Singgih Susilo Kartono is a Balinese designer who founded Magno, an auto-editor brand specialized in small daily use objects made with high quality craftsmanship.
Born and raised in Kandangan village in Central Java, Indonesia; he studied design overseas but decided to come back to his roots and try to improve the quality of life of his peers with the knowledge he gained.
He then created Magno, his own design brand. « Magno » stands for « magnify » and « G » was added to its logo because Singgih thinks it is an interesting shape by its sculptural aspect.
Therefore, Magno is more than a brand, it’s a way of thinking, looking through a magnifying glass that allows you to see the details and appreciate their beauty.
Singgih believes that the customer should cultivate a strong relationship with the objects he possesses as they are part of his life.
He is fighting against the consumption behavior that our society has created. That’s the reason why he has turned towards natural materials to create his products, wood especially.
The more the customer appreciates the history of the object the more he tends to take care of it; which in the end – in Singgih’s mind- will help minimizing waste.
His goal is to raise awareness about the nature’s sensitivity just as it was custom in the past.
In his designs he tends to lessen the detail aspects so that the main features remain the function and the beauty of the materials used.
Wood is both strong and weak, rough and soft, has advantages and limits that are the ‘star’ of a manufactured object well designed.
Singgih designed small objects that only require a small amount of wood to manufacture. He feels responsible for the nature and insists on replanting the equivalent of each tree used in his workshops.
Furthermore, he feels like design is a knowledge that can be used as a survival weapon and can help isolated areas to develop economical perspectives for locals.
He realized it when he came back to his hometown and saw the despair of his peers, the unknown potential for high quality of craftsmen and, an easy access to a noble material.
His most iconic piece is the wooden radio. The first edition, MiKRO, was designed in 2011.
The idea behind it was to conceive a radio that would mimic an old one.
The simplicity of the design and the exclusive use of wood create a feeling of antiquity, uniqueness and esteem of the object that you should cherish.
One single radio takes 16 hours for the craftsman to make.
It is made out of 2 types of wood : the dark one being Sonokeling and the pale one is Pine.
This radio won many awards such as the Brit Design Award in the United Kingdom, The Design Plus award in Germany, Good Design Award in Japan, International Design Resource award in the United States and, the Indonesia Good Design Selection Award in 2005.
These radios are sold by ‘wooden-radio.com’, a german-based office who works hand-in-hand with Magno to develop the ‘green economy and ecodesign’ asset of his company.