Harijanto Setiawan founded Boenga Pte Ltd in 2002. It is a floral design firm based in Singapore. An architect by training, Harijanto is an award winning floral designer. He holds a Master Degree in real estate from the University of New South Wales, Australia. His most recent achievement includes the Silver Gilt Medal at Chelsea Flower Show London in 2013. In 2012, he picked up Best Show and Gold Award at the Singapore Garden Festival as well as International Designer of the Year at Fusion Flowers London.
Harijanto has been working on changing the image of floral design. As the current president of the Floral Designers Society Singapore, his intention is to change the image and perception of floral design. For him, receiving the President’s Design Award is not just an acknowledgement of his personal contributions to the floristry industry, but a recognition of floral design as a contributing factor in upholding Singapore’s title as a Garden City. As a floral designer, he feels the need to go the extra mile to take care of the floristry industry. It will take time for the public to accept floral design as a design discipline.
With the growing affluence of Singaporeans, the level of appreciation for all forms of design, including floral design increases. For Harijanto, floral design should not be exclusive to a few, but available to everyone. It should be accessible to the community. He has seen all age groups, from youths to senior citizens, enjoying floral design.
For Harijanto, floral designers need to appreciate and understand nature in order to bring out its true value. Every carefully crafted floral design leaves behind a legacy of beauty and everlasting memory which is priceless. When viewers remember that moment, the design is successful. As a design material, flowers possess a unique aura that has the ability to transform any space. Understanding that quality gives the designer the tools to enhance the space and environment.
Harijanto constantly challenges his own designs. It is important for his design process to constantly refer to nature to learn and recall the intrinsic value of nature and question how to add value to it. His style is avant-garde, eccentric and funky. He likes the transparent quality of complementary materials such as acrylic and fishing lines. They give his designs a sense of movement through subtlety of lines implied by the transparent elements. He counts on his qualities of daring to think out of the box and not fearing failure.
He is involved actively in floristry education, in order to share his expertise as well as to inculcate appreciation for the discipline. He runs seminars on technical know-how and branding. He encourages his students to enjoy the process of creation and to appreciate the result. Knowledge sharing is important. Practitioners of the industry need to challenge each other in the spirit of sharing; as well as to help nurture young designers and encourage them to compete in the market.
*Text taken from President’s Design Award 2013, Image from SingaporeTatler.com