Two days ago, I went to the waterfront kampung in northern part of Jakarta. This area is not an usual kind of territory. This area already shaking off the power of government to demolish people living near from the river. The people are refused to move, otherwise they are willingly give the attention to the river and cut off their own home in order to give more space for the water.
Maybe we will judge them as a slum. But you will awestruck by their experiences and knowledge of their own living environment as soon as you met them. If government already demolish them, maybe I will not meet them yesterday. They are open for any kind of learning process and make the knowledge as a tool to achieve sustainable living on their own.
On the other hand, I also wondering what if architects meet them. Should I be worry or not? In fact, this area working with Architecture Sans Frontieres Indonesia. Gratefully they giving the community room for being architect themselves. As architect, giving other people space to make their own design is not something that we always do. It means that we have to give more time for people to fully understand the environment and their needs while the architects learning to become one with the community. It is not easy to let go our ego and throw all of our westernize technical knowledge in order to humbly learning from them.
If you ask me, If I am an architect, maybe my suggestion also to make this area to as similar as Dutch people do with the river. But that is not the point if we try to meet them personally. We have different people with different ways of life. Or should we make them move to the highrise community housing?
As I am not architect yet, my job now is to learning from them. All of things seems new. I am not sure what kind of role that I will take but to write this blog to asking some of the questions that I can not answer: What will architect do in the future? What if our job destroying the humbleness of people in kampung city? What if our design also make our city suffering?
Then, I will save the questions for tomorrow, maybe I will not become an architect, maybe in the future definition of architect will expand much more than now.
I am grateful enough to enjoying this cold Barongko, made from banana and coconut milk while introducing myself to the river community and activists