An UN­LIKELY MAR­RIAGE

Diaz Adis­as­tomo

Prestige Indonesia - Lifestyle - - CONTENTS -

Diaz Adis­as­tomo HAD never found the idea of tak­ing part in com­pe­ti­tions ap­peal­ing, but he en­tered his Com­mon arm­chair in Sin­ga­pore’s 2013 Fur­ni­ture De­sign Awards pro­gramme any­way. To his sur­prise, his piece re­ceived an hon­ourable men­tion from the judges. “My en­try was part of my fi­nal project for uni­ver­sity,” says 28-year-old Adis­as­tomo. “To gain such recog­ni­tion was a great boost for me as an as­pir­ing de­signer. All in all, it was a very re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.”

For his chair, Adis­as­tomo came up with an un­likely com­bi­na­tion of ma­te­ri­als: rat­tan and alu­minium. “In spite of their dif­fer­ences, they share many sim­i­lar­i­ties,” he says. “Hence the name of the chair. Both are bend­able and easy to be linked. It’s ac­tu­ally a very sim­ple de­sign, just a seat with a back­rest. What I wanted to ex­pose through my de­sign was the un­usual mar­riage of th­ese two com­po­nents.

“Dur­ing my in­tern­ship at a man­u­fac­turer in Cire­bon, West Java, I was most drawn by the ex­ten­sive use of tubu­lar metal and rat­tan pole as a con­struc­tive ma­te­rial. Apart from their ori­gin, they both share sim­i­lar prop­er­ties; light­ness,

flex­i­bil­ity, strength. There was some­thing in­trigu­ing about their mu­tual re­la­tion­ship that soon led to the idea of cre­at­ing log­i­cal yet poetic struc­tures, which be­came the Com­mon chair.

“The chair is con­ceived as a sim­ple metal con­struc­tion that for­mally refers to the ty­pol­ogy of din­ing chairs. A sin­gle rat­tan pole mounted upon the curved metal frame is the key char­ac­ter­is­tic of the chair. Even though it is only a small part of the chair, the rat­tan pole plays an im­por­tant role as a bridge that strength­ens the struc­ture as well as pro­vid­ing back sup­port and warmth.”

Adis­as­tomo did not dis­cover his in­ter­est in in­dus­trial de­sign un­til he went to col­lege. “Back then, I didn’t even know the con­cept of de­sign,” he ad­mits. “I had al­ways liked to draw, but I never as­so­ci­ated it with any­thing. I was in­tro­duced to it af­ter high school and it made me won­der that there’s ac­tu­ally a world out there that’s ded­i­cated to de­sign­ing and pro­duc­ing ideas. It all be­gan there.”

He stud­ied Prod­uct De­sign at Ban­dung In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (ITB). Dur­ing his in­tern­ship, he ex­plored fur­ni­ture pro­duc­tion pro­cesses in depth. “The term prod­uct de­signer is broad,” he says. “You could be cre­at­ing flipflops or au­to­mo­biles, and still be called a prod­uct de­signer. Choos­ing to fo­cus on fur­ni­ture just came nat­u­rally to me.”

Adis­as­tomo has been strongly in­flu­enced by the work of the Ja­panese, no­tably Naoto Fuka­sawa, an in­dus­trial de­signer whose works in­clude a wall-mounted CD player that is part of the per­ma­nent col­lec­tion at The Mu­seum of Mod­ern Art (MOMA) in New York. “His de­signs are ma­ture, never try­ing to stand out, yet mean­ing­ful and time­less,” says Adis­as­tomo. “Th­ese are the el­e­ments I look for when de­sign­ing a prod­uct.”

From 2013 to last year, Adis­as­tomo worked as a ju­nior de­signer at fur­ni­ture com­pany Karsa un­der the lead­er­ship of Joshua Si­mand­jun­tak, one of In­done­sia’s most renowned prod­uct de­sign­ers. “I learned a lot from him about how he turns his ideas into de­signs that work,” says Adis­as­tomo of his men­tor.

“His cre­den­tials are top-notch and he is prob­a­bly one of the best de­sign­ers we have right now. Yet he is still very hum­ble. I as­pire to be him like in the fu­ture.” Adis­as­tomo was in­volved in the pro­duc­tion process when Karsa’s Si­mand­jun­takde­signed Rakata Chair took a De­sign for Asia Award from Hong Kong De­sign Cen­tre in 2014.

The next step in Adis­as­tomo’s ca­reer is cre­at­ing his own de­sign stu­dio, Gr­rrad, in part­ner­ship with two friends from his col­lege days: Genta Prakesa and Reza An­war. “They had first dis­cussed cre­at­ing a plat­form for fur­ni­ture de­sign­ers and then they asked me to join them. I’ve al­ways dreamed of hav­ing my own stu­dio and this op­por­tu­nity was per­fect tim­ing,” says Adis­os­tomo.

Gr­rrad is part­ner­ing with Garisprada, a ho­tel ar­chi­tec­ture and in­te­rior con­sul­tant whose lat­est projects in­clude Plataran Borobudur and The Men­jan­gan in Bali. The stu­dio has de­signed barstools for the Lan­git Meno­rah Bar & Lounge at Plataran Borobudur.

Mean­while, the three friends are in the mid­dle of cre­at­ing their own fur­ni­ture col­lec­tion for Gr­rrad. “The three of us are draw­ing from our own ex­pe­ri­ences and ob­ser­va­tions to cre­ate the col­lec­tion,” says Adis­as­tomo. “I can’t wait to com­plete this col­lec­tion and see where it takes us.”

“You could be cre­at­ing flipflops or au­to­mo­biles, and still be called a prod­uct de­signer. Choos­ing to fo­cus on fur­ni­ture just came nat­u­rally to me”

clock­wise from left: THE COM­MON ARM­CHAIR; DIAZ ADIS­AS­TOMO

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