"I wanted to specialize in something that was more 'hands-on.' I was interested in developing products that are more suitable for Indonesian resources and environment, adding a modern touch."
"My name is Veny Lydiawati, from Yogyakarta, Java. I design atmosphere lamp and soft furnishings. My parents sell raw materials for batik art in Beringharjo, the biggest market in Yogyakarta where my grandfather had a kiosk. As a child I used to accompany my mother to sell her goods.
"I live in Bali now, I have adapted a place where in one building I have my workshop, which also functions as a small gallery and inventory room. The second building is where I live and a have a studio.
"I remember that as a child I would spend most of my time drawing and going to art classes, and I also enjoyed making things with my hands. I went to university in Taiwan to study Industrial design and during this period I realized the importance of creating products that could be used by many people.
"When I returned to Jakarta I worked as a designer for a company that specializes in chairs, but gradually I realized that I wasn't that interested in industrial design. I wanted to specialize in something that was more 'hands-on.' I was interested in developing products that are more suitable for Indonesian resources and environment, adding a modern touch.
"I decided to study again, this time in Italy, to research more about the cultural perspective to designing. I took several graphic and interior design courses, including classes in lighting and lamp design. And my lamp design teacher's specification is actually in LED light. Then I worked in the ceramic industry for most of my designs including some form of lighting, such as candleholders and candles. I realized that light has a lot meaning in people's life.
"I devote some of my time to designing soft furnishings, which I enjoy doing because I've known about working with textiles since childhood, and I took lessons in batik when I was in high school. Yogyakarta is where batik art originates, and I learned all about using natural dyes from a master batik artist there. One of the reasons that I like batik art is that it is a natural procedure which satisfies my environmental concerns.
"My inspiration comes from nature, culture, philosophy, and traditional values, as well as humans' techniques and motifs.
"I remember the first design I made, it was a candleholder in the shape of a snowball. I researched it excitedly, I checked the light effect, studied the interaction between the candle's light and candleholder's body, and I observed the effect. Then I made some models on how to improve the effects, how to make the candleholder more practical and so on. Designed for t-light candles, the illusion I created was that of light within a snowball which also created a clean environment.
"I received an Honorable Mention in 'Intelligent Hand Design' at the 2010 Design Competition, organized by Macef Design Award, Massimo Martini in Milan, Italy. I was one of the 150 selected from 3131 participants.
"My hope, my vision for the future, is to create a lighting atmosphere that not only creates a beautiful ambiance, but that is also comfortable to people's touch and enlightens their life.
"What I like about designing is creating a balance between beauty and comfort.
"The materials I prefer to work with are ceramic, glass, natural dyes, and textiles. What I love about what I do, is that I get to create things that may make other people happy.
"The only bad experiences I've had is when people try to cheat me when I'm in a new situation and have no one to turn to or that can advice me.
"My friends' support makes my work easier as we get to share experiences, and I know I can always count on my family."