Saturday, 29 April 2017

Study in Sweden: Admission Story

No, I am not going to study master degree in Sweden this year.
If you are all curious.

I have this thing with my dream, that if I want something, I fight for it. Fight so hard.
I set specific condition of milieu around me, to motivate me all the time. For instance, I change my phone wallpaper, showing Haga Nygata street, as I dream to walk down there and take a deep breath and take in the odor of  the old stones. I set the Accu Weather app to report weather in Gothenburg daily, and get fascinated on how come it is sunny with 2 degree Celcius temperature. Or, sometimes when it gets to -3 degree Celcius, I wonder, how people live there, and I wonder whether we can stay young a little bit longer if we live there, like vegetables and fruits that we put in our fridge.

What I love the most about Scandinavian countries is the interior design (Oh that mute colours and that fluffy snugly blanket on the sofa and that abundant space to breathe). When I got my S.Ars. (Bachelor of Architecture) degree, I graduated with this passion of children space. My undergraduate thesis was about shopping mall as child friendly space, and did the survey mostly by observing (stalking) how children perceive and react to interior space in the mall (how they do silly things), and study interior elements with danger potential towards children. It is remarkable how children's imagination is, as they have thousands way to act towards a simple chair, while adults would only just sit on it.

I then found this program:

Child Culture Design, MFA (Master of Fine Arts), in School of Design and Crafts (HDK) University of Gothenburg through

and I was obsessed.

Actually there are A LOT of interesting and unique master programs abroad. I then found Business & Design, MA (Master of Arts), also in HDK University of Gothenburg, which I need for the future of Hana Aisha. My recommendation to browse university and programs is through and

In Sweden, university enrollment is done through, so we don't apply directly to the university. We create an account here, and then we can start to apply. You can log in and log out anytime and save the progress, until the closing date. To enroll, Indonesian citizens have to pay 900 SEK, and by that amount of money, we can apply to maximum four programs. It is important to also rank the programs from one to four according to which one you wish the most. We can choose programs from the same and/or different universities in Sweden.

Most Master Degree programs are started in Autumn (late August or early September), and the enrollment begin from October (previous year) to January. For the details of this year's key dates, please visit here. Besides, only master programs started in Autumn are eligible for Swedish Institute Study Scholarship. For further information of eligibility criteria of SISS and how to apply, please study here.

Applying for university and for scholarship are different thing. For SISS, the application portal is and we don't have to pay at all. However, we must first make application in because we are asked to write our application number in the SISS form.

Now back to the university admission story.
Through portal, we upload the documents needed. You can study the general requirements here, including English Language Requirements test score needed. To be noted, once a document is uploaded, you can not delete or change it. Please be careful.

I applied to two programs, Child Culture Design (as I mentioned earlier), and Business & Design (for the future of Hana Aisha):

Taking care of the admission documents, preparing them, uploading them, can be really difficult.
Please start doing this as far as possible from the closing dates of enrollment.
These are the general documents I had to upload to apply to Child Culture Design and Business & Design Program.

Besides those general documents, there are also specific documents depend on the program. To see this, you have to visit the university website. They have specific requirements, documents, and selection tasks, for example: design portfolio. Plus, each programs may also have different criteria of portfolio, for example: 

taken from here and here.

According to the information in the university website,, my portfolio have to be submitted digitally to their DAP system, not through So basically, you should follow the instructions. Some other programs need Reference Letter, Personal Statement, etc that you have to upload through or through their own system. Just follow the instructions, and just embrace that different programs have different instructions. To be also noted, you should not upload documents that they do not ask for.

On the late of March, close to the first selection announcement date, I opened my account in and Alhamdulillah I am qualified for both programs. Qualified means that I meet the entry requirements and I am eligible for the program, but this doesn't mean that I am admitted. There are further selections, especially for the portfolio. The university will then rank the applicants based on their qualifications, and admit those with highest ranks, according to the quota available for the program.

On the announcement day, sadly my status was Conditionally placed on Reserve (Waiting List), number 4 for Child Culture Design, and number 27 for Business & Design. I have to answer Yes or No, whether to keep the place or not.

There are applicants that have been Admitted, and they also have to answer to Yes or No. As I am Waiting List number 4, if four people answer No, their places will become available and I can take a place. Please note that answering this also has a deadline. You have to reply Yes to keep the place.

One month later, at the end of April, I got an email saying that I have been offered a place in Child Culture Design.  

Unfortunately, I can't accept this offer because I don't get the SISS Scholarship. There are two steps of selection and I already passed the first selection, plus submitted the documents needed for the second selection. However, SISS Scholarship is only eligible for applicants who are Admitted in the first announcement, not Placed on Reserve or Waiting List like me. I personally think, that is also how they select the best candidate for the scholarship. 

Was I sad? Yes. I cried a river, once I was Placed on Reserve, because I already knew that I am not studying in Sweden without scholarship. Though I think that's how Allah tells me He already had better plan. 

Didn't I have backup plan? Yes, I planned to apply LPDP, first intake, but that was not happening.. I thought LPDP this year (2017) will be the same with last year (four intakes throughout the year). Then it turned out that this year, LPDP only open one single intake, and only for those who study abroad in 2018 (next year). 

If I accept the Child Culture Design offer, I have to pay the first installment of tuition fee by June 2017 and I find no way to make it. 

I learned a lot from this experience. To be not in rush, to be patient, to be persistent, to fight for the best but let Allah do the rest, and to believe that this is just a closing door while other doors are opening. 

I am ready to be obsessed to another country, another program, and another life plan. Through SISS application form, I was forced to write out clearly about my vision, my dream, why I deserved the scholarship, and that was the first time I was told to do so, like mapping myself and my life ahead. In this quarter life crisis phase (being 22 y.o, even Taylor Swift has the song for it), I am still in the process of finding myself and my dream.

"I enjoy the pursuit of my dream so much that even if I fail, I will consider my life to have been well spent." - taken from "Put Your Dream to The Test" Book by John. C. Maxwell.

Yes, ayugina, these previous months have been well spent (:

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Pottery Art - Harmony, Action, and Reaction

First of all I would like to explain why I left this blog for a couple of weeks.

Hopefully, I am getting my bachelor of architecture degree (B.Arch or S.Ars in bahasa), SOON !

Well, yesterday I have just submitted my undergraduate thesis draft for thesis defense next week, so as you know, my previous days have been so busy........
....... to procrastinate.

Oh. My. God. It was so hard to find the mood to finish my thesis, like, I had to watch several SacconeJolys YouTube videos first, and a bit of Zoella, and so on, and on, until I was ready to write, which happened very late at night. So I did not get a chance to sleep.

All hail procrastination.

But still, writing the thesis is nothing, compared to interior architecture studio life.
So, well, I survived ! I managed to submit the draft yesterday ! Yeay !

and again, writing this blog is actually another procrastination. I should start my presentation for the defense.

It's a fun thing to do, updating this blog.
Fun thing first.

Fun thing first.

this is another photo essay. A final project for my photography course.
The theme of the photo essay is Art People.

It is focused on the artist, as well as the artwork.
We can not only highlight the artwork as an object, apart from the artist. We need to know what inspires the artist, why the artist chooses to create that, what is the meaning of the artwork, what is the story, and so on.

I consider myself as an artist. I have a collection of artworks named Hana Aisha.
Being an artist is different from being an architect, though. Architect has tons of context to consider: site, clients (humans, with complex personality, which must be taken to consideration too), culture, materials, budgets, etc. There are tons of reason behind every lines, shapes, and forms of the design. There are tons of revision. There are tons of sleepless night.

One of the reason I started Hana Aisha is to free myself from those contexts.
Yes, an artist does not have limitation to their artworks. An artist can express anything, freely, independently, unreasonably.

So does this pottery artist.
Unfortunately I made this using Bahasa Indonesia, so that some of you will not understand the essay, but let me translate the essay here, especially for you (:

Pottery Art: Harmony, Action and Reaction, between The Clay and The Artist's Fingers

In this industrial and fabricated era, things are mass-produced. The forms and the shapes are look alike and typical, for the sake of functionality, efficiency, and pressed cost production. As if humans, that using them, are robots with no heart, taste, and personality. The meaning of a cup, is just a cup. Literally, the definition from dictionary (KBBI), is 'a little bowl with an ear (a vessel of coffee or tea which is meant to be drank)'. A cup is interpreted by its physical and functional aspects only. We have left and forgotten the era when those machines and factories have not taken control of our life, when things are made straight from humans' hands and humans' creativity. From human, by human, for human, and inhumane: based on humans' body and soul, mind and heart, not on programming codes and thousand control switches.

Mr. Nanda is an artist, working in Munti Bali Keramik, where all the cups are not just mere cups; they are all artworks. In here, all the objects are made by human, without machine at all. From a lump of clay to a dining set, with a complexion of leaves and butterfly on the surfaces. Mr. Nanda uses a spinning table, controlled by his feet. The feet stamps, the table spins, the clay spins as well, the fingers dance and express the shape wanted. Harmony is created, from the action and reaction between the clay and the artist. Even the smallest details count. His artworks are expression of his mind and heart, body and soul, as a human. The table and the tools are such a silent witness of his journey, creating cups by cups, plates by plates, and sets by sets, which are not only functional but also artsy. One by one is carved, without machine, only the artist, the tools, and the spinning table. The leaves and butterflies complexion are also carved by hand, inspired form the nature of Indonesia.

They are unique and beautiful, and spoke out. Those qualities can not be achieved by mere machine and factory.

See the photos by clicking here, if the attachment below does not work.

Thank you for reading. I hope it gives nothing but good to you.


Monday, 23 May 2016

Designing from Narrative

Hello friends,
Today I am going to share one of exercise/assignment in Interior Architectural Design 5 (Term VII / 10 Credits).
You know what, I am trying to remember now, what is the title of this exercise. I think it is something to do with "narrative", like "designing from narrative", I am not sure. Now I give up.
So.. the exercise was like this:
First, we needed to have a book titled "Invisible Cities" by Italo Calvino. The book is about cities, with unique names, unique souls, stories, and personalities. The cities (the cityscape, the people, the life) are told narratively and descriptively.  There is no illustration at all. The writer has such way of writing and words selection which provokes our imagination. It is a very good book and I think you must search and read one (:
We then formed a group of three. My group was me, Wiwit, and Nadiya. What to do next was, selecting one passage (telling one city) out of 100+ passages. The considerations were (1) we had to understand the story, (2) we had to be able to imagine how the city is, (3) since there is no illustration at all, what came up to our mind, like the visualization, must be different each other since we do have different mind and different interpretation. So we chose the city with the most interesting material when it comes to discussion and visualization.
This is the chosen passage: Baucis, page 68
"After a seven days’ march through woodland, the traveler directed toward Baucis cannot see the city and yet he has arrived. The slender stilts that rise from the ground at a great distance from one another and are lost above the clouds support the city. You climb them with ladders. On the ground the inhabitants rarely show themselves: having already everything they need up there, they prefer not to come down. Nothing of the city touches the earth except those long flamingo legs on which it rests and, when the days are sunny, a pierced, angular shadow that falls on the foliage. 
There are three hypotheses about the inhabitants of Baucis: that they hate the earth; that they respect it so much they avoid all contact; that they love it as it was before they existed and with spyglasses and telescopes aimed downward they never tire of examining it, leaf by leaf, stone by stone, ant by ant, contemplating with fascination their own absence."
Now the interesting part:
each of us had to make 3 sketches and 1 model (architectural models) based on the narrative.

Okay now I am sure the title of this exercise is "Designing from Narrative" hahaha

So after discussing over and over, and getting the main idea, we divided our work based on three hypotheses: hate the earth, respect so much they avoid all contact, and love the earth.

I chose the hate because I loved the idea in my mind about the interpretation, and these are my sketches and model.
PS: Sorry for the silly watermark

and this is the full publication on, including my friends sketches and models. If it takes too long to load, or if it doesn't appear on mobile browser, you can also click here.

I hope you like this post. Feel free to comment and share.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

A Photo Essay: "Kampong Life"

Hello again friends, here comes my second post.

On my last term in university, I decided to take Photography Class as one last elective course (3 Credits) to company my journey in writing undergraduate thesis (8 Credits).

One of the reason is that I really don't want to open my laptop, click none other than Ms Word, over and over again until I get sick of words and want to puke all of it.

As an interior architecture student, my previous seven terms were rarely using Ms Word because I did interior architectural design, and Ms Word and the other Ms Office family is definitely not for designing.

Even for creating presentation slide.

We create each slides using Adobe Photoshop and convert them to jpeg file,
like one jpeg file for one slide.

And then, we insert the jpeg files one by one to Ms Power Point.

Is that weird or cool? or just meh?

So, in my previous seven terms, I already got sick of SketchUp, Vray, Rhinoceros (sometimes, but mostly SketchUp), and Adobe Photoshop.

Don't get me wrong; I did enjoy my study, and those programs are AMAZING. Thank you to all of the team that created those amazing programs.

Especially Vray.
I love love love rendering because it is so magical I always want to cry """:

But still, having FIVE design studios (7 Credits, 7 Credits, 9 Credits, 9 Credits, and 10 Credits) with huge number of credits were taking away my life........... so I got sick. I mean "sick". Those studios were deadly "fun". (Oh so paradoxical)

And for the last term, the design studios are all over and suddenly I am required to write an undergraduate thesis.
Just write.
(It's not just writing, though, but you know, all I do is writing).

And I think I am going to miss designing... with all of the love and hate relationship with the process.

So, I took Photography Class which was available, because taking photograph with professional camera, with such knowledge, technique, and concept, is something new to me.
And I love that.
I love learning something new.

And I require to use Adobe Photoshop to layout my photographs (plus the title, captions, metadata) for task submission.

So, yea. I get balance between writing and doing art.
It is a good thing.

I think I have to end this over long introductory words now. I am sorry if it is too long.

This is one of my assignment that I really like. A photo essay, "Kampong" themed.
Kampong is village in Bahasa Indonesia.

A photo essay is an essay, with photographs as the text. The photographs are not mere illustrations for your words. The photographs are the main story teller of the essay. We also need words to explain things that support the essay, but the words are just additional element to the essay. The main element is the photographs.

Here it is.

Feel free to comments down below. I hope you enjoy this post.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Accepting Myself

Hello, you can call me ayugina. I am going to use this blog to share positive things because I feel like the world today, or cyber world, or world in printed and online media, is lack of positive things.

I am going to write this blog in English because I am hoping to reach more audience from all over the world without any language barrier.

First thing first, I am an INFJ.
I am introvert, idealist, perfectionist, sensitive, reactive, and full of judgement.
And it is hard to live the life being me.

It has been years since I write freely in my previous blog (I have taken it down as my private memento so unfortunately you can not visit it anymore).
The blog was the only place I can be true to myself and express everything without worrying people's judgement.

Because people do judge, (me too)
and it is really suck.

I decide to create a new one to have a fresh start.

It becomes worse in this social media era since people can hide behind their device monitors, be anonymous, and then judge, and bully, without having the responsibility of the horrible things they have said or done.

My life is full of judgement, especially in high school. my friends (Are they really my friends?) judged me a lot, without knowing what my real intention was, how my real life was, or attempting to know me better before concluding anything... and that makes high school is one of the worst moment in my life. That also makes me reluctant to go to reunion, or such events, because... it hurts. Even writing this post hurts my feeling so much.

An introvert, idealist, and perfectionist like me doesn't have a good social life.

I do not talk if I do not have anything to say, and it makes everything difficult for making a friend. I can't chit chat, or ask basic questions, or throw a joke, or pretend to laugh. Meeting a new person is a very difficult and awkward moment for me.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

A New Rosebud

As time goes on and on and on, as new skyscrapers are built, as new dawn begins, as new smartphones are invented, as new roses are blooming, as a new book opened, as a new chapter of life begins,

I am ready for a new start.

With warm hugs and roses,