Deep Interior: Sensorial Encounters of Orang Suku Laut with the Sea

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Issue Vol. 5 No. 2 (2022)
Published Jul 30, 2022
Section Articles
Article downloads 372
Submitted : Jun 30, 2022 | Accepted : Jul 25, 2022

Rini Suryantini Diandra Pandu Saginatari Yandi Andri Yatmo


This paper explores the idea of a deep interior during an encounter between a sea tribe and the sea, as an intimate interaction between the body and nature that consists of liquid matter, the earth’s surface, and the sea inhabitants. This paper introduces the idea of intimate engagement with such a liquid environment to reveal its interiorisation. It arguably positions ecological understanding through reading and responding to nature as the key to interiorisation. This study learns about the livelihood of a sea tribe, Orang Suku Laut (OSL), in the Riau Archipelago, Indonesia, mainly through food hunting and gathering activities. Through the trajectories produced during food-sourcing activities, it is revealed that reading and responding to nature depends on the multiple layers of nature’s dynamic entities: physical features, climatic conditions and particular signs. The deep interior suggests a different spatial understanding and ways of inhabiting the world, constructing an intimate interiorisation with ecology.

Keywords: deep interior, sensory experience, reading and responding to nature, sea tribe

Article Details

How to Cite
Suryantini, R., Saginatari, D. P., & Yatmo, Y. A. (2022). Deep Interior: Sensorial Encounters of Orang Suku Laut with the Sea. Interiority, 5(2), 197–216.
Author Biographies

Rini Suryantini, Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia

Rini Suryantini is a lecturer at the Department of Architecture Universitas Indonesia since 2011. She holds an MSc in Regional Science from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). She obtained her bachelor's degree and doctoral degree in Architecture from Universitas Indonesia. Her research interests are in domestic practices related to ecological architecture and the environment, especially in a vernacular context. She works as well in community engagement projects with various communities, from public institutions, urban moms, river communities and school communities, for a more sustainable environment.

Diandra Pandu Saginatari, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

Having completed her Bachelor of Architecture at Universitas Indonesia and MA in Art, Space and Nature at The University of Edinburgh, Diandra Saginatari is currently a PhD Student in Architectural Design (Social Science) at the Department of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Nottingham. She is also a lecturer at the Department of Architecture, Universitas Indonesia. Her research revolves around the connection between architecture and the broader ecologies, exploring spatial practice driven by materiality. Her current PhD project explores the notion of porosity as an architectural condition that can unravel such a connection, especially between materiality and spatiality in architecture.

Yandi Andri Yatmo, Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia

Yandi Andri Yatmo is a professor of architecture at Universitas Indonesia. His current works are primarily on design theories and methods and their relevance to design practice. He is particularly interested in developing research-based design as well as various design approaches that are rooted in society's everyday life and community participation. Yandi was awarded Kenneth H. Murta Prize in Architecture from the University of Sheffield in 2001, Holcim Award Asia Pacific in 2011, FuturArc Green Leadership Award 2019, National Lecturer Award in 2012, IAI Jakarta Award in 2012, and a number of design competition prizes at national and international levels.


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