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A retrospective towards a biodegradable material concept for future Indonesian sustainable architecture

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The awareness of the negative effect of the intensive usage of synthetic material has led to a significant phenomenon in recent global development. Moving forward to become a fully ready developed country, Indonesia shall move toward a more sustainable architecture for presenting a greener environment. Despite blessed with a distinctive collection of tropical material variants, reflected in its vernacular architecture, advanced material development must be invented to promote more progressive architecture in Indonesia. This research illustrates a new perspective regarding biodegradable material concepts for future Indonesian sustainable architecture. It is produced by respecting local and global development trends by using a bibliographic coupling and experimental methods in the laboratory to contribute to Indonesian sustainable architecture. A retrospective is aimed to highlight Indonesian biodegradable material and Indonesian vernacular architecture potency; it is presented as follows; (1) Understanding local–global trends in biodegradable architecture; (2) Indonesian potency on biodegradable materials; (3) A biodegradable material concept as an alternative perspective for Indonesian sustainable architecture. As a result, a new concept is proposed as an alternative for developing Indonesian biodegradable building materials. A more profound sustainable architecture is expected to engage local craftsmanship while highlighting unique biodegradable materials easily found in the surrounding environment, such as Indonesian Kombucha Tea and Indonesian Coffee.
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Liantoetal. City Territ Archit (2021) 8:13
https://doi.org/10.1186/s40410-021-00142-1
RESEARCH ARTICLE
A retrospective towardsabiodegradable
material concept forfuture Indonesian
sustainable architecture
Fermanto Lianto1* , Denny Husin1, Clinton Thedyardi2, Mieke Choandi1 and Rudy Trisno1
Abstract
The awareness of the negative effect of the intensive usage of synthetic material has led to a significant phenomenon
in recent global development. Moving forward to become a fully ready developed country, Indonesia shall move
toward a more sustainable architecture for presenting a greener environment. Despite blessed with a distinctive col-
lection of tropical material variants, reflected in its vernacular architecture, advanced material development must be
invented to promote more progressive architecture in Indonesia. This research illustrates a new perspective regarding
biodegradable material concepts for future Indonesian sustainable architecture. It is produced by respecting local and
global development trends by using a bibliographic coupling and experimental methods in the laboratory to contrib-
ute to Indonesian sustainable architecture. A retrospective is aimed to highlight Indonesian biodegradable material
and Indonesian vernacular architecture potency; it is presented as follows; (1) Understanding local–global trends in
biodegradable architecture; (2) Indonesian potency on biodegradable materials; (3) A biodegradable material con-
cept as an alternative perspective for Indonesian sustainable architecture. As a result, a new concept is proposed as
an alternative for developing Indonesian biodegradable building materials. A more profound sustainable architecture
is expected to engage local craftsmanship while highlighting unique biodegradable materials easily found in the sur-
rounding environment, such as Indonesian Kombucha Tea and Indonesian Coffee.
Keywords: Architecture, Biodegradable, Concept, Material, Sustainable
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Introduction
e global phenomenon has been questioning the notion
of sustainability towards a greener environment. Cur-
rently, the world has taken an environmental issue seri-
ously to improve the condition. In architecture fields,
the consciousness of reducing the negative effect on the
intensive usage of artificial material has led to a new
understanding of more sustainable architecture. e
natural material is essential to be applied as the small-
est unit cell of a building to construct a comprehensive
sustainable architecture (Mittal and Dogne 2016). More
eco-friendly material is used in construction means a
greener environment is built. Although a conservative
method may contribute to green design, however, to
obtain the highest mark in green building certification,
green label material must be included in its planning.
While the green building design strategy is generally cat-
egorized as active and passive, green label material cri-
teria are controlled by various aspects, such as location,
composition, certification, transportation, and locality.
e location capability to produce a green building mate-
rial depends on the availability, capacity, infrastructure,
craftmanship, institution. It is influenced by the rela-
tionship between the market and its customers (Greene
2019). In most developed countries, the implementation
of green building design and construction is considered
fundamental, as it may affect the image of a city, company
Open Access
*Correspondence: fermantol@ft.untar.ac.id
1 Department of Architecture, Universitas Tarumanagara, Jl. S. Parman No.
1, Jakarta 11440, Indonesia
Full list of author information is available at the end of the article
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Page 2 of 12
Liantoetal. City Territ Archit (2021) 8:13
branding, citizen appreciation, and other added values
(Krzemińska etal. 2017). However, this implementation
may be considered necessary in developing countries,
including those in the transition,s budget and lower intel-
lectual levels (Sassi 2006). Notwithstanding, Indonesia
must consider the development of the green building as
one of the topmost priorities for ensuring a more sustain-
able impact to the whole country; by producing its own
local biodegradable building material followed by a green
label.
Despite recent debates that question the position of
Indonesia as a developing or a developed country (Rang-
gasari and Bhwana 2020), in the actual situation, Indo-
nesia is advancing towards being developed. Holding the
largest economy in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is recog-
nized as one of the megadiverse countries. Indonesia is
blessed with high biodiversity that is potentially utilized
as natural resources to support its economic develop-
ment (UNCTAD 2019). With steadily risen GDP per
capita from 2000 to 2020, Indonesia’s economic condi-
tion continues to be progressive, despite heightened
global uncertainty. Nevertheless, Indonesia’s domestic
demand is the main driver for its growth, as its long-term
development plan is considered a challenge for Indone-
sia to achieve its goal. To be indeed a developed coun-
try, Indonesia must possess a fairly treated and balanced
environment, including its city’s facilities and infrastruc-
ture readiness. In this sense, a progressive architecture
and a more dynamic environment need to be stimulated
immediately to generate advancement (Krzemińska etal.
2017). As a transcontinental country located in Southeast
Asia and Oceania, the Indonesian archipelago is a valua-
ble region for global trade. Situated strategically along the
equator, Indonesia has attracted various national–inter-
national collaborators and investors targeting Indonesian
bio-diversity, growing population, and rapid industri-
alization, despite presenting severe environmental issues
(BP-REDD+ 2015), as shown by Fig.1. Hence, to support
a better economic condition, equipped with an assur-
ance of an environmentally friendly setting, Indonesia
must generate a competitive yet dynamic development,
including global appreciation of green building and sus-
tainable city. e research aims to find the concept of
biodegradable materials for the future sustainable archi-
tecture of Indonesia from local natural materials typical
of Indonesia. Understanding the context, following the
global trend in biodegradable material while respecting
local resources shall be the main agenda for developing
green development in Indonesia, especially by advancing
its tropical architecture.
Material andmethods
Theoretical approach
e idea of new sustainability has risen since the third
millennium; the 2000year has influenced a cultural sig-
nificant around the world, contributing to the idea of
a utopian future as the year has created a sense of the
beginning of a new century. Climate change reports and
global warming news have spread worldwide, stimulat-
ing more serious actions from reducing gas emissions
to heatwaves’ control across the continents. More pro-
gressive movements are growing to shift the traditional
Fig. 1 Environmental issues are illustrated by deforestation and forest degradation mapping in Indonesia. Source: BP-REDD + Indonesia, 2015
(BP-REDD+, 2015), www. reddp lus. go. id downloaded on March 28, 2020
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perspective on green living towards a new sustainable
generation (McLennan 2004). After two decades, the
new sustainability has claimed that the future lies in
regeneration. e action includes restoring ecosystems,
rebalancing our climates, and rebuilding economies
(Greene 2019). e landscape of innovation has set the
idea of contemporary sustainability (Almy and Benedikt
2007) and work on: integrating nature with technology
(Aziz and Sherif 2016), reinventing tradition for sus-
tainability, less waste (Mostafa etal. 2018), edible prod-
ucts, re-use/recycle, and researching for new materials
(Greene 2019). Despite varied, these actions are going
towards an integrated ecosystem, respecting the pro-
cess of sustainable activities, and expecting immediate
results towards achieving zero waste, as illustrated by
Fig.2. When it comes to product innovation, the worlds
are curious to invest in creative and scientific materials.
e reborn of the renaissance is in demand; the idea
of revisiting tradition, redefining classic, rethinking
timeless, exploring philosophy, yet reinterpreting art
bridge the gap between nature and humanity (McLen-
nan 2004). In this sense, more designers are willing to
revisit traditional materials, fusing them with dynamic
new functionality (Ripley and Bhushan 2016), combin-
ing contrast ideas to create a hybrid while reducing
environmental impacts (Cecchini 2017). us, cross-
fields and multi-discipline projects offer a potency of
sharing and networking, whether in inspiration, tech-
nique, and development, encouraging hybridization of
biodegradable material.
Due to serious environmental issues in Indonesia,
more movements are raised locally and globally to make
Indonesian realize the impacts. From pollution to gar-
bage management, Indonesia was ranked 133 out of
180 countries in 2018 according to the Environmental
Performance Index (EPI 2018). is country is consid-
ered as the lowest rank amongst others located in the
Asia–Pacific region. Plenty of researchers have consid-
ered Indonesia as being ignorant of the severe effects
caused by irresponsible environmental activities. ere-
fore, more involvement and participation are stimulated
to address unreduced emissions, temperature rise, and
waste cycle (Mostafa etal. 2018). Architects, urban plan-
ners, developers, contractors, and designers are willing to
explore new engagement; currently, it is being initiated
by developing cassava plastic, bamboo textile, pineapple
fibers, tapioca bags, and seaweed packaging. (Hernandha
2017). Extended research is required to perfect this bio-
degradable material capability to be more systematic,
architectural, and degrade naturally in the environment
during a time frame (Chang etal. 2017).
Moreover, these varieties of biodegradable material are
still only produced for smaller-scale items and targeted
for selected communities, as displayed by Fig.3. In this
sense, Architecture as a medium potentially serves a big-
ger audience and functions for more extended periods
(Krzemińska et al. 2017). Research and development
of biodegradable building material may directly impact
the city yet to the country (Group 2017). Nevertheless,
most Indonesians still use more conventional materials
Fig. 2 Various materials and shapes in zero experimental waste packaging by Austeja Platukyte. Source: https:// www. behan ce. net/ galle ry/ 38533
363/ exper iment al- packa ging- from- biode grada ble- mater ial downloaded on March 28, 2020
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Liantoetal. City Territ Archit (2021) 8:13
and methods, driven mainly by economic aspects (Sassi
2006). Although, one must bear in mind that these users
also demand to use familiar materials and methods if the
new biodegradable building material is expected to hit
the market successfully. Also, at the same time, advanced
understanding must be improved to address the stag-
nancy of the design (Ripley and Bhushan 2016), as some
may still worship tradition as a pure identity, a total trans-
formation may cause a perception that the local context
is being ignorant. e research shall open more opportu-
nities towards multi-dimensional and multi-scalar prod-
ucts based on locality and tradition for supporting the
more substantial impact while serving greater scale for
achieving sustainability. A mix, combination, fusion, and
other alternatives have a better potential for serving more
significant communities while stimulating collaboration
and networking; for example, developing food for build-
ing material, fashion architecture, edible packaging, bio-
plastic for embracing synthetic yet organic materials.
Indonesia is bestowed with large wilderness areas,
which means Indonesian biodiversity is considered high
level: abundant with natural resources, agriculture, and
various types of landscape. With a tropical climate and
archipelagic geography, the country has a balanced sea,
coastal ecosystems, forest, and land species distribu-
tions. Dominant in nature and culture diversity, this can
be why tourism became the main attraction of Indonesia.
Boast with a unique combination of a tropical climate,
a vast archipelago while unified by the sea, Indonesia is
bounded with a rich cultural heritage, highlighting its
rich history and ethnic diversity reflected on the col-
lection of vernacular houses. Well-known for its nature
and culture globally, Indonesia is easily recognized for its
traditional art and architecture as the main iconic attrac-
tion. In terms of technology development, the produc-
tivity in Indonesia is considered low (Group 2017). It is
essential to inquire about the stagnancy in its cultural
products (Ripley and Bhushan 2016); for example, some
researchers struggle to develop freely Indonesian cultural
products because the majority of Indonesian is still dic-
tated by the notion that the traditional artifact is sacred,
holy, divines, and often not advisable to be re-designed.
Another case, like the traditional process, is still consid-
ered as irreplaceable, as the pure ideology is compulsory
to be preserved (Hays 2015). Some intellectuals may pre-
sume this condition as stagnancy of culture, while others
appreciate it as endurance of a culture. Although in the
past, Indonesian is well-known for embracing various
changes, transformation, and adaptation by absorbing
foreign influences (Hays 2015), the same situation may
not be applicable similarly at this present time. Stimula-
tion is required to encourage a cultural hybridization by
supporting elaboration, combination, and creation of
biodegradable materials.
Fig. 3 Avani Eco, a sample of the biodegradable product, produced in Indonesia. Source: https:// www. avani eco. com/ wp- conte nt/ uploa ds/ 2019/
10/ Banner- 1- Repla ce- plast ic- with. jpg, downloaded on March 28, 2020
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Indonesian is hugely proud of their cultures. ere are
some cultural products that Indonesian feels like their
own identity. At the same time, they may be aware that
these items may have been influenced by other cultures as
a result of the acculturation process, for example, Tempe
(soybean cake), Ta h u (tofu), Batik, Tenun (weaving),
and Anyaman (tapestry); and other familiar raw mate-
rials that have a strong association with Southeast Asia
or archipelago, like Kelapa (coconut), Rempah (spice),
Jengkol (dog fruit/ngapi nut), Petai (stink/bitter bean),
Durian, Pala (nutmeg), and Melati (jasmine). ese
materials have latent potentials to present the identity of
Indonesian culture in a glimpse, though they may not yet
be familiar as a building material. Many other and pro-
spective methods (Wahyuningtiyas and Suryanto 2017)
can develop these materials into architectural products
(Özdamar and Ateş 2018). Also, to encourage the appli-
cation of biodegradable material, one shall revisit Indo-
nesian vernacular architecture, which represents organic,
resilient, and natural material culture (Mittal and Dogne
2016). In this sense, Indonesian architecture has a solid
logical reason to reinvent advanced material, which is
deeply rooted in its own culture (Gruber and Imhof
2017). By presenting the link and logic that illustrate the
Indonesian-ness of a product, a guideline can be per-
fected to address Indonesian with full utilization of their
own culture (McLennan 2004). e reason may help in
constructing a sense of ownership while avoiding foreign
feelings to the designed product. Although the current
trend of Indonesian buildings is dominated by industrial-
ized material, questions must be addressed to bring solu-
tions to the homogeneity caused by modern planning. By
understanding the situation, it is now our opportunity to
reinvent Indonesian building material developed by criss-
crossing borders between different fields (Özdamar and
Ateş 2018), neglecting superficial transformation while
moving forward towards global impacts (Ripley and
Bhushan 2016). Hence, although traditional resources
and techniques are suggested to create a familiar atmos-
phere for biodegradable material development in Indone-
sia, collaboration, proliferation, and improvisation shall
stimulate innovation and creativity.
A biodegradable material concept is defined as an
abstract idea or a general notion to design property of
a substance that enables it to be decomposed by micro-
organisms (Harper 2001). e aim is to create a mate-
rial that can degrade naturally in the actual environment
(Wahyuningtiyas and Suryanto 2017), resulting in decay
in stable conditions to reduce pollution (Sassi 2006).
Although biodegradable is associated with natural matter,
artificial material shall be understood as an intellectual
product that can transform both raw yet waste materials
into a contemporary product design (Todor etal. 2018).
It shall contain calculation, strategy, and planning to
adapt better to the environment while improving the way
of life (Ahmed 2015). Although some industrial materials
are derived from natural resources, their transformation
process may not always be concerned with biodegradabil-
ity. Hence, to push forward a new modern yet biodegrad-
able building material, the industry shall be encouraged
to create a more advanced natural product for building
construction (Özdamar and Ateş 2018) without ignor-
ing its biodegradability in the natural environment (Mit-
tal and Dogne 2016). Practically, there are four standard
categories of biodegradable materials, namely: minimal
processing (timber, bamboo), bonded material (mixtures
like carpet and board), compounds (adhesives and poly-
mers), and synthetics (like plastics). ese techniques can
be implemented as building elements or components and
applied during installation or construction (Sassi 2006).
us, a biodegradable material concept in this research
means a general idea to transform Indonesian natural
material into building elements or components by con-
sidering its biodegradability.
ough generic and regular material can be the
resource, specific techniques and quality control must
set a new standard for delivering a higher grade in bio-
degradable production. With generally traditional archi-
tecture and research on Indonesian natural materials are
dominated respectively by (Fig.4); (1) timber; (2) bam-
boo; (3) thatch; and 4) fiber; e state of the art for this
research concentrates on constructing a new kind of fiber
as less dominated material in Indonesian building mate-
rial industry. It is created by using the edible source as
a contrast to common historic building materials, which
traditionally may be categorized as natural, organic, and
degradable but may not yet be categorized as biode-
gradable according to the interpretation of the modern
standard. Edible materials tend to offer a better contri-
bution in terms of degradability, allergy reaction, safe
effect, efficient production, yet consumption. Hence, by
understanding the concept above, the design criteria for
this research are: (1) Natural and organic; (2) Tradition-
ally inspired; (3) Durability for 1–5years; (4) Cross-disci-
plines; (5) Multi-products.
e architecture of Indonesia does not only reflect
its biodiversity but also representing the culture. Indig-
enously Indonesian architecture has been built as natural
yet temporary, sot is being associated with sustainabil-
ity and resilience (Mittal and Dogne 2016). Indonesian
architecture illustrates the mixture of various foreign
influences like Indian, Chinese, Arab, and European. In
Indonesian culture, the house is the center of Indonesian
customs, social relations, traditional laws, taboos, myths,
and religions that bind humans with nature (Hays 2015).
e earliest structures of the Indonesian vernacular
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house are constructed by using flexible nail-less joints
and non-load bearing walls; before bricks, iron and
mortar are found. In the tropical climate of Indonesia,
Indonesian vernacular houses are made from traditional
materials. ey are produced by using various techniques
like sun-drying, burned, smoked, and mostly considered
hand-made. Especially in ancient times, fewer materials
are initiated by neither mixture nor using machines. In
the current situation, advanced technology may be found
within the industry, while the practically rural commu-
nity is still eager to preserve its traditional technique with
minor transformation nor advanced method (Özdamar
and Ateş 2018), as demonstrated by Fig.5. Hence, there is
a gap for producing a new form of biodegradable material
Fig. 4 Common Natural Building Material in Indonesian Vernacular Architecture. Source: https:// www. re- think ingth efutu re. com/ fresh- persp ectiv es/
a1232- verna cular- archi tectu re- of- indon esia/, downloaded on June 26, 2021
Fig. 5 Questioning Indonesian Architecture Materials at Andra Martin Prihal Exhibition. Source: https:// www. archi fy. com/ id/ archi fynow/ menga
lami- arsit ektur- andra matin- lewat- pamer an- prihal and on March 28, 2020
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based on Indonesian tradition, though method and tech-
nique shall be planned to match the existing craftsman-
ship. It delivers smooth and causing less alienation, and a
new material shall be created by respecting retrospection:
using Indonesian natural material executed by advanced
traditional technique. Execution shall be encouraged by
focusing on creating contrasts or differences, neglecting
monotonous and homogeneous that is often problematic
in traditional and conventional productions.
Method ofresearch
is research investigates a retrospective to find a bio-
degradable material concept for future Indonesian sus-
tainable architecture through the bibliographic coupling
method to identify the relationship between one another
based on the subject’s proximity (Rupadha 2016; Glänzel
and Czerwon 1996; Kessler 1963, 1965). A comparison
study on local and global trends is highlighted to contrast
a unique Indonesian perspective on the biodegradable
material concept based on local inspiration taken from
its culture and biodiversity. It is followed by experimen-
tal methods to determine the effect of specific treatments
on others under controlled conditions (Sugiyono 2014;
Sukardi 2011), carried out in the laboratory using natural
materials suitable for producing biodegradable building
materials.
e research is presented as follows; (1) Understand-
ing local–global trends in biodegradable architecture;
(2) Indonesian potency on biodegradable materials; (3)
A biodegradable material concept as an alternative per-
spective for Indonesian sustainable architecture. A new
concept is proposed as an open-ended perspective by
using local materials such as Indonesian Kombucha Tea
and Indonesian Coffee; it is presented as an inspiration
to initiate the development of contemporary Indone-
sian biodegradable building material. By understanding
the bigger picture, a more sustainable architecture is
expected to be constructed by respecting local crafts-
manship, exploring available local materials, and pre-
senting techniques for a greener environment. Hence,
this research suggests unusual inspiration for developing
a concept of green building biodegradable material by
using familiar Indonesian resources.
Results anddiscussion
Understanding local–global trends inbiodegradable
architecture
More researchers and designers around the world are
currently engaged in nature-inspired objects; whether
it is developed as a method, form, structure, and even
function. ese new items are proliferated to mimic
nature to bring design closer to the actual environment.
Using technology, such as 3D printing, transplantation,
fermentation, and other techniques involving nature,
researchers believe that parametric design, biomimicry,
or genetically modified species may improve humans’
relationships and habitat. Whether producing a new
generation of products, applications, or robots, various
institutions are exploring more intuitive and communica-
tive materials that interact, correspond, and decompose
within their environment. Wired fabrics, compostable
plastic, disposable technology are going to be trending
for daily life soon. e sustainability idea in the global
world now puts more concern about the overall impact
that happened to the earth. A green action can now be
calculated precisely and generate more participation
from households to government regulation, especially
becoming more common in the most developed coun-
tries. In Indonesia, the idea of sustainability is still in an
initiation process, progressing towards a more advanced
phase. Mostly, the initiation is an introduction of an
experimental product to replace daily utensil that harms
the environment. e action can be varied like replacing
plastic, garbage management, and introducing re-use/
recycle activity. Although there is a wide gap between
local and global actions, most activities in Indonesia are
inspired by international movements while finding a suit-
able way to be implemented in Indonesia. Indonesian
are having difficulties being mindful of its richness and
fortune. e act of preserving and conserving its envi-
ronment is still in progress due to the overall level of
education. Moreover, Indonesian rich culture and bio-
diversity shall not only be preserved and conserved but
developed to ensure that its nature can be passed down
in a more excellent way to the next generation. In this
sense, regeneration must be understood as taking part
in the sustainability process, elevating tradition while
strengthening Indonesian cultural identity by advancing
the production process.
Despite resilient, resourceful, and diverse, Indonesian
architecture reflects the core of cultural values. Well-
known as conservative, refined, and delicate, Indonesian
must be encouraged to face the competitive world with
more open-minded paradigms while preserving what
they believe best. Indonesian culture emphasizes the phi-
losophy of living in harmony, believing in subjugation
to nature. However, to be progressive in sustainability,
Indonesian must now be ready to question the tendency
always to feel comfortable in common systems and ide-
ology; this includes how Indonesian architecture is per-
ceived. Despite superstitious, having a strong belief in
the power of objects and events, undeniably, Indonesian
has always had a solid connection to nature. It is an excel-
lent foundation yet an open opportunity to introduce a
new way of living based on essential human nature: to
live harmoniously with the environment. However, to
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Liantoetal. City Territ Archit (2021) 8:13
move forward, the sustainable action shall focus on an
entire transformation process of developing a biodegrad-
able material. It is best, if accompanied by easy-to-digest
information and user-friendly application primarily to be
delivered at home as the house is the center of Indone-
sian society. Biodegradable material that can be produced
and applied to most houses in Indonesia means a higher
level of applicability and acceptance to the broader audi-
ence. Despite Indonesia offering many natural resources
that can be found throughout the archipelago, the best
initiation is easily found in the surrounding living envi-
ronment, whether the resource comes from the house,
garden, park, and market.; whether it is a familiar build-
ing material, food ingredients, fabrics, or herbs, as long
as it offers a familiarity directly to the end-user. In addi-
tion, developing natural and organic fiber at home and
the surrounding environment is more visible because of
its availability and affordability.
Indonesian potency onbiodegradable materials
According to the stagnancy of technology and applica-
tion of homogeneous material in the existing setting;
a biodegradable material concept as an alternative for
Indonesian sustainable architecture must highlight the
importance of a new method, advancing the final prod-
uct for moving from only preserving and conserving a
raw traditional building material to the advanced ones.
A superficial transformation shall be shifted to the explo-
ration of complex material and technique. is action
needs to completely change the overall formation, struc-
ture, function, or even genetics of the designed materi-
als. Crosschecking with the latest global trends: fish
scale, skin waste, crustacean exoskeleton, eggshell, algae,
ground coffee beans, rice husk, fruit peel, corn husks,
wool, yogurt pots, tree cellulose, fungus, yeast, fermented
farm waste, food waste, animal skin, sunflower seeds
also bee wax can be developed as biodegradable materi-
als. It is almost every natural thing that can be converted
and transformed into biodegradable building material. It
means Indonesian exploration of biodegradable does not
need to be afraid to explore different bio things, moving
forward from one or two popular material choices as in
the current situation is dominated by limited types. Also,
the exploration may be continued by the advancement
of different techniques like fermentation, yeast, distilla-
tion, brew, inspired by various traditional methods rather
than repeating common methods, as exemplified by
Fig.6. Although these traditional methods are common
in Indonesia, especially for the home industry, imple-
mentation is relatively stagnant or steady than embracing
diversity. Exploration shall be encouraged to demonstrate
different, contrast, distinction, and divergence in terms
of color, texture, size, the process even performance for
achieving the advancements.
However, to represent the Indonesian-ness, one shall
choose a natural resource or method locally and globally
recognized as Indonesian, although a total rework needs
to be planned to advance the invention. Hence, in this
sense, the research highlights the unlimited potentials
of Indonesian biodiversity as the concept for biodegrad-
able architecture material to address the stagnant inspi-
ration. Also, to address current problems on developing
global biodegradable material, the following Indonesian
projects need to be perfected by ensuring its capability
to decay smoothly to the actual environment. Also, the
research shall be extended to be more architecture as the
option for biodegradable building material is still consid-
ered scarce. Simulation, calculation, and prediction are
needed to be encouraged to generate a greener biode-
gradable material, presenting a better future for a more
sustainable environment. Despite unlimited inspiration
that can be found from Indonesian resources, the prob-
lem remains the same and is dominated by orthodoxies.
e gap and the real challenge are where the Indonesian-
ness must be interpreted as the new output.
A biodegradable material concept asanalternative
perspective forIndonesian sustainable architecture
Two inspirations are selected for experimenting with
traditional materials and techniques. Elaborations and
proliferation are considered for presenting various
colors, textures, sizes, and characters by using a vari-
ety of types, concentrations, intensification. However,
the resource of material and techniques remain con-
ventional. is home experimentation leads to produc-
ing different biodegradable materials related to green
buildings and is chosen because of the availability and
affordability of Indonesia’s general public. Two famil-
iar materials have been investigated for 2years in this
experimentation; tea and coffee as the main ingredi-
ents. e first one is intended for creating sheets, and
the other as insulation or filler. First initiation using
kombucha tea generally leads to vegan leather, fusuma,
wallpaper sheet, bioplastic, and translucent materials.
A different utilization of tea, sugar, water may produce
a natural variation of color, odor, texture, and thickness
that contribute to different qualities and quantities of
biomaterials. Various agents like natural fat, oil, and
butter can be added to enhance the products’ flexibil-
ity and elasticity. Preservation techniques like smoking,
frying, sundry stimulates diversity in terms of finishes
and level of conservation. e second experimentation
uses coffee waste. is experiment leads to the creation
of material boards, bio-wood, insulations, and insect
repellent. Different natural materials like tapioca,
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Page 9 of 12
Liantoetal. City Territ Archit (2021) 8:13
cornstarch, chalk, salt, and agar–agar are tested as vari-
ations for stabilizers and additional agents. Elaboration
is done by fermentation, drying, frying, and molding
(Table1). is home experimentation leads to gener-
ally stable material for up to 6months to 1year before
degrading smoothly at the end of the year; notwith-
standing, both materials are generally water-soluble
because of their organicity. Scientific and lab experi-
ments must establish a higher quality standard material
and push for more extended durability.
Illustrations of applying the experimental results above:
(1) Indonesian coffee waste as filler wall bricks or deco-
rative pillars (Fig.7A, B); (2) Indonesian Kombucha tea
as a semi-translucent material so that sunlight enters the
room, the use of colorful kombucha tea gives a stunning
impression (artistic) on the interior and appearance of
the building (Fig.7C, D, E).
Conclusions
As a country in a transitional economy, Indonesia
requires more effort to make its environment ready for
global competition. It includes its architecture and city
to prepare for the international standard to accommo-
date global networks and activities. Although undeni-
ably Indonesia is rich with biodiversity and various
inspirations to develop a biodegradable building mate-
rial, active participation and support from various sec-
tors are needed to open up the possibility for creating a
greener environment. As Indonesia is in the initiation
phase of introducing biodegradable material to its soci-
ety, an understanding needs to be lifted to the broader
audience to anticipate homogeneous interpretations
and creating a multi-dimensional perspective.
Fig. 6 Towards Unexplored Potency of Indonesian Biodegradable Material; Left to Right: Soybean cake, Red soy oil-cake, Solid fermented glutinous
rice, Black soy oil-cake, Fermented cassava, Buffalo milk yogurt, Nata de coco, Kombucha, Enrekang cheese. Source: https:// www. indoi ndians. com/
ferme nted- foods- from- indon esia/. https://4. bp. blogs pot. com/- QEqST FN53Vo/ WlGzo lFTJkI/ AAAAA AAABKI/ K05Rd GnvBG knCZ8 gulJS ZjTYy 5jhAn
cCQCL cBGAs/ s1600/ IMG_ 20170 721_ 143344. jpg. https:// stora ge. trubus. id/ stora ge/ app/ public/ posts/ t2019 0925/ big_ 39475 91202 3d773 c4b21 0e206
2cd32 a5fe9 04bd0. jpg downloaded on March 28, 2020
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Page 10 of 12
Liantoetal. City Territ Archit (2021) 8:13
ere are three highlights for developing the general
idea of the biodegradable material concept for future
Indonesian sustainable architecture; (1) ere is a local
stagnancy of interpreting inspiration for biodegrad-
able building material. It is often taken concerning
Indonesian neo-vernacular architecture, but often seen
as a limitation and barrier, while the global trend has
clarified the unlimited possibility of designing bio-
degradable material almost from anything, including
reusing and recycling ‘artificial/synthetic’ materials; (2)
Table 1 Experimentation on Kombucha tea and coffee waste for biodegradable material concept Source: Authors, 2021f
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Page 11 of 12
Liantoetal. City Territ Archit (2021) 8:13
Indonesia can produce various biodegradable material
developed from diverse materials, including the one
may not be presented yet in Indonesian neo-vernacu-
lar architecture. Hence, although inspiration and les-
sons are taken from local architecture and traditional
material, it is essential to propose a unique biomate-
rial product to contrast what is provided by existing
industry.
Material sources found in the surrounding environ-
ment should be prioritized. e material and tech-
nique shall be developed at home and able to be done
by engaging local craftsmanship. us, alienation may
be avoided. It may be contrasted with the case in other
developed societies where an application of unfamiliar
sources of biodegradable material to a public build-
ing is intended as part of the attraction, promotion,
and education for the general public; (3) e future
of Indonesian biodegradable material is omnipresent.
However, to encourage sustainable architecture, Indo-
nesia shall move from only implementing raw mate-
rial and conservative methods to encouraging material
development from the minor structure. Advanced
techniques are suggested to stimulate innovation, for
example, biomolecular engineering, biotechnology,
and biochemistry; thus, multi-discipline collaboration
can be promoted. e production must present a cal-
culated, predicted, and simulated complex process of
fermentation, culture lab, brewing, distillery, geneti-
cally modified products to present a more advanced
biodegradable building material for future Indonesian
sustainable architecture, such as Indonesian Kombucha
Tea and Indonesian Coffee. Hence, lab experimenta-
tion and scientific methods are required for presenting
higher quality material and universal design.
Acknowledgements
The authors would like to thank the editor and reviewers for their valuable
suggestions, the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher
Education (Ristekdikti) for funding this research.
Experimentation in this paper is presented only as an initiation process,
taken as a study and an investigation for testing the concepts. Experimen-
tation has been tested in different places and locations; however, due to
Pandemic Covid-19, they can only be tested at home/home industry. Col-
laborations with local enterprises have been made to extend the experimen-
tation, and the result has been tested for 2 years. Although variations have
been carried, in this paper, only the best results are presented. Presentation,
illustration, and photography have been carried by @yudhistirasoeleaman, @
coffeecocoid coffee, @oheimel, and @crazyaji.
Authors’ contributions
The authors have jointly written the manuscript in all parts. All authors read
and approved the final manuscript.
Funding
The Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education
(Ristekdikti).
Availability of data and materials
Not applicable.
Declarations
Competing interests
The authors confirm that there is no conflict of interest to declare for this
publication.
Author details
1 Department of Architecture, Universitas Tarumanagara, Jl. S. Parman No.
1, Jakarta 11440, Indonesia. 2 Projective Cities, The Architectural Association
School of Architecture, London, UK.
Received: 22 December 2020 Accepted: 25 September 2021
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Based on the need to rely on sustainable feedstock, depend less on fossil resources and decrease carbon emissions, biomaterials and bioplastics as substitutes of conventional petroleum based plastics have been the focus of many material scientists, architects and industrial product designers. Therefore, this article is an experimentation on the possibilities of starch based bioplastic production. The focus of the article is to understand the limits of this new material and figure out whether starch based bioplastic material can be used in architecture, both as a facade material and an interior space furnishing. Based on Steven’s bioplastic formula, starch based bioplastic is produced handmade as a surface and cubic specimens with different developed variations in this article. Different starch types, such as potato, corn, wheat and tapioca are tested and mixed with pellets known as local agricultural waste, natural fibers and aggregates. Within the research bioplastic produced from potato starch is formed and molded firstly as a sheet and secondly as a three-dimensional material and tested for vulnerability and durability. The research expands to understanding how organic and inorganic interventions can be made in order to increase the life span of the material, make it durable and resistant to humid and weather conditions. It is observed that tapioca starch gives the finest, smoothest, flexible and strengthful biopolymer among all. Issues on sustainability, designing and sensing the unpredictable and searching for “new” materials for a greener and sustainable future are the main core of bioplastic production. Regarding the negative carbon footprint and long-term environmental effects of fossil-based plastics through landfill and incineration, the search for such a material brings forth a deeper material experience along with a further collaboration of architects and engineering disciplines. Through this production, we need to figure out deeply the nature of new starch based materials in architecture, which are eco-friendly, cheaper and more strengthful materials compared to conventional synthesized polymers.
Conference Paper
Organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs) have attracted increased attention because of the possibility to produce environmentally friendly low-cost, lightweight, flexible, and even biodegradable devices. With an increasing number of complex applications being proposed for organic and biodegradable semiconductors, the need for computation horsepower also rises. However, due to the process characteristic differences, direct adaptation of silicon-based circuit designs and traditional computer architecture wisdom is not applicable. In this paper, we analyze the architectural tradeoffs for processor cores made with an organic semiconductor process. We built an OTFT simulation framework based on experimental pentacene OTFTs. This framework includes an organic standard cell library and can be generalized to other organic semiconductors. Our results demonstrate that, compared to modern silicon, organic semiconductors favor building deeper pipelines and wider superscalar designs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to explore the architectural differences between silicon and organic technology processes.