It's hard to say where an idea comes from. Pinpointing the exact moment the little seed is planted in one's brain is nearly impossible. In my experience, it's never just one thing that inspires, but a perfect storm of little things converging over time.
More recently, I began thinking about designing a my own bench. As I talked with my Landscape and Site Planning students during the summer semester I was struck by all the beautiful topography models they create using such a pedestrian material as corrugated cardboard.
I suddenly remembered that Indonesian bench.