Bittersweet Memories In Design Experience: Suwardana Winata

Helo Restless Spirit!

Here’s a report from 25th February of bittersweet discussion with Mr. Suwardana about his Final Projects and his architectural carrier,
Overview of TA, the starting point of “Teater Seni”

Being in the main topic of culture-nusantara, Suwardana Winata proposed “Teater Seni” as his final project, located in Kuningan, South Jakarta, which is inspired by Teater Koma – Semar Menggugat and Punawakan, Indonesian traditional puppet (wayang). Semar was a mediator among other figures, Petruk, Gareng and Bagong.

Responding the rectangular form of site, axis was used as his approach on design planning so that “Teater Seni” was also meant to be a cultural center. Suwardana Winata presented his final project ideas by using axonometric sections – which is unfamiliar at that time. Through the axonometric section – actually it can showed several things in one image such as spatial quality, structure, section and elevation.

The Journey towards Bachelor of Engineering
Being active in student organization, Suwardana Winata had been as a head of architecture major student council (IMARTA). Even while undergoing his final project, Suwardana Winata was in the transition – handover his position to the new board. Undergoing final project while busy doing in the organization, he admitted it wasn’t a easy thing.There was a desire to “repeat” his final project because Suwardana Winata felt that he needed to do more in some limitations such as time and stuff. However, he admitted that some mentors left some marks on his heart, i.e Sonny Sutanto and Gunawan Tjahjono. Sonny Sutanto told him about design ideas while Gunawan Tjahjono influenced him in the theory and criticism of architecture.

Nongkrong, a discussion about the future
98 monetary crisis condition had a major impact to Suwardana Winata’s final project, enforced creative and innovative thinking. In fact, it effected after his graduation. That afternoon, Suwardana Winata sat with his friends at the bus shelter in front of UNTAR, they discussed what should they do and where to work. 1997-1998, it’s difficult to get works, even large cosultant such as Ciputra, Budi Lim and Airma Asri suspended a lot of their employees. Even, Suwardana Winata had to work on non-architectural job, he worked in advertising.

Post graduate degree: I chose to be in multi-race and multi-culture environment to appreciate the way of thinking
Suwardana Winata got his scholarship from Tarumanagara University as a fullfilment his dream to get his post graduate degree in United State. He thought that there are some differences of colleges in Indonesia and United State, it made him realize that there were so many things to learn. The educational system in United State liberated their student’s minds while in Indonesia, they directed to some existing pattern of minds. By pursuing his post graduate degree, Suwardana Winata learnt a lot about independency, process and judgement also interdisiplinary approach and thinking.
I almost doesn’t seem to have a style, i prefer to explore it.

In the architectural design process, starting from planning till design provide an opportunity for Suwardana Winata to have exploration that is always a new and different design approach in each projects. In the planning process, according to Suwardana Winata , we need to know the needs – depending on the building type that allows multi to mixed programs in it. After that the concept will be formed – by the the hand – in planning and design process so there were no standards for each project.

Problems/constraints (against architects, practitioners, educators and students): the gap between practitioner and academics field
There are few things that sometimes become constraints or a gap between practitioner and academics filed, such as:

Materials, lack of informations of materiality and the difference of material term – often hampers the process of architecture, especially in the final project.

Communication, communication factor often become obstacle in the process of architecture discussion between architect-client and mentor-student.

Construction, nescience of student caused by the lack of material types information and its structure system that often limit the architectural design process.

Talk with the architects: message to “soon to be-” architect and “young” architect

After a lot of discussion about the competence of “soon to be-” architect and “young” architect, there are some points to be noticed, such as:

Adaptation to the environment.
Communication – be able to communicate to clients, mentors, etc.
Basics of design: structure, building concept, programming and aesthetics (actually can be a self-taught).
Maturity – with lots of exersicing and case studies.
Additional competence : 2D and 3D softwares.