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Robert Cheng of Brewin Design Office was given carte blanche to design this family home in Indonesia for an aspiring art collector and his young family


When Robert Cheng of Brewin Design Office was given the floor plan of this apartment in the prestigious Keraton Private Residences in Jakarta, there wasn’t a single internal wall. The designer had the authority to locate rooms anywhere he saw fit, including the kitchen and bathrooms that are typically fixed to ensure efficiency within the stacked construction of a tower.

The client, as aspiring art collector with a young family, came to Cheng with a typical Keraton apartment: an unfinished interior where columns line the perimeter housing plumbing lines. The floor slab is set 45 centimetres below the finished level to allow enough gradient for the drainage pipes to reach anywhere in the plan from the columns.

‘This had interesting potential for us because we approached it as an architecture project minus the roof or facade,’ says Cheng, who helms the Singapore-based design studio. The final plan considers both formal and informal aspects of residential design. The lift opens to a corridor-cum-art gallery where two portals reveal the common living, dining and kitchen spaces. At the other end of the gallery, a door leads into the family room before splitting further into three bedrooms. ‘From their bedroom, each person has to walk though this family nucleus that is part of the private space,’ says Cheng. It’s a simple but effective gesture to improve the social aspects of domestic design. 

The material palette is sophisticated and favours natural materials. Silvery off-white Venetian stucco gives the ceiling and walls a subtle pearlescent sheen. Charcoal-coloured slate flooring in the common spaces adds an industrial touch, while American Walnut flooring in the private areas injects warmth. In the master bathroom, the sinuous veins of Moon Beige honed marble are splashed across surfaces like paint on a canvas, paralleled by the curves of decorative Lefroy Brooks bath fixtures. Linen blinds soften the tropical light while custom-designed carpets soften footfall.

As in all his projects, Cheng approaches the interior design in a holistic manner, considering all aspects from finishing to furniture. Vintage and modern pieces mix, with art a particular focus. In the living room, for instance, Indonesian artist Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo’s resin artwork Volcanic Ash Series #4 is complemented by a bespoke carpet in similar shades of greyish-blue and a dark Orobico marble coffee table from the Brewin Collection. A sculpture of leftover resin layers punctuates the gateway into the dining room, where a custom-designed Orobico marble dining table continues the material conversation from the living room.

Where necessary, Cheng has bestowed gravitas. The living room ceiling is nearly a metre higher than the rest of the house (a result of keeping pipes and ducts to either side). An Anish Kapoor gold dish hangs across the main entrance, its gilt echoing the solid brass door handle. Key thresholds are accented with solid timber frames, as are niches containing artwork and the dining room banquette seat.

At another time and with another brief, Cheng would have liked to explore the country’s artisanal culture. But here, at the client’s request, the interior design is guided by a more international flavour. The construction necessary to attain the refined aesthetic meant workmanship and products were mostly imported: timberwork was milled in Australia and assembled on site by Australian craftsmen; stone was imported from Singapore, and furniture and fixtures were sourced globally. Polished and cosmopolitan, in this home Cheng has pushed boundaries by giving a twist to domestic spatial planning and creating a holistic environment for both artwork and occupants.

Text / Jingmei Luo
Images / Marc Tan (Studio Periphery)

Lloyd’s Inn, Bali

Nature is at the centre of Lloyd’s Inn Bali, a sleek and rustic resort designed by FARM


A close relationship with nature is the mantra of the Lloyd’s Inn brand. First established in 1990, the boutique hotel was given a facelift in 2014 by Farm Architects, offering tranquillity in a raw, minimal shell nestled amid greenery just off the cusp of the popular Orchard Road shopping street.

‘The new branding took advantage of the domestic-like setting of the existing garden to focus on the relationship between the guest and nature, which is understood as light, openness, greenery and material beauty. Adopting a “minimal existence” approach, every aspect of the hotel is designed to be fuss-free for guests,” says FARM co-founder Tiah Nan Chyuan, who worked on the project.  

This approach continues in the brand’s second property, Lloyd’s Inn Bali. Absent are the thatched roof and ornamental carvings typical of resorts on the popular Indonesian holiday island; here, the brand’s signature aesthetic of raw cement flooring, white walls, timber accents and minimal gestures is a breath of fresh air, placing the focus on the greenery. 

While the similarities are obvious, there are also some distinctive differences that give Lloyd’s Inn Bali its own character, such as strong contextual influences and organic lines that weave through the site. ‘We’re conscious that the context is entirely different from Singapore. Firstly, the relationship with nature in Bali is more immersive compared to Singapore, which tends to be more visual. So for almost all the hotel rooms, we created opportunities for meaningful outdoor or semi-outdoor spaces like sky gardens, outdoor showers and indoor gardens,’ says Tiah. 

There was also the challenge of translating the identity and intimacy of the 34-room boutique hotel in Singapore into a 100-room hotel in Bali. Tiah’s strategy was creating layered encounters by decentralising the various programmes across different levels and locations within the site, connected by multiple circulation loops. ‘We believe this will create a more journey-based experience with possibilities for discoveries,’ he explains.   

From the beginning, this experience of ‘discovering’ plays out. Guests enter through an alleyway from the main road and through a voluminous, textured stone wall. Beyond, a cascading tier of guest rooms flanks a central courtyard, the curves in the plan allowing more daylight into the rooms. An upper-level bridge snakes across this bucolic sanctuary, which is also home to the all-day-dining restaurant and which offers new vantage points. 

Another way guests can engage with the site is though the local materials used. Balinese lava stone forms the walls, capped by a pitched clay tile roof. Sukabumi tiles line the pool, marble clads the guest-room interiors and pebble wash provides texture underfoot. ‘In Bali, we had the opportunity to push the boundary between the interior and exterior even more,’ concludes Tiah.

Text / Luo Jingmei
Images / Studio Periphery

Photo by Goderic Tia Photography

Photo by Goderic Tia Photography

Room to Grow

Interior designer Janice Tjioe approached this family home in Jakarta as she would her own: by maximising functionality without sacrificing aesthetic qualities


‘As an interior designer and a working mom, I know first-hand that what we need from a family home is more than just a functional space; it also needs to be aesthetically pleasing,’ Tjioe explains. The design brief emphasised the need to consider and accommodate the clients’ two young children, so Tjioe took that as her cue to design the relatively compact home to feel more spacious by maximising the available space.

In the living and dining areas, she designed storage units within the weather walnut wall panelling, where every panel is a door to a concealed unit. This strategy is repeated in the master bedroom, where the wall panelling hides extra closet space.

But, Tjioe notes, ‘in a family home, functionality also means durability.’ When selecting materials, this meant a washable area rug and quartz stone atop the dining table and kitchen counter. Both materials can be easily maintained, and the quartz surfaces, which complement the marble flooring, are scratch resistant.

Tjioe wanted to create a ‘relaxed yet sophisticated’ scene throughout the home, so sleek lines, a neutral palette and muted textures come together to offset the more rustic elements. ‘The balance of warm wood and neutral, matte finish make the space cosy and relaxing, while the polished surfaces add a touch of elegance and sophistication. In the dining area, the walnut panelling provides a more rustic palette against which a hand-painted semi-gloss buffet table, champagne leaf pedestal and crystal pendants stand out. The marble flooring that extends into the kitchen is softened with a broadloom area rug in the living area.’

With areas for play, relaxation and spending time together, Tjioe has designed a family home that champions functionality and modern design sensibilities.

Text / Simone Schultz
Images / Ari Iskandar

The Colours of Indonesia

ID12 celebrates its 10-year anniversary with a ‘soulfully Indonesian’ exhibition that offers a vision of modern living inspired by the country’s rich history

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ID12 — an abbreviation for 12 Indonesian Interior Designers — is an association of the country’s interior design luminaries. They were brought together 11 years ago by Erna Nureddin for a collaboration between the designers and Laras magazine, where each would work on one issue over the course of a year. Following such thoughtful match-making, the relationship between the dozen designers has only grown stronger over the years since. As they found themselves in the same circles and working on the same projects, they decided to come together as the ID12 and have since pioneered the creative collaboration known as ‘The Colours of Indonesia.’ Chairman Ary Juwano puts the success of ID12 over the years down to the fact that although they work in the same field, ‘each one of us instils individual style and taste – perhaps this is what holds us together.’

This year marks the 10th anniversary of ID12, and the third iteration of ‘The Colours of Indonesia.’ Since much of their work hadn’t made it into the public sphere (due to the often-private nature of interior design), the group conceived the exposition to showcase the practice and potential of interior design, and at the same time, highlight how design in Indonesia celebrates the country’s rich and multi-cultural history.

Following the two previous editions (in 2014 and 2016), this year’s theme was suitably ambitious. The Maison 12 Suite Apartment is a fully-realised residential building, comprising a showroom/marketing gallery, apartments, gardens and a community cafe. Within this framework, ID12 offers a glimpse into what modern, vertical living could look like in Indonesia’s sprawling and ever-growing cities (particularly Jakarta).

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Ary Juwono was responsible for the marketing gallery, which reflected ‘The Spirit of Sumba’ with eclectic traditional accents fused with contemporary style.

The three-bedroom suite was a collaborative effort by Agam Riadi, Anita Boentarman, Joke Roos, Shirley Gouw and Vivianne Faye. The designers reflected ‘The Soul of Java’ by placing custom-designed mid-century pieces alongside Javanese design and furniture.

Prasetio Budhi, Roland Adam, Sammy Hendramianto S and Yuni Jie brought ‘The Voyage of Borneo’ to life in the two-bedroom apartment, with Indonesian craftmanship at the helm of the modern family home.

Indonesia’s eastern archipelago was represented by experimental duo Eko Priharseno and Reza Wahyudi, who designed decorative elements inspired by ‘The Mystical Papua’. The combination of monochrome and warm hues in the one-bedroom apartment represents the traditional homes of Papua, reinterpreted for a younger generation of city-dwellers.

More than just a home, Masion 12 Suite Apartment offers a ‘living experience,’ so in addition to the exceptional architecture and interior design, the exterior features gardens and spaces designed by Amalya Hasibuan from Eshcol Gardening and Landscape.

Rounding off the concept is Cafe12, an in-house amenity that offers something different: a clean and modern aesthetic where designers, manufacturers and the public can meet, discuss ideas, and develop designs. Here, Eko Priharseno wanted to create an open exchange within the community and showcase the ID12 design process, complimented by a photo exhibition in the café that shows ID12’s journey over the past 10 years.

Befitting this momentous milestone, the third edition of ‘The Colour of Indonesia’ simultaneously pays tribute to the association’s heritage and offers a promising vision for the future.

Text / Simone Schultz
Images / Courtesy of The Colours of Indonesia

Contemporary Colonial

Set over more than 1000 square metres, The Bangka Project in Jakarta reflects modern design sensibilities with a nod towards Dutch colonial architecture


This sprawling property in South Jakarta is the latest in the portfolio of Han Dharmawan Architects. The colonial-style house is infused with a certain old-world charm, while the interiors, by Juliana Muljawan and her team, showcase contemporary and eclectic design. Lighting designer Paul Gunawan, founder of LITAC, rounded off the interior design with various interesting and complimentary light fixtures.

Images / Mario Wibowo

Precious Home

Bali has a lot of spectacular villas, but the one recently completed by French architect Maximilian Jencquel is particularly extraordinary


It all started when a Polish woman knocked insistently on his front door. ‘She moved to Bali and was looking for a house when she stumbled on mine on the internet,’ he says. Designed in a Balinese vernacular style, it embodied all the reasons Jencquel had moved to the Indonesian island in 2011 — the skilled local craftsmanship, the tropical climate, the harmony between nature and the built environment. The woman wanted to buy it, but Jencquel didn’t want to sell.

So they reached a compromise: she rented Jencquel’s house for a year, enjoying her time so much that she bought land and asked him to design her a home. ‘She wanted something super modernist, but I wanted something timeless, something people here would know how to build,’ recalls Jencquel. ‘A modernist house needs people who know how to do concrete, you need to bring in people from Switzerland to do the windows.’ In the end they compromised on a blend of vernacular and modern.

The client flew in Dutch landscaper Menno Landstra to ease the transition between the dense jungle on the edge of the 4,000-square-metre property and the open living areas of the 400-square-metre house. ‘The jungle is very lush — it’s so rich it becomes part of the decor,’ says Jencquel. With that in mind, he designed many parts of the house without walls, to encourage a typically Balinese indoor-outdoor lifestyle. ‘We look at where the wind is coming from, what the sun is hitting, so the house is ventilated properly and there’s enough air flow.’

Working with local craftspeople, he used a limited array of materials to build the house, including Indonesian ironwood for the structure and roof. ‘We use it for aesthetics but mainly because it’s a wood that does extremely well outdoors in the humidity,’ he explains. ‘The termites don’t even like it.’ Inside, the floors and walls are richly hued teak, some of which was recycled from the site’s former home, including an entire log whose ends are riven with a century’s worth of rings. ‘It would be worth then thousand dollars if you bought it,’ says Jencquel. ‘The client said, “We’ve got to use this for something”, so we turned it into a vanity in the master bathroom. It’s become a bit of a sculptural piece.’

Paras stone also figures prominently. ‘It looks a little bit like concrete but if you look closely it has these patterns,’ he says. ‘It comes out of a river in Ubud — it’s volcanic ash that’s been compressed. It’s a very soft stone. You can literally break it apart in your hands but it does really well as a wall cladding.’ The one concession to foreign luxury was Carrara marble, which Jencquel used on the floor of the master bathroom. ‘It’s facing a garden that’s quite dark and we wanted something that would reflect the light,’ he says, noting that the veins also complement the teak.

The result is a villa that makes the most of its setting and context. ‘We managed to take a concept that I’d created for my own house and took it really far,’ says Jencquel. ‘The house has a humble feeling but at the same time it’s very luxurious. The quality of the materials in general was such a pleasure to work with. Some people might think it’s a cottage, but it’s not. It’s a precious home.’

Text / Christopher DeWolf
Images / Edmon Leong

Immediacy of Expression

Enjoy this unabridged transcript of our discussion with rising Indonesian artist Natisa Jones , including insight into her childhood growing up in Bali, her creative process and showing her work at this year's edition of Art Stage Jakarta.

Your work explores many themes including the inner child. What was your own childhood like?

My childhood was happy. I am an only child and my parents both worked when we were living in Jakarta, so I had a lot of time to myself and I spent most of it making things and creating. I always used that time to draw or paint. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always carried a drawing book with me for waiting for my mom at her office, going on family trips on the plane, in the bus, at home, at school recess — I was always drawing. When I was six years old we moved to Bali and my mother stopped working and decided to be a ‘stay at home mom’ while my dad travelled a lot for work. She also wanted to move to Bali to have more time to paint — it was her biggest hobby.

So growing up, my mum always had a space to use as a painting studio in the house, where she’d have canvases, paints and art books. She spent evenings or mornings painting and I’d accompany her and make my own paintings and drawings. She taught me little tricks about colour mixing and the different brushes. I don’t think she ever wanted to make it a career, she just loved it. And she’d make commissions here and there.

My grandmother was also a big influence on my creativity. She used to teach arts and crafts for some friends and me at home. She taught me a great deal about creativity and using your hands. Most of the presents I received from her were always something she’d made herself like quilts, costumes and dolls.

Creating has always been an integral part of my life — it played a significant role in my childhood and has become a necessity for me as an adult to process the world around me. The inner child in me comes alive when I am doing anything creative — the excitement of being able to make anything you want, the endless freedom of possibilities. In a way, it juxtaposes the reality we live in as adults, so creating and painting is a way for me to keep that inner child alive and intact with my being.

At what age did you start creating art?

Ever since I could hold a pencil. The earliest pictures of me painting are from when I was about two years old. My mother made me a mini easel and pinned some papers up with some paint ready for me, and I would spend hours just doing that. Even in play groups, my mother told me that my teachers were slightly worried because I barely spent time playing with the other children and I would spend most of the day sitting in the creative room that they had and painting all day. Maybe that hasn’t changed much. [laughs]

The material and medium you typically work with allows for a much quicker process than others. Was that deliberate? How much time does it take to produce one of your pieces?

My work is a way for me to document a moment and feeling — like a diary. My mind and heart are very much connected to my hands. It’s almost as if I need immediate expression to record my feelings as raw and truthfully as possible. The quicker the medium records my expressions, the closer it is to the truth.  Quick-drying media like ink on paper and acrylic on canvas are less forgiving. There’s no space for me to lie — once it’s on, it’s on. If I was hesitant during the making of a stroke, you’d be able to tell, you’d be able to see it. If a stroke is calculative, I’d know and I can’t deal with that. So it takes practice to paint with confidence, decisiveness and conviction within each stroke. It’s not easy, but to me it feels liberating when I draw or paint how I feel accurately within a figure or a stroke. If I were to work with media that are slow-drying, I might never finish a work because it would keep changing with my psychological and emotional states from moment to moment.

Some works take a couple hours while other works take up to a year. I often work on some, leave them and come back later in time. Some works even get time in storage before I ever revisit them again and complete them. When you leave a work for a long period of time, once you return to it, you are in a different mental and emotional state. Your perspective changes. And this is a good way for me to readdress things in a painting.

You studied in Melbourne. How did the experience of being in a foreign country affect your studies and your art practice?

I am very responsive to my environment. So wherever I am, it always inspires something or translates somehow in my artistic practice. In terms of being in a foreign country, growing up we travelled quite often. My father’s family reside in Canada, so I spent most of my childhood summers and winter holidays there. When I was fifteen, I went to boarding school in Chiang Mai, Thailand and completed my International Baccalaureate diploma there before continuing on to University in Melbourne. So I’ve always been pretty good at adapting to a new environment. Melbourne wasn’t too foreign to me, as it was another multicultural western city with a lot of familiarities to me.

When I was fifteen, I learnt that being away from your home country does have its perks. It allows you the space to be someone, to build yourself without the attachments of the society you are culturally or traditionally bound to, especially as an Indonesian. On the one hand it gave me a lot of freedom to build my own cultural identity, and on the other hand it can become quite confusing. I think this translates quite significantly in my work — exploring personal identities which partially stem from culture and environment.

Being away also helps you to appreciate where you come from.

How does living and working in a place like Bali affect your work?

Bali has a very particular vibe. You feel it as soon as you land there. The island definitely holds strong mystical energy — it’s very intense and romantic. With tourism as a major part of the island, I really feel an atmosphere and tone of escapism quite strongly there, unlike Jakarta or Jogja or any other city in Indonesia or the world, for that fact. I think in a way it helps me to focus and to be in a certain state when I paint there — like a twilight zone almost.

Most of the galleries I work with are outside of Bali, so I feel very lucky to be able to really utilise my space and time in Bali as a place to create and to be present. Living in Bali is very enjoyable as an artist — the beaches and greenery are always good places to contemplate. When I am in Bali, my migration is from my home, to my studio, to the cafe, to the beach. I save all the other stuff for when I visit a big city. I do miss museums in the city and art libraries. I don’t indulge in that very often in Bali. I really stick myself in the studio.

Can you tell us what a typical day in your studio is like?

I come into the studio and, depending on the mess from the day before, I clean a little. A clean space is very important to me. I need to be able to see what I am doing. Then I usually write or read for an hour. Writing helps me compartmentalise my thoughts and emotions and is usually a good way to start a creative flow.

Sometimes I might have a movie playing in the background, but it’s usually music. Some days, silence is helpful. I work on several pieces at once, with about five to seven canvas pieces up and I move from canvas to canvas, or from sketchbooks to paper works. Working on several works at a time helps take the pressure off creating one perfect work and it helps divide my moods and to keep a rhythm in my painting process.

When I have lunch, I like to watch documentaries or go through my art books. I usually work a nine-to-five workday, two hours of which are often spent staring at the ceiling, doing nothing. I just try to really enjoy the process and let the creativity flow as naturally as it can, while doing certain things to help that happen and to harness and channel my emotions.

As my work is highly personal, every day it’s usually a different situation. On good days, it’s effortless and every stroke makes sense. On bad days, I go home early, order delivery and try to forget about painting and art completely for a couple of days.

You were born in Jakarta. How was the experience of showing your work at Art Stage Jakarta this year?

Jakarta is a very interesting place. Once I think I’ve understood or figured out my relationship with the city, I always stand corrected. I uncover a new layer of myself with every visit to Jakarta, whether it’s for work or for family. There’s always new spaces, people and self discoveries I make there.

Any time and place an artist gets to share their work with the world outside their studio, it’s always a great thing. But Jakarta, in particular, has become more and more special to me as I get older. Even though I didn’t grow up there, I’m always proud to show in Jakarta, as most of my family and relatives still live there, including my grandmother. She is ninety-one years old and can’t travel much anymore. So, when I have a show in Jakarta and get to invite her to see my work, it makes me feel really proud and happy. A lot of my creativity come from her and what she taught me. To get to show her a physical and literal translation of that, is very special.

The art scene in Jakarta is also flourishing at the moment, so the energy at events like Art Stage is alive and exciting. I always discover new artists and galleries, which is great, and watching the art world function at events like this is always something fascinating and strange.

I’m excited at the fact that there are a lot of young people coming to these events and showing a lot of interest in the arts. High-school and university kids in Jakarta right now have access to things that weren’t available in the city ten years ago. Kids get to see what artists and galleries from Tokyo, Manila, Beijing and Sydney are interested in, all in one space. They also get to see what their own artists are currently up to. To see them get excited and curious about art is inspiring — it goes back to my inner child again.

Indonesian Contemporary Art and Design


The 2017 edition of Indonesian Contemporary Art and Design (ICAD), its eighth, was bigger and bolder than ever before, involving collaborations with more than 60 artists and designers and taking place over six weeks from 4 October to 15 November. Every year ICAD works around one theme; this year its aim was to expand the dialogue around 'essentialism', represented by the title MURNI?, a uniquely Indonesian word connoting 'pure'.

Each participant was invited to question the essence of art and design, rather than increasing the conventional gap between the two disciplines. Through the theme, participants explored their own practices by a series of interactions with individuals from a non-fine art field, such as industry and public community.

As part of its aim to make art and design more accessible, ICAN displayed an exhibition of work in the public spaces of the grandkemang Jakarta. Running concurrently was a series of conventions on art, design, architecture and film.

With participants including Abie Abdillah, Alvin Tjirtowirjo and Antonio S Sinaga it just proves that Indonesia’s got talent.

A Designer's Home

The story of how textile designer Sabina Fay Braxton came to live in a 1935 home designed by Swiss master Theo Meier, an early figure on Bali’s artistic scene, is a story deserving of a novel

After living in Bali for 25 years, Theo Meier along with his wife and muse Laiad moved to northern Thailand in search of fresh inspiration and new tranquillity. There, along the languid Mae Ping River, Meier set in on designing a one-of-a-king home of reclaimed material from old homes. Over time, more and more elements were added, each reflecting a convergence between Bali and the local Lanna vernacular, while a collection of carvings and Thai and Balinese reliefs found their way into the architecture. The result was a personalised vernacular and a personal sanctuary where Meier would continue to live and paint until his death in 1982.

Meier had been friends with Braxton’s parents and she recalls with glittering eyes visits as a child to that house ‘lost in the jungle’. Having grown up surrounded by Balinese dance, ritual, paintings and sculpture, Braxton's connection with the Meier house was immediate, or, as she describes it: ‘the synergy was tangible and all pervasive’. After the birth of her son, Braxton decided to move part time from Venice to live in the house, and began to establish ateliers in the region to work exclusively with local materials: abaca in the Philippines and silk, cotton and metal in Thailand.

‘My home and work are both a synthesis of time and place, an East and West that I have known all my life,’ says Braxton. ‘These intermingle and create a form of their own that is naturally mine.’

The design mixes the aesthetics of Thai and Balinese cultures, with inflections of Japanese minimalism. ‘The interiors call for eclecticism and a cohabitation of diverse cultures, a synthesis of many influences,’ explains Braxton.

As one might expect, much of the home is decorated or adorned in Braxton’s trademark textile creations and works of art. Linen, silk and abaca fibre are her favoured mediums. The strength and beauty of abaca, along with its discrete lustre have been the inspiration behind some of Braxton's simple abstract wall coverings and upholstery designs.

Metal has also featured prominently in the creative’s work, the result of her fascination with the patina left behind after natural processes and the use of precious metals in garments dating back to the Byzantine era. This has led to a series of metal weaves that channel a voice from the past, which have graced the boutiques of illustrious brands as well as the interiors of private collectors in search of a suitably harmonising backdrop to their artefacts. The textiles are also highly present throughout her home.

When asked about her personal style, Braxton speaks of co-mingling cultures: mixing artefacts such as her Chinese carved lattice-work bed with a Balinese table and Thai ornaments. The fabric wall coverings add a richness and feeling of luxury to the spaces, each one carefully chosen for its ability to integrate with the surroundings.

Yet you get the sense that this is not a static environment. The designer moves pieces around, continually re-creating the mise-en-scene experience of her home. And just like her fabrics and her life, Braxton weaves her creativity throughout, resulting in a collection, a space or a work of art with a story all its own.

Text / Hilary Lancaster
Images / Frederic Ducout

The Slow

Perfectly placed on the Canggu waterfront — Bali’s most bohemian beach — The Slow offers an all-immersive hedonist’s retreat. Designed by George Gorrow, the design follows a tropical brutalist aesthetic, featuring native, sustainable wood and local stone set against formed concrete. Perforated partitions, vertical screens and inverted gardens soften the space, alongside locally sourced furniture, crafts and textiles. Garrow’s personal art collection also graces the interiors, while tunes from LA’s Reverberation Radio fill the sound space. There’s gourmet dining on-site, and a rooftop space to take in the sunsets.

Alila Seminyak

The newest Alila Seminyak is also the group’s first foray into resorts. The property boasts three infinity pools, a beachfront restaurant and pool bar, kids’ club, well-appointed gym and event space. There are a total of 214 rooms from premium suites to beach suites, club suites and a penthouse. The modern tropical architecture by Singapore-based URBNarc along with the Balinese-inspired interiors by Jakarta-based studio Shinta earned the property a nomination for the best hotel design at this year’s Asia Hotel Design Awards.

Rising Stars

At this spring's Maison&Objet Asia, six young designers were recognised for their budding talent and growing contribution to an Asian design scene. In Issue 5, we featured excerpts taken from interviews with these young designers and are please to bring you the full, unabridged content of those interviews below.



Can you briefly describe your work?

I was trained as an industrial designer back when I was studying at  Institut Teknologi Bandung. I mainly focus on furniture design, working primarily with responsibly sourced material that is commonly found in Indonesia; I especially like to work with rattan material.

Is there something in particular that you hope people will experience through your work?

I hope that people can experience the true nature of rattan as an interesting material and to feel the craftsmanship in my creation, which cherishes our strong heritage as a craft nation.

When did you first realise you wanted to become a designer?

It was when I was still a student at the university. I realised that there was an opportunity to take my profession in a direction for a good cause and that I could make something worthwhile for my surroundings.

What is it you like about working with your particular material?

First of all, I am grateful to be Indonesian. We are blessed with an abundance of natural material, not to mention the handiwork of craftsmen.I found rattan interesting because more than 80% of global supply comes from Indonesia, yet for decades I have barely seen any improvement on design and development with the material. Trained as an industrial designer at Institut Teknologi Bandung, I saw this as an opportunity to be able to bring a contemporary look to a materials considered classic and traditional.

Where do you draw inspiration from outside of design?

It varies from fond childhood memories to certain craftsman skills that I see to even the technique of production. I am inspired by my surroundings. Everything I see has the potential to inspire me and could be the start of a new creation, from nature to the everyday things that I might find.

Mostly I am inspired by the true natural character of the materials that I use. I use rattan the most, so the pliable, lightweight yet strong character is often a source of inspiration to create something.

Can you name your top three influences?

Yuzuru Yamakawa, Imam Buchori Zainuddin and Joshua Simandjuntak

What’s a dream project-either real or imaginary?

I would love to have been able to have had the expertise that I have now around 50-70 years ago when rattan and wicker were considered an important material. I cannot imagine the experience of being able to work with and among the many prominent designers who were working with it during this period, like Nanna Ditzel, Arne Jacobsen, Franco Albini and Giovanni Travasa.

What’s in the pipeline, what are you working on now?

I am now focusing on expanding my brand, working toward new collections and also trying to promote rattan more to the world communities.



Can you briefly describe your work?

My style is strange, bold and rich in poetic flavour. Maybe I was born with this style. My Chinese name is Tsang Ka Ki, which is quite common, but the last character ‘Ki’ means strange in Chinese and refers to the very dramatic circumstances surrounding my birth. I am not a conventional person and I am willing to challenge the rules.

Is there something in particular that you hope people will experience through your work?

I hope people will remember my work; I hope that it will connect with their feelings, make them laugh and inspire them.

When did you first realise you wanted to become a designer?

How can I become a designer? I would say that a love for art just flows through my blood. Since I was little, drawing and paintings have always been my favourite hobbies; however, these leisure activities didn’t bring much happiness to me during my childhood. In that time, I was studying in a conventional school that attached importance to students’ academic performance. Teachers and parents always insisted that a student should perform well in his/her examinations. Therefore, nobody would think that a love for art plays a vital part in students’ development.When I had a science class about Jupiter and Mars, I could not remember how they related to the solar system, but it was their beauty which caught my eyes. When I had a math class, I could not figure out how to complete a calculation, but the numbers told me their gender, like 5 represented a boy and 8 was a girl. Perhaps I was not the apple of my teacher’s eye but I did not care. My soul and body would break apart when I had to learn something, and it was only when I was drawing and able to let loose my imagination that my soul and body would come together. So undoubtedly I would choose a career which could make use of my imagination.Additionally, I am crazy about aesthetic objects. So as a designer here today, speaking about designing ceramic is very natural for me because the concept of home is very important to me.The most enjoyable moments for me are mealtimes with my family. And good food must be provided with exquisite utensils. Thus, my first successful ceramic designs were to match food with containers, which earned me a Red Dot Award. Afterwards, I spent more time designing ceramics, and I was able to win the Young Design Talent Award and then I received a scholarship to complete a two-year master’s programme in ceramics in the UK.

What is it you like about working with your particular material?

The more I get to know ceramics, the more I love ceramics. I feel very lucky to do what I like to do and to make it my career. The most distinguishing difference or the most interesting thing about ceramics is its unpredictability. There are several steps in making a ceramic, like grouting and firing, but only when you open the kiln and retrieve the finished product can you call it a success. Due to its unpredictability, ceramic is a material that gives me the impulse to touch it when I see it. That is quite romantic to me. Plastics and steel are material that make you feel icy, plus, they can be easily made by computers.

Where do you draw inspiration from outside of design?

My philosophy is ‘Live your life with your heart, inspire your heart by your life’. As long as ordinary things like a photo, a verse of rhyme, the scent of flowers, spicy food, a movie or a hug can provide me with different feelings, I happily embrace these as inspirations. Indeed, I am fond of beautiful things. But I am also curious about the truth behind beautiful things, and I am obsessed with unusual things. I believed that every single item, whether alive or not, can tell us a story. So I like antiques and specimens.Speaking of an innovative spirit, I do not necessarily remind myself of it every day. I love making progress in my life and adapting to changes, and as we go along, sometimes we do not notice it, but we have improved a lot. For example, when you have a chance encounter with someone that you had deeply loved and you realise that s/he is unfamiliar to you the reason is that you have changed. Individuals are always moving forward and meeting different people.

Can you name your top three influences?

I love travelling because I can meet people with various cultural backgrounds. I also like keeping a little distance from other travellers because I like to keep a sense of mystery, and this can also be a source of inspiration.

What’s a dream project-either real or imaginary?

I want to work for El Bulli

What’s in the pipeline, what are you working on now?

I am working for five star hotel The South Beach in Singapore.



Can you briefly describe your work?

We approach every project with the intention to find the most genuine and relevant means by which to improve a product or experience in the simplest possible way.

Is there something in particular that you hope people will experience through your work?

Whether it is a product, space or experience, we hope our designs will have the potential of improving the lives of many people.

When did you first realise you wanted to become a designer?

Since I was young, maybe 6-7 years old, I liked to invent and create things. I never planned to become a designer, just to have the tools to create new and interesting things.

What is it you like about working with your particular material?

We like to work with the material that best suits each project. Natural materials like wood are our preference, but we are open to many others.

Where do you draw inspiration from outside of design?

Our travels and experiences in different cultures are a constant feed to our creativity.

Can you name your top three influences?

Nature, culture and crafts

What’s a dream project-either real or imaginary?

One that has the potential to improve many people’s life, be it a product, space or experience.

What’s in the pipeline, what are you working on now?

We are currently working on a rug collection inspired by nature, some new furniture pieces, an exhibition on one of the masters of Japanese design and some other projects.



Can you briefly describe your work?

Our work is a fine mix of emotional sensations and logical considerations. Just like we describe ourselves as Poetic Lab, the concepts of ‘poetic’ and ‘lab’ represent these two characteristics very well.

Is there something in particular that you hope people will experience through your work?

We expect people to be surprised by our works at first sight, not just because of the aesthetic, but because they have never seen anything like it before. And after the initial surprise people can take time to appreciate the logical side of the work, and this understanding will bring them closer to our design.

When did you first realise you wanted to become a designer?

I think it was when I was 12, while our family refurbished the house. We hired a construction team instead of a designer, and it was then that I first discovered how much fun it could be, and that my imagination could become reality.

What is it you like about working with your particular material?

We don’t work with one particular material and our projects have quite different starting points. Sometime they are more material driven and sometimes not. I think the material which all our projects share in common is our imagination.

Where do you draw inspiration from outside of design?

I enjoy reading a lot. I read all kinds of books, sometimes design-related and sometimes not at all. New inspiration is born between the lines.

Can you name your top three influences?

Visual references also trigger a lot of imagination for me--magazines, movies, exhibitions and photography. I have fallen in love with Pinterest recently.

What’s a dream project-either real or imaginary?

Our dream project is the one that just popped into my head last week while showering and I still feel something after a week. And that is the dream project that I can’t wait to start working on.

What’s in the pipeline, what are you working on now?

We are working on some furniture projects with clients in Europe, including our Bamboo Forest collection, and we are hoping they can be presented at Salone del Mobile 2016. There are some Asian clients starting to approach us recently, and maybe something interesting will happen there.

We also put a lot of emphasis on our own design label, Beyond Object. We have a lot of design proposals under evaluation and some of them will be in production in the latter half of this year.



Can you briefly describe your work?

My work is something that should be able to speak by itself. My design is something that should be able to speak with its surroundings. And even though it may sound obvious, my work should be beautiful and attractive. These ideals are brought together in my work.

Is there something in particular that you hope people will experience through your work?

In my work I embrace simplicity, purity and subtlety to arouse delicate sensations and emotions from the people who experience my designs. I always try to put some emotion in the objects that I create.

When did you first realise you wanted to become a designer?

I studied architecture before starting my design career. While working in the architecture field I notice that I was much more interested in design, and decided to become a designer.

What is it you like about working with your particular material?

I'm working with Resin, which was the best material to realise my concept and aesthetics on to the object.

Where do you draw inspiration from outside of design?

Nature always provides good inspiration, always changing and never be the same. I am always amazed by nature.

Can you name your top three influences?

Nature, books and museums

What’s a dream project-either real or imaginary?

Now my profession is a designer, but at the same time, this is my hobby as well. I'm very happy when I see my objects. I want to do this for long time. I want to enjoy what I'm doing, always doing something fresh. I want to design many different objects with something meaningful.

What’s in the pipeline, what are you working on now?

I am preparing for a solo show in Paris with Carpenters Workshop Gallery and preparing for an exhibition at Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris and Milano EXPO 2015.

I am also working on an installation project for the opening ceremony of a fashion store at Le Bon Marché in Paris. I am working with several brands and with various subjects there.



Can you briefly describe your work?

My work is about exploring the possibilities in a digital world. How is artificial intelligence involved in the future design? This chair, for example, is more like a concept — it represents the future design style.

Is there something in particular that you hope people will experience through your work?

My work ultimately contains a digital language, like triangle and logic, which could be the trend of a digital future. The diversity and the perfection in the morphology is my work. These are what I hope to share with audiences.

When did you first realise you wanted to become a designer?

In 2006 when I was working in a design company and my first work was launched in the market, I felt that I had become a real designer-- my knowledge had been used after I studied.

What is it you like about working with your particular material?

The strangeness of the metal can represent my digital languages, especially the legs of the chair. Also metal is easier to produce and a strong material, so it’s a good moulding material, and metal,itself, is beautiful.

Where do you draw inspiration from outside of design?

My design philosophy is from traditional Chinese philosophy, and I read a lot about biological evolution. Nature is the most beautiful and strongest creator.

Can you name your top three influences?

Chinese traditional philosophy, evolution and mobile internet thinking.

What’s a dream project-either real or imaginary?

My work could be like a creature, which can evolve itself and influence each other. Through many peoples’ selections, it will evolve into a beautiful object with outstanding genes.

What’s in the pipeline, what are you working on now?

I am attempting to combine computer software and hardware to create some interactive stuff to discuss the possibilities between humans and computers. More precisely, I am looking to create a method that is suitable for computer’s intelligence to finish some product design.

At the same time, I am working on some other projects, so 2015 will be a very important year for me. Hopefully, it will bring some quite surprising new works.


Designer Q&A: Jaya Ibrahim

Indonesian designer Jaya Ibrahim, founder of Jaya International, is the designer responsible for the interiors of iconic hotels such as The Legian in Bali, The Chedi Muscat, The Setai Miami and several Aman resorts. Ibrahim shares with Design Anthology eight of his favourites.

Design Anthology: What are you reading at the moment?

I’m reading about the — I can’t remember the title — but it’s about the warring Tudor kings and queens. The Tudors were quite an amazing dynasty. And everyone always zooms into Henry the Eighth because he chopped his four wives’ heads off, but there was more to it. It ended up with Elizabeth the First who was the one who said ‘I will not have my people punished because of their faith’. And that was the start.

What are you listening to?

There is always two. One is Bach, and the other is my Javanese music, which is classical. This is something which is very stable and is on in the background. My music is always rather conservative. I think it’s, how should I say, I suppose it evokes more emotion than other background music. I don’t find pop music very interesting. But it’s a matter of taste.

Your favourite restaurant?

I like everything. But there is one in Rome, I don’t remember what it’s called, but it’s down an alley — towards a piazza. I think where they invented Alfredo. That’s the only one I can think of, but there are many restaurants I like. But I like all food. Unfortunately lately though, which is very frustrating, I have developed an allergy to crustaceans, so I can’t eat prawns, I can’t eat oysters, I can’t eat crabs. Which is a pity because I love it. Especially in Thailand, the southeastern food seafood is a speciality.

All-time favourite design item?

One of my own, which is a piece of furniture, a three-legged chair. And whenever I see it, I still think it’s relevant, and there is nothing that can be improved on. I designed that in 1997, almost 20 years ago. And it still has that difference to it. It’s timeless, it’s not avant garde. It’s comfortable and it’s classical.

Otherwise, Anouska Hempel’s lamps. Very nice, very slender, very elegant.

 Colour of the moment?

It changes. And then unfortunately I become trendy. Or not trendy, but I am influenced by fashion. This year it’s going to be purple. I do look at what’s on the catwalks, only fleetingly, I don’t take it too seriously. That’s a colour that comes to mind. I don’t know how to translate that into interiors though, as my interiors are usually very quiet.

Favourite fashion house?

I’m not really a very fashionable person, but I have to say when I go to Giorgio Armani and if anything fits me in the right size, a 48 or whatever…

Sometimes when you buy fashion it’s more about what you like or don’t like, it’s more about whether it fits your body.

Favourite museum/gallery?

Yes, there are two in England — the Tate Britain and the National Gallery. There is always something that needs to be looked at again. And over time you change your mind, or your knowledge becomes more layered and you can look at the same thing and you find something else.

Favourite movie?

The English Patient (laughs). And the other one, this one is terrible, Shakespeare in Love. I don’t know why (laughs). The English Patient is fascinating though. You are in the wrong place, wrong name, wrong person, wrong time. Totally wrong. Tragic. You can’t be more English than he is but he has the wrong name…

What does being an Asian designer mean to you?

I just happen to be an Asian, and I just happen to design. But I wouldn’t categorise myself like that. I think Asia has suddenly become big because of the perception of the world. I remember in the beginning, I went to a big hotel and noticed all the designers were foreigners. And this is one reason why I decided to get into this. I thought ‘I can do this too’. So they’re busy interpreting Asia, which is quite interesting. But I thought I can interpret it much better than them. The reason I can interpret it at an international level is because I’ve been away for many years, so you see it from a different angle, and you understand. If the British design something English, they go back to the historical periods. To jump and do something different, you need to jump out of it and look at yourself from outside. So to be called Asian, I can’t help it, I’m an Asian person. I was born in Asia. It is sought after at the moment. But look at China, it has been desired by Europe for centuries. It’s just that the other side of the world is greener.