Interiority to Create a More Inclusive Environment: The Inauguration of Paramita Atmodiwirjo as the First Woman Professor of Department of Architecture Universitas Indonesia

Art & Culture Center Universitas Indonesia

Prof. Paramita Atmodiwirjo, S.T., M.Arch., M.A., Ph.D. was officially inaugurated as Professor of Architecture on Wednesday (2/08/2017) at Art & Culture Center Universitas Indonesia. In her speech, Prof. Paramita emphasizes the importance of the idea of Interiority in architecture to promote positive outcome to the well-being of people. She began the lecture by observing the relationship between human body and its spatial settings on which architecture should have used inside-out approach to realize its potential instead of merely focusing on the appearance on its surface. This perspective thereby shared during her career in Department of Architecture Universitas Indonesia.

The idea of interiority in architecture is fully reflected in her practice in Department of Architecture Universitas Indonesia to promotes the well-being of people. She showed a wide range of implementation that demonstrated her views. The inside-out approach implies that architecture can be realized as a system that acts as an educational medium. For instance, the library is seen as a literary system to promote knowledge acquisitions thus extend its formal utilization as reading space and book storage. The architecture also can act as an instrument to build the sensibility to the environment as well as require us to understand our environment to its smallest part. These approaches thus believed can build a strong foundation in realizing better architecture to improve the well-being of people.

Prof. Paramita also promotes the aesthetic that based on evidence and spatial experience of people to create a more meaningful environment. She addresses that aesthetic attributes such as colors, compositions and lights should have a concern for specific context and users, as some specific activities could be affected by those aspects. As a result, aesthetic aspects in architecture should have been engaged more critically beyond its appearance. For example, while some colors are regarded have effects on the people emotion, the imprudent use of these colors in the medical environment such as hospital could affect the diagnose on specific illnesses, thus imply serious concerns.

Finally, she specifically addresses the need of change in architectural education to improve our sensibility to the environment. She remarked that architecture students need to interact directly with their environment in order to build their empathy and creating a more inclusive environment to the people. She thereby integrates these views in the Department of Architecture Universitas Indonesia curricula as a part of her effort in developing future architects to have a more user centered approach practices.