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Indesign Indonesia’s Latest Luminary

… the honour goes to Prof. Mohammad Danisworo for his contribution to the urban planning of Jakarta city.

Indesign Indonesia’s Latest Luminary


April 12th, 2012

The Indesign Luminary award began in Australia in 2001 to honour individuals who had made a significant contribution to the development of the country’s design culture.

Now, with the recent launch of Indesign Indonesia comes Indonesia’s own Luminary award, with the latest honour going to Prof. Mohammad Danisworo. As the country’s foremost urban designer, Danisworo has spent decades working to help improve the quality of life for Jakarta’s city-dwellers through design.

Among his peers, Danisworo is respected for his ability to bridge the government and the profession. He sits on Jakarta’s municipal architecture advisory council (so far the only official municipal advisory team in Indonesia) and perseveres in his quest to find a win-win solution between the public and private sectors, with the ultimate aim to create better urban design.

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“A city is a result of many many decisions. To build a good city you need those decision makers to listen to the architect so it is the architects’ responsibility to get their opinion heard and his expertise put to use by the decision makers,” said Danisworo, who has served as advisor to the past 3 Jakarta governors on city planning.

Some of the results of Danisworo’s work can be seen in Jakarta’s National Monument area, the Thamrin Commercial Area, SCBD and the Kemayoran area.

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Born in Semarang in 1938, Danisworo’s desire to be an architect came when at age 16, he witnessed one of his favourite landmarks being torn down without an advocate. After earning his bachelor degree in architecture from the prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology in 1965, he realised how little an architect, on his own, has a control over the final architectural product. His interest expanded to urban design.

Danisworo furthered his education by taking a master’s degree in urban design from University of California, Berkeley, United States in 1968 and another master programme in urban planning in 1982 from University of Washington, complete with urban design certification. The year between the 2 master programmes he spent working for SOM and returning to Indonesia to teach and build a career with Encona Engineering.

Now at the age of 74, Danisworo appears far from slowing down. He splits his time between the Center of Urban Design Study he founded in 1994 in Bandung Institute of Technology and his architecture firm Pandega Desain Weharima or PDW in Jakarta, which is often dubbed ‘Pak Danis Woro’.

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