At MVRDV architects Jan Knikker elucidates the maquette of the Boekenberg in Spijkenisse. Photo: NAI
‘We live in the present but own the future!’
Young, enthusiastic and ambitious: that’s the best way to describe Indonesian architect Danny Wicaksono. Still under thirty, Danny already runs the architecture firm studiodasar, he is editor in chief of jongArsitek!, and this year he has even programmed events at the Erasmus Huis, the Dutch Cultural Centre in Jakarta. No wonder that the Erasmus Huis nominated this inspiring architect to take part in the NAI international visitor programme. He visited The Netherlands from 12 to 15 September. Here’s a short summary.
Before coming to the Netherlands, Danny sent the NAI an impressive list of names, all of them in relation to the work he is currently carrying out in Indonesia. They ranged from Frame Publishers to architect Winy Maas and the Berlage Institute to Droog Design. It shows just how broad and wide-ranging his field of work is.
Needless to say, his programme started at the NAI. The large institute, the extensive archive, the varied programme of activities and the huge network: Danny wanted to see and understand it all. Conversations with colleagues from the collections, platform and education departments provided him with lots of information. Setting up a similar institute in Indonesia would be a dream come true for him, and he is working hard on that.
To see more of Rotterdam and Amsterdam than was possible from a taxi, Danny joined the organised architecture tours and got a good impression of contemporary architecture projects in the two big cities. The trip by water taxi on the River Maas in Rotterdam was an experience he will never forget! He was extremely interested in all the background information about the development of the architecture projects and the accompanying regulations. Social housing in the Netherlands fascinated him enormously.
In recent years Danny has attracted many big names to take part in the debates he organises for jongArsitek!, among them Rem Koolhaas and Winy Maas. Ever since, the two gentlemen have become good friends with Danny, and they were glad to find time to speak to him (Winy Maas even on a stopover at Schiphol). Rem Koolhaas had to call off at the last minute unfortunately, but a visit to his office OMA made up for that. Danny also visited MVRDV and UN Studio. The size and structured character of all these offices impressed him greatly.
Danny would very much like to introduce the model of post-academic architecture education offered by the Berlage Institute in his own country. Vedran Mimica spoke to him at length from the Berlage’s new accommodation at Delft University of Technology.
At the end of his three-day visit, Danny said that what impressed him the most was the rationality of our society. 'It is impressive how well everything is structured, organised and coherent. The government takes the architecture and design sector seriously. The Netherlands sets a good example for countries like Indonesia. Our country is not nearly that far.' But, as one of the younger Indonesian architects, he sees opportunities. The influence that his generation can have on the future is big. Danny expresses it as follows: 'We live in the present but own the future!'
Danny Wicaksono gets a tour of Jan Knikker by MVRDV architects. Photo: NAI
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preparation for the mission, the NAI invited eight Brazilian developers
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programme that offered them plenty of insight into contemporary Dutch
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