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Jakarta Studio:

Constraining Dichotomies

BENDING RATTAN:
Amanda Texas

Midterm Review
Fall 2010

bending in the circulative core

Craft Technique:
As rattan grows year round, there is no specific harvesting season for
rattan. When harvested, the rattan is cut down in length to 15 and secured
in bundles for easier transport through the jungles of Indonesia. Once in
the hands of skilled craftsman, the bark of the rattan is removed. The
rattan material is further broken down into strips of various thicknesses for
different uses. Rattan is extremely strong and must be heated to become
a workable material. With the help of steam or blowtorch, rattan can then
be bent into forms without cracking. Once a form is constructed, thinner
strips of the rattan are woven through the form to create a rattan product.
As it is a natural material and one of natures strongest materials, it is
used in many ways but predominantly for basketry, household goods,
and furniture.
History & Cultural Significance:
Rattan has been used for longer than history has been recorded. It was
used by early mankind for many daily activities. Indonesia is the worlds
largest rattan producer, harvesting over 80% of the raw rattan product.
Considered a member of the palm family, rattan grows as a consistent
solid vertical form with an inner core reaching 200 meters in length. Rattan
is harvested in the jungles of Indonesia and through skilled craftsman,
trade and export has mainly been concentrated on the island of Java.
Although this hasnt necessarily always been the case, in the past the
raw rattan was shipped to other countries such as China and Singapore.
Skilled workers crafted the goods there to be exported to other parts
of the world. In recent history, the export of raw rattan was banned in
Jakarta and goods are manufactured on a large scale by skilled workers
to help improve the economy. There is much controversy over rattan
in Indonesia as the government attempts to find the balance of export
and demand. With the new technologies to produce synthetic rattan,
designers have more freedom and there is less demand for traditional
handcrafted rattan products around the world.

Work of Indonesian Designer, Alvin Tjitrowirjo as inspiration

CRAFT RESEARCH

Focusing on the STRUCTURALQualities of Rattan rather than the Element of Weaving

4 METHODS OF BENDING RATTAN

NOTATION SYSTEM

derived from method of bending and loctaion of applied method

CURVE ANALYSIS

Applying notational system in a curvature form

Testing curvature patterns as surface

Curvature form as spacing device

SITE ANALYSIS

Boundaries
Site Lines
Residential Zoning
Wind Pattern

PROCESS SKETCHES

Process sketches
....
focused on developing
the circulation core,
form, and plan layout.
The core and form are
shaped by site boundary
and reference lines and
the wind pattern across
the site.

PROJECT BRIEF

STACKED RENTAL OFFICE SPACE

Using the notation system derived from the methods


of bending rattan was applied to the form of the plan
dividing the horizontal surface into two. One side which
is structured by certain components much like rattan is
formed by jigs for the steaming process. The second
side is stacked at a consistent variable much like the
method of splitting rattan. Woven between the two
masses, is the circulative core used to direct people
just as heat is applied to bend. The circulative core
bends and intersects within the program. The entry into
the building is one of a transverse nature in which the
building is cut open to receive both people and wind
while reaching out to the city.

BENDING SECTION

FIRST LEVEL PLAN

THIRD LEVEL PLAN

FOURTH LEVEL PLAN