American Hardwood Export Council launches design camp for young Indonesian designers

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has announced that they will be partnering with Indonesian Society of Interior Designers (HDII) Jakarta to organise a design camp for young Indonesian designers that will run from January to March 2022. The camp was launched on 20 Dec 2021 through a webinar that was attended by more than 130 members of the Indonesian design community.

There is currently an open call until 7 Jan 2022 for budding design talent across Indonesia to sign up for the design camp. Criteria for participants include:

  • Indonesian citizen
  • Between 20-35 years old
  • Have more than three years of experience in interior or furniture design
  • Work or study (only final year students) in Greater Jakarta
  • Able to speak and present in English
  • Able to attend all design camp sessions

The sign-up link for designers is here.

Applicants who are selected for the design camp will be grouped with mentors such as Eddy Budiono, CEO and owner of PT. Abadi Indorona; Karina Cheung, managing and creative director at Bika Living; Jarrod Lim, design director at Jarrod Lim Design, among others. Participants will go through classroom sessions where they will learn about the design, manufacturing and commercial processes, and learn about American red oak and its applications in both furniture and interior design. Winning designs will be produced for display.

The keynote speaker for the launch webinar was Josua Simanjuntak, Expert Staff for Innovation and Creativity at Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. He shared his perspective on the creative economy – intellectual property is created through design and creativity, which in turn adds value to the economy.

Simanjuntak also shared that product design’s current contribution to Indonesian GDP is seen as too low. As such, the Indonesian government is focusing on creating a new ecosystem to nurture the design community – from ideas to creation to commercialisation, underpinned by intellectual property.

He commented that the future of Indonesia’s design community relies on close collaboration between designers and manufacturers, with designers needing to focus on creating “great designs for manufacturers to commercialise”. Initiatives like AHEC and HDII’s design camp therefore play a role in nurturing the next generation of designers and giving them the opportunity to network with manufacturers.

John Chan, AHEC’s regional director for Greater China and South East Asia shared that Indonesia is a key market of focus for AHEC in 2022 because it has become the second-biggest hardwood importer in South East Asia and is expected to post positive and fast economic growth in 2022. “I look forward to strengthening our cooperation with our friends in Indonesia to further develop and grow the Indonesian domestic market for American hardwood that is not just legally and sustainably harvested, but also has a plethora of applications,” he said.