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Interview with Realrich Sjarief, Founder of Realrich Architecture Workshop

Design City, “From his firm located on the outskirts of Jakarta, Realrich wants to design buildings that are timeless and break out of the mould. His architecture comes across as honest, simple and grounded in locality which he says is achieved by working closely with regional craftsmen and adopting a minimal local material palette. He belongs to the new breed of architects that is redefining design innovation in building industry and creating a new design language for a new Indonesia.”

From his firm located on the outskirts of Jakarta, Realrich wants to design buildings that are timeless and break out of the mould.

I’ve done interview with Vaibhav Srivastava Editor-in-Chief of Design City Lab. It’s on today, please visit

https://designcitylab.com/post/people/interview-with-realrich-sjarief-founder-of-realrich-architecture-workshop

Here is some discussion in interview summed by Vaibhav,

From his firm located on the outskirts of Jakarta, Realrich wants to design buildings that are timeless and break out of the mould. His architecture comes across as honest, simple and grounded in locality which he says is achieved by working closely with regional craftsmen and adopting a minimal local material palette. He belongs to the new breed of architects that is redefining design innovation in building industry and creating a new design language for a new Indonesia.

I have inspired by may people including Y.B. Mangunwijaya, learning the core of explorations and attitude of practice.

” Vaibhav : Which architects inform and inspire your work?

I took three trips which I refer to as pilgrimages. The first one was to see the work of Alvar Aalto. I find his work amazing because of its simplicity. I really respect him as an architect because he created functional designs with ordinary and low cost materials. Second visit was to see Le Corbusier’s work. He had the ability to make fairly simple architecture, which is at the same time very thought-provoking. Third architect that really inspire me is Carlos Scarpa. Scarpa’s attention to detail is almost unmatched and his attention to the smallest details brings his work to a point of simplicity, where even waste becomes the grammar of the design. The Indonesian figure that inspires me the most is Father Y.B. Mangunwijaya, who is an architect, writer, and philosopher. He taught me how to use local material and encouraged me to keep an attitude of having discussions with craftsmen and produce intellectual process on making.

Here are questions elaborated by him.

  1. Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself and your firm?
  2. How do you reflect on the journey of your firm in last 10 years?
  3. What is the role of form-making in your projects?
  4. What is the role of form-making in your projects?
  5. How do you measure success in your projects?
  6. What are the biggest challenges that you face?
  7. How do you support craftsmen through your work?
  8. Can you see timber and bamboo being widely used in a mega city like Jakarta for construction?
  9. The Alpha Omega project was finished on site in six months. How did you achieve such efficiency on site?
  10. How do you approach sustainability in your work?
  11. Which architects inform and inspire your work?
  12. How does your work in university inform your work as an architect?

These questions are amazing, thought very carefully to bridge a learning, practice, teaching experience. Looking at this experience being interviewed with him, I feel that I need to gather my methodology again, this time more integrated, evaluated. It’s looping process.

“To become an architect, we need to learn how to think, draw and critically evaluate ourselves. In academics there is peer pressure to always keep evolving your design and keep improving. We are always evaluating our work and making sure we are contributing to the discourse around architecture. Teaching helps to keep my practice working, as in a small campus where we all are learning from each other, developing feedback loops.”,

please look at the link above. Thank you Vaibhav for the session of support and I also learn by connecting the discourse that you have. I love to read some of your interview with other people and your article about 2021 pritzker prize, you try to have a thought about what’s beyond form investigating the context of the practice, people, and impact of the project to people’s life.

“To become an architect, we need to learn how to think, draw and critically evaluate ourselves. In academics there is peer pressure to always keep evolving your design and keep improving. We are always evaluating our work and making sure we are contributing to the discourse around architecture. Teaching helps to keep my practice working, as in a small campus where we all are learning from each other, developing feedback loops.”,

Oleh Realrich Sjarief

Founder of RAW Architecture

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