Pride of In­done­sia

Leonard Theosabrata Creative space maker

Prestige Indonesia - Lifestyle - - YOUNG DESIGNERS -

The In­done­sian de­sign scene has never been more vi­brant, but iron­i­cally the work of the coun­try’s most tal­ented young prac­ti­tion­ers is of­ten bet­ter known over­seas than in the ar­chi­pel­ago

With In­done­sia’s vast re­sources – plen­ti­ful raw ma­te­ri­als, a large pop­u­la­tion and a rich cul­ture - to draw upon, the coun­try has the po­ten­tial to be­come a force to be reck­oned with in the world of de­sign. Leonard Theosabrata, founder of In­doestri Mak­erspace, a new, fully equipped fa­cil­ity to cater to In­done­sia’s bur­geon­ing de­sign com­mu­nity, be­lieves this whole­heart­edly.

From the ex­plo­sion of lo­cal en­trepreneur­ship brought on by pi­o­neer­ing ef­forts like Brightspot Mar­ket and The Goods Depart­ment – both of which pro­mote In­done­sian brands and both of which he co-founded – Theosabrata no­ticed that many In­done­sians have the right spirit to start a brand, but lack the nec­es­sary ap­proach to main­tain a brand. In a coun­try where labour is cheap and wide­spread, it’s easy to sim­ply con­cep­tu­alise a de­sign and pass it off to a man­u­fac­turer, de­tach­ing one­self com­pletely from the “mak­ing” process.

“Nowa­days, you can just Google ev­ery­thing and you think you know what you’re do­ing,” says The Art Cen­ter Col­lege of De­sign, Pasadena alum­nus. “You don’t get to ap­pre­ci­ate the jour­ney of find­ing that process and per­fect­ing that craft. That’s how you se­cure longevity, and that’s what fos­ters in­no­va­tion. That’s miss­ing a lot in to­day’s world, and I’m try­ing to bring that back.”

In­doestri Mak­erspace aims to put lo­cal en­trepreneurs who are se­ri­ous about de­sign back in touch with the creative process. The two-storey fa­cil­ity has ev­ery­thing that a new­comer to de­sign may need, like small of­fices for rent, a meet­ing room, and a creative “gym” where de­sign­ers are free to in­vent, pro­to­type and ex­plore their creative side. The space is fully equipped with the proper ma­chin­ery for wood­work, met­al­work, tex­tile and leather work and more. This maker space is avail­able to mem­bers who can sign up on a yearly, monthly or daily ba­sis. Work­shops are also of­fered in subjects like de­sign, 3D print­ing, laser work, busi­ness and pottery, just to name a few.

“Peo­ple come here and think it’s an ed­u­ca­tional space, which it is, but it’s not a school,” says Theosabrata. “And it’s not a place to so­cialise, although net­work­ing does hap­pen. Ul­ti­mately, it’s a for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion where the creative in­dus­try can get down and dirty in their craft. The good in­ten­tion be­hind all of this is sim­ply be­cause it’s an op­por­tu­nity for a busi­ness to tap into a sit­u­a­tion.

“I’ve al­ways tried to push the lo­cal in­dus­try and scene in terms of get­ting bet­ter, in­volv­ing the govern­ment, work­ing with as­so­ci­a­tions, fo­rums, you name it,” says Theosabrata. “I just felt that there are a lot of ways that aren’t sus­tain­able be­cause it comes down to ba­sics. So this whole self-made thing, which is at the heart of In­doestri, is about self­ini­tia­tive, self-taught, self-dis­ci­pline, self-learn­ing – that way of do­ing busi­ness.”

His say in the mat­ter holds some con­sid­er­able weight. Along­side his father, Yos Theosabrata, who has been in the fur­ni­ture busi­ness for over 30 years now, Leonard co-founded Ac­cupunto, a fur­ni­ture brand whose pres­ti­gious awards in­clude the Red Dot De­sign Award, the In­te­rior In­no­va­tion Award from the Ger­man De­sign Coun­cil and the Good De­sign Award from the Ja­pan In­sti­tute of De­sign Pro­mo­tion. Ac­cupunto gained recog­ni­tion for its con­sid­er­a­tion of pres­sure points to cre­ate acupunc­ture-in­spired cush­ions for its seat­ing. “I was still in school then,” says Theosabrata of his early days de­sign­ing for Ac­cupunto. “My dad was kind of the in­ven­tor of the con­cept, but a lot of it was raw ideas. I came in with my de­sign and brand­ing, and to­gether, we de­vel­oped it into the brand that it is to­day.

“The di­rec­tion has shifted from where it started, which was to push Ac­cupunto as a mono­brand. We re­alised that, as a fur­ni­ture of­fer­ing, it’s not enough, so we made it one of the of­fer­ings un­der the big­ger um­brella of Ideal Liv­ing. All of my fam­ily’s busi­nesses are un­der this um­brella. I still art-di­rect and de­sign, and Ac­cupunto is still part of my daily rou­tine here.”

Nowa­days, Theosabrata’s main fo­cus is In­doestri. “It took some time for me to fig­ure out, but In­doestri is a place that could open up a lot of doors. I think this con­cept will lift a lot of good things I’m in­volved in, the whole thing: manufacturing, Ac­cupunto, our fam­ily as­sets, The Goods Dept., Brightspot, ev­ery­thing. I think In­doestri is at the con­nec­tion po­si­tion for ev­ery­thing else in my life.”

Leonard Theosabrata is help­ing lo­cal en­trepreneurs who are se­ri­ous about de­sign get back in touch with the creative process


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