It wasn’t too long to wait for the grand event held by Indonesia Design Magazine—ARCHITECTONIA—to again show its existence, this time in Indonesia’s second biggest city, Surabaya, on May 24–28, 2006. In keeping with the theme of the first event, ARCHITECTONIA 2 also presented a series of material exhibitions as well as several talk shows with the same commitment to offer information to the people about the latest breakthrough of each exhibitor. Among the many exhibitors were a line of homogenous tiles and granites producers: ABSOLUTE, ESSENZA, GELAISI and NIRO GRANITE, marble and onyx floorings by MM GALLERI, as well as an alternative flooring option by LG Chem, LG FLOORS’ vinyl floors and HANSOL’s wooden floors. WINGS GROUP meanwhile, showcased its entire lines of product, such as SUPER MILAN ceramic floors, ELEPHANT gypsum and wood plank, as well as M-CLASS roof tiles. Various doors and their equipments were exhibited by TULUS DOOR and EXCELLENT DOOR, complete with ROOMS door hardware, a product of KENARI DJAJA. Several paint producers also brightened the events: ICI Paint, MOWILEX, PASIFIC PAINT and PT. PROPAN RAYA’s wood paint products.

Other interesting features of this event were the innovative light steel roof made by IGGI Truss, the made in German gypsum board brought by KNAUF, and various office equipments by INDOVICKERS. The sanitary producer TOTO boasted a complete Jacuzzi set while TALENTA ANUGERAH MULIA introduced its latest insulation and ducting technology to the visitors. Along with the various building materials, several book producers such as TRIMEDIA and PERIPLUS —all of which are committed to publish architectural books—also showcased their latest products. The media front brought along BCI Asia, which concentrates on distributing architectural information and media, and Suara Surabaya group that had helped promote this event through their SS talk show on May 22. 

This event’s breakthrough came in the form of the involvement of eight well-known professional architects who are all based in Surabaya. Together the architects—Budhi Harmunanto from BHA architecture biro, Darman from R + DA Architects, Edwin Nafarin from d pavillion, Hidajat Endramukti from Endramukti Design, Jimmy Priatman from PT. Archimetric, Paulus Setyabudi from Stephanus & Paulus Associate, Piter Gan from PT. Pillar Terpadu, and Soendoro from PT. Garis Matahari—offered free architectural consultation for the people of Surabaya. The unique thing is that the free consultation was only available for houses measuring not more than 300 m², so that the service was swamped by middle-lower class people. The involvement of the eight architects mentioned above is an effort by Indonesia Design to make architecture more available to the greater society. This in turn is expected to draw out Surabaya people’s awareness of the existence as well as the purpose of this profession as something which should be held close to their daily activities instead of branding this profession as something elitist and far fetched.

For the architects themselves, their participation in this event brought a certain effect in their own understanding of their profession. Said Budhi Harmunanto of BHA biro, his contribution in the ARCHITECTONIA event opened his eyes of the importance of architects towards the greater society. The Semarang-born architect even regretted that this kind of event wasn’t held many years ago. “If events like this one were continuously held, then the Bantul quake would not have caused that many victims,” he elaborated, speaking about the latest earthquake to hit Indonesia while comparing the number of casualties in Bantul to the one in Yogyakarta, which was relatively lower thanks to the architectural awareness of the people of Yogyakarta that resulted in comparatively stronger structures of buildings in the area. For the visitors, the presence of these architects was put into utmost use, as seen in the always packed consultation tables. As soon as they had picked their choice of materials from the exhibitors’ booths, they immediately asked for the opinion of the available architects. Ms. Irine, for instance, had the intention of renovating her house, located in the Delta Pelangi III area. Upon knowing that the event offered architectural consultation she promptly used the service despite her initial intention of doing the renovation work by herself. “I found out about the importance of natural aeration and illumination inside a room. Before consulting with the architect, I was just going to tear down my house and build it just like that,” admitted the woman who chose to speak to Darman of R+DA Architects.

The event of ARCHITECTONIA in Surabaya also showed off the works of participants of the previous ARCHITECTONIA’s design competition which was held in Jakarta in 2005. All of the works were showcased once more to give the chance for participants, students, and architects who had missed the opportunity to visit last year’s ARCHITECTONIA event. On the last day, following a Feng Shui talk show by DR. Akino W. Azzaro with the topic of how to enhance children’s intelligence, the event was finally ended with the announcement of the best booth design. There were two different categories, the favorite booth chosen by visitors from a two-day poll during the event, and the best booth picked by the architects. The visitors’ favorite booth turned out to be MM Galleri, designed and finished by MM’s own in house team, with its ‘dark’ design owing to the use of black paint throughout the booth, coupled with the artistic details which feature marbles, the main product of this Surabaya-based vendor. Meanwhile, the architect opted for LG Floors, designed and crafted by Surabaya-based Creative Communication, as the best booth design, based on its meticulously planned circulation flow, a candid product display, its smartness, as well as the overall design creativity of the booth.

We’ll see you in our next ARCHITECTONIA, held in Jakarta in November this year