KALA Christmas 2021 specials

It is that time of the year again when we plan our Christmas specials, here is our carefully curated Christmas line. Everything is handmade by our artisans. My personal favourite is the multi-functional Christmas card/bauble/natural cold pressed soap.  A sneak preview on YouTube is as follow:

Also view Mia’s no-plastic Christmas tree’s structure from deadfalls:

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Circular design principles

While the linear economy uses a ‘take-make-dispose’ sequence, the core defining element of Circular Economy (CE, henceforth) is the restorative use of resources. Raw materials shall not become discarded waste. By no means is KALA an expert in this area, but we want to share these ideas to fellow architects and designers, while at the same time trying to implement the approach to the way we curate our product lines.

The roots of material circulation date back many decades. It was proposed by Kenneth E. Boulding in 1966. He mentioned that circular systems within the global economy are unavoidable in order to guarantee human life on earth in the long run.

The most recognised definition in CE is offered by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation:

“A circular economy is one that is restorative and regenerative by design and aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times, distinguishing between technical and biological cycles..”

Kirchherr et al., (2017) analysed 114 definitions of CE, the authors ultimately defined it as: “An economic system that replaces the ‘end-of-life’ concept with reducing, alternatively reusing, recycling and recovering materials in production/ distribution and consumption processes….

The system diagram system illustrates the continuous flow of technical biological materials through the ‘value circle’. The biological materials (on the left) are those materials that can safely re-enter the natural world once they have gone through one or more use cycles. The technical materials on the right cannot re-enter the environment. These materials such as metals, plastics, and synthetic chemicals, must continuously cycle within the system so their value can be captured and recaptured.

Related CE concepts include: Cradle-to-Cradle, Blue Economy, Regenerative Design and Closed Supply Chains which can be explored further in Geisendorf and Pietrulla (2018).

Kanters (2020) posits that barriers to circular building design include: the lack of standard methods, it can be seen as a higher financial risk, transformation to a CE is difficult especially when materials with high circular potential are needed to keep up with the demand, and also lack of flexibility in building codes and regulations.

At a very small scale we tried to implement this in Bamboo Pod 3 (click here and here)’s post-disassembly. Link to Bamboo Pod 3 articles can be found at the bottom of this article. Design for Disassembly (DfD) is one of the key strategies the KALA and AKSEN team have been studying. Although in a bigger scope of work such as multi-storey buildings the scalability might be problematic, we are keen to explore. We are currently brainstorming the approach for an interior design scope of work, wherein the change of interior design is deemed to be more often than the change of architecture. In particular this can be achieved through a clean disassembly, where parts and joints are easily accessible for maintenance using mechanical joinery (as opposed to non-removable, chemical ones) and its reusability in different interior projects.

On other note, materials from Bamboo Pod 3 are being re-purposed as part of KALA’s packaging (hemp cloth and ties) and we also turned the 5mm bamboo battens to bamboo quadcopters. They were particularly popular with the young pilots we did the workshop with in October 2021.

Lastly, we want to conclude with an diagram adapted from Rahla et al. (2021), with regards to circular design principles. Through this exercise we also want to share KALA’s selected products which encapsulate these design principles, albeit still on a small scale. With these reflections in mind, we want to show it is possible to include circular design principles in any kind of design

References:

Geisendorf, S. & Pietrulla, F. (2018). The circular economy and circular economic concepts—a literature analysis and redefinition. Thunderbird International Business Review, 60, 771-782.

Kanters, J. (2020). Circular building design: An analysis of barriers and drivers for a circular building sector. Buildings, 10, 77.

Kirchherr, J., Reike, D. & Hekkert, M. (2017). Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions. Resources, conservation and recycling, 127, 221-232.

Rahla, K. M., Mateus, R. & Bragança, L. (2021). Implementing Circular Economy Strategies in Buildings—From Theory to Practice. Applied System Innovation, 4, 26.

 

Infography by Ben and text by Mia

You can also view this article in our official WeChat account:

For English : (tba)

For Chinese : (tba)


ABOUT KALA

KALA was founded by Mia and Elza Tedjosaputro, in May 2020. KALA provides high quality stylish home decor and accessories that highlight a few simple attainable changes towards an eco-friendly lifestyle. There is always an Indonesian touch ensuring we empower our craftsmen and promote Indonesian culture and craftsmanship. KALA’s specific design language is the use of natural materials and artisanal, with a sense of play of texture and product functionality. We are based in Indonesia and China.

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Double coco batik soap, our second batik soap

Special thanks to Jessica Laksono.

 

You can also view this article in our official WeChat account:

For English : https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/8sAsMI0waEr7qDeeGka9tw

For Chinese : https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/7euR_0OsXWETzKj5OgzY8Q


ABOUT KALA

KALA was founded by Mia and Elza Tedjosaputro, in May 2020. KALA provides high quality stylish home decor and accessories that highlight a few simple attainable changes towards an eco-friendly lifestyle. There is always an Indonesian touch ensuring we empower our craftsmen and promote Indonesian culture and craftsmanship. KALA’s specific design language is the use of natural materials and artisanal, with a sense of play of texture and product functionality. We are based in Indonesia and China.

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Batik Patterns on Handmade Soap

Special thanks to Jessica Laksono.

 

You can also view this article in our official WeChat account:

For English : https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/3hAmoB0Ftj6wTznwjiAo8g

For Chinese : https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/Aq0XcM5_yfwFiWHh5C7SSw


ABOUT KALA

KALA was founded by Mia and Elza Tedjosaputro, in May 2020. KALA provides high quality stylish home decor and accessories that highlight a few simple attainable changes towards an eco-friendly lifestyle. There is always an Indonesian touch ensuring we empower our craftsmen and promote Indonesian culture and craftsmanship. KALA’s specific design language is the use of natural materials and artisanal, with a sense of play of texture and product functionality. We are based in Indonesia and China.

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Batik as a storyteller of Indonesian culture

Batik illustrates the use of traditional hot melted wax and natural dye pattern making.

Infography by KALA

Did you know Indonesian Batik has more than 5,849 patterns and this figure is increasing as time goes by? Indonesia is an archipelago country that has 13,466 islands and 640 local languages ​​(source: UNESCO). This is one of the main reasons why Indonesia is a country that is very rich in culture. The difference between its regions can be seen from the uniqueness of each batik pattern.

Each batik pattern represents the culture of each region, and each has meaning interpreted through strokes, colours, dots, and other elements in the batik pattern.

For example, Papua, the easternmost region of Indonesia, has the ‘cendrawasih’ bird (‘bird of paradise’) of which the majority live in Papua. Because of that, they designated ‘cendrawasih’ birds for their batik pattern as something to show their identity. Meanwhile, Bali is a region that is surrounded by the sea. The main livelihood of the Balinese people is fishing. Therefore, we can see fish and shrimp in their batik pattern ‘ulamsari mas’ batik. And there are many more.

Indonesian Batik also has developed over time, from ancient batik that can be worn only by royal families, to contemporary batik that anybody can wear. Even though there are many modern batik patterns out there, the process by which each pattern of batik is born is what makes batik feel so authentic. The culture that batik brings, the life story, moral messages contained in the batik pattern- that’s what makes batik special.

Indonesian batik has its own charm that can be interpreted in many forms- it can either make the wearer feel royal, composed, elegant, glamorous, or even cheerful according to the whim of the maker.

Photo by Mahmur Maganti on Unsplash
Photo by Camille Bismonte on Unsplash

KALA’s own batik design comes in two different colours, red and green. We custom print based on demand (there is no waste) in three different countries: China, the UK and Indonesia. The scarf’s size is 75x75cm. They can also be used for bandanas, gift wrappers or to upgrade your handbag handles by giving them a personal touch. In different form factors, we also do custom print for canvas printed wall hung purposes.

Custom print fleece blanket in the UK, photo by Zara Morgan

Text by: Jessica Laksono

 

KALA official WeChat account

You can also view this article in our official WeChat account:

For English : Click here

For Chinese : Click here


ABOUT KALA

KALA was founded by Mia and Elza Tedjosaputro, in May 2020. KALA provides high quality stylish home decor and accessories that highlight a few simple attainable changes towards an eco-friendly lifestyle. There is always an Indonesian touch ensuring we empower our craftsmen and promote Indonesian culture and craftsmanship. KALA’s specific design language is the use of natural materials and artisanal, with a sense of play of texture and product functionality. We are based in Indonesia and China.

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ABOUT KALA

KALA was founded by Mia and Elza Tedjosaputro, in May 2020. KALA provides high quality stylish home decor and accessories that highlight a few simple attainable changes towards an eco-friendly lifestyle. There is always an Indonesian touch ensuring we empower our craftsmen and promote Indonesian culture and craftsmanship. KALA’s specific design language is the use of natural materials and artisanal, with a sense of play of texture and product functionality. We are based in Indonesia and China.

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Eco-camping trips

S24O (bike and camp) mini adventure!

Matt and I are blessed to be living not far from the great outdoors of Ningbo. When regular couples will book the most romantic dinner in favourite places on Valentine’s Day, we wanted to avoid the crowd. We indulge ourselves by going camping quite often in different seasons- in particular, to places which can be reached by bikes. So here is the time when we left our expensive road bikes at home and took the touring bikes instead.

I was mesmerised by the bamboo weaving technique

Biking and camping are not a novel outdoorsy combination. This article illustrates how taking inspiration from nature has a great impact on how the KALA brand is shaped and is being developed. My great interest in natural materials as KALA’s design direction was a result of this too. The trip itself did not cost much as we cycled all the way there and carried our own gear and water.

Half way up the mountains and after the rain

Both Matt and I are not natural living zealots (nowhere near- we still carry plastic wrappers during our camping trips, for instance the crisps or baguette bag) but we also try to take small steps to reduce our less ideal consumption behaviour.

So we set off on Valentine’s Day (which was also our wedding anniversary) with two bikes. Matt carried most of the gear as usual (sleeping system and cooking gear) and I carried the tent and my camera in a special camera bag for bikes. The journey itself it was quite short, a mere 21km away with a 430+ metre climb. It turned to be a beautiful afternoon once we were done getting rained on. D’oh!

From the top of While Cloud Cliff, the most local range of mountains to home
Home to the campsite, a whopping 21km in total

We got to the campsite at 5pm, just enough time to set the tent up before it got dark. There is no road light (nor any light) around the campsite. We found the site a few years back, during one of those adventurous and ‘see where this road takes us to’ kind of moments, but it didn’t link to any other roads.

Tent was up in no time as the sun was setting

KALA’s own insulated cup made for good company, it keeps our hot beverage (necessary when it got cooler once the sun set) warmer for longer. Tip: You can find this product in KALA’s Weidian online shop.

KALA’s bamboo insulated cup, it comes with a handle too

Like most camping people, we like the idea of camp cooking. We did not have the luxury of a campfire however. To save taking a small chopping board and the whole onion on the bikes, I pre-chopped one and put it in the re-usable beeswax wrapper. It was one of KALA’s products too (will be back with the coolest batik patterns KALA designed). I reused a bread tie I have been collecting every time we buy bread. Completely zero waste, I get to wash the wrapper and re-use the bread tie again. Valentine’s day’s main menu was beef with creamy corn soup, with a baguette to share for dipping. Just humble comfort food.

KALA’s reusable beeswax wrapper- they will be back in stock soon with a new design
Onion wrapped in the beeswax wrapper
A handy tip for your bread ties, any door handles will do great to store them.

The sky was so clear that night and we got to see stars. We retired early (8pm) after sharing a bottle of wine we picked up in the nearest town (Hengxi) and the night was windier than we thought.

Mornings at the campsite are the ones to look forward to. Although the view was not as spectacular as the day before (a bit foggy), the tea plantations and the mountains still looked as majestic as they always are.

Morning view from the campsite (less clear than the day before)

KALA’s bamboo drip coffee filter was in service, brewing a slow coffee. We did not take the stand for convenience, but the insulated cup was a good size (tall enough) making sure the filter is not merged in the coffee (which can result in clogging). Because the bamboo filter is light, it was perfect for this kind of mission.

KALA’s bamboo drip coffee filter

I hope this short journey gives you inspiration for local adventures which are eco-friendlier, fun and memorable.

Products used on this trip which you can purchase from us are:

  • KALA bamboo drip coffee filter
  • KALA insulated bamboo cup
KALA official WeChat account

You can also view this article in our official WeChat account:

For English : https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/lueQxP31YUefeWGmU_eLaw

For Chinese : https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/n_EHnlE4Y-Uj6DeZeCU2Gg


ABOUT KALA

KALA was founded by Mia and Elza Tedjosaputro, in May 2020. KALA provides high quality stylish home decor and accessories that highlight a few simple attainable changes towards an eco-friendly lifestyle. There is always an Indonesian touch ensuring we empower our craftsmen and promote Indonesian culture and craftsmanship. KALA’s specific design language is the use of natural materials and artisanal, with a sense of play of texture and product functionality. We are based in Indonesia and China.

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About KALA, our brand

The overdue introduction of the brand!

ABOUT KALA AND MIA

KALA (China and Indonesia) was born in mid- 2020, as a subsidiary of Aksen Putra Mandiri. It is Mia’s family company (est in 2001), and she oversees the architecture and design arm of the company. KALA as a brand itself is in an infant stage and we operate on a very small scale from Ningbo, China and Surabaya, Indonesia.

KALA’s bamboo- related products are produced by hand in Indonesia by our own artisanal teams. Indonesia is where the product development is brewed. Our specific product design direction is on the use of natural materials. At the same time, we would like to raise awareness of eco-friendlier living in the form of day-to-day products. There is always Indonesian touch in what we design and curate, giving a nod to Mia’s cultural heritage. We aim to celebrate craftmanship through our product design and collaborations.

KALA official WeChat account
KALA online shop in Weidian (accessible via WeChat)

Any feedback on KALA’s products are greatly appreciated, please drop a line to [email protected] or Mia’s WeChat ( ID: miatedjosaputro ).

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