Design Dossier: Putri Sulistyowati


Design Dossier opens a file on Putri Sulistyowati-architect, model and lecturer. The 25-year-old is an international model and a lecturer at Trisakti University, where she earned her architecture degree. She also took her masters in Historic Building Conservation in Kingston University London. Born in Jakarta, Putri has walked in London Fashion week for three years in a row and has helped conserve Indonesia’s cultural legacy with the Indonesian Heritage Trust, such as by becoming an Indonesian delegate for the International Conference of National Trusts 2015 in Cambridge.


London, where she spent a year-and-a-half as a student. “The city has its way of giving that ‘love and hate’ feeling.”

The hip boutique The Ace Hotel in London. “I like their 60s style interior, the chic element–but they also nailed the sense of vintage. It also reminds me of Kosenda Hotel in Jakarta, one of my favorites as well.”

Putri picked the 160-year-old Science Museum London. “I will never forget how fun it was when they held the “Night Museum” for adults and served beer while we danced through their silent disco session.”

The Italian baroque-inspired Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris.

The atmospheric temple-like Indonesian restaurant Lara Djonggrang in Menteng. “For its amazing ambience.”

The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Button. “My bible for my life.”

The Beatles. No discussion, she says.

The oldest of the capital’s eight Royal Park, St. James Park, London. “Not that big but it is near Green Park, the Horse Guard, and the Buckingham Palace. So it has its 'royal' ambience.”

The eclectic-hip Shoreditch venue The Book Club. Putri says, “Good music, fun ping-pong games, great vibe, cute interior detailing.”

Vacation Destination
Putri spent six days in Turkey, which she says is colorful and vibrant. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and the Turk’s tea drinking culture were particular favorites. “I visited Australia and America before, but they were incomparable with Turkey.”

Life-Changing Experience
Living abroad. “Got the chance to do modeling work, walked for London Fashion Week, saw breathtaking architecture and environments, learned a different culture, and met loads of people from other parts of the world. They were irreplaceable.”

Fave spot in the city
Her parent’s crib, where she finds sanctuary for herself and a getaway from Jakarta’s busy scene.

Go-to desktop app?
Adobe Photoshop

On Architecture

Influential architects/designers?
Putri likes Carlo Scarpa, one of the most enigmatic architects of the 20th century. “The way he restored some of the great buildings was beyond amazing. When he added new materials to the buildings, he did not take away the original elements. He proved that restoring something does not have to ‘hide’ everything, but to embrace the remaining pieces and highlight them with the new materials.”

Fave space in Jakarta?
Putri picked her own hub, POETSOE Creative Space, in Tebet. “It is just very personal.”

Fave space in Indonesia?
A small alley near her grandparent’s house in Yogyakarta. “My favorite space is very sentimental for me,” Putri says. “What defines it as my special place is a personal memory of mine.”

Define your personal style.
“Baggy jeans and a loose shirt or t-shirt with short skirt. No in-between.”

Describe your taste as an architect or designer.
“Rustic and eclectic.”

Tell us about the house you grew up in.
“It is a palace for me. My father is also an architect. He designed the house before I was born. It is what I call a growing house, which took around 40 years to complete, as he wanted to alter things. He bought land from a neighbor, then extended the house. It did not stop until couple years ago.” Her parents home is a tropical rustic Javanese house surrounded by a garden.

And your dream house?
Something simple and clean with rustic details for the interior. “Timber frames, glass – it has to be a tropical house.”

What would you build for Jakarta if money was no object?
Gardens and parks.

Wish for Indonesian architects?
“They are already great. For instance, Yori Antar for his Rumah Asuh project all over Indonesia. I am beyond amazed and proud of him and his team had accomplished.”

Favorite room in your house?
The terrace by the garden.

What is the most important thing to know about architecture?
“Beyond the concrete walls, we need to also understand the people and all living elements.”

Fave course as a design student?
Theory and Criticism of Architecture. “You need to be very critical about it and write essays as the expression of your critical mind.”

Which buildings around the world have amazed you?
Italian military construction during the Middle Ages, such as Castelvecchio in Verona, Italy.

Tell us about your current project.
POETSOE Creative Space. “The urge to alter things to your building is never done in three or four months. You consider that as your baby and you want to see them grow and be happy.”

Last cool purchase?
The Beatles Yellow Submarine LEGO.

What’s your current obssession?
“The kid inside my tummy! It does not have to be about design right?”

Check out Putri's portfolio and website, or visit her on Facebook or Linkedin or @putsulistyowati for Instagram or Twitter.

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Banyubening Prieta
Banyu has been a contributing writer to The Jakarta Post, Sorge Magazine and Metronome Indonesia after graduating from Parahyangan Catholic University with a degree in international relations. She is the owner and co-founder of the Jakarta-based organic restaurant and healthy catering business Burgreens and the co-founder of Suazad Media.