design bureau Grain & Green in 1990 after a brief stint at a local architectural consultant Grahacipta Hadiprana. Since then, the firm has been rapidly developing and has become a household name, especially in residential architecture in Indonesia. From architecture, Jeffrey evolved to other subjects such as interior design, furniture and artwork, lighting and bathroom products, while continuing to emphasize functional, efficient and culture-specific design with a modern slant.
Jeffrey was inspired by ‘flying ribbon’ in creating this work, making use of clever technology to bring his imagination into reality. He applied the woven silhouette onto the onyx, which was made using highly skilled stone craftsmanship by MM Gallery. Hard and rigid materials such as stone and marble can become pliable with the help of advanced machinery. It offers new ways of twisting, bending, folding, turning and creating countless shapes, resulting in a freedom to exercise creativity and conceive unique concepts.
Riri Yakub (Principal of Atelier Riri)
Founder and principal of Atelier Riri, Novriansyah Yakub (Riri) always highlights the integration of architecture and the surrounding environment to create a sustainable design. A graduate of Trisakti University, majoring sustainable houses in urban cities, Riri’s projects have been exhibited, nominated and published around the world, including at IAI Design Week/JAT 2014, Aga Khan Award 2013, and in Venice Architecture Bienale in Italy. Since 2010, the architect has been giving lectures at several universities in Indonesia.
Stackhouse project came up as a solution in delivering a comfortable living space to combat excessive heat and noise. “Taking a contextual approach, we see the challenge as an opportunity in utilising synthetic rattan,” Riri says. His weaving approach resulted in a stacked mass that highlights contemporary-style weave panels, giving rattan character that also function as heat and noise reducer. The application, in both external and interior, serves as decorative element that came from a unique production process; from the weaving process to the application process. Working with BYO Living craftsmen in designing and producing the weaving project, Riri believes that he shares the same spirit with the people he worked with in providing and utilising the eco-friendly synthetic rattan as an alternative green material. “I believe it is always good to use materials that promote minimum-waste in the production process,” Riri says. “Observing the location of our collaboration project, we also see the challenge in the surroundings as a great opportunity to apply our cultural heritage, weave, in architecture.”
Yanto Effendi (Co-Founder of MODERNSPACE)
Together with Hanny Lim, Yanto Effendi founded MODERNSPACE, a multi-disciplinary architectural practice, in 2002. The firm’s work spans a vast array of typologies, including residential, institutional, hospitality, offices and retail environments. They explore the richness in each material and give fine detailing in every aspect of their projects. MODERNSPACE’s design philosophy focuses on creating modern architectural forms and spaces that are comfortable and liveable. They believe that each project is unique; each project constitutes a specific response to its programme and its site.
HOTEL IN JAKARTA
This budget boutique hotel is known for its good service, comfort and cleanliness. When designing this hotel in Arjuna, West Jakarta, Yanto Effendi ensured that the architecture, as one of the most important hardware, would compliment the known qualities. Budget hotels tend to be efficient in construction, yet the architect still can manage to achieve great aesthetics while responding to several technical issues.
Byo Living woven panels have been used on the front façade. It gives the hotel a modern look, while providing a natural feeling from the detailed texture of the synthetic rattan material. As well as having a beautiful appearance, the woven panels hide the outside air conditioning units that are installed beside the balcony. The pores of the woven panels allow the aircon units to work efficiently as they need to have direct access to free air flow.
The thin panels are light and easy to use for the overall construction and helped Yanto stay within the budget while still adding value to the overall architecture and space.