What if Lab Exhibition at Erasmus Huis – Co-Creation between Indonesian and Dutch Designers

By vira

As one of the world’s densest cities, Jakarta faces pressing environmental and societal challenges. To answer this challenge, Erasmus Huis, Dutch Design Foundation and Playo launched What if Lab: Sustainable Public Spaces, as part of the ongoing What if Lab programs. The journey of this program is on display in the exhibition hall of Erasmus Huis from 17 February to 30 April, 2024. It shows us how Dutch and Indonesian designers work together to create sustainable public spaces in kampung communities in Jakarta.

Model of Kampung Kunir's infrastructure

Societal challenges require new answers and a different way of thinking. What if Lab brings together design studios and organizations to combine the expertise, networks and resources needed to achieve change. Designers get the chance to work on challenging issues, organisations get new perspectives on opportunities for the future. Through an open call, three Indonesian and two Dutch designers were selected to develop the project, namely Pim van Baarsen and el KANTOOR from the Netherlands, Iqra Firdausy, Anastasia Dinda and ōd architecture studio from Indonesia.

L to R: Adil Alba (chief director of Playo) and the designers: Anastasia Dinda, Iqra Firdausy and Gosha Muhammad of ōd architecture studio
What if Lab's Marleen Kokke and Dries van Wagenberg;

Working closely with local residents, the designers integrated community customs and traditions into their designs while promoting the use of biobased and reused materials. The exhibition at Erasmus Huis offers visitors a firsthand look at the designers' journey and showcases the results of their collaborative efforts. It provides a glimpse into what sustainable public spaces can look like and inspires dialogue on their potential application in other kampung communities.

On display: Public park facility made of used plastic bottle caps
An interactive display at the exhibition

Nicolaas de Regt, the director of Erasmus Huis, emphasized the significance of the exhibition, stating, “This exhibition is very close to us because Erasmus Huis is also a public space and we always try to project our values of openness, inclusivity and sustainability through our programs. We hope that the project does not stop here, but also inspires others to apply these ideas and develop more sustainable public spaces in other kampung communities in Jakarta.”

Nicolaas de Regt giving an opening speech
A sustainable and adaptive public space at Kampung Kunir with a local wisdom

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