Thursday, August 12, 2010


Since August 17 is the date when Indonesia celebrate his independence day. I want to expose Indonesian designers who made breakthrough by their designs and won numerous design awards. Started with Singgih Kartono and his wooden Radio.

These Magno Wooden Radios aesthetically simple and refreshingly non-tech, they are handmade by Indonesian carpenters in areas with high unemployment of two-toned sustainable harvested woods. Designer Singgih Kartono wanted to manufacture a product that was both sustainable and socially beneficial and I think he has more than succeeded. The radios come in three sizes and have the most current mp3 player compatible electronics and AM/FM and shortwave radio bands.

It started when Kartono made wooden radio as his final project in Bandung Institute of Technology. And the wooden radio took off. The rest is history.

The retro style, woody, green radio have won International Good Design Award in 2008 from Japan, and together with iPhone won the Asia Award in the brand category-the jury couldn't decide which one should win. And the list goes on, in March 2009 Brit Design Award 2009 from Britain and Design Plus Award 2009 from Germany. Last but not least International Design Resource Award Seattle, USA.

Kartono's idea is to wood-ify electronics. Radio was his first option because people can listen to the radio while doing other things too. The radio made of pine, mahogany, and sonokeling wood. Those woods' character suited to what he had in mind, combining durability of pine and sonokeling's sturdy. For Kartono what unique about wood is that wood is perfect in it's perfection. Kartono chooses wood for his radios not just based on aesthetics but on his appreciation of wood's simplicity and organic vitality.

Kartono realize that nowadays there is a great distance between people and their possesions. His goal is creating a bridge between human, nature and products of everyday lives. By combining wood with electronics, he inserted a soul in to the wood.

One type of his radios have no graphics at all. No 'volume' or 'frequency' written on the radio. Other types still have the frequency range indicator. He tried to reduce using graphics on his radio. His point is making connection between the user and the radio. User has to get to know the radio first before using it. By erasing the frequency indicator, users have to use their intuition to match the frequency.

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