The Leverage is much higher

Singapore, 031215. “Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” –Patrick Lencioni

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I was curious about what is inside National Gallery of Singapore what makes it great, in term of process and product of its piece.

Yesterday, Scott, Miftah, and Tatyana had survey site to National Gallery of Singapore with me . It was the opening day for the National Gallery of Singapore. It is the fruition of 8 years hard-work. I’m sure they are excited with the meeting. It just turned out, that the meeting was fabulous, more than it was expected. We are meeting with probably one of the smartest team in gallery design in the world.

In meeting there were people who in charge with the building of National Gallery of Singapore, Director : Sushma Goh, advisor from Studio Milou who is Gallery expert : Guillaume Levy-Lambert, Senior Associate from Studio Milou : Wenmin Ho, the one from CPG (I will update his name after asking Scott), Curator : Lisa Horikawa, and few other people . We have our head of the gallery, pak Tubagus Andri, Arya Abieta, Bayu Genia, Afrina, and our currator Citra. The scheme of the National Gallery of Singapore is intimately exercised from the initial process of forming the brief with the function brief consultant in almost a year to just think about the brief. The competition shortlisted 5 more finalist, and selected 3 more detailed scheme to be exercised. Studio muele in joint collaboration with CPG won the design.

The design consists of 3 main design intentions. First, digging, excavating the land to open access to one to another building to extend the exhibition space at ground, 1st floor, 2nd floor. Second, creating open layout space at the roof top. Third, the create structure solution to strengthen roof, whole floors which needed to be taken all before rebuilding new floor plate. This whole process took out all of the floor plate except the city hall area, left the facade, and rebuilding it again. I was astonished by all of the effort, and the humongous data that the have gathered and exercised in this building. The process, I am sure the bitter part, need lot of effort and time, but the result is sweet, and that can be experienced by Singapore people. It’s pride of nation which can be leveraged to louvre and British Museum.

Now, looking on by what we have in National Gallery of Indonesia. We won the prize 2 years ago. We have so much things to do, to prepare which is convincing people, and having right attitude, and confidence in one of the most difficult part which we need extra effort to push, to check list, sometimes we do it in our free time, little expenditures. Comparing to 500 million of Singapore dollar that they spent on this museum project, our project is 1/10 of their budget, but I think even tough budget is important, It’s not everything. The data of the National Gallery of Singapore has collected is worth much to value of the bit.

It’s a critical process for evaluating the National Gallery of Singapore process, and looking for what we have, the expenditures, the environment, the process, the realisation, the technology might be different. The nature is different, that is why the design which need to solve this bit of process need to be very responsive in all of the stages. We really need to form a integrated team, to shape our own Indonesia’s national gallery. This humongous process of the iterations converges again in this trip.

What I love is the way that Sushma explained the brief, and the realisation of the project somehow recalled what I saw in Scarpa’s work. It’s intimately telling story about how things made, and the detail, the gab between joint, was exercised. The way that they protected, preserved the old artefacts, previous settings in city hall, the library, the wood finishes, the sloping of the ram, the detail, lamp fitting, the air conditioning ducting, the design of the grill, the skylight which open beautiful light to the sky was appreciated deeply by me.

After the meeting,
in the evening We chilled out at Marina Barrage after the meeting.
I looked at the sky,
and thinking all of the possibility,
The benchmark.
I thought that
the leverage is much higher now.

I miss my family again :)
today Rofi is having birthday, we are going to celebrate it in the studio.

credit to the National Gallery of Singapore picture to Tatyana Kusumo

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I miss them :)

It is my first time to take trip to Cilacap for seeing project with Rio after birth of Miracle. we will spend 2 days 1 night trip for 14 hours in train, I left miracle and Laurensia. I missed them, I am looking forward to see them again.


Realrich is invited as speaker on CreativeMornings Jakarta

For this November’s “Work”, CreativeMornings Jakarta presents: Realrich Sjarief.

Realrich Sjarief is the principal architect of RAW Architecture, a leading Indonesia’s architecture firm based in Jakarta. He received his bachelor degree in architecture from Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia (2005). He was in the family of skilled builder from Borneo and tutored under his father, later continued his family legacy in building craftmanship.

He has gained 10 years of post qualification experience ever since. Prior to establish RAW Architecture in 2011, he worked for Foster and Partners in London, and several firms before. Aside from his daily work of practicing architecture, he is also a visiting lecturer for some university, and also a contributor for some architecture and lifestyle magazine in Indonesia. Currently he is leading OMAH Architecture Library, a private library which focusing on development of young people. He shared his office’s small summer pavilion for restless spirits as a hope for future architects.

‪#‎CreativeMornings‬ ‪#‎CMJKT‬ ‪#‎CMwork‬


The Strange Library

here is our strange library, OMAH. These are 4 kids standing from the crowd who helped me in OMAH. Honestly I’m just doing this for fun, and willing to help the young generations, and myself to understand architecture in deeper layer, the under layer within one architecture.

This library is strange library, but it’s not like a story of strange library in Haruki Murakami’s book which is The story of a lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plotting their escape from a nightmarish library, OMAH is paradox from haruki’s story, it’s a hope for better architecture work in the future. GO restless spirit !!!



Allegory in Architecture

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“Frank, why you design your house like this ?”
“because I like it”
“so you don’t like my project”
“I don’t like it”
“so why you worked on that project”
“because I did it for living”
“you shouldn’t do that then”
“yes, I won’t do that anymore”

that was a concise transcript from the interview of Frank Gehry, in a book by Barbara Isenberg. After that situation, the client left Gehry, and Gehry was terrified for his future, how he would pay his staff without his client. He had difficulty to explain his ideals to the clients, and the clients did not value his design approach. It turned out that Gehry was okay, and the client was okay. Gehry finaly built, Bilbao, and finaly he designed Louis Vuitton Foundation. The client was even more successful, it was happy ending story.

I have another story in just past month.

“The design of the building is below my criteria, this is not sustainable building.”

One time, one man who was the coordinator said it in my first meeting with him . At that time, I was wondering why did he said that, did he know the design intent from the beginning ? did he know the value that was extracted during meeting with clients ? I was angry and argued, that the building is sustainable, and we have got the design approach right from the beginning.

after our explanation, he just noticed that he didn’t get the latest drawing done by us, what he got is the latest drawing done by the previous consultant. I was angry and sounded quite hard, because of the judgement from him without further analysis. I think this is always happened, to get the judgement by its cover. This is problem when people has difficulty to know architect’s intent. I felt sorry because I kind of angry and the situation was not to comfortable for both of us.

Louis Kahn contemplated a romantic picture when he designed the Salk Insitute in California. Scientist would walk up and down between the laboratory building and the plazal the would engage in heated debates about the problems of the world; they would pause to “chalk an equation or draw a diagram” on the slabs of slate that Kahn had placed there for their convenienve. But as Arthur Danto has observed that no bodey was ever there nobode but architectural touris. Kahn was almost hopeless in his romanticicsm, hoped people would rist the the architecture but rarely did or do. [1]

Ironically in architecture without architects, Rudofsky discussed that architecture is not made or designed by individuals or groups intentionally to produce meaning. It happens in Parc de la villete in Paris that the meaning is understandable only if people, through text and narrative know how is understandable by public. This is our home work to explain our idea to the other people other than architect. After that the narrative will come alive as what it was designed. If we have enough experience, the allegory will be decreased if we are more sensitive,of maybe even increased if we lack of information, and disrespect to the other.

The last part is all about alchemy with other people, which proves that my experience with the project management is a process to face other, to explain the architecture, to be patience with the gab of knowledge, to be patience with the judgement, because sometimes it’s just happen in the wrong timing, and wrong place, made by future friends, a fragment of happy ending. I just remember piece by Jaya Suprana played by Priscilla Yosephanie. The title of the piece is Fragmen.

[1] Danto, Arthur. Philosophizing Art : Selected Essays, Berkeley : University of California Press.
[2] Rudofsky, Bernard, Architecture without architect.



He was born on thursday 5 th November 2015. His born is one miracle for our small little family and bigger family of Laurensia’s and Me. I was very happy for this, has been smiling in my action. I think something is different, it’s like having support and energy everyday. It kept us smiling and grateful of all of the blessings in life.
Richard Templar stated that In this life we seek for meaning of life. Observing life in general , people very broadly seem to fall into two main camps : those who seem to have mastered the knack of successful living and those who still find it all a bit of a struggle. He observed the secret of successful living, he said some things we do will make us unhappy and some things we choose to do will make us happier. He divided the rules of life into five areas – us, our partner, our family, our social circle (including work and friends ) and lastly the world. he wrote number of rules, there are 2 rules of 100 rules that made miraclerich is such a contentment for life, and stating our rule as parent to nurture him.

The first one is contentment is a high aim and the second one is the role as a parent.

The first rule showed that the happiness is such an illusory thing that spending too much time chasing it is not very worthwhile. Happiness is one end of a spectrum – misery being the other end. Templar then stated that there will be excitement of birth of a child, relief at a successful birth, but not sure about happiness after that. The most important thing is he said, “fireworks, butterflies, unbelievable feelings. It’s brilliant. It’s extreme. But that intensity can’t and won’t last. You have to go back to reality sometime…. Contentment is what you hope for after the elation has worn off and you settle back into a relaxed and happy simplicity. In fact, contentment is the worthier aim, because it lasts… if you find you are with somebody where there is no big firework display, palpitations and extreme of feelings but there is a baseline contentment and warmth and love – be happy with that.”

The second rule showed that what our duty as a parent. That we have to make sure they eat the best food, best education, developed their own best interest not the one we are keen on, set boundaries what the can and can’t do with acceptable level of discipline. We should provide safe haven, no matter how much trouble they’ve got themselves into in the big bad world outside. We should be firm ,loving, sharing, caring and responsible. We will stand up for them, protect them and keep them safe. We will stretch their imaginations, and feed them with stimuli, so they are excited about the world, finaly templar said,

“You will approve of them, boost their self – esteem, improve their confidence, … and when the time comes for them to leave the nest, you will help them pack and keep giving that support while they find their feet (or should that be wings ?).

not much then really.”

Miracle is easy to care by us, he is quiet even when he pee, poo. He cries only when he is hungry other than that he faced our face with his little eyes, and stayed silent, sometimes smiled. He reminded me of Laurensia, his calm, and perseverance attitude. Me and Laurensia said to him, “Son if you have problem, please let us know, we will help you, don’t stay silent.”

Look at the trees, evergreen, its branches stick to each other. If there is tree standing alone, its branch usually fall down easily during rain, snow, or hard season. We are not different than the trees, when bad thing comes sooner than we expected in this life. We need support from others to keep standing. There is one poet from anonymous. The title is Foot Steps,

Walk a Little Slower, Daddy, Mommy

“Walk a little slower Daddy, Mommy” said a child so small,
“I’m following in your footsteps and I don’t want to fall.

Sometimes your steps are very fast,
Sometimes they’re hard to see;
So walk a little slower, Daddy, Mommy,
For you are leading me.

Someday when I’m all grown up,
You’re what I want to be;
Then I will have a little child
Who’ll want to follow me.

And I would want to lead just right,
And know that I was true,
So walk a little slower, Daddy, Mommy,
For I must follow you.”

Miracle, Laurensia, and me will walk a little slower, but no need to follow us, world is waiting for you, we are still here :) My world is changing now, I do many smile all of the time,  Laurensia keep smiling all of the time. It’s all because this miracle. Just like my friend, Kolael said “It is now new life for you. Wish it will be field with joy and happiness”

[1] Templar, Richard. The Rules of Life.
[2] Van Ekeren, Glenn. 12 little secret towards happy life


An Article titled My Garden of Dreams and Memories written by Realrich Sjarief is published by Baccarat Indonesia



Do many smiles


She was smiling, laughing. Tommorow is our big day. I knew she was scared of the cesarian, hoping everybody would be all right, thinking the bad thing, what might happen. She is sleeping right now, I feel more relaxed but I still could not sleep until now, 2.30 am.

Edhie said, “Tommorow you are going to be a father, do many smiles”. I smiled looking his text to me while we were discussing about his house, the skylight, how the skylight will lighten statue of Virgin Mary. I knew him since 3 years ago, suddenly we met in one time, talking and discussing about how warmth one house should be, he is like my family, full of warmth and compassion to the  people around him, his aura is positive, hoping the great for future of his family, friends. 

After Hearing him, I just noticed that I have been quite nervous, seldom smile, and bitter, to feel afraid of many things which is unsure.  I tried to cover with smile which was covering sadness. I was dishonest about my self. I am looking for my light, in the abyss, dragging myself deep to nowhere, until just last night, Laurensia sent me the story about red the little reminded us about cherry. how she has been crying all of the time.  Here is the story

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I love you, Laurensia, Miracle, Cherry. Thank you Edhie, I will do many smiles. :) thank u for the pray.



Men at Work

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” -Theodore Roosevelt

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There was one competition of high rise building,  we tried to push new ideas, spending time quite a bit to solve the planning. We proposed about having integrated atrium connecting office, meeting, and public space on one linear space connected by building facing north to south and respecting the scale and treatment of the heritage building adjacent. We did several workshop, testing bits pieces,  in order to learn much from this project.

Personally I really don’t care about winning or losing this project, there were 3 things in my mind working on this competition : First, to test the strength of process and production of our current team right now, Is the chemistry and coordination strong enough ? . Second, is to have fulfilment session to address the people in the studio, trying to appreciate their time and idea. The third, is to commit myself that this is great learning curve, and obviously we do, I really do learn in this project, for the calculation of the energy in the building, the execution of ideas, and the most difficult part, how to make the design work in terms of operational. In this third idea, the learning curve is exercised, and we need to be confident that our process were great.

In many design exercises, people tend to ask for answers. I really believe dan there are hunger of explorations in the most creative people. This creative people, whom I called them restless spirits, tend to be more cooperative, less – self centred and more willing to help other people. I tried to help them grow, nurturing their ideas. Facing all of the people in the studio, looking at the effort, reminded me of Gretchen Rubin when she asked, what did I do in our spare time ? She found that her co clerks at the supreme court : they read law journals for fun, they talked about cases during their lunch hours, they felt energised by their efforts. They showed enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is more important to mastery than innate ability, it turns out because the single most important element in developing an expertise is your willingness to practise, you’re better off pursuing a profession that comes easily and that you love because that’s where you will be more eager to practice and thereby ear a competitive advantage. I really enjoy the fun of failure. Let’s not afraid to fail.

Many people worked very hard, I looked at them on 5 a.m in the morning, everybody were very tired, and was sleeping. I felt a sleep quite bit of times at desk, sleeping- waking in the need to wake up and did the model for the development. In my mind, I remember few years back, when me and Iyok, were at the studio of DP Architect in Singapore, just both of us, turning off the lights of the studio. 

Actually, I felt guilty to have people staying this late in the office. Suddenly the face of one of the Rimba popped up in my messenger, and telling about how grateful he was, and how much he learnt in this project, and willing to push more.
I have been so fortunate to be accompany with all of beautiful people in RAW studio, there are two things matter most, first who are willing to try premise by premise, testing it, sometimes right and sometimes wrong. let the process flow. I thanked all of these efforts. Second, I looked at the product, and felt very happy with the result, and will give my best thoughts, ideas, to give the best appreciations to their efforts in this moment, this time. It’s commitment to appreciate the process.

[1] Rubin, Gretchen. The Happiness Project.
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