Bittersweet Memories in Design Experience – Prof. Yandi Andi Yatmo

On 4th march 2017, Prof. Yandi Andi Yatmo had visited us to share his Final Project and bittersweet experience in design.

Talking about his final project of undergraduate degree, he shared about his design process and furthermore about his journey in and vision of architecture.
Professor Yandi, as well as teenagers from Jambi, had always thought that learning in Java as a huge privilege he could never dream of. Reading of the newly built 4-level University of Indonesia campus building from 1988 Kompas newspaper, he began weaving his motivation of learning there. The entry test for the campus (SNMPTN) coincided with the National Test (UN). However, since the entry test was far more difficult than the later test, he focused himself learning to be accepted on the campus by isolating himself for 3 months. And the price was paid, he successfully paved his way to Jakarta in 1989.
What he did first in Jakarta was to look for an affordable boarding house, and he found one about 45 minute walk from the campus. Due to lack of funding from his parents, he had to work as drafter for his lecturers. On his 5th year, he worked in Housing and Development Board of Singapore for a year as intern illustrator and designer. Returning to Indonesia with quite a lot of money, he saved some of his earnings in dollars because he dreamed of pursuing master degree out of Indonesia. The habit was too continued after his graduation in 1996. Considering the increasing number of visitors to Indonesia,
Prof. Yandi proposed an underground visitor center under the ‘Monumen Selamat Datang’ in Indonesia Hotel Roundabout, Jakarta. He was scolded by his peers since his project will not have elevation drawings. He has always believed that as an architect we need to be unique and do what we love, and the spirit was embodied in his persistence in developing the project. He spent 3 days strolling down the district surveying and mapping. He studied flow of vehicles and people in order to comprehend thoroughly about the district. He, now, thinks that his project can not be valued highly, since the context of current architecture differs extremely than his time. For him,final project is the time for him to show the world who he is and what he loves. Thus, making his project be scored A.
He was offered work back in Singapore and as a lecturer in University of Indonesia, after his graduation. He chose the later one, due to the lack of available educators in our country. Through struggles of being rejected, he managed to go to the UK for 6 years pursuing both his master and post-doctoral degree. He becomes the first person to achieve the title of Professor (Guru Besar) in Indonesia in under 8 years since his admittance into the campus.
Prof. Yandi told us a highly valuable life lessons: be who we are, do what we love, be persistence with our dream, and you will be someone. He has turned his weaknesses into his strength, by loving what we do, learning from every experience with our lives. Rejection must be valued as a lesson that does not define who we are. We need to learn to be happy to be an architect or any other profession!
Thank you, Professor Yandi Andri Yatmo! We highly appreciate your coming to OMAH!