taken from a foreword of Time Territory Book, February 2010 [Realrich Sjarief MUDD 15 2009 Surabaya, Indonesia [edited by Li jou oi]
I completed a bachelors degree in architecture at the Institute Technology of Bandung Indonesia (ITB) in 2005. Over the last four years, I have been involved in major projects throughout Abu Dhabi, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam. I spent a year with Urbane Indonesia, Bandung, followed by a year with DP architects in Singapore, and finally moved to London to work for Norman Foster in Foster and Partners. I was fortunate to be involved in several projects such as Plot – L11, a commercial building at the first zero-carbon, zero-waste Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and the YTL Headquarters in Malaysia. Pursuing architecture has been a wise decision – I continue to gain and learn so much from other team members through architecture explorations and discussions. I find it immensely rewarding to be able to constantly meet new clients and provide them with my design services. I thoroughly enjoy the design process and as a result, have won several design awards as of 2008. Life is a journey of learning.
In 2008, I was looking for a university that offered the best urban design program in terms of lecturers and course work. The University of New South Wales came in as my first choice and I enrolled in the Master of Urban Development and Design starting in 2009. The courses have broadened my knowledge to a level I have never experienced before, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of learning. Our professors, Professor James Weirick and Emeritus Professor Jon Lang encourage us to establish a strong theoretical framework in design. I believe the influence of this on our careers will be profound and far-reaching. My first semester started with the Introductory Studio with Emeritus Professor Lang which laid the theoretical foundation of urban design. This was followed by our second project, the Incheon Urban Design Competition conducted by Professor Weirick. Driven by Professor Weirick’s extensive knowledge and enthusiasm, our team pushed the envelope of design and was rewarded the bronze prize, from over 1,000 international entrants. The second semester studio conducted by Adjunct Professor Nigel Dickson introduced analysis and synthesis in the professional urban design practice such as market forces, land and building considerations, structure plans, the need to respond to the city’s vision and work flow in urban design to stitch conceptual and detailed master plans.
My most rewarding experience was the international studio led by Professor Weirick. We travelled to Nagoya and immersed ourselves in the Japanese culture through various discussions with other students and through community consultation. Special thanks go to Professor Endoh of the Urban Renewal of Nishiki 2 District Project and Jun Sakaguchi, director of PTW Architects who helped facilitate this studio. The Japanese experience was further enhanced by subsequent travels to both urban and traditional areas in Nagoya, Tokyo, Shirakawa, Mount Gifu and Kyoto. My journey with the MUDD program has brought forward the greatest achievement of my year, being awarded first prize in the design competition for the Vocational Program building complex of the University of Indonesia, scheduled for construction in 2010. I have now set up an architecture office in Indonesia and intend to continue running it with an urban design practice. As the Spanish novelist, George Santanaya, has said “The wisest mind has something yet to learn”.
This MUDD program for me was the beginning of something unseen but memorable. To Professor Weirick and Emeritus Professor Lang, thank you very much for the valuable experience, and ’Salute’!