Design Indonesia
    Category: Column By : Andrew Tani Read : 719 Date : Wednesday, July 01, 2017 - 10:40:01

    Casa Indonesia, now in its ninth year, is a mega event for architecture and interior design, held at the Ritz-Carlton Pacific Place, and showcasing Indonesia’s capability for world-class artistry, design and manufacture of products and living spaces. The driving force behind this highly successful event, which drew 40,000 visitors in four days, is the prolific and engaging architect-designer-thinker Cosmas D. Gozali, chief executive of the eponymous design house. The more than 60 exhibitors at Casa Indonesia 2017 were held under the theme, “Beyond Happiness”—meant to display their most thought-provoking jabs at penetrating highly competitive international markets.

    The sensory journey starts at the entrance, Capti Mente, meaning trapped in thought. “The blank eye sockets of 900 red and 500 white robotic cardboard skulls gaze at you as you navigate the seemingly endless tunnel of truth, beckoning you to think, to react to the similarities and differences of human perception that you find in the sad state of society—more often triggering emotions of anger (red) than holiness (white) in that lopsided ratio,” says Cosmas. The displays were as intriguing as well. “We educate our designers to place a high value on packaging. So look at the way they display their creations. The objective is not just to make sales during the exhibition. We advise them to build their brands,” Gozali explains.

    Gozali has done that. His art installation was exhibited at MAXXI museum in Rome and later in Milan, the only Indonesian architect among nine from around the world. He served as curator and designer for the ASEAN Pavilion at the ASEAN Design exhibition in Manila last year. Last February, he did the same for the Italian Design Day Exhibition held at the Italian Culture Institute in Jakarta.

    “We can’t beat India in information technology. We can’t compete with China in manufacturing. But we can make our mark in design. Our people are very creative and our strength is in our diversity. It is my dream to one day see Indonesia become the world’s design hub in Asia. And the way to make that happen is by motivating the youth of our country to strive for a global standard in their dreams,” he says.

    That dream drives Gozali to talk at more than 24 universities across the islands. He tries to motivate young architects and designers to have big dreams and strive for excellence in their projects. “I share with them how successful local designers do their work, and how much effort they put in to be successful. I tell them to study, practice and produce high quality ideas and projects with passion. Work hard, travel, read and research to help you think out of the box,” says Gozali. Seeing and experiencing the state of design capability at Casa Indonesia 2017 brought to me a sense of optimism despite the country’s volatile climate.