Post A: Each Place Has Its Stream In From All Over The Country

In China they have a proverb, says “each place has its stream in from all over the country”, and design also includes. Design for me is advanced, but successful designs always absorb from the site environment and develop in its own way at the same time. Such as a very well-known café brand – Starbucks.

With more than 18 stunning in-house designable stores around the world, designers driven by Starbucks commitment to the local environmental friendly and also pushing themselves to bring bold and innovative design to customers (Go Chengdu, 2015). For examples, the one at UBPA, shanghai, China, is honored one of the best practical store, which designed by Chinese Original Design Studio.

Bird eye’s view of the Starbucks


The perfect combination of glass and concrete is one of the most standout part (Gooood, 2014). The design concept that they wanted to state is a western culture and eastern culture’s communication. The outside surface used simple glass boxes to deal with the aesthetic fatigue. “The continuous external oblique glass ribs processed the extremely rich shadows around into slices, looking for unification among complication.” While, the very modern surface is against a Chinese style courtyard, which was rounded by a few walls with white pebbles texture. This design adopted the contemporary materials and style but also kept Chinese courtyard culture in the aesthetic concept.

There is no doubt that this store becomes a landmark in Puxi area in shanghai.


This Starbucks store in shanghai absorbed from both foreigner culture and local culture.

Fortunately, this trip to Indonesia, we also had involved in a local anti-smoking program. During this process, we also learned how important is to adjust our design to suit the local condition.

The first time we chose Tarp as our shelter material, but at the end we chose bamboo, which we inspired by local restaurants and housings as our final material. The weather in Yogyakarta is very rainy; therefore the tarp will catch rains and become heavy (Waterson, R. 1990). On the contrary, the bamboo is cheap and dry very quickly, so it’s suit the local hot and humid condition.


All in all, materials that we chose during this process are also limited by the local condition. But at the same time, the inspiration that came from to our design also sourced from the local environment and sharped by the local context.








  • Waterson, Roxana. The Living House: An Anthropology of Architecture in South-East Asia , 1990.




POST C – Ari Bowo on Traditional Dance and Culture in Java

102921(Ballet Purawisata. 2017)

On my second day in Yogyakarta, Indonesia I decided to visit the Kraton, a palace which serves as the main seat of the Sultan of Yogyakarta and a focus of traditional cultural activity in Java. Still wide-eyed and in the grip of culture shock I arrived in time to witness an abridged version of the Ramayana Ballet – an epic Sanskrit saga told through traditional Javanese dance. When the performance ended I walked around the palace grounds in a daze, processing the beauty and energy of the performance, and stumbled upon Ari’s community studio.

Ari is a traditional craftsman and dancer, part of a community of families whose lives are dedicated to working as craftsmen, artists, and dancers in service of the sultan. Ari studied dance for 12 years under a master dance teacher of Yogyakarta, who introduced Ari to competitive dancing but also taught him how to “begin to introduce the beautiful aspect of life into dancing.”

Dance to Ari is “the most beautiful art that I have ever done and that I ever will.”

dsc_5519(Vagabond Images. 2016)

After his training, he continued dancing – and endeavored to “understand the connection between dancing and life – as a spiritual subject.”

“We try to relate to the atmosphere around us, how we can be honest to self and how comfortable we are when we try to relate to lots of different people. How we can use this emotion in dance to begin to accept things.”

Ari explained elements of Ramayana to me, particularly the binary conflict between protagonist and antagonist, good and evil, Rama and Ravana, which can be seen as an allegory of the Rama’s internal struggle between elements of his personality.

“If there is nothing good there is nothing bad and this is a good way to teach us how to face ourselves and understand parts of ourselves.”

Ari also spoke about beauty in Ramayana, and the importance of masks in representing ‘the surface of the person.’

sendratariramayana(Adam, 2014)

“we should see beautiful things from the inside – beauty is not what they [the dancers] wear but about the movement.”

Sound is also intrinsic to expression in Ramayana, accompanying the transfixing music of gamelan, dancers often wear bells or chimes on their ankles to signify the entrance of giants or demons into the narrative. Characters that are ‘good’ tend to be quiet or silent (Inside Indonesia, 2007).

‘These two sides help understand self’ says Ari ‘but never expect to be a perfect person. It is about how we can feel the process of being self.

Ari decided to stop dancing because, though he enjoyed sharing energy with people through performance, he felt there were not enough positions available for young dancers. His fear was that Javanese dance culture might be lost if the younger generation were not given such opportunities.

“I love this culture and this tradition so personally, that I can’t imagine nobody doing it anymore.”

After much discussion, Ari and I settled upon the word catharsis to explain his experience of dance. Javanese dance is physical and spiritual, traditional and vibrant and enables dancers to respect their ancestors, understand themselves and communicate this energy or feeling to others.

On preserving culture Ari had this to say – “Some people do not want to accept culture that has nothing to do with their own belief. You need to understand the meaning inside a culture or a religion – and not practice on the surface. In Indonesia, but especially in Java – culture and dance is way to communicate with another spirit. We use connections to create beauty.”

prambanan-ramayana-ballet-dance-33(Royal Ambarrukmo, 2017)


Adam, A. 2014, Ramayana Ballet, Antonie’s Travel, viewed 13 Feb 2017, <;.

Ballet Purawisata. 2017, Ramayana Ballet, Magnificant Ramayana Ballet, viewed 10 February 2017, <;.

Inside Indonesia 2007, The Theft of Sita, Melbourne, viewed 12 Feb 2017, <;.

Royal Ambarrukmo. 2017, Sendratari Ramayana, Ambarrukmo, viewed 12 February 2017, <;.

Vagabond Images. 2016, Amazing Ramayana Ballet of Java, Vagabond, viewed 10 February 2017, <;.

Post B: Maggie’s

The garden at the Gartnavel Maggie Centre designed by Rem Koolhaas at OMA  

The possibilities for change and innovation when it comes to design are limitless and inspirational examples of the scope and power of design are everywhere. One such initiative is the Cancer Care Charity Maggie’s. created by Architectural writer and theorist Charles Jencks and his wife Maggie Jencks, there is now 19 Maggie centres assisting people across the world and online. Maggie’s centres combine breathtaking architecture with professional therapy to facilitate holistic healing and support families affected by Cancer.

In May 1993, Maggie Keswick Jencks was diagnosed with breast cancer and informed that she had only two to three months to live. Receiving this shattering news, and the stream of subsequent treatments in the sterile, neon-lit, and ultimately dehumanising environment of her general hospital, Maggie resolved to create a space where cancer patients would not have to “lose the joy of living in the fear of dying.”

Based on this simple concept, Maggie Centre’s are a carefully designed environment that features elements of  light, space, openness, and connectedness to nature in order to allow cancer patients to heal not only their bodies, but their spirit. Generally the key elements of healthcare buildings today are determined by practical restraints such as budgets and deadlines – Dutch academic Cor Magenaar blames the separation of Architecture and healing on Modernism and points to examples of ancient temples where healing of the spirit was equally important to that of the body.

Zaha Hadid’s Fife Maggie Centre

Distinguished architects who have designed Maggie’s Centres include Richard Rogers, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and Rem Koolhaas. Though it may not be entirely necessary for such famous architects to work on the buildings, it does heighten the charity’s profile, resulting in generous donations that allow them to create such incredible spaces to be enjoyed for free. The Maggie’s centres vary significantly in their size and form. However, they are all modest in size to create an intimate and human environment and they each consist of spaces for gathering, meditation, therapy, consultation, and reading.

Karl Johnson explains, ‘Architects play a critical role in shaping the qualities of our environment; they work in collaboration with end users and their needs and ambitions, and they have the power to restore and promote solidarity, mental and physical health and be a source of happiness” (Karl Johnson 2013). Maggie’s Centres exemplify this and are a unique initiative where design is used to inspire and rejuvenate people as they undergo and recover from cancer treatments.

Rose, S. 2010, ‘Maggie’s Centres: Can architecture cure cancer,’ The Guardian, viewed 16 February 2017 <;

Johnson, K. 2013, ‘Place and public health: the impact of architecture on well being,’ The Guardian, viewed 16 February 2017, <;

Merrick, J. 2014. ‘Raising the level of Care, Maggie’s Oxford by Wilkinson Eyre,’ The Architects’ Journal, 05 October 2016, Pp. 20-25.

Foster, N. 2016, ‘Designing Maggie’s Manchester,’ Maggie’s, viewed February 2017, <;

2003. ‘Made for Maggie,’ Building Design, 3 October 2003, Pp. 16-32.

Post D: Eko Nugroho’s Indonesia

Negeri Kaya Fatwa, Nugroho 2013

One way to experience the culture of a nation is by exploring it’s contemporary art scene. Based in Yogyakarta Central Java, highly-acclaimed Indonesian artist Eko Nugroho explores  the spirit and modern history of Indonesia in his imaginative, and often dark, works.

Having experienced Indonesia’s period of Reformasi (reformation) and the country’s shift toward democracy, Nugroho belongs to a generation of artists known as ‘2000 Generation.’ Nugroho’s roots in Yogyakarta’s vibrant street art scene is evident in his ecclectic and energetic style that is peppered with socio-political commentary, pop culture, and traditional Indonesian art and craft.

Although he is not directly political, Nugroho explains, “Daily life in Indonesia is consistently coloured by the issues of poverty, social injustice, corruption, violence and religion. Actually, I do not intentionally imbue my works with socio-political messages. However; it is all but impossible to free myself completely from the events happening around me.” This almost unconscious social and political commentary is evident throughout his work and paints a fascinating and dimensional picture of contemporary Indonesia.

Global Identity #2, Nugroho 2011 

Independent curator Supriyananto who Curated Nugroho’s 2009 New York exhibition ‘Tales from Wounded Land,’ commented that Nugroho’s works “make a pointed commentary about the current state of politics and society in contemporary Indonesia, a period in which the newly democratic country is going through great transformation” (Supriyanto 2009).

Nugroho’s medium varies dramatically with each work, his chosen mediums include Print Making, Embroidery, Animation, Sculpture, Painting, Design, Graffiti, Drawing, Batik, Film/Video and Installation. This dynamic mix of traditional and contemporary mediums gives his work originality and flexibility with the soul and craftsmanship of traditional Javanese arts.

Nugroho stated that, “In Indonesia the political situation is getting better, but there’s still a lot of narrow-mindedness and social pressure, and that’s exactly what I’m critical of in my work.”(Nugroho 2015). Nugroho is just one example from a wealth of fascinating contemporary artists working in Yogyakarta, through his work we gain deep insights into the character and landscape of modern Indonesia. In her thesis on contemporary art, Feehan illuminates how, “When contemporary art establishes a meaningful relationship between the viewer and the art, the results can create an insightful awareness of societal issues.” (Feehan 2010)

Artsy, 2017. ‘Biography,’, viewed 14 February 2017 <;

Asia Society, 2016. ‘Video Spotlight: Eko Nugroho,’, viewed 14 February 2017 <;

Supriyanto, E. 2002, ‘eko nugroho + wedhar riyadi: tales from wounded-land,’, viewed 14 February 2017, <;

James, B. 2012, ‘Shadows of meaning: in the Elko Chamber,’ Artlink, Vol. 32, No. 01, Pp. 82-86

Feehan, C. 2010, ‘A study on contemporary art museums as activist agents for social change,’ ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.


Nugroho, E. 2011, Global Identity #2, Artsy, viewed 15 February 2017, <;

Nugroho, E. 2013, Negari Kaya Fatwa, Art Gallery of New South Wales, viewed 15 February 2017, <;

POST D: The Art of Painting in Indonesia

Painting is one of the world’s oldest forms of art and is prevalent all over the world. Indonesia is an artistically diverse archipelago that has held art at its soul for thousands of years. In fact, the oldest, pre-historic cave paintings in the world were discovered in the caves near Maros in the southern island of Sulawesi around 50 years ago and have now been dated using uranium decay levels to be over 39,900 years old (Thomson 2014).

The island of Bali is where painting has been highly developed over the years and artists from here are famous for their paintings. Balinese paintings have been rooted in Balinese culture but have also been heavily influenced by the various countries that have been affiliated with Indonesia over time. Such as India, before the 19th Century, from where, “artistic and religious traditions were introduced… over a thousand years ago through the prism of ancient Javanese culture (Vickers 2012).” This is why many Balinese paintings are a combination of Hindu-Javanese folklore, mythology and, religious and communal life. Traditional Balinese paintings are noteworthy for their, “highly vigorous yet refined intricate art which [resemble] baroque folk art with tropical themes (Antique Java, Indonesian painted wood temple n.d.).”

Further, into the 19th Century, the Dutch colonised Indonesia. At this time, more Western influences came into Indonesian art. Raden Saleh, an Arab-Javanese painter was the pioneer of modernist Indonesian art. He was heavily influenced by the Romanticism art movement and also expressed his cultural origins through his paintings. He created one of Indonesia’s most famous paintings, Penangkapan Pangeran Diponegoro (The Arrest of Pangeran Diponegoro) as a response to Dutch artist Nicolaas Pieneman’s The Submission of Prince Dipo Negoro to General De Kock, which, in his belief, inaccurately depicted the true events of the scene (Effendy n.d.).

R Saleh, Penangkapan P Diponegoro 1957.jpgPenangkapan Pangeran Diponegoro by Raden Saleh (Effendy n.d.)

In the 20th Century, around the 1920s and 1930s, Indonesia started displaying more patriotism. Since the Romanticism movement was inherently Western, Indonesians believed they should not continue to develop it into their painting practice. Artists like Ida Bagus Made and Basuki Abdullah emerged during this time and drew their inspiration from the natural world. Further into the 1940s, Indonesian artists started combining Western techniques with Southeast Asian imagery. Later in the 1960s, artists started to embrace abstract expressionism and weaved Islamic themes and content into their paintings. This was also a time where art started to become political, but the political inclinations soon faded out as they were assumed to harbour communist affinities (Wright 1994).

3329ee1c910dc02e706b914cb967e919_w522.jpgJelekong’s painters can handle a range of subjects that find favour with buyers around Indonesia (Adriansyah 2013)

In 1965, Odin Rohidin, painter and former dramatic actor, pioneered painting in Jelekong, a sub-district of Baleendah in Bandung. Since its beginning, Jelekong has become a painting village whose residents, ranging from 10 to 55 years of age, utilise a multitude of techniques to visualise their ideas. The many paintings created here are marketed domestically and also exported overseas. Further, “Quite a few Jelekong painters have participated in exhibitions in Berlin, Germany, the Netherlands, Dubai and other countries in the Middle East (Adriansyah 2013).”

It can be garnered that Indonesia has had a long and diverse history of paintings, evolving from pre-historic times through to contemporary representations that find favour all over the world, and that art is still held in high regard by many Indonesians today.



Adriansyah, A.2013, ‘West Java’s village of painting’, viewed 15 February 2017, <>.

Antique Java, Indonesian painted wood temple n.d., viewed 16 February 2017, <>.

Effendy,R. n.d., ‘On Appropriation’, viewed 16 February 2017, <>.

Thomson, H. 2014, ‘Rock (Art) of Ages: Indonesian Cave Paintings Are 40,000 Years Old’, viewed 14 February 2017, <>.

Vickers, A. 2012, Balinese Art, Tuttle Publishing, North Clarendon, VT, USA.

Wright, A. 1994, Soul, Spirit, and Mountain: Preoccupations of Contemporary Indonesian Painters, Oxford University Press.

POST C: The Traditional Textile Industry in Indonesia – An Interview

As someone from an illustration and graphic design background, when I met with the opportunity to learn about the textile industry – a design industry I am not familiar with – from someone with a strong background in textile design in Indonesia, I immediately took up the chance. Mr M.N. Subramanian, current Senior President and Managing Director of PT. Five Star Textile Indonesia, has well over 40 years of experience working in the textile industry in a number of countries such as the USA, India, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia.  He has worked for a few years in Surabaya, and has been working in Bandung for the past 6 years.

sadfgjhyukj.pngExamples of lace and embroidery work in PT. Five Star Textile Indonesia (Sridharan 2017)

I asked Mr Subramanian about the traditional textile industry and whether it is being overshadowed by contemporary textile companies, such as Unkl347, in Indonesia’s increasingly contemporary milieu. He immediately responded that there is, “no doubt the modern textile clothing industry is gaining popularity, but it is no threat to the traditional textile manufacturing and markets in Indonesia (2017, pers. comm., 27 January).” Steadfastly, he affirmed that traditional products cannot be replaced, though the commerciality of the contemporary textile/clothing scene may make some dents. Further, he went on to describe the differences between traditional textile manufacturing and contemporary textile units, saying, “The product range is different. In traditional manufacturing, the industry concentrates mainly on spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing, printing, and finishing.  The garment industries buy these products and make ready-made garments for final consumers,” and contrarily, “the newly formed contemporary textile units mostly make branded apparels for the final consumers selling in the retail shops. They mostly buy their raw materials like yarns, fabrics, etc. from the traditional textile companies (2017, pers. comm., 27 January).” He went on to say that contemporary branded items are usually more popular due to their premium prices and saleability.

Youth in Indonesia are now creating indie clothing lines, “that use international commercial culture as the visual vernacular of their designs (Luvaas 2008).” The clothes they design are sold at urban, youthful stores called distro and, “are some of the most popular brands among teenagers and university students (Luvaas 2008).” Mr Subramanian says that although the traditional and contemporary textile sectors seemingly run parallel to each other, they, “are actually interdependent and will co-exist (2017, pers. comm., 27 January),” since contemporary brands purchase their textiles from traditional textile companies.

Further, I wanted to ask Mr Subramanian about the technologies used in textile design and whether modern technologies and techniques are necessary to create prominent textile design. He proceeded to take me on a tour of the PT. Five Star Textile Indonesia factory to take a look at some of the technologies and equipment used.

IMG_8539.JPGemAARO technology from India (Sridharan 2017)

IMG_8560.JPGSaurer 4040 technology from Germany (Sridharan 2017)

Emphasis is placed on design, and the ideas and innovations generated are arguably the most important aspect of textile design. Mr Subramanian stated, “Computerized modern technology only helps in developing such ideas into designs faster (2017, pers. comm., 27 January),” as modifications can be easily made, as per the customer’s wishes. Traditional methods, on the other hand, take many days to modify, which can irritate some customers, making them impatient and disinterested. Mr Subramanian disclosed, “Speed brings business due to modern technology so that we can retain customers.” He also disclosed that his factory in Bandung exports embroidered textiles to around 26 countries all over the world.

This interview helped me open my eyes to the textile industry and allowed me to gain further respect for traditional textile practices and companies. As can be concluded, both the traditional textile industry and contemporary textile/clothing companies require the support of each other to function and are both valid and needed in society.


Luvaas, B. 2008, ‘Global fashion, remixed’, Inside Indonesia, 22 June, viewed 13 February 2017, <>.

POST B: Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Many people believe that the root causes of respiratory and lung problems stem from smoking, but there are a host of other causes that can lead to these health issues too. One such cause is the, “exposure to toxic smoke from traditional cooking practices (Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves 2016).” Established in 2010, and primarily located in, “Bangladesh, China, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda (Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves 2016),” The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves aims to provide clean cookstoves to countries, eventually globally, in order to reduce the level of black carbon emitted into the atmosphere, reduce deforestation, and, most importantly, reduce household air pollution caused by traditional cooking practices which will save the lives of the many women and children exposed to the toxic smoke every day.

map.JPG(Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves 2016)

This public-private partnership works with the social enterprise, The Paradigm Project, which is, “working to create sustainable social, economic and environmental value within developing world communities (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 2012).” By 2020, The Paradigm Project aims to deliver and install 5 million clean cookstoves in developing countries across the globe.

Cooking using an open wood fire allows for the chemical components from the wood to be released into the surrounding space and atmosphere. Since the wood fires used for cooking are usually built indoors or within a closed/compact area, the particles and toxins from the smoke tend to cloud around the women and children nearby, kindling a host of health problems.

cookstove410.jpg(Bruce 2011)

The constituents of wood fire smoke include carbon, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particle matter, methane, mould spores, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a number of aldehydes, oxygenated monoaromatics, and a multitude of other toxic and suffocating chemicals (Helmenstine 2017). Exposure to chemicals such as these lead to fatally chronic and acute health problems such as, “child pneumonia, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and heart disease, as well as low birth-weights in children born to mothers whose pregnancies are spent breathing toxic fumes from traditional cookstoves (Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves 2016).” The World Health Organisation notes that smoke exposure from wood fire cooking stoves is the, “fourth leading risk factor for disease in developing countries, and causes 4.3 million premature deaths per year (Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves 2016).”

ertyu.pngTwo examples of the clean cookstoves. Ethanol-powered on the left, and solar-powered on the right. (Clean Cooking Catalog n.d.)

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is comprised of a dedicated, interdisciplinary, racially diverse team who work together in order to keep the mission running smoothly and allowing for its growth. They are funded by, “grants and investments from governments, corporations, foundations, civil society, investors, and individuals (Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves 2016),” who support their work and want to help the Alliance grow. They have also partnered with, “more than 1,600 diverse partners from around the world including national and multilateral partners, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, investors, foundations, academic institutions, entrepreneurs, trade associations, and women’s cooperatives (Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves 2016).”

As more of these environmentally friendly clean cookstoves, that are safer for the health of the women and children around them, continue to spread around developing countries across the world, smoke emissions will radically reduce and household air pollution will diminish as a current high contender of health problems.


Bruce, N. 2011, Wood smoke from cooking fires linked to pneumonia, cognitive impacts, viewed 13 February 2017, <>.

Clean Cooking Catalog n.d., Stoves, viewed 13 February 2017, <>.

Clean Cookstoves 2016, Focus Countries, viewed 13 February 2017, <>.

Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves 2016, Health, viewed 13 February 2017, <>.

Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves 2016, Our Partners, viewed 13 February 2017, <>.

Helmenstine, A.M. 2017, Smoke Chemistry, About Education, New York City, viewed 13 February 2017, <>.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 2014, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves – The Paradigm Project, viewed 13 February 2017, <>.