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Art & Life with Amanda Sutanto

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Sutanto.

Amanda, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. Art has always been a big part of my life. I fell in love with art since I learned how to hold a crayon. I continued to pursue the field of fine arts until I was in high school. When I was about to go to university, I realized that I needed to make a choice whether or not to pursue fine arts as a career. I realized that I wanted to do more than create things for my self-expression. I wanted to create things that are impactful to the daily lives of others in the world. I love design because it allows people to live life a little better and a little easier. Design allows me to solve everyday problems with creative and meaningful solutions. I believe that good design makes working, living, conversing, and connecting an easy thing to do.

Growing up in Indonesia, I was always exposed to many cultures. I am inspired by diversity and by my travels. I am also inspired by traditional architecture, valuing the great works that came before my time, and giving it new life by seeing it with the lens and knowledge of today. I enjoy taking mundane, everyday things and giving it a new twist to challenge ways of thinking.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am a spatial and furniture designer. I find the most joy in creating meaningful experiences for people to encounter, whether it be a space (exhibition, retail, hospitality) or a product/ furniture piece. I am an observer and a lover of studying human interaction. I design by observing things of everyday life and nature, taking it apart, and looking at it from different perspectives. My design style is human, focusing on the human-centered approach. When designing interiors, architecture, or fixtures, I always start from the user’s perspective, designing experiences instead of spaces and objects. I think about how people would feel looking at the space/object for the first time, approaching it, and then experiencing it. Then, I will use architecture and design as a means to create the intended feeling. I love thinking in detail, I create purpose for each corner and feature, relating it back to the whole experience.

I am really passionate about modular design, or design that grows and shifts with the user. I believe that design should accommodate the ever-changing nature of people. In the years to come, I believe that modularity can continue to serve as a solution that is personalized, efficient, and economical.

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
One of the best advice that was given to me by my professors at ArtCenter is taking every opportunity that comes my way. I have tried to abide in this advice in my journey as a designer. Sometimes, not knowing what’s at the end of the tunnel is scary but having the courage to take the next step will bring you closer to the end. I try to take every opportunity that comes my way even when not knowing where it would lead me. There were times that I really doubted my choice in pursuing art and design as a career. For me, thinking positively and being grateful is what helped me through these doubting times, focusing on what I can do with what I currently have, instead of thinking about what I could’ve done if I had more. My faith is a big part of my life. Having faith in God is what has kept me going through hardships. I have faith that He will provide & trust in His plans. I think knowing those things has allowed me to continue my craft & pursue my passion with a peace of mind.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I am currently pursuing a degree in Environmental Design at Art Center College of Design. I have had opportunities in the past of being featured in a number of design platforms including ICFF NYC last May, Contract Magazine, WIEE in Shanghai, Design Shanghai, and Main Museum in Los Angeles. I am finishing up my last two semesters at ArtCenter, and will soon have my website up for more details on these projects! Please feel free to contact me personally if you would like to know more about my work.

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Image Credit:
Renderings by Amanda Sutanto, Photos by 33 North Studio

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