At INCHfurniture, it is not only the finished product that interests us. The social and ecological circumstances from the wood supply up to the production are an important part of the creation of our furniture. In Indonesia, we collaborate with the carpentry workshop cum vocational school PIKA. PIKA produces our furniture, in return, we organise workshops and seminars there. Ecology is a central concern of ours, that's why we use wood from sustainable cultivation only.
PIKA: Pendidikan Industri Kayu Atas = Higher Vocational School for industrial wood-working
SEMARANG: Higher Technical School for Wood Processing (PIKA)
SOLO: Academy for Engineering (ATMI)
Each piece of furniture is one of a kind
For the assembly of solid wood furniture, serial manufacturing methods can only be applied restrictedly, since each tree grows differently and has an individual grain and colour. Each construction element is chosen corresponding to its structural and aesthetic requirements. A lot remains manual work. Thereby every piece of furniture becomes one of a kind.
Wood is alive and a material prone to change. We always bear in mind the characteristics of wood during the construction and the preparation of the surface finish of our furniture. As a result, each piece of furniture is made to last and gains more character as it ages.
Teak, a legendary material in woodworking and cabinetry
For all our furniture, we use teak. Teak is counted among the most high-grade kinds of wood as it has a striking aesthetic appearance and a fascinating tactile quality which make it stand out from other wood types: its lively texture, deep colour and its uniquely supple surface are legendary in furniture construction.
Teak wood excels furthermore in excellent properties relative to furniture manufacturing such as high hardness or low shrinkage and warping. Also, teak features very good protective properties thanks to a high proportion of oleaginous resin. These characteristics make teak a valuable wood and impart high durability to our furniture.
Every single log used in the manufacture of our furniture is chosen and assessed by a local specialist according to stringent criteria.
A site of craftsmanship and knowledge
We have our furniture produced in the PIKA carpentry workshop in Indonesia.
PIKA is domiciled in the seaport of Semarang on the island of Java. The enterprise is structured according to a principle that is singular in Indonesia: the production workshop where the INCHfurniture items are created also trains apprentices. This vocational school is held in high esteem throughout Indonesia and is among the best of the country. PIKA trains around 75 apprentices every year as carpenters, draughtsmen and furniture designers. It is headed by competent specialists and equipped with a modern machine outfit.
The furniture fittings and metal base parts are fabricated by ATMI, a mechanical engineering school in the town of Solo. ATMI’s organisation is modelled after PIKA’s.
ATMI: Akademi Tehnik Mesin Industri = Academy for mechanical engineering
Role model function and pioneer work
In Indonesia, there are primary rain forests of enormous expanse. Large parts of these forests have already disappeared due to ruthless clearing. Timber is very important as an export commodity for Indonesia, however, and a vital resource for life in many places. If these clearings are not stopped, the country is heading for an economic and ecological catastrophe. Only a sustainable forestry that involves the local population can counteract this development.
Unlike timber from primary forests, teak is predominantly cultivated in cultured forests in Indonesia. Some of these reforestations on Java have existed for over 100 years. For the most part, they are farmed by forest enterprises which are state-owned.
We obtain our timber from Perum Perhutani, a forestry enterprise in the vicinity of our production site. Perum Perhutani maintains 1.8 million hectares of forest, cultivated according to sustainability standards. Consequently, it will still be of use to subsequent generations. Moreover, a compensating area of about 700,000 hectares is under protection at Perum Perhutani.
The goal of the FSC-label is sustainable forest cultivation. FSC is an organisation issuing certifications for forestry and wood-working enterprises. The enterprises that meet these criteria and are certified have committed to working under strict regulations that are guided by social and ecological principles: No excessive forest exploitation, no illegal felling, involvement of the local inhabitants and promoting biodiversity. Independent controlling bodies vouchsafe the compliance to these standards.
FSC-certified wood has already become widely accepted in many countries by producers and consumers alike.
In Indonesia, FSC-certification is still in the early stages. It is a strong concern of ours to support this development by aspiring, together with PIKA, to qualify for the FSC-certification.
In spite of heavy environmental damage, ecology has not yet become an issue in Indonesia. As a school, PIKA can act as a role model and put across ecological awareness to the students.Ecological thinking becomes rooted in the school curriculum by awareness-raising and educational work.
FSC: Forest Council Stewardship
A cross-cultural partnership
In the design field, cultural exchange is of paramount concern.
That's where we see the possibility to make a contribution to the school's development by means of our specialist skills and our experience as product designers. Through lectures, workshops and projects on the subjects of ecology, innovation and design, we support PIKA in terms of a know-how transfer.
There is also a close collaboration with the craftsmen and workshop leaders, work processes are discussed and refined on-site, innovative construction and treatment methods are developed and implemented jointly.
INCHfurniture was launched in 2004 by Thomas Wüthrich and Yves Raschle. During a longterm work stay in Indonesia, we got to know the carpentry and woodwork school PIKA. The available know-how, the exemplary school operation and the openness for input convinced us of the great potential of a co-operation with PIKA. Due to the fact that we attend to each production of our furniture in person and in situ, we have established an intense personal contact with the school board members as well as with the craftsmen who manufacture our furniture.