|Mochammad Mirza Yusuf Harahap||Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia|
|Rini Suryantini||Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia|
|Kristanti Dewi Paramita||Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia|
|Yandi Andri Yatmo|
This study investigated the utilization of currently available energy
and its implication on the ecological production of architecture materials. The
study focused on the sun-drying process used by craftsmen in the traditional
brickmaking process, arguing that such a practice demonstrates ways of utilizing
current energy that are informed by local knowledge and are ecological. Such a brick drying process was observed at two sites of traditional
brickmaking in Central Java, Indonesia. The result of the study indicated that
the drying process in brickmaking utilized various exposure strategies to maximize
the potential amount of heat from the sun that can be transferred to the bricks, which in turn influenced the flow of the
production process. The study then discussed the potential applications of such
knowledge in the modern brick manufacturing process to create a more ecological
production of architecture materials.
Architecture material; Ecology; Local knowledge; Sun-drying; Traditional brickmaking
The sun-drying phase in traditional brickmaking, as observed at the two locations of the study, Ambarawa and Welahan, demonstrated the use of current energy as part of the ecological aspect of architecture material production. Such a use of current energy drove the stages and responses that shaped the process of sun-drying, from maximum exposure to less exposure to the heat from the sun in order to achieve a certain level of dryness. In achieving this dryness, what mattered was not only the environmental conditions but also the craftsmen’s strategies of alternating between or maximizing different forms of current energy. These strategies influenced the way the bricks were laid down, arranged, positioned, stacked, and covered and were constrained by the consistency of the clay mixture, the field space availability, and the low-tech equipment that limited the potential interventions that could be performed during the process. Interestingly, the craftsmen’s strategies and responses informed a production of architecture material intertwined with everyday life. They depicted spatial operations that were conducted in a quotidian environment instead of in a controlled and strict one (Atmodiwirjo and Yatmo, 2019). Other than the display of such strategies, the use of current energy also drove the fluctuating flow of the different production stages, influencing the beginning and the end of each phase beyond the drying phase.
This paper points out that the use of current energy, the craftsmen’s strategies, and the fluctuating flow of brick production, which often consists of phases done simultaneously, provides potential knowledge for the future industrialization of brickmaking. An important lesson, for example, can be derived from the way efficiency is achieved through developing local strategies instead of relying on the innovation of the machines. In addition, while the fluctuating flow of brick production may not seem beneficial, it provides enough time to prepare for the firing process, which requires a high amount of an immediate form of energy and accumulation of material. In this sense, investigating the current energy use expands the understanding of efficient, ecological methods that focus on the interconnection between humans, materials, and the environment. This study, however, only focused on the qualitative aspects of the sun-drying phase. Future studies which focus more on the quantitative aspects of the process may develop a better understanding of such efficiency by exploring in detail, the temporality of the production process, measuring the time taken by craftsmen to mold, stack, arrange, and relocate each brick in order to inform the flow of overall brick production. In future studies, an airflow simulation might also be conducted to investigate the optimal gap needed between the bricks to dry them thoroughly.
This research is
supported by Penelitian Dasar Ristekdikti 2020, a research grant (contract
number: NKB-69/UN2.RST/HKP.05.00/2020) provided by The Ministry of Research,
Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Indonesia.