Loving Architecture like crazy

I got one email from Itenas students about invitation to do lecture in enterpreneurship in architecture. In the brief, the lecture will be about how to make an architecture business. Not so long, 3 days ago, fellow architects came to my home, Rubi, Dani, Carolina. Rubi has research about enterpreneurship in architecture. The hypothesis is that there are many good architects, but some of them can not survive, or maintaining sustainable design firm. he said he wanted to create community like OMAH for enterpreneurship in architecture, what is why he came to interview, and asked questions, I would say it’s discussion rather than interview, which is like two way. Deep in my mind, i was curious, why always the topics about this, it’s actualy topic which is pretty basic, topic to surviving as architect. But that is okay, let’s talk about it.

Thinking about that topic. There are many topics, or issues, or discussions about how to start being an architect, how to make a design firm, how to do enterpreneurship in architecture. This short article discussed about origins of enterpreneurship and how it links with architecture.

First of all, I was curious, what is the meaning of enterpreneurship. The meaning of enterpreneurship is generally to connect with opportunity by creating professional code and conduct toward best product. if one say, I am good designer, how can I have clients, how can I have network, how can I have jobs, how can I structurize my firm.

There are two types of paradigm toward this definition, it’s up to you which one fits to your character. The first one, I say it’s extrovert way, the media, the business, the product, rational way. It’s about using opportunity from the media, it’s about the power, prestige, and wealth.

I discussed the condition of profession in Indonesia few months ago, I did a small research comparing indonesian practice and United States.

Dalam tabel standar biaya konsultan inkindo 2015 – Disdik DKI Jakarta, terdapat daftar untuk spesifikasi tenaga ahli dengan spesialisasi tertentu [1]. Spesialisasi tertentu ini mengacu ke perancangan gedung dengan kompleksitas tinggi seperti bangunan tinggi, pembangkit listrik, jembatan, dll. Uniknya dan anehnya, di dalam tabel ini tidak terdapat profesi arsitek, sedangkan disebutkan ahli mekanikal elektrikal, teknik lingkungan, teknik sipik, Geoteknik, Geologi. Memang di dalam lampiran tersebut terdapat kata – kata “dan lain – lain” namun disinilah tersirat bahwa, apakah profesi arsitek ini hadir dalam lingkungan jasa konsultan Indonesia. Jawabannya pasti iya, hadir, namun keberpihakan untuk arsitek patut untuk diperjuangkan karena tiga hal penting:

pertama arsitek berfungsi untuk melakukan efisiensi anggaran, dengan optimasi terhadap massa bangunan, luas bangunan, layout ruang, menentukan titik kolom struktur, menentukan jarak sisa untuk saluran mekanikal elektrikal dan pemipaan, dan optimasi penggunaan material. Kedua, arsitek berfungsi untuk mempercepat masa konstruksi bangunan dengan mempertimbangkan cara bangunan tersebut dikonstruksi, ketiga, arsitek bertanggung jawab terhadap tata ruang, dan perijinan bangunan tersebut untuk mendapatkan ijin mendirikan bangunan, yang bisa dipertanggung jawabkan keamanan, kenyamanan berdasarkan good practice, ataupun Standar Nasional Indonesia, ataupun timesaver, neufert data handbook, building metric handbook, ataupun standar – standar lain yang bisa diargumentasikan seperti standar pengamanan terhadap bocornya air, standar pengolahan minyak atau limbah, standar pengolahan air kotor, dan standar penyediaan air bersih dan sambungan antar detail yang mencegah angin, air, ataupun pandangan, terkait dengan privasi pengguna. Sedemikian mengerikannya apabila satu bangunan tidak didesain dengan benar, apalagi bangunan dengan kompleksitas tinggi yang akan digunakan oleh klien dan penggunanya. Kita patut bertanya – tanya, standar seperti apa yang digunakan. Apalagi ditambah apabila kita bertanya – tanya tentang penghargaan sebuah ide – ide dari satu bangunan. Mungkin keadaan ini masih jauh Panggang Dari Api atau kenyataan tidak sesuai harapan.

Professor Danisworo dalam kuliahnya di Omah library, menjelaskan bahwa standar fee untuk arsitek dari tahun ke tahun berkurang dari jaman ia merintis praktek Encona, dahulu pada waktu ia mengerjakan desain bandara udara Halim, uang imbalan balas jasa bersih yang didapat oleh kantor, bisa digunakan untuk membeli satu buah tanah berikut rumah yang besar, di daerah sumur bandung tempat kantor Encona beroperasi. Dari fee yang didapatkan sekarang dibandingkan biaya hidup yang ada, kompetisi yang ada, penghargaan yang ada harus membuat para arsitek menjadi perlu kreatif dalam mensiasati keadaan [2]. Keadaan yang dijelaskan professor Danisworo Hal ini berkebalikan dengan keadaan arsitek – arsitek luar yang masuk ke Indonesia dengan menerapkan fee 10 % – 20 % lebih tinggi dari fee arsitek di negara asalnya, memang disinilah peran marketting, pembentukan branding dan pada akhirnya kualitas menjadi penting. Bahwa adanya kualitas pranata yang mendukung, yang belum membuat profesi arsitek ini tumbuh subur, dan makin kuat. Arsitek Indonesia perlu berjuang dalam keterbatasan.

It’s this way, Peter Piven wrote in book titled starting design firm wrote about 3 types of design firm, the first is, strong idea firm, second, is strong service firm, and the third is strong production firm. Knowing this category will help you to understand the nature of architect. The strong idea is based on one master to give you guidance, and the second is pretty straight forward which sometimes can be seen in hospitality design when we work with a team which service the team of operators, owners, and technicals. The third is treating architect as production factory.

The second type, it’s about using introvert way. Believing for your genious, training yourself hard for passing through 3 stages of mastery: knowing your expedients, practicing your alchemy, and doing your experiments. Antoni Gaudi, Maclaine Pont, and Carlo Scarpa are the three my favourite architects. I kept looking for pilgrimage for their works, and they are the closest way of role model in my heart looking at their process through time with persistance and their design is absolutely beautiful. in this second type, architecture is like doing kisses, hugs, and doing a dharma for your life. It’s more ethical while the driving point is more introvert. or may be this second type is formed when the first type is understood as a basic need, and the second is a way about perfection in mastering product of your works. So what is the importance knowing this ?

I remember reading one passage written by Robi Sularto, that ” architecture is a dharma, not merely a profession.” this words, was carved in my thoughts since then. I actually am quite sad looking the condition in Indonesia while the architects is not appreciated and the architects are not sensitive enough to serve society but it’s common because architects are still surviving through time. I reflect to myself as well, when daily, we are struggling to get the job done, invoice done, and advancing the mastery of our skills. It’s three way of juggling. The way of juggling explained by Deyan Sujic in Biography of Norman Foster by basically, knowing your limit, focussing on your competence, and building great people around you. what I found that enterpreneurship is about to serve others through design eventhough it’s simple project. Serving other like serving yourself, loving architecture like crazy through best attitude and learning so much as you can perfecting your mastery, preparation, preparation , preparation, it’s hardwork !

The Guild – our temple, our design headquarter at meruya, West Jakarta.

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[1]http://www.simpel.lpse.kemenkeu.go.id/uploadFile/media/51_billing_rate_inkindo_2015%20(1).pdf

[2] professor Danisworo, dalam lecture di Omah Library

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