The Great Mosque of Medan

December 2015 I got to visit Medan, which is located in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Beside tasting the endless delicious street food, whether you’re a tourist or not, when you come to Medan, visiting or at least having had a glimpse of the Maimun Castle and The Grand Mosque of Medan is mandatory! Then again, they’re only 200 meters apart.

The Grand Mosque Al-Mashun is one of the many significant historical buildings in Medan. This mosque marks a history of the relation between the East-Indies and The Sultanate of Deli. Sultan Ma’moen Al Rasyid Perkasa Alamsyah was the one who initiated the building of this mosque. This mosque took three years to build (1906-1909). The first prayer was a friday prayer in 1906 and it has never stopped operating ever since. This mosque can get up to 1500 person btw.

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When you visit big cities in Indonesia, it is likely that you will come across colonial buildings from the East-Indies era. One of the many typical of colonial buildings are that the architecture has been modified to adapt to tropical weather i.e. high ceilings, big opening for ventilation, etc. And since we were colonized by the Dutch (for 350 years) the form of architecture were also mainly influenced by Dutch architecture. However this mosque is quite different. The  Dutch architect behind this glorious building, took a different style for the design. Using Middle East, Morocco, India and Spain elements within the style. According to the guide that I had interviewed, this mosque is in Moorish style.

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The mosque has 5 domes as a symbol of 5 prayer times and 8 pillars to symbolize 8 cardinal directions. Now, let’s talk about the colors! The colors you see within the interior, exterior patterns are mostly yellow/gold, green, red and blue. Each color also has their own philosophy. Yellow is the color of Melayu. It is usually accompanied with the color green. If you pay attention the Maimun Castle you will see that those colors are dominantly used in the palace. Red is for tobacco. Tobacco and mosque? Does it make sense? Actually it does. The Deli area was one of the biggest tobacco producers in the world. Even in those years, according to the guide, Deli had exported tobacco to places such as Cuba.They are proud of their tobacco, so they put in that red color for the sake of local touch to the mosque. Last but not least, blue, which is the color for peace.

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There is definitely a lot going on in the design itself. The carving, the details are mesmerizing! The carrara marble are sent from Italy, The chandelier is from France, the stained glass are from China, there is a longcase clock which was a gift from Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.

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Honestly, how can we not love this?

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It is amazing on how very detailed the work and ornaments are! Very well preserved! One of the door to get into the praying hall seen from the corridor. Moroccan shape door with colors!

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The patterns are also unique, using elements such as nature, even symbolic of people! If you take a close look at the pattern above, it is a symbol of person sitting. And by the repetition, it creates the impression of people sitting next to each other, like in prayer. That, is deep!

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Deep? Yes! I’ve always loved philosophy behind details! Because it’s soulful and beautiful. Have you ever imagined how much time and thought the designer has put into that pattern? Juggling between philosophy, art, technical work to finally achieve the final design of the pattern that now lasts more than a century!

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Tiles on the corridor ceiling. The tiles are all still original from a century ago. Just amazing!

In conclusion, Check this place out! Especially if you’re into history and design. It’s quite interesting to see a ‘colonial building’ that is not typical and has other traits. The ornaments, every inch of detail is worth to be appreciated.

The pictures are all taken by me. If you happen to use them for either private or academic purposes, kindly link them to this blog. Thank you very much and I hope you enjoyed this post.

Satine Premium: Dingklik

I’d like to repost an old project. The name is Satine Premium. It is a project done by my friends and I. Our team consist of 5 young designers. We focused on producing quality furnitures. Our first product was called ‘Dingklik’. In Indonesian, dingklik is a short legged chair and we adopted that term in our design. Basically we started everything from zero. Brainstorming, designing, photoshoots, craftsman, marketing, you name it! It was a long process that we all cherished and enjoyed! We also offered accessories to go with the furniture, making it thematic! Take a look.

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lime tennis

pop art!

purple poison

marshmallow

cow invasion

We also had the privilege to join a local one day bazaar in one of Surabaya’s shopping centre and that was also fun, we get to set up a booth and meet people. It was a nice experience to work with a great team and we all definitely gained a lot of knowledge and skills.


So there is this store…

What I like about exploring is that sometimes in the middle of the journey we get to experience the fun of discovery. Those little things that we spontaneously come across the way is what lights up the journey even more. It’s like happy surprises and who doesn’t like surprises?

As I wander through an area in Seminyak Bali (nearby the Petittenget beach). I came across this interior accessories shop, and fell in love with it right away. Too bad I forgot to note the name of the shop. But I loved it too much so I’m going to post it anyway LOL.DSC09217

Who says design has to be complicated? Look at these wooden plates. The plates’ shape, the color combination, the striping is just so simple, neat but so sophisticated!

DSC09220The wooden tables are also lovely and again very simply done.

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This is one way they manage to arrange their product in order to display them. The bowls are displayed together with the decorative pineapples. It’s nice to see such contrast. The bowls which looks very natural (wooden material) are displayed next to synthetic material made decorative element which takes the form of a natural thing: pineapple. A modern pineapple! They have a lot of goods displaying pineapples by the way (if you’re into pineapples of course).  Nevertheless, I also like the shelve. This shelve looks so DIY but it matches the interior’s atmosphere. Kind of urban yet mild. A black and white photograph of a local man wearing a traditional headpiece is put behind the shelve framed in black. Hmm… Culturally conscious. I like it!

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Last but not least! These beautifully arranged vases. What’s not to love?

Recycled Chair Project

Once in a while I would refer designers as magicians. Their job include fretting with the un-yet-known, perform some ‘magic tricks’ and then shazam! There it is the 1:1. Nonetheless, at the end of the show their expectations are pretty much similar. A nodding head with a smile, positive astonishment, perhaps flowers if they please or a standing ovation might do. Well now I’m exaggerating. Their core similarity is creating something out of the nothing or a thing out of a something.DSC_0381

This project was a college assignment, in which the students had to create a seating facility, may it be a chair or a sofa, anything. Now the theme of this project was ‘recycled materials furniture’. What’s designed should be made of previously used things.

So here’s mine. I made a chair with the main reused material of iron cloth hangers! Where did the idea come from? Well I wanted to use a material which isn’t likely to be seen as a too obviously possible material for a seating. Considering the choice of material, I chose the iron over the plastic ones because it needed to be rigid and I thought iron was easier to work with (bending, attaching, etc). However, although made of iron, it can’t be used as a solo, meaning that I needed a bunch of iron hangers, otherwise the product would be frail. Yep, call me a magician wanna-be! I wanted that ta-da moment at the very end LOL. Anyway, the ideas I had previously developed:

  1. To create the seating part out of arranged hangers. Arranging the hangers to create a round shape. But then I scratched the idea because just thinking of it, imagining of how uncomfortable it must feel to sit on a patterned seat out of iron and not to forget the mark it probably will leave on the human body. So thinking about the further structure was even out of question.
  2. To create a chair, seat + armrest + backrest, by bending and attaching the hangers to one another to great a rigid piece. I was in love with the idea! I had imagined adding 3 Scandinavian style wooden legs to it, paint the iron, and add a groovy pillow, but… unfortunately I couldn’t find a craftsman who was able to bend and attach the iron.

The final product had to be functional yet aesthetic, and the idea definitely didn’t appear overnight. The process include experimenting with the material, arranging, combining, get it wrong, do it all over again, try another method, get more material, do discussions with the lecturer, with a few craftsman etc. Well basically that’s called studying at a design student level.

So finally a bright halogen lamp appeared at my head and this is how I arranged it.

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2 hangers combined making a module,

And combining them all results in this. Attaching them by molding iron on parts of the hanger.3DNYAAAAA

This is a 3D model I made it to have a rough sketch of the design.

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And voila! Eventually I made the hangers as the leg structure. Combining them creates a very rigid structure and I was surprised yet relieved to find that the arrangements of the raw form of hangers turns out to be quite aesthetic! Adding a seat out of plywood, pillow and a backrest and that’s a wrap! It was a long process, it took a lot of time, energy and hard work, but it paid off. At the end of the day, I had fun designing it, exploring new forms and I was also pretty content with the final result. Of course I wouldn’t have done this without the help of my friends, lecturer and craftsman.