Duration: Feb, 2014 - May, 2014

Apikri is an artisan group in Indonesia that promotes fair trade. The project was based on an imaginative collaboration with the artisan group. The goal was to design home goods that utilize their unique techniques.

Most of the products from the artisan group are sold to western countries. However due to the cultural differences, there is a mismatch between the design and what is desired by users.

How can I design a product that bridges the gap between the valuable crafts of the artisan group and the modern lifestyle?


My Design

Version I - Space between bamboo slats allows natural ventilation

The bamboo laptop desk is inspired by the woven bamboo pillow used for sleeping. Connected by fishing wire, the bamboo slats allow just enough cushion for the user to put on the lap. Space between slats also creates natural ventilation for laptop.


Version II - A combination of food tray and laptop desk

The desk is detachable. Users can use the bamboo tray and the pillow together or separately.


Use of QR code to connect users with artisans

By scanning the QR code, which is included on the tag of the pillow, users are able to read about the story of the product and the artisan group through the app of Apikri.

Scan QR Code to read about story of the product and the artisan group Apikri.

Front of the tag

Front of the tag

Back of the tag

Back of the tag

App of the artisan group

The app enables users to browse through or purchase products of the group, to read about stories of the artisans, and to learn about the craft techniques that the group uses.

Home Page

Product Page

Artisan Info & Leave a Message



Learning about the artisan group

Through research, I learnt that Apikri incorporates the traditional technique of Batik in the making of many of their products. I was so fascinated by the technique that I decided to further explore it and apply it to my own design.

Batik products of Apikri

Process of Batik

Customer profile

The customer profile was used to guide my research and design decisions.


Review of an existing product

Initially, I took the existing breakfast tray home to study the techniques used for making it. Surprisingly, I found out that the tray was repurposed as a laptop desk by myself and people around me. I started to question:

"What if I incorporate traditional techniques of the artisan group into a laptop desk that fits the lifestyle of the target audience?"


Existing breakfast tray of Apikri

Existing breakfast tray of Apikri

Breakfast tray was repurposed to accommodate the modern lifestyle

Breakfast tray was repurposed to accommodate the modern lifestyle

Edge of the tray interfered with the hand when the tray was used as a writing surface.

Edge of the tray interfered with the hand when the
tray was used as a writing surface.

Development of ideas

The design went through several phases to reach versions I and II.


Pillow material and fillings experiments

In order to find the most suitable material and fillings for the pillow, I made various samples and tested them on potential users. I then quantified user feedback and selected the best combination of materials. 

Mood board

Based on profile of the target audience, I created a mood board to set the tone for the design.

Batik experiments and pattern development

To better understand the technique of batik and explore its potential usage, I conducted several experiments. After I got familiar with the technique, I took the graphical elements from bamboo and developed the final patterns.

Folded linen

Final pattern from batik

Branding strategy

Technology penetrates the life of younger generations. It is important to rethink the design and branding strategy of products in responded to the change, especially for the products that heavily depend on traditional craft techniques. In order to raise the awareness of fair-trade and promote the artisan group, the branding strategy for this project involves the usage of QR code. By scanning the QR code, that is printed on a tag of the pillow, users will be directed to the APP of the artisan group.