Swinburne alum Sashia Rosari has worked at leading design and industry companies in both Australia and Indonesia. She now owns two successful businesses and says her studies and industry experience have been a big part of her success.
Sashia moved to Melbourne from Jakarta when she was in high school. She chose to study Industrial Design at Swinburne because the honours degree allowed her to work a year in industry as part of her studies.
“I specifically wanted to enrol in Swinburne because of their industry placement program,” Sashia says.
“I knew somebody else that had gone to Swinburne, and I thought ‘that's what I want to do, get actual experience while I’m studying’.”
Sashia did her industry placement throughout her third year at the exhibition design company, Mothers Art.
“The workplace experience was so valuable as it introduced me to a new network of specialised artisans and tradespeople, where I was able to absorb firsthand knowledge from them,” Sashia says.
“Industry placement helped me mature my approach to design and tackle briefs in a much more professional manner.”
Sashia designs the furniture and interiors of her HONU Poké & Matcha Bar and leads the creative vision for the business.
Sashia got her graduate job working in the design offices of the prestigious Australian company, Jardan Furniture, and remained there for five years.
After that, Sashia returned to Indonesia and went to work as a design executive for the hospitality group that owns Potato Head Beach Club in Bali.
She designed furniture for hospitality establishments, across Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
“You'd be surprised at what type of company requires our help,” Sashia says.
“It’s reassuring to know that so many different fields out there require designers.”
After two years in Bali, Sashia moved back to her childhood home of Jakarta and used her recent experience in hospitality to start her first business, HONU Poké & Matcha Bar.
“My experience with Potato Head showed me that creating an experience is also design.”
“I enjoyed seeing how a concept was created for a restaurant and taking it from an idea to reality. It's like a bigger version of designing furniture.”
Only a year later, Sashia also started her furniture design company SORS, returning to the expertise she built while working for Jardan.
SORS offers ranges of both residential and commercial furniture as well as designing custom commissions for business throughout the year.
Sashia’s time studying and working in different cities around the world was a big part of her creative journey and she recommends the experience to young designers and entrepreneurs.
“I'm an avid supporter of travelling as much as you can if you have the means and the opportunity,” Sashia says.
“You gain perspective and absorb new culture that will enrich your encyclopaedia of skills, no matter what you ended up doing.”
“I really appreciated my time in Melbourne. There are always so many things going on—the Australian Open, Formula One, Melbourne International Film Festival, Writers Festival, Design Week, there's just so much.”
“I think for students from wherever thinking of trying out studying abroad, if you have the opportunity, just give it go.”
“Particularly for Indonesian students, because Australia is so close, it's easy for your parents and to visit home. It's very safe but still exciting.”