Curriculum Vitae | Riwayat Hidup

Realrich Sjarief | Long Life Learning

I am just an ordinary person who likes to design, write, doing experimentation. I love to explore and meet many great people who are my inspirations. I live in Jakarta and Bandung, city and rural, in a beautiful country Indonesia. I believe that architecture can change people’s lives, human life. I came from a builder’s family. My family is a builder from a small city, my grandfather was from Samarinda, and my father was born in Lampung.

I was born in Surabaya, moved to Bali, Jakarta. Finally, I did my undergraduate studies at the Institute Technology of Bandung which I graduated in 2005, then worked for Urbane Indonesia, DP Architects, and Foster and Partners in London. I worked for many competitions when I was a fresh graduate, and sometimes I won, many times I lost. I continued my master’s in Urban Design Development at UNSW Sydney. I traveled to many countries, working on many projects to form my initial years.

In 2011, I started my office in the garage, we won several competitions, and some got built. We got several commissions, and some of them got made. Some of the build works earned nominations and winning some of them. Then, I realized that my grandfather and my father left a legacy in craftsmen’s hearts. I started to realize that there was something about the craftsmanship in the family. And I need to take care of the value. It’s a revelation of life.

My family has been a builder for three generations, 60 years of practice since Indonesia’s independence. At that time, the practice has no name. The relationship between the supervisors and laborers was intimate and personal to service some clients. The practice is well known for trust, quality, and its authentic design innovation in the mastery of building construction in Indonesia. 

Realrich Architecture Workshop | RAW Architecture revived the idea of harmonic relationship between the craftsman, designer, people, and buildings as a whole. The projects and the studio culture has become the manifestation of this belief. I put my heart into critical and creative thinking, trying to reflect what’s the best possible way to optimize the world of design.

I like to write several books with my friends, co-author, and Omah Library team. I found Omah Library as a part of the studio to bring discourse of theory and case study in public discussions and give discourse for Indonesian Architecture. There are some of publications that I put below, please have a look at it.

The studio is active in designing specific approach building that is interested in locality and craftmanship to define an architecture that is simple, humble, no pretension, and has a simple quality of transcendence. The design approach is that every building developed wholeheartedly will create a timeless, surreal, and mastery quality in its simplest form, most straightforward process with multiple perspectives.  

The achievement that I got was the collective effort from people around me. There are awards, publications, and lectures below that become our legacy that I am proud of and grateful for our current state.

In 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, Dezeen nominated Realrich Architecture Workshop as the world emerging architect in Long listed Dezeen award and won high commendation on the Alfa Omega project.

In 2018 and 2019 Recently Alfa Omega was nominated for two prestigious awards, World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam and Fibre Award led by Laetitia Fontaine and Dominique Gauzin-Muller. In 2021, Terra Fibre Award and architizer + Award also sets the Piyandeling Artisan workshop as one of its finalists.

INDE Asia pacific design award also nominated the Guha project in its influence in 2020 and the studio as its finalist category in 2021 and 2020. In 2012, RAW Architecture’s work, Bare Minimalist, was nominated for the Indonesian Institute of Architects Jakarta Award. In 2015, the Indonesian Institute of Architects Jakarta set for the first time, National Gallery of Indonesia for the Recognition Award category. Indonesian Institute of Architects Jakarta nominated Akanaka as a finalist in IAI Jakarta Award 2017, and Omah Library won the Indonesian Institute of Architects Jakarta Award 2017. Recently The studio won IAI Jakarta Award 2020 for the Alfa Omega school.

I also taught at several universities as adjunct professors or guest lecturers and did sharings or lectures on several occasions. I learn that to learn is to teach. To be a long-life learner is what makes me happy. Below is the picture of me and my team, I wish you happy life and can enjoy beautiful architecture around you.

You can download my picture here :

Profile B/W – drive

Long Learner Life

I am just an ordinary person who likes to design, write, doing experimentation. I love to explore and meet many great people who are my inspirations. I live in Jakarta and Bandung, city and rural, in a beautiful country Indonesia. I believe that architecture can change people’s lives, human life.

Realrich Sjarief

Realrich Architecture Workshop

Aries Utama H4 | A
West Jakarta

Responsible for the content:
Realrich Sjarief

Ahkamal Hakim, Eric Dinardi, Ernest Theofilus,
Jeffrey Hardianto, Ifran Nurdin

2021 Realrich Sjarief

Awards | Penghargaan

Shortlisted Dezeen Award 2022 for Piyandeling

Kategori pedesaan adalah kategori dalam Dezeen yang terdiri dari beberapa proyek rumah yang biasanya terletak di daerah terpencil yang kepadatannya lebih sedikit. Di Piyandeling, Lokasi…


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Press | Publikasi

Stupa House featured on designboom

Stupa House featured on designboom Cited from website: “RAW architecture crowns Indonesian house with six tapered skylights. RAW architecture brings peculiarity to the alam sutera…


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Talks | Seminar

Pengembangan Keprofesian Arsitek III

Melihat praktik arsitektur sekarang ini, dimana kesadaran saya sendiri juga mulai sudah saya pertanyakan, sejauh mana saya sadar, mau bergerak, dan kemudian menebar benih -…

The Purpose of Architecture Philosophy

Saya diminta oleh Unika Soegijapranata untuk membawakan materi “Peran Filsafat di dalam desain” untuk para mahasiswa. Kemudian saya sendiri banyak bertanya – tanya apa arti/peran…


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Book Writing | Long Life Learner

Writing and Reading book is about to know, and understand somebody’s heart. I read books as my daily routines, I learn from it, getting ideas, and It become my light or inspirations on my weekly routines. It’s place for me to learn that world of idea has unlimited boundaries.

I learn to write since I was in highschool. It become medium for me to reflect, evalute, and even transform my thinking to place that I never been there before. I started to know that in order to learn, I have to read, and I have to make notes. That notes become profound, then the notes become theory of architecture, some of it drive from fantasy, very personal. For me, writing is the personalisation of architecture.

I wrote books with several co-authors. I love to write alone or collaborate with a co-author. I learned that writing actually reflects on my life and respects other people’s perspectives during my lonely time. When I have an idea for changing perspective, I wrote that it’s far from the idea to show something. But, writing is a transformation of progress. What I love is that in writing, I can show the fragility of my self in unlimited phantasy, imaginations and defined realities as unlimited boundaries. I love to challenge myself by setting the boundaries, and crossing the boundaries. Writings create value by understanding, and questioning what’s fundamental. We can’t understand fundamental thing if we are not being human

Some of the book that I wrote inspired by session in the class with my students. I enjoy practicing and teaching students and learning from them. The session with the students is actually challenging three-way pedagogy. Three-way pedagogy is the intersubjectivity of them, me and one object that we are discussing. The interactions in the class brings memorable discussions. This brings the concept of Guha, the Guha is a cave, a place for learning. I learn by mistakes, by experimentation, be perfecting the skill. And the most fundamental thing is, if you want to learn, you need to teach.

Book Writings

Writing and Reading book is about to know, and understand somebody’s heart. I read books as my daily routines, I learn from it, getting ideas, and It become my light or inspirations on my weekly routines. It’s place for me to learn that world of idea has unlimited boundaries.

Book 01

The Guild

The first book is The Guild (2018). The book uncovered why The Guild is an introverted architecture. It was designed when you look at it, it’s introvert but when you enter it, it’s full of possibilities. It’s open-ended and explosive transformations. In this book, I wrote the book collaboratively with Anas Hidayat while Bangkit Mandela help us to edit the book intensively. Anas Hidayat wrote an essay about how The Guild consists of ambiguity, the paradoxes, the transformation of many trial and errors. The book concluded that, in The Guild, the people’s character, design, and clients are shown in its architecture, to acknowledge that architecture is so fragile yet so powerful.

Book 02

Architecture Philosophy for students

The second book is Architecture Philosophy for students (2018). That book was based on a class that I taught on several occasions in UPH and Omah Library. The course is divided into quizzes and worksheets to get to know yourself. Then, I continued with discussing Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Gadamer, Heidegger, Foucault, Wittgenstein, Sokal, and so many exciting thoughts that form avant-garde, contemporary, and vernacular architecture.

Book 03

Tan Tjiang Ay – Begawan Tjiptaning

The third book is titled Tan Tjiang Ay – Begawan Tjiptaning (2019). A book that I wrote with Anas Hidayat. The term Of Begawan Tjiptaning or Arjuna was used in the book to describe the strength of Tan Tjiang Ay of function in his method of design. He worked precisely to execute detail based on position. The form is platonic and ordinary, but the active parti is spoken by the precision of maintenance, economy, and ease of make. His work is an inspiration for several generations.

Book 04

Dancer House

The fourth book is Dancer House (2019). I wrote the book again with Anas Hidayat about the home of Mirza and Adhisty Kampono. In this home, I designed a combination of bio and culture philia language with concrete as structure. This work brings the philosophy that architects have souls. It nurtures the people, souls, inside.

Book 05

Architecture Theory for Students

The fifth book is Architecture Theory for Students (2019). This book was based on my teaching in several universities about architecture theory.  It started with the nature of architecture theory which is fluid, complex, and beyond the form. It created an understanding with limitations on itself, that the idea was fragile and humane. The teaching includes: Archetypes, Urban Design, Development of substantive and normative theory, and Developing Extreme Anxiety for students.

Book 06

Becoming an Architect

The sixth book is Becoming an Architect (2019). It is a book that was based on my teaching in a class about profession. The book actually studies the progression of understanding the profession, including the difference with vocation. The profession of the architect must nurture knowledge and generation. It defines the distance and natural learning process of an architect. It’s continued by discussing the nature of architects and other disciplines such as design specialists (landscape, interior, lighting), engineers, management construction, contractor, builders, and clients. It also has relationships with the government and site. 

Book 07

Gunawan Tjahjono – Maharshi Bisma

The seventh book is Gunawan Tjahjono – Maharshi Bisma (2019). This book was result from my collaboration with Anas Hidayat about Gunawan Tjahjono, a profound professor, teacher, father for many prominent Indonesian Architects. He was well known for his critical, creative thinking pedagogy that was taught directly by Texas Ranger’s predecessor, Charles Moore. This pedagogy challenges the traditionalist technical mind view and deconstructs the mindset of questioning the free form based on the individual gesture. His perspective was changing from personalization to the GAIA approach. Tjahjono experience shows a rich, complex postcolonial personal response such as questioning and educating discourse in the Indonesian architecture pedagogy.

Book 08

Tectogram – Tectonic Grammar

The eighth book is Tectonic Grammar (2019), which I also wrote with Anas Hidayat. He wrote an essay about archeological architecture, shown in Realrich Architecture Workshop works. The writing brought me the idea of assembly language, the thinking of 9 materials brings grammar in the making. The materials are stone, concrete, metal, gypsum, plastic, wood, and bambo. Eventually, the tectonics become grammars. This book is interesting because, the diagrams is documented after the creating process finished. The diagram is combined with the construction photo progress, and finished photo progress. It’s actually the post evaluation diagram which is used to elaborate more details in the further experimentations.

Book 09

Fee – Creating a healthy ecosystem

The ninth book is Fee, creating a healthy ecosystem (2019). I wrote the book with Johannes Adiyanto. He wrote an essay about the philosophy of profession, the 3 categories of different architects from I to them, I to us or only them. I described the discourse of Fee in the architect’s profession. The lesson is shown by the book that Fee in Indonesia reflects the low appreciation of people in architecture as a profession. The percentage, at least, needs to make sense and be reasonable with other countries.

Book 10

Methodology Grammar

The tenth book is Methodology Grammar (2020), which I wrote with Anas Hidayat. in this book, He wrote the introduction about tacit knowledge informing methods. I broke down the layers for know-how from the classical period to contemporary by reflecting on building technology, way of thinking, and mapping of forms, patterns, and forces in architecture.

Book 11

How to Write Architecture History for Students

The eleventh book is How to Write Architecture History for Students (2020). I wrote this book with Johannes Adiyanto as a way to accentuate the importance of understanding history. The narration stated that students need to have narration by themselves, love history, context, and finally understand the other frames based on facts. It’s about writing the structure that students can understand by themselves.

Book 12

Craftgram – Craft Grammatology

Craft Grammatology is the book to open the relation between personal to traditions, nest and workshop place in the creation of architecture, and unveiling the trap of stylistic movement. I wrote this book with my friend Johannes Adiyanto. This is a book to unify two books before that focussed in social relations on creativity work. In craftmanthip, we investigated how the master architects works to find their creativity. There must be secrets to their creativity works.  

Book 13

Alvar Aalto – The Magic of an Architect’s life

The thirteenth book is Alvar Aalto – The Magic of an Architect’s life (2020). This book was based on my pilgrimage and my wife Laurensia to the Land of North Finland. The trip is to retrace Alvar Aalto’s journey and works. It combined with research in Omah Library about integrative disciplines from plumbing – building utility to design product. And interestingly, the theme connects architecture and pandemics as context and result of the Total Architecture movement. These layers bring back design philosophy in Indonesia as Taksu, design by heart. An act of totality in design.

Book 14

Sustainable Design Strategy for Students

The fourteenth book is Sustainable Design Strategy for Students (2021). This book is based on my experience teaching about design by a spirit of locality. The book starts with a narration of the awareness of thread in the world. It’s all about the material as resources, energy, and water. Then sustainable design could be defined as a way to manage the resources through design from massing, building utility to sustainable details. The book consists of research of Pritzker prize winners, from Philip Johnson to Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, to explain the context of the form which actually has conditions, architect in their needs, building technology to address the sustainable strategy for their own specific context.