dipl.-ing. arsitek

four lectures by indonesian architects

Han Awal (r.) during a discussion at Jakarta Design Centre, 22 July 1990. Source: Han Awal & Partners

Dipl.-Ing Arsitek: German-trained Indonesian Architects from the 1960s


Dipl.-Ing. Arsitek: German-trained Indonesian Architects from the 1960s follows the paths of several protagonists, who in 1960, 1961, and 1966 completed their studies in Berlin, Hanover, and Aachen with a degree in architecture (Diplom-Ingenieur Architektur; in Indonesian: Dipl.-Ing. Arsitek). Some of these graduates remained in Europe, where they pursued successful architectural careers in Germany, Switzerland, or the Netherlands, but most of them returned to Indonesia.

Of those architects who worked in Indonesia, some lectured, taught and wrote essays. A recurring motif is the search for a specifically Indonesian architecture. To make the reflections of these architects accessible, Adelia Andani, Angeline Basuki, Hedista Rani Pranata and Setiadi Sopandi, have translated a selection of speeches by Han Awal, Yusuf Bilyarta Mangunwijaya, and Suwondo Bismo Sutedjo into English.


The Role of Indonesian Architecture and the Constellation of International Architecture
Speech by Han Awal, 26 November 1964

Han Awal presented this speech for the 13th anniversary of Gunadharma, the architecture student association at Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), on 26 November 1964. Established on 15 November 1951, the association celebrated its anniversary annually with a programme of events, such as lectures and exhibitions of student works.

In the 1960s, Indonesia was undergoing massive development, and architecture played a significant role in shaping the look of its modern cities. Han Awal, who had returned to Indonesia four years prior, was invited to contribute his views on “The Role of Indonesian Architecture and the Constellation of International Architecture”, particularly as a witness of architectural developments abroad. In his talk, Han briefly describes the industrial development that changed architecture in the West, pinpoints his generation’s position in that development, and shares his insights on Indonesian architecture and its future.

You can download the text here.


Looking for the Relevance of Architecture Education for the People
Lecture by Dipl. Ing. Y.B. Mangunwijaya, 6 December 1975

This lecture was part of “Diskusi Pagi” Pendidikan Arsitektur Kini dan Masa Datang (“Morning Discussion” of Architecture Education in the Present and the Future), held at Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) in Bandung on 6 December 1975 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of architecture education at ITB. The Morning Discussion took place at Galeri Soemardja, ITB, and included participants from Institut Teknologi Surabaya (ITS), Universitas Jayabaya, Universitas Pancasila, Universitas Petra, Universitas Gajah Mada (UGM), Universitas Indonesia (UI), Universitas Kristen Indonesia (UKI), Universitas Jakarta (UNIJA), Universitas Hasanuddin (UNHAS), Universitas Parahyangan (UNPAR), Universitas 17 Agustus 1945 (UNTAG), Universitas Udayana (UNUD), and Universitas Trisakti (USAKTI). Most of the speakers emphasized the importance of tailoring architecture education to the location situation and not relying only on foreign ideas.

You can download the text here.


Architecture in Indonesia since Independence (Architectuur in Indonesië sinds de Onafhankelijkheid)
Lecture by Dipl.-Ing. Suwondo Bismo Sutedjo, Universitas Indonesia Jakarta, 1986

From 12 March to 3 April 1986, the Architecture Department of Technische Hoogeschool van Delft, later called Technische Universiteit Delft, held an exhibition to commemorate the retirement of Prof. Coenraad Liebrecht (Coen) Temminck Groll (1925–2015). He was a professor at TH Delft and a consultant on the restorations of the Taman Fatahillah public square in Jakarta and Fort Rotterdam in Ujung Pandang. The exhibition looked at the development of architecture in Indonesia from ancient times (400 AD) to the present. At that time, many Indonesian architecture students were studying at TH Delft. Thus, Suwondo was asked to contribute his thoughts on contemporary Indonesian architecture alongside speakers from different countries: Reimar Schefold (*1938, Amsterdam), Ben F. van Leerdam (Delft), Alain M. Viaro (Geneva), Cor Passchier (*1945), and Laurens Vis, both from the Netherlands.

In his manuscript, written in Dutch, Suwondo briefly describes some of the most significant architectural projects in Indonesia since 1945. He divides this period into two parts: (1) from 1945 to 1965, coinciding with the tenure of Sukarno as Indonesia’s first president, and (2) from 1965 to 1985, the time of Soeharto’s presidency as Sukarno’s successor.

You can download the text here.


Practicing Architecture Today. Young Architect (Junior?), Senior Architect (Old …)
Speech by Han Awal, Jakarta Design Centre, 22 July 1990

In 1990, a group of architects in their 30s came together under the name Young Indonesian Architects (AMI, Arsitek Muda Indonesia) and held their first exhibition under the title Pameran Arsitektur Prospektif (Prospective Architecture Exhibition) at the Jakarta Design Centre (JDC). Alongside their works, AMI published a manifesto expressing their belief that architects are designers and design is an exploration. This manifesto was a challenge to the architectural practice in Indonesia at the time, which AMI perceived as stagnant. During the event, AMI invited architects from the older generation to express their views in a symposium entitled “A Dialogue Between Young and Senior Architects”. Han Awal, 60 years old, was among the speakers.

In his lecture, Han reflects on the emergence of this new spirit and the position of his generation in the architectural profession. Han admires AMI’s inquisitive spirit and reminds the new generation that, as professionals, they not only have a responsibility to innovate but also towards the users. He emphasizes functionalism and technical mastery as qualities that architects must therefore possess. He concludes his speech with a message to his colleagues that this change of course is not a threat but a hopeful step for the profession; that an architect’s career is not limited by age, and that their work is not done yet.

You can download the text here.