(KANDURA) FAUZY KAMAL
Element of surprise
If two heads are better than one, then four heads must be twice as good as two. at least, that’s how the creative heads of Kandura Keramik see it. the design collective focuses on ceramics, designing tableware products at a workshop and studio in Bandung. You might have seen Kandura Keramik’s idiosyncratic creations at retailers such as dia.lo.gue artspace, Koi Gallery, Gerai salihara or Bobobobo.
sometimes quirky, sometimes ethnic, but all around casual and comforting, Kandura’s works have been showcased at Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Valencia designboom Mart, the ABC shop at art stage singapore and designer’s Block at the London design festival. Kandura has made design of tableware its main activity, while allowing itself the occasional dabble in jewellery and vases.
Kandura Keramik got started in 2005, after co-founder fauzy Prasetya Kamal graduated from the prestigious Institute of technology Bandung (ITB) in Bandung. “My personal interest was design,” he says, “and I specifically wanted to do products that revolved around the act of eating. this is because, in my opinion, one of the things with big potential here is food. we are an eating society more than a drinking one.” with this idea in mind, fauzy approached his other co-founders, Bathsebha satyaalangghya and tisa Granicia, both of whom had studied ceramic arts at ITB. a couple of years later, Nuri fatima joined the group as the fourth person to make up a highly creative quartet of product designers.
“there’s no set way that we work with each other,” says fauzy of the creative dynamic among the four designers. “we always stress that all four of us each experiment with their own ideas. If you have anything good, just go with it. It doesn’t have to become anything, but we can surely learn from it. and we’re never possessive about our ideas. It’s all free to use within our team. a lot of times it’s hard to tell where my work ends and say, tisa’s work begins and vice versa.
“for example, for a recent Brightspot Market event, we had two new mugs that we had to create handles for. we gave ourselves three weeks to work on it and with no rules. the handle could have been purely for aesthetic reasons, functional reasons or maybe something sentimental that related to one of us. we ended up creating about 19 designs.”
fans of Kandura can expect to see new products at a faster rate than the typical spring and autumn release of new collections according to the tableware calendar. “we enjoy doing mini projects, like for Brightspot or an exhibition, for which we make new pieces,” says fauzy. “the mini projects serve as a kind of catalyst to create new products. In a year, this happens around three to four times. But we like that challenge. we like having a deadline that we didn’t set for ourselves.”
for fauzy, the best part of designing is “seeing it all come together, the bits and pieces of ideas. there’s a linear way of designing – get a mood board, come up with sketches, make the prototype, etc – but we rarely ever do that. our studio has a lot of unfinished odds and ends. I like seeing the ideas that didn’t really have a destination beforehand come together in the end.”
among Kandura’s many accomplishments – from world-class exhibitions to joining forces with stylish retailers – perhaps fauzy’s most memorable was an early project Kandura Keramik completed for Museum Bank Indonesia. “It was our first big project and an important one,” fauzy recalls. “we worked with important people that we all admire. we created tiles for their museum conservation project, which really gave us a lot of practice with color and materials. for me personally, exhibiting at the London design festival was a huge highlight. I’ve always read about it, and I’ve always wanted to go. I never knew I’d end up exhibiting there.
“I like working with ceramics because the material is very intriguing. It’s so flexible, and you can shape it into almost anything. things rarely end up how you plan them, though. there are a lot of factors in creating something with ceramics that you can’t really account for. that element of surprise is something that we all really love about the material.”
Kandura’s idiosyncratic tableware creations are sometimes quirky, sometimes ethnic
THIS PAGE: CORTINA AND LEMONADE FROM THE MUGGING KANDURA COLLECTION; OPPOSITE PAGE: FAUZY KAMAL