Eric Widjaja is the founder behind Thinking Room Inc., a graphic design studio that focuses not merely on design but the whole concept altogether. Somewhat considered radical by his peers, Eric is not limiting himself to conventional rules and norms in delivering design solutions to his clients.

Upon graduation from Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California, Eric had undertaken an internship at Landor Associates where he worked with designers in developing brand identity, print, packaging, and multimedia project for clients such as Levi’s, GE, and Xerox.

Today, his studio has worked with range from large corporations such as Bank Internasional Indonesia, Fujifilm, JAL, Plaza Indonesia, and Sinarmas to entrepreneurial organizations, to name a few Adrian Gan, Matsurika, Shiok!, Cork & Screw and Loewy.

In his spare time he is involved in social campaign for Make Trade Fair/OXFAM, home recording, and cooking. Via DGI

 

GMK: How would you define yourself?
E: My name is Eric Widjaja, a grumpy old graphic designer who is still seeking the meaning of graphic design especially in my beloved country, Indonesia.

GMK: What motivates you?
E: My 2 little daughters

GMK: What do you most enjoy about the design process? And what the least?
E: The most exciting part of design is the process itself. What excites me is how far we could push the idea for every single project. No matter how big or small, cheap or expensive the project is, i always try to push the envelope as far as i could. I used to write music back then, For me, design process is similar to music writing, we should have good lyric, melody, arrangement, etc. and compose them into one beautiful and memorable piece. The least is when your music sucks and we end up in the wrong crowds.

GMK: Do you believe that Graphic Designers should express their personalities in their own work?
E: It is unavoidable. Unconsciously, most people will express their culture, background and personalities in their works as well as graphic designers.

GMK: How do you feel about collaboration?
E: Only with right people. If you collaborate with any assholes, you ended up being directed by them. (true story)

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GMK: Is there any differences between the work for experimental project and commercial project?
E: Commercial project could possibly be experimental depends on the method we use and vice versa.

GMK: How has Indonesia and its culture affected your work?
E: I really don’t give a shit about it, i just work what i think it’s right and honest for me as well as for people who see the work. I think culture could not be forced into the design, unless you want to end up by having decorative bullshit in your work.

GMK: Is there any Indonesian designer do you admire, and why?
E: I really admire all the people who work/ have worked in Thinking*Room (especially Barata, Dimas, Khaerun & Steven), they are all my inspirations, my mentors, my partners as well as brothers. Yasser Rizky is also one of my role model in indonesia graphic design industry, no question about it. Last but not least is Leboye. I’ve been a fan of Leboye back in college. They are pretty successful bringing Indonesian graphic design worldwide.

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GMK: Business, technology is clearly changing, and evolving very quickly as well. What do you do as a graphic designers face all of that, especially in the process of work?
E: I’m the type of person who don’t get along well with technology. So it doesn’t worry me that much. As in business side, just do the best you could with or without technology, people will seek you wherever you go.

GMK: Is there any advice you would like to share with other designers?
E: Discipline. It is really tough nowadays finding designers with good manners compares to designers with good skill/ works. Seek lots of experiences outside, because school does not help you that much.

GMK: How do you find ways to inspire yourself ?
E: Music. I always believe that music has a great connection with graphic design.

GMK: How do you perceive you and your artworks in the next 20 years?
I hope Thinking*Room could inspire next generation of designers in the next 20 years. As for me, i’ll be the same person as i am now at that time (only with grey hair and lots of complain all the time)

GMK: What is the next big thing from you?
E: This question is too big for me : ) We’re updating our works in website and we will launch our blog consisting some bad experiences with clients. There are also some initiative projects going on, but i won’t promise anything for now.

GMK: Could you draw the view from your working space?
E: It was just a regular office space with a breathtaking view of jl. kemang raya, which is now been blocked by that bloddy indian carpet store

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GMK: What are you listening to these days?
E: Sir Greendown by Janelle Monáe

GMK: Whats your EDC (everyday carry) or pocket dump?
E: Wallet, receipt, cigarettes, phone, lighter, change, pen, office key in my fifth pocket.

 

http://thinkingroominc.com/

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