25 March 2024 News

Rujak Plaza, a transformation of quiet roads in Jakarta

The What if Lab Sustainable public spaces exhibition is now on display at Erasmus Huis in Jakarta. After months of doing research, engaging in neighbourhood conversations, and organising workshops, the designers have finalised the concept and translated it into an exhibition. But what exactly is the concept presented by the design team? Read it here!

Temporary public space on the road

The community road between Kampong Susun Kunir and the Ciliwung River, where people used to live before being evicted in 2015, has little traffic. Only nearby residents use it. It not only serves as a road to drive on, but it is also often used to park vehicles. A few spots have also already been used as mini-public spaces. Seeing this potential, the designers designed a system to encourage temporary public spaces called Rujak Plaza. By allowing the community to reclaim the road, they can connect with nature and their community, while the road also remains accessible to emergency services. What if roads were more focused on people instead of cars? What would Jakarta look like if, even for a short time, we easily turned our neighbourhood roads into public spaces?

Rujak Plaza

When asked what residents missed about life before the eviction in 2015, families in Kampong Susun Kunir recounted their fond memories of eating the Indonesian dish rujak (fruit salad). This is a side dish made from fruit picked directly from nearby trees. The act of eating and preparing rujak brought the community together to enjoy the meal. This memory inspired the designers to design Rujak Plaza. This plaza consists of mobile units that can be freely placed and moved in public spaces.

The exhibition can still be visited until 30 April. Is Indonesia a bit too far away for you? You will also be able to visit the expo in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week 2024!

The exhibition

Amongst the glimmering skyscrapers of Kuningan, Jakarta, a humble exhibition unfolds the story of urban kampungs, co-creation, and public space. As visitors enter the exhibition in Erasmus Huis (Dutch cultural centre in Jakarta), they are welcomed to remove their shoes, stepping barefoot to the blue tarpaulin-covered floors— a nod to customary etiquette when visiting homes in Indonesia. This gesture, among several others such as movable seating and tactile objects, was implemented to reflect how warmly the families of Kampung Susun Kunir welcomed our team during the many visits and workshops together. By extending this welcome to visitors, we’ve built this exhibition with a principle of trust and kinship, aiming to foster a safe and engaging space which opens them to ideas and dialogues surrounding public space in Indonesia.
The design team (photo: about.today)

The design team consists of Dutch design studio El Kantoor and designer Pim van Baarsen and Indonesian designers Dinda Ciptaviana, Gosha Muhammed and Iqra Firdausy.

The exhibition was made possible by the Dutch Embassy in Indonesia, Dutch Design Foundation, Playo and Erasmus Huis and created in cooperation with local suppliers Oxalis, Mortier, Wanara Studio and Serojabake.