Heart of Pedagogy

courtesy of ARA Studio https://thingswedoinara.wordpress.com
courtesy of ARA Studio https://thingswedoinara.wordpress.com
Last few days, I came to ARA exhibition intimacy. A strange feeling, that I got when I entered their new office which was at that time became the gallery space. Erel, Goya, Iwan asked me to come and share about architectural pedagogy in ARA’s Intimacy exhibition. The question raised in my mind , do we need pedagogy, yes off course we need it, but how to create the good practice to transfer the knowledge between the people to the other people, old to young, practician to academic, academic to practician.
Then, this story began,..
Defry Ardianta as moderator of the discussion
Defry Ardianta as moderator of the discussion

The story started from the breed of two type of pedagogy, one is  empiricist, about learning what is already there, the joint,detail, the approach which was proven and second is rationalist view, creating something new which the solution is fresh, and new. I thought probably we are  all finding a roots for being romantic, empiricist while trying creating ratio for our contemporary practice as in our world, both of the them are paradox when it came to reality. It is normal to be equilibrium, paradox is in the need, knowing true and false is needed to get self criticism, without self criticism there is no heart of pedagogy. This is the first point. To be able to get self critics, we need to be open ,and honest. ARA wanted to be honest by opening their studio, sharing their story, and this intimacy, which means getting close to, is one of their agenda, getting close to creating honest story, honest relationship, honest space of culture sharing and learning. Even there are some notebook consists of communication between principals, contractor to see, to show a high grade of transparency even though the message is not clearly noted, why do we need to see the notebook, is there any something important behind it, what the message is can not easily understood by visitors.

I walked to the entrance,and  seeing the note by Ayos Purwoadji, seeing the agenda, setting the frame to be judged. The exhibition started by a series of projects which was broken, dismantled into several smaller block, people can play the massing to create new composition, then they had research about some of the circulations of the building which is abstract. There was initiative to gather elementary kids to play with their massing to show that architecture is fun. The approach of the exhibition is quite unique, there are interaction between the object becoming the act of playing in the very creative side of the design iteration.

When we started to mold our ground creating the similar understanding, about problem, then discussion happens. The collaborative design, was essentially designed for working in more complex project, the more we have to open to other party, the more we have to collaborate especially to structure, mechanical, quantity surveyor, project management, builders, and at the end the collaborate with peers, assistant as a part of body of the firm. The collaboration is the take and give relationship, the act of speaking and the act of listening. There is paradox to create equilibrium, this exhibition is about creating equilibrium of getting close to by creating the same domain to discuss architecture.

As a part of the graduation, transfer knowledge, there will be camariderie among the collegues, which are normal. leaving good memories of practicing architecture. In the ARA Intimacy Exhibtiion at the end of the room, there are relics, property, things that is colouring designer desk, life, creating memory while they worked in the studio. My question expanded about how is the life of their past staffs, designers, what is the relationship between the principals and each of the staff who has resigned. What is their view about architectural pedagogy.

Then, the question then raised that is it an important exhibition ? then, what it the quality of this exhibition. No doubt, that this exhibition is a milestone in Surabaya for creating good community initiatives which is needed for appreciating architecture, but as a content, it is only touching the surfaces of studio culture, which is like appreciating beauty by enjoyment of creativity, that we, architect still have our own space, the house of the architect, home of creativity, there are no product of architecture showed in the exhibition, there are no plan, no elevation, no section, no information except concept models and relics.

There were more stark, banal problem or I can say basic problem of our profession which is uncovered such as knowledge development the transfer of knowledge between principals and the designers, the standard of the working drawing, the logic and fallacy of the ARA’s design approach or even some data, statistic about type of contract, way of legal administration, number of working hours, how big the salary for junior architect and architect  or even the quantity of project which was not built compared to the project which was built.

Probably it’s a too much request for this exhibition and expectation for ARA and i’m so sorry because i’m getting excited for the fruition of this exhibition, nevertheless It’s was a great starting point, hopefully there will be sequel starting with transparency to uncovered at least basic problem. There are always the alpha or beginning of each process, and this is a brilliant start or I can assume promising start of the good pedagogy starting at the heart of pedagogy, an attitude to be honest with intimacy. Reflecting on ARA’s intimate exhibition, we can be optimistic that in few years, hopefully there will be hearted community and the appreciation to architecture is a way more higher than before.

Oleh Realrich Sjarief

Founder of RAW Architecture

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