Exploring Design Insights at the Harmonizing Exhibition by Nusaé

Good design should be part of everyday life. That is the principle the design agency Nusaé adheres to in its work. In its ten-year journey, this graphic design studio from Bandung has worked with government agencies, architectural bureaus, and fashion houses. Their works are in museums, train stations, state banks, coffee shops, and newly developed cities. To showcase the creative process behind their interdisciplinary collaborations, Nusaé invites the public to attend the Harmonizing exhibition from 31 May to 16 June at Emiria Soenassa Gallery, Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta. The location of the Harmonizing exhibition has special significance for Nusaé. In the revitalization project of Taman Ismail Marzuki, which was launched in 2022, Nusaé was involved as the designer of the signposts in this national cultural center complex. Visitors accessing the TIM complex to get to the exhibition can experience Nusaé's work in an everyday context.

Nusaé is a graphic design studio practicing in the field of visual information that includes environmental graphic design, signage systems, editorial design, user interface, and branding. In its professional practice, Nusaé always carries the value of harmony and harmonization that is expressed in various project contexts and mediums. The title of the exhibition Harmonizing is taken from the value Nusaé holds in his practice—that design works must be performative yet in harmony with the context of the environment in which they exist. Some of the projects whose results and thought processes will be displayed include the city image of Towards Tubaba, the visual update of Peggy Hartanto's fashion house, as well as the installation of Elevation by andramatin Architectural Bureau. The Harmonizing exhibition is divided into five sections that show various forms of harmony in design


The first section is Subtle—a harmonization strategy in which the design designed by Nusaé should have an impact without shouting. In this part of the exhibition, audiences can see the directions Nusaé designed for visitors to the installation Elevation. This work was displayed by andramatin Architectural Bureau at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018, and then at Museum MACAN, Jakarta, in 2019. The second section is Adapt—this harmonization strategy is a design approach in which Nusaé adapts or borrows forms or elements from certain cultures or things to be applied to a project in harmony. This approach was used in the Lembur Urang project. Nusaé designed the signage in this area by adapting the culture of Cipta Gelar village from Sukabumi. The third section is Contrast, a design approach that is intentionally made more striking and can be more easily seen without being obstructive to related elements. This approach can be found in the Taman Ismail Marzuki project with its diversity of building forms.

The next section is Fusion, a harmonization strategy in which Nusaé presents a collaborative design that results from the marriage of different perspectives, ideas, and roles. As seen in the city image project Towards Tubaba, which was awarded the Good Design Award in Japan in 2022. The last section is Aptness—shows Nusaé's efforts to seek new possibilities of harmony in design. Nusaé has initiated initiatives such as the design media Saturasi, which exists as an alternative platform that discusses urban topics from a design perspective through the medium of zines distributed to several cities in Indonesia.


During the exhibition period, visitors can join scheduled exhibit tours with Andi Rahmat (Principal Designer & Director of Nusaé), Andra Matin (founder of andramatin Architectural Bureau), and Rizki M. Supratman (curator of the Harmonizing exhibition, founder of Ragam architectural firm). The tour is expected to open an inclusive discussion space between the practitioners involved in the exhibition, and design enthusiasts visiting the exhibition. To exchange design insights from local and global perspectives, Nusaé held a talk show with the theme Caring for Harmonization: Design as a Cultural Form Across the Ages. Senior Japanese design figure Taku Satoh (69) delivered the keynote presentation. Satoh is known for his principle of “just enough” based on an ancient Japanese philosophy called hodo-hodo. Since 1984, he has headed the Taku Satoh Design Office bureau. His most recognizable design works include fashion house Issey Miyake's Pleats Please campaign series and the logo of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. Satoh's keynote presentation will be followed by a discussion with design practitioners Andi Rahmat, and Diaz Hensuk (SWG Design & Format), Stephanie Larassat (AT-LARS), and Adjie Negara (Paragon Corp).

Andi Rahmat, Principal Designer & Director of Nusaé, explains the thinking behind the exhibition: “We designed this exhibition to mark a pause - a moment to look back at the thoughts and works that have resulted from our collaboration with various design-related disciplines. The exhibition is not just a platform to showcase the projects in which we are involved but is designed as an opportunity to start a dialog about the role of design in everyday life. We hope to invite the audience to open their minds and exchange ideas about design that has an impact on society.”

About the Author

Alessandra Langit

Alessandra Langit is a writer with seven years of diverse media experience. She loves exploring the quirks of girlhood through her visual art and reposting Kafka’s diary entries at night.