Joshua Simandjuntak is an accomplished Indonesian designer, and leader of Karsa, an innovative design studio based in Jakarta. The studio employs talented Indonesian designers to produce furniture and home accessories, priding themselves on the use of hand picked materials made locally into high-quality designs, which are sold globally. After discovering Joshua through his collaboration with world-renowned designer Tom Dixon, I contacted the Karsa studio and asked Joshua on his thoughts about contemporary design issues, such as ecological sustainability, and his decision to return to Indonesia after studying in the UK.
I would like to thank Joshua for taking time out to offer insight into his design practice and what he holds important as an Indonesian designer.
[All Images courtesy of Karsa.co]
1) Why did you choose to return to Indonesia after completing your studies in the United Kingdom? Do you feel there is just as much opportunity as a designer in Indonesia as in other parts of the world?
I did not chose to return to Indonesia after completing study at the RCA. I went to explore the opportunity of being an entrepreneur in the UK. Along with fellow RCA graduate Antonio Arevalo and a friend Byron Miller, we set up a studio, which we named Fusion Design Studio after our favourite concept of multifunction objects.
I then worked for Tom Dixon as a Product Developer which job is to work along with sub-contractor / producer and translated Tom’s designs into productions.
2) How do you value your collaboration with Tom Dixon?
Along to answer the question 1 – Tom has inspired me in way of looking into design process. An afternoon conversation with Tom had me decided to return to Indonesia with a fresh set of eyes looking into the potential of materials, skills and processes, which can be turned into great designs.
3) Do you feel that the seriousness of environmental issues, especially in Indonesia, will change and do you feel that this could personally inspire your design practice, and do you feel that ecologically sustainable design is feasible whilst competing in a global market?
Environmental issues often are overused and quite possibly abused. Our translations of ecologically sustainable design is by creating a long lasting, well designed and well made pieces of furniture that is last. Meaning that we will make people cutting less trees to get more wood to replace their broken furniture. Lasting piece of furniture is less wood being used.
4) Lastly, what is a design of yours which you are particularly proud of?
I particularly fond of Karimun coffee table as she is a representation of Indonesian culture without implementing the obvious decorative elements. I always proud of Rakata low chair as she has a well balance proportion between traditional hand made woven rattan pattern and the calm lines of wooden frame constructions. I am currently in love with the Swara Table as this is the long obsession being fulfilled which was to create a harmonious marriage between wooden furniture and sound.
Karsa, 2015, Karsa Design Studios, viewed 28 April, <http://www.karsa.co/ >