Story by Vira Tanka | Photos by Various Sources
Yanuar Pratama Firdaus founder of Aaksen Responsible Aarchitecture, believes in the power of architecture as it can create a good environment and help to make a better lifestyle. To Yanuar, graduated from Parahyangan Catholic University, Bandung, architecture is more than a profession that combines art and technicality. It is his biggest achievement in life because through architecture, he finds a life purpose. He talked with Indonesia Design and following is an excerpt of the interview.
How do you define Responsible Aarchitecture and why do you focus on it?
Responsible Aarchitecture is the way architects at Aaksen create an environment that’s sustainable, sensitive to human civilisation and plays a role in science. Like in many other fields, designers are increasingly aware about environmental issues. Aaksen team also study these issues in all levels, including how architecture and design can influence social and economic changes.
The core responsibility of Aaksen is regenerating nature, building sustainable industrial standard in architecture and transforming people’s lifestyle. For example, we conserve the albizzia trees in Rancah Ciamis, West Java, to turn them into renewable anti-termite wood structure. As a country prone to natural disasters like Indonesia, we’ve done some research about applying sustainable materials to the standard of disaster mitigation. Lastly, the spaces that we design can create emotions, and good architecture can help to make a better life for people.
Aside from Aaksen, you also founded Aand and RRROAR. Can you tell us about them?
There are three entities under our holding company. Aaksen Responsible Aarchitecture is an architecture consultant bureau, Aand is basically our research lab, and RRRoAR is the media where we publish the works of Aand and Aaksen.
At Aand, we aim to produce good quality design with simpler process compared to the more personalised and customised ones at Aaksen. An example of our projects at Aand is developing a prefabricated building system like the one we used for Aand Sayana.
You share a lot of information and tips about architecture through RRROAR. Is it a part of the responsible aarchitecture?
Dducation is one of the ways of how architects can repay the people. It’s not only for architecture students or young architects, but for everyone.
The main objective of RRRoAR is to make people aware of their quality of life, to understand what nature friendly architecture is, and that architects are responsible for the decisions they make in relevance to the spaces they design for others.
Please tell us about your Amular project and why you created it.
Amular home is created to facilitate people to have a good quality house designed by an architect with a more efficient process in terms of time and budget. It is a growing house concept with modular home construction that’s possible to expand in steps, space allowing. It’s built with standardised materials and building elements such as ceramic floor, sills and iron modules. The land area needed for this home is at least 6x10 meters, which includes a space for carport or garage and a green space to distance from the neighbour’s house.
What kind of projects are you handling right now?
Right now, we are handling residential, commercial and initiative projects simultaneously. In the residential projects, we do a lot of exploration in materials as well as in finding new forms for living spaces. In the commercial projects, we prioritise standardizing the design in order to make a faster and more measurable design process. Finally, in our own initiative projects, we are developing new insights from our architecture practice at Aaksen, like what we have done with AAND and RRRoAR.
How do you plan to develop Aaksen Aarchitecture in the future?
We are going for timeless good design, which means we will always try to create environmentally friendly and sustainable designs that aim to meet human needs through a better use of technology, a more ergonomic design and a more effective use of space.
We will also keep innovating and experimenting in design by applying the latest techniques and methods that are inspired by local traditions. We need to do this, especially to solve natural disaster problems in Indonesia which results in standardised materials.
Lastly, we will commit to educating people on architecture and responsible lifestyle through our education platform. We will also collaborate to improve comprehension about the managed environment that affects health, comfort and the improvement of quality of life.