Bujur Sangkar: The Art of Grid Design in Indonesian Culture

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Have you ever wondered why certain patterns are so visually pleasing and symmetrical? One such pattern that has captivated artists and designers for centuries is the “bujur sangkar.” Derived from the Indonesian language, bujur sangkar translates to “square grid” in English. This unique geometric design has a rich history and plays a significant role in Indonesian culture. In this article, we will explore the depth and intricacies of bujur sangkar, diving into its origins, symbolism, and its relevance in contemporary design.

Origins of Bujur Sangkar

The origins of bujur sangkar can be traced back to ancient Indonesia, where it was predominantly used in batik textiles and traditional motifs. The design consists of a series of intersecting perpendicular lines forming perfect squares. These squares can vary in size, creating a visually dynamic and harmonious composition.

Indonesian artisans, with their impeccable craftsmanship, meticulously hand-drew each line to ensure the proportions were precise and the overall pattern was visually balanced. This attention to detail demonstrated the commitment to creating art that reflected both beauty and harmony in Indonesian culture.

The Symbolism of Bujur Sangkar

Bujur sangkar holds deep symbolism in Indonesian culture, representing unity, balance, and harmony. The grid’s intersecting lines are said to symbolize the interconnectedness of different aspects of life and the order within the universe.

Furthermore, the squares created by the grid represent stability and structure. Just like a well-built foundation, bujur sangkar provides a sense of grounding and organization to the designs it adorns.

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Application in Indonesian Design

Bujur sangkar has transcended its origins in textiles and has made its way into various forms of Indonesian design. From architecture to graphic design, this grid pattern has become a staple in the visual language of Indonesia.

In architecture, for example, bujur sangkar has been applied to the facade of buildings, creating a visually striking and harmonious composition. The grid’s regularity and symmetry lend a sense of order to the overall design, adding a touch of elegance to the architecture.

Graphic designers have also embraced bujur sangkar as a versatile tool. By incorporating the grid into their designs, they achieve balance, structure, and readability. The precise alignment of elements within the grid enhances visual coherence, ensuring that the design effectively communicates its intended message.

Bujur Sangkar in Contemporary Design

While rooted in tradition, bujur sangkar continues to inspire contemporary designers. Its timeless appeal and versatility make it a popular choice for artists and creators alike.

In the realm of interior design, bujur sangkar can be found in various decorative elements such as tiles, wallpapers, and textiles. Its application adds a touch of Indonesian heritage, bringing warmth and cultural depth to any space.

In the digital age, bujur sangkar has not been left behind. Web designers have embraced the grid as a powerful tool for creating visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces. By following the grid’s structure, designers can organize content, maintain consistency, and enhance user experience.


Bujur sangkar, the art of grid design in Indonesian culture, is a testament to the rich history and artistic tradition of Indonesia. This geometric pattern not only pleases the eye but also holds deep symbolism and represents the interconnectedness of life. From ancient textiles to contemporary design, bujur sangkar continues to captivate and inspire artists, architects, and designers worldwide. Its timeless appeal and versatility make it an enduring symbol of Indonesian artistry.

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About the Author: Sonya Paramitha