Felicia Grant is a participant in the 2019 Creative Arts and Design Professional Practicum from RMIT University. Felicia is studying an Associate Degree in Interior Decoration and Design. Felicia received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support her participation in this program.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake ACICIS’ Creative Arts & Design Professional Practicum?
I always wanted to study abroad in some way, and ACICIS’s CADPP ended up being the perfect combination of learning about another culture, learning more about my field of study and other creative disciplines and having the practical experience of an internship. Indonesia is a beautiful, culturally rich and diverse country that I had learnt about over the years, having learnt Bahasa Indonesia at school. The opportunity to live and learn there was an experience I couldn’t pass up.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?
I did. The grant nearly covered the cost of the course fees in full, which was really helpful.
Q: How will the Creative Arts & Design Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?
I was able to learn about the whole process of designing and making products from bamboo, from planting and conservation to harvest, treatment and production. I have such a great understanding and appreciation for bamboo and the versatility of designing with it. Being such a sustainable resource, it was really worthwhile understanding the unique properties of bamboo materials in design. I was able to learn from someone who is well known in the design community of Indonesia and got to see how he has run his own business and taught others (at university). I feel incredibly fortunate to have this connection and a mentor for the future.
Q: Which organisation did you intern with? What were your roles and responsibilities?
I was working for Harry Mawardi’s own practice, Amygdala Bamboo, in the Artes Indonesia collective workspace in Bandung and part time at Du’anyam’s office in Jakarta. For Harry, I researched the processes of bamboo and explored new designs for interior elements made from bamboo. He was able to handball some work for a client’s restaurant lighting design to me. He mentored me and gave me feedback for my own design project. At Du’anyam I was able to help with a product photoshoot and troubleshooting an aspect of the design process of their new product.
Q: How is the work culture of your host organisation different to work experience you have had in Australia?
It was really great getting to experience and work in multiple different work settings; the office of Artes Indonesia, Du’Anyam’s office in Jakarta and site visits, working with clients for Amygdala Bamboo, even getting to help out on a product photoshoot! Each place’s work culture varied, although everyone was very friendly and supportive of my internship, and readily gave me many different options on what I could work on, depending on what I was interested in. Due to the much more collaborative nature of Indonesia’s art and design scene, there were lots of projects on the go that I could contribute to.
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in future?
If the opportunity comes up, I would love to spend some time working in Indonesia again. If not, I will definitely come back to spend more time exploring other parts of Indonesia.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
Go for coffee or brunch at St Ali in Jakarta or an avocado coffee and donut from J co. Visiting gardens and art galleries and going on weekend trips to explore and see other areas of Indonesia.
Q: Favourite place to eat and favourite Indonesian food?
Trying out local restaurants. Martabak coklat (dessert), kwetiau (rice noodles), jus alpukat (avocado and chocolate smoothie) and nasi kuning (yellow fragrant rice).
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
Nongkrong and Sedikit
Q. What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
Jakarta, Baduy (overnight hike), Jogjakarta (weekend), Bandung (placement), Bogor (weekend).