Bricking It: An Urgent Situation 2024






Traditional Indonesian brick is unfired and requires no mortar: water and friction alone fuse the bricks together, creating structures that demonstrate remarkable flexibility and resilience. Because of this, many of Indonesia’s historic brick structures – the Wringin Lawang gate, the Pari Temple, and others – have withstood earthquakes for more than six centuries. In contrast, newer Indonesian buildings made from modern, Western-style brick and mortar have proved catastrophically less resistant to seismic disturbance.


Residency 26, Bricking It: An Urgent Situation 2024 will draw on Indonesian vernacular knowledge to explore the technology, history, aesthetics and potentials of traditional brick as a sustainable medium. It will take place at Samong Haven, a culture and learning centre under development in Sumberkima, north-west Bali. Residency participants will spend a month developing hands-on skills, building background knowledge and testing new concepts using traditional Indonesian brick, and applications are welcomed from any maker or researcher with related art, design, craft or industry knowledge and experience. Specialist input into the residency comes from Indonesian architect Andy Rahman and senior researchers Professor Totok Noerwasito and Dr. I Nyoman Gede Maha Putra, who will make visits to conduct soil testing, lead brickmaking workshops and supervise an actual, small-scale, construction project. 


Co-ordinating the residency are An Urgent Situation project initiators PRAKSIS and Oslo-based architect Don Lawrence. This is the fourth episode within the overarching An Urgent Situation residency series, a long-term PRAKSIS project focusing on learning from local Indonesian vernacular technology, design, society and culture to address the impact of tourism on people and the environment. 


An Urgent Situation - The wider programme

Residency 26, Bricking It is the second PRAKSIS residency to bring an international cohort of architects, artists and others together to work at Samong Haven, Bali, Indonesia. It continues the work of An Urgent Situation, a long-term project designed to research the benefits and detriments of tourism and identify new, ethical approaches that can help the industry to change. Information about the project to date can be found here.


Bricking It will contribute to the ongoing establishment of Samong Haven as a centre for culture and learning, and a working example of a new, positive model for tourism. PRAKSIS’s Samong Haven-based residencies offer participants the chance to undertake research, build skills and experience, create connections and benefit from significant knowledge exchange, while helping build a financially and socially sustainable model for the travel industry. Knowledge gained during this residency and An Urgent Situation as a whole will be presented in a publication scheduled for launch at the end of 2024.

Residency structure

The residency seeks to bring together a diverse group of architects, artisans, craftspeople, artists, designers or others whose interests and experience connect with its theme. It aims to build a collective research, design and making community in which all participants contribute to residency planning and activities while learning from one another. Its research will focus on the production and use of brick as a sustainable building material and will also include introductions to tropical architecture for tourism and aspects of local crafts and culture. As well as developing new skills and knowledge, participants will benefit from immersion in a unique social experience, learning from one another and potentially building bonds that outlast the duration of the residency. For those new to the region, this residency presents an exceptional opportunity to learn about Balinese cultural traditions, about tropical design and craft techniques, and the specific construction properties of local materials. Expected activities include:

  • Workshops, including a one-week intensive workshop in which participants will fire their own bricks and work together to create a small-scale structure at Samong Haven. To facilitate this, Totok Noerwasito will introduce his research into sustainable brick, lead a soil-testing workshop and help supervise the making of unfired brick from local soil, while Andy Rahman and I Nyoman Gede Maha Putra will work with the group to develop tectonic-responsive designs using the bricks they have made.

  • Visits to examples of tourist development in the area

  • Meetings with local craftspeople, including brick-makers and their production sites

  • Networking with environmental foundations

  • Participation in ceremonies and festivals, depending on scheduling

  • Opportunities for residents to lead workshops and discuss key aspects of their own practices

  • Opportunities to work on creative or architectural productions for potential installation and use at Samong Haven.

About Samong Haven 

The project supports the establishment of Samong Haven, a new centre for culture and learning in development in Sumberkima, Bali. Designed with the assistance of residents of An Urgent Situation 2023, Samong Haven’s forward plan includes the provision of residencies, courses and workshops that support local culture and values and address important issues faced by the Sumberkima region. It will offer medium- to long-term guest accommodation for international visitors, short-term stays for national guests, and “drop-in” opportunities for people living nearby, and its accommodation and facilities will showcase a variety of approaches to sustainable tropical architecture. While staying consistent across the site, its sensitively-located buildings will explore different combinations of materials and designs, and draw on vernacular knowledge to create sustainably comfortable living spaces. 

About Don Lawrence

Don Lawrence is an award-winning architect based in Oslo, Norway. In 2013 he established Don Lawrence Arkitekt AS, a practice that explores the interface between art and architecture in its search for design responses that fully integrate structures into their surroundings. For more information visit

About Andy Rahman

Andy Rahman is an award-winning architect living in East Java, Indonesia. Working in accordance with the culture and values of the archipelago, he seeks to integrate the concepts and values of Indonesia's vernacular building technologies into an architecture of the 21st century. For more information visit

About Professor Dr. Totok Noerwasito 

Ir Vincentius Totok Noerwasito MT is professor at Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) Surabaya, where he heads the Architectural Design Laboratory. His primary area of research relates to architectural design for low-income buildings and techniques for embodying energy within built structures, including the use of bamboo and compressed earth-block walling.  

About Dr. I Nyoman Gede Maha Putra

Nyoman Gede Maha Putra lives in Bali and lectures in the Architecture Department of Universitas Warmadewa, where he is Senior Researcher at Warmadewa Research Centre. He focuses on architecture and urban design, with particular focus on issues of space formation and identity, and the traditional versus the modern within the history of architecture. His research has probed global tourism’s transformation of traditional settlements in Bali and identifies the need for public policy with a long-term vision to manage such transformations.

What the residency provides

In addition to the facilitated programme, residents will receive:

  • Accommodation - this may involve sharing a twin room with one other person.

  • Three meals a day provided on site - residents can choose to eat elsewhere at their own cost.

  • A stipend of 5000 NOK towards travel and other costs 

  • Travel from and to the airport to Sumberkima by group shuttle bus. Please note if you arrive or depart at times that do not correlate with the departure of the bus you are responsible for the cost of alternative travel.

If you need additional support in order to be able to participate please check the corresponding box in the application form.

Potential residents 

Applications are welcomed from architects, artisans, craftspeople, artists, designers and all others whose interests and experience are relevant to the residency’s theme. Essential for selection is an interest in community, place-making and low-impact construction.

Eight places are available. Selection will be based on the relevance of the application and the applicant’s ability both to gain from, and contribute to, the activities of the online residency. PRAKSIS aims to provide an environment for development and professional growth: applications are welcome from practitioners of differing ages and experience levels.


  • English is the common language at PRAKSIS and residents must be sufficiently fluent to participate in group discussion and activity.

  • Residents are expected to involve themselves fully in the work of the residency: joining discussions, participating in events and engaging with the resident community.

  • Accepting a residency involves a commitment to participation for the full residency term.

Sumberkima, Bali, Indonesia
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