Climate change is one of the most pressing international issues of the past decade, and Indonesia currently holds the highest deforestation rate in the planet, and is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, not to mention the archipelago nation is also at risk of rising sea levels [Beech, 2014]. The Indonesian government has shown concern over climate change as a social and political issue, as exemplified in the October 7, 2009 during the United Nation talks on Climate change. As a commendable step towards tackling the issue, in 2009 the government introduced a new initiative for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD), including the Berau Forest Carbon Program (BFCP) which aims to reduce emissions by 26% by 2020 [unknown, 2010].
As climate change affects the whole world, the call for ecological sustainability has been shaping innovative design practices globally, and is a prevalent example of the way design is shaped by social and political context. Indonesia is no exception and has shown innovative design work across many fields of design as a response to the urgency and seriousness of climate change.
[image credits PT Bambu and Ahkamul Hakim, 2012]
Environmentalist and Bali-based Canadian designer John Hardy, with designer and wife Cynthia Hardy, designed and constructed an eco-school which is wholly constructed by sustainably harvested bamboo and uses renewable energy systems to power the building. They teamed up with the non-profit Meranggi Foundation, which develops bamboo plantations through local farmers, and architecture firm PT Bambu, whom specialize in bamboo architecture. The renewable energy systems in place in the school include a bamboo sawdust hot water and cooking system, solar panels, and a hydro-powered vortex generator [Meinhold, 2014]. It was named the 2012 ‘Greenest School on Earth’ [Yuni, 2012] and offers a holistic education with a strong focus on sustainability for future generations. The school is a triumph in eco-design and will continue to inspire the lives (and design practices) of future generations by imparting a sense of responsibility to the Earth, which will aim to mold life and design in Bali towards a more sustainable future.
[Image credits Zindel, 2010]
Industrial Deisgner Benno Zindel, while on exchange at the Institut Teknologi Bandung in Java, designed and produced a biodegradable rattan seat [Lisa, 2012]. It supports a number of seating positions, and is an example of the way the seriousness of climate change has shaped product design towards using sustainable and environmentally friendly materials. This seat is intended to replace non-biodegradable plastic chairs and stools, and thus lessen contributions to landfill in Indonesia. Over the next coming years, as the issue of climate change only magnifies, it is only logical that the local and international context will inform many designers, such as Hardy and Zindel, to consider their impact on the environment, and take this knowledge and responsibility into in their design practice.
Nature.org 2010, Innovative Initiative in Indonesia Brings Developing and Developed Countries Together on Climate Change, Indonesia, viewed 25 April, <http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/global-warming-climate-change/how-we-work/goi-press-release-on-berau-oct-8-09.pdf >
Beech. H, 2014, ‘Indonesia.‘, TIME, Vol. 184, no. 16, pp. 34-37.
Meinhold, B., 2014, The Green School Showcases Bamboo Construction in Indonesia, Inhabitat, viewed 25 April, <http://inhabitat.com/the-green-school-showcases-bamboo-construction-in-indonesia/ >
Hardy, J., 2015, John Hardy, JohnBali, viewed 25 April, <http://www.johnbali.com >
Unknown, 2012, The Center for Green Schools at USGBC Announces Inaugural Green Apple Day of Service, PR Newswire, viewed 25 April, <http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-center-for-green-schools-at-usgbc-announces-inaugural-green-apple-day-of-service-148643325.html >
Lisa, A., 2012, Kursi Java is a Biodegradable Rattan Seat For Sitting Comfortably on the Floor, Inhabitat, viewed 25 April, <http://inhabitat.com/kursi-java-is-a-biodegradable-rattan-seat-for-sitting-comfortably-on-the-floor/ >