Posts by Javacreativeblog

A blog featuring profiles of contemporary arts projects and events in Java, Indonesia

Environmentally Friendly LED Lamps by Noorside

Dyah and the Noorside team taking part in Permablitz, a Jogja permaculture initiative

Dyah and the Noorside team taking part in Permablitz, a Jogja permaculture initiative. Image, Noorside

Noorside is a lighting company specializing in combining LED technology with handmade elements like salvaged wood, carved stone and metal casting. Inspired by the Arabic word “An-Noor” which means ‘Light’, The Noorside production base is a unique house-factory concept based in the central Javanese city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This special region known for its art, culture and beautiful natural surrounds, is a hub for natural design and creativity.

One of Noorside's hand-crafted crafted lamps

One of Noorside’s many lamp designs. Image, Noorside

Dyah, the owner and founder of Noorside started her house factory-based lighting project in May 2013, seeing an opportunity in the market for environmentally friendly lighting products. Dyah also found that she had capabilities in terms of the design process, and a range of talent to draw on through Jogja’s traditional artisanry (have a look at the production process here) – her house-factory is located in one of the regions of Jogja that is home to several handcrafted industries from pottery, to wood carved furniture, to internationally renowned designers and artists.

I asked her a few questions about her work, whilst I was working on a previous project together with Dyah.

Noorside's lamp textures close-up

Noorside’s lamp textures close-up. Image, Noorside

What is your company’s commitment to social and environmental sustainability?

Our company believes that social and environmental sustainability is something individuals need to take charge of. So, in developing the design and production processes, we ensured our products were environmentally friendly – from the bases to the advanced energy-saving LED lamps. We also encourage the principles of fair trade and are engaged in local social and environmental justice issues.

I also built this company from the beginning with a commitment to employees, and local economic outcomes for the wider community.

Product being hand-carved

Product being hand-carved at Noorside’s Nitiprayan house-factory. Image, Noorside

What is your favourite product?

My favorite product would be a core module of the lighting system

Can you explain a bit about LED lighting and the module as one of your favourite products?

The Module is a universal lighting device using light emitting diode (LED) system – designed with the latest environmentally friendly technology. With a power requirement of just 12 watts, equivalent to a 100 watt incandescent bulb, this allows for maximum energy efficiency and a long lifespan. In addition the module will also be accompanied by a universal adapter that enables it to work with universal voltage 110 V or 220 V.

Working with concrete provides inspiration in the creation of new textures and forms

Working with concrete provides inspiration in the creation of new textures and forms. Image, Noorside

What makes Noorside’s products stand out in the lighting market?

We are very serious in developing LED technology in our design, and as such, our products will get a place in the market because we utilise the latest in engineering design and practice whilst retaining traditional presentation qualities. We also have an amazing team of designers who will continuously create new materials and innovative designs. As a result, Noorside continuously offer new choices in sustainable design for our consumer base.

The Light-Emitting Diode (LED) is one of today’s most energy-efficient lighting technologies - this is Noorside's LED lightbulb

Next generation lighting: The Light-Emitting Diode (LED) is one of today’s most energy-efficient lighting technologies – this is Noorside’s LED lightbulb. Image, Noorside

To visit Noorside on the web, go to

Or to visit their house-factory at: Ds. Nitiprayan, No. 25, RT. 01, RW. 20, Ngestiharjo, Kasihan-Bantul. Yogyakarta 55182 Indonesia

To get in contact with Dyah and the Noorside team email 

Kate Grealy

Hellhouse & Indonesia’s Hip Hop Movement

D.P.M.B from Jogja, source supplied

D.P.M.B from Jogjakarta, Indonesia – source supplied

Since its emergence in the South Bronx in the 1970s, hip-hop culture has spread across the world. Although hip hop culture is increasingly being commercially appropriated by the music industry, for the artists involved with Indonesia’s Hellhouse Community, the elements and origins of hip hop remain central to their passion for the art form.

The Hellhouse community of artists is one of several major hip hop communities connected to the growing hip hop scene in Indonesia. Comprised of DJs, rappers, beatmakers, breakdancers, producers and graffiti writers, Hellhouse also have a studio based in Jogja where they produce music and run events from.

Alex Sinaga, also known as beat-maker, producer and rapper from D.P.M.B, described Hellhouse as beginning simply as a group of friends “who were equally were into hip hop, which continued to grow to become a large community”. Sharing a “love particularly for old school hip hop”, which the artists often reference through their music, the community continued to grow.

In the Indonesian context however, artists also incorporate traditional music and messages into their lyrics and beats. For Alex and his friends, “it’s always been important to incorporate local culture in the music, including in beats, because it makes the work accessible and relevant to young Indonesians and also helps bring it to life”.

While the stories shared through performance reflect some of the frustrations of youth dealing with economic uncertainty, the pressures of traditional social and religious expectations, the Hellhouse community continue to challenge perceptions that hip hop is associated with thuggery, or about copying an “American culture fad”. Various community leaders from a range of social and religious backgrounds provided endorsement for the group’s activities and the recent opening of the Hellhouse store in Jalan Wijilan in the vicinity of the Kraton Palace in Jogjakarta.

The Hellhouse community exist because of a hop, and a dedication to creating positive movements through music. As Sinaga elaborated however, “Hellhouse is not here to teach about hip hop culture to other friends, but about the process of sharing the love of the art, and of learning and growing together”.

While the crew Hellhouse may have “formed naturally from a shared love of the same music”, from the outside, it appears Hellhouse has become a platform for the hop movement in Indonesia. Sinaga shrugged at this proposition however, suggesting instead that the hip hop communities of Indonesia exist as “a larger family”. The notion of Hellhouse being a “platform” is not really accurate because “basically we don’t care so much about the entity of Hellhouse per se. That is just our community. The Hellhouse crew, and the broader hip hop movement of Indonesia cares more about what we can give through hip hop and naturally, that will always bring us together”.

Kate Grealy