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realrich sjarief of raw architecture speaks the power of architectural literacy

when we hear the word “designing”, many of us are often fixated on a portrait of a particular object, structure, or craft worth remembering functionally and aesthetically. however, perhaps also many of us underestimate the power of literacy that brings these very objects to life.this is where realrich sjarief, a former architect at foster & partners, a poetic believer and founder of jakarta-based raw architecture, and principal architect of the famous alpha omega school and the notable omah library – sees how architectural literacy shapes one’s success story. it is a tool that creates a safe haven for one personal’s space – not only to fantasize and imagine what is yet to come, but also to broaden our horizons. sjarief spent most of his life reading and writing architectural literature, emphasizing literacy through craftsmanship, people, and material, which led him to such methodology and philosophy. the story began with his fond childhood memory of accompanying his father to construction sites and with his love for books that gradually turned into a passion for writing and delivering stories through design.

people by shafa diandra

when we hear the word “designing”, many of us are often fixated on a portrait of a particular object, structure, or craft worth remembering functionally and aesthetically. however, perhaps also many of us underestimate the power of literacy that brings these very objects to life.


this is where realrich sjarief, a former architect at foster & partners, a poetic believer and founder of jakarta-based raw architecture, and principal architect of the famous alpha omega school and the notable omah library – sees how architectural literacy shapes one’s success story. it is a tool that creates a safe haven for one personal’s space – not only to fantasize and imagine what is yet to come, but also to broaden our horizons.

sjarief spent most of his life reading and writing architectural literature, emphasizing literacy through craftsmanship, people, and material, which led him to such methodology and philosophy.

the story began with his fond childhood memory of accompanying his father to construction sites and with his love for books that gradually turned into a passion for writing and delivering stories through design.

understanding literacy

when i was working in borneo during the great recession, i read many books and found them to give me all kinds of imaginations and the ability to understand people and settings. so reading became my escape from work and my safe haven.

then when i got accepted to bandung’s institute of technology, i came across a book by norman foster that speaks about curiosity and technology. i was lucky that i got an opportunity to work at fosters and partners and to have many amazing mentors at the start of my career. and it was the tall and narrow library at foster and partners that gave me my passion in architectural literacy, as i saw it becoming a ground for discussions to happen around a great mix of people, works, and beliefs.

it is all about a network of people

for me, architecture literacy is the essence of critical and creative thinking in architecture. it is about creating a network of people to share thoughts and discuss matters.

when we talk about literacy, it isn’t all about written stories, but it needs to be spoken as well. to be literate is not to be cynical. literacy simply means a space, whether a physical space or an imagining community, to understand that the world of knowledge has multiple perspectives – it is very broad. you have to acknowledge that you are part of something greater than you, so it is about the maturity of knowing information and digesting knowledge. 

creating the “ecosystem” in the constantly-changing era 

architectural literacy really helps me out whenever i am stuck in a certain project. reading case studies, theories, history, even rereading my own manuscripts will make us see different methods that remind us to not look into our problem from a single point of view only. reflect – review your work – act differently – and find new things. it truly is a method that broadens one’s horizon, because it is only by experiencing the real and the fantasy world that we can create an extraordinary solution.  

more in the website of Design Story here : https://www.thedesignstory.com/blog/people/realrich-sjarief-of-raw-architecture-speaks-the-power-of-architectural-literacy

and here the recording of the session :

Realrich Sjarief shares about sharpening both creative and critical minds when it comes to practicing, appreciating, and understanding a work of architecture and also about the importance of nurturing micro-communities to encourage learning together.

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read the full article on the design story:
https://www.thedesignstory.com/blog/p…
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Oleh Realrich Sjarief

Founder of RAW Architecture

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