We loved the idea of Singgih Kartono's wooden radios, made by hand in Indonesia to "redefine the relationship of the user between the product" and revitalize craft industries and local skills, while using local sustainable materials. (We even put it in our Fathers Day Guide) Now Metropolis picks up the story:
"The two-toned gadget, which comes in three sizes, has been drawing praise in the design world for its appealing mix of retro and modern stylings and its use of sustainable wood. But that doesn't even begin to tell the most compelling part of the radio's story: the designer, Singgih Susilo Kartono, began his business to improve the economic conditions of his Indonesian village and school its residents in the ways of environmentally responsible production."
Trained in basic carpentry techniques, workers piece together the radios in assembly-line fashion.
"Contrary to expectations, teaching new employÂees the required basic carpentry skills (KanÂÂdanÂgan has no inherited craft tradition) and assembly-line manufacturing proved relatively simple. "From my experience, even the most difÂficult trick can be taught in less than a week," Kartono says. "The greatest chalÂlenge is to build a professional work ethic and mentality." Today his company, Piranti Works, employs some 30 workers, who make up to 150 handcrafted radios a month. ::Metropolis