TEDxJakarta – Ridwan Kamil – Creativity and Design for Social Change in Cities
(Moslem greeting) May God’s blessings be upon you.
Warm greetings to all of you. Good afternoon. Excuse me, usually I have a pretty powerful voice. Now, it’s a little bit… …throaty. Not feeling too well.
That’s why health is important. So… that’s why I was… (audience laughter) … being preached. But thank God, my pants size is 34.
Still under 35. (audience laughter) Still counted as a healthy man. Okay, I was very inspired by all the speakers this afternoon. Amazing. I also want to present a concept that…
everyone here can do. Basically everyone has creativity. That’s what I want to build upon, to cheer.
And I want to say… The future of Indonesia can only be saved by it’s people. By Mr. Nurul, by Mr. Ade Rai, and the rest of the speakers. And because of that, my efforts has been to focus on creativity and people. A little bit about me.
I have quite an overflow of energy. Besides an architect, I also teach in ITB (“Indonesia’s MIT” in Bandung)
a lecturer as well. I also design cities.
There’s been about 50 cities outside of Indonesia I’ve helped with. Then, I became active in something called Bandung Creativity Forum. So, I organize creative communities … in Bandung to do something. “Urban Play” by the previous speaker was amazing,
maybe we can collaborate in the future. Other stuff, you probably can read. I, thank God, have won more than 15 competitions. And the rest. Maybe too… Look here, I also like photography.
This is a photo I took. If I say this was in Switzerland,
everyone would believe. This is in Pangalengan, in Bandung. Before dawn I rode my bike.
Then shot that fog in the village. So, I’ve traveled to more than 90 cities around the world. … througout my life. Thank God. But Indonesia is the most beautiful. (audience claps) Not because I’m promoting tourism for the government
but I compare If you take landscape photos in Indonesia, there’s so many variety. Try googling “Raja Ampat” in Irian Jaya.
that’s the best spot now. This one is in Bandung as well,
there’s a lake called “Kawah Putih”, and such. My point is that, we’re rich in culture, as well as city landscape. Plus a model, so it’s not too stressful. (audience laughter) This is Banjarmasin, incredible.
People might think only Bangkok has such water culture. but in Balikpapan, sorry… in Banjarmasin too. Most people don’t know. But, this.. here. The future of our civilization lies in the cities. So if we mismanage cities
civilization would crumble. In 2025, 60% of world population will live in cities. So it’s just a matter of time,
everyone will move closer to the cities. If cities don’t anticipate this,
can’t manage itself. What will be is that, our lives becomes unproductive. Floods, never having breakfast with your family, Never having dinner with your wife.
Waiting for “3 in 1” (Jakarta’s traffic congestion control system), etc. 60% of Jakartans, go to malls for leisure. Not in Menteng park or other parks. So, something’s wrong,
a stressful city will give birth to a stressful generation. (audience laughter) I’m tired so to speak.. Watching TV here, this channel, that channel. How can I educate my children, so that they’re proud of Indonesia. So when they’re smart, they won’t leave Indonesia. But if everyday we’re bombarded by things that don’t matter. When will inspirational stories air on TV? All the news are about… the oppressor.
The opposite of the leader. Meanwhile, our friends,
this is a photo I took as well… …on one photography session,
have done extraordinary things. Irfan, Irwan, Berry, Ade.
Dr. Nurul.. Extraordinary people, who inspires, who do something. .. have goals, have outstanding achievents, but goes unnoticed. This to me, is unfair.
So I want to. Let’s together do something, so all of Indonesia feels optimistic. That the future is in the hands of our generation. This is an example, my former graduate student, “Fractal Batik”. Won the highest award from UNESCO. He’s an architecture major, met someone doing mathematics
used fractal formulas to count patterns in a computer. Met someone studying economics from UNPAD,
they talked and came up with a big idea. I believe, this is something we need to train in as well. Nano Gank meets Bandung Creative Gank for example … or in Jakarta, would definitely produce something extraordinary. This is the same as well. So, this is the differentiating factor, “Innovation”. We’re not followers, we have to be the trendsetters.
We have to be the winner, we have to be the leader. This too is sustainable, used wood.
Ini juga sustainable kayu bekas dan seterusnya. From Temanggung.
Dari Temanggung. Now, I am an architect.
Nah, sisi saya sendiri adalah arsitek. So that’s where I’ll mostly create my achievements.
Sebagian akan mencoba menciptakan achievement saya disitu. And true enough, I can, thank God, live off of my imagination.
Dan betul ya… I imagine, and get payed. Thank God… Because the most enjoyable work in the whole world is. A payed hobby. More or less so. This is my house, from bottles.
30,000 Kratingdaeng bottles. If you don’t believe me,
you can count them yourself to be 30,000. That was trash, because the company don’t use them for refilling.
So they just became waste. I collected them for 6 months, through a contractor…
…garbage pickup woker in the entire West Java. Took me 2 years to build it. And thank God, this one got featured in a lot of foreign magazines. Won last year’s Asia Green Award. Because this house is very healthy.
So the sun’s heat.. .. is blocked but the light comes through.
More or less so. One of my motivation was,
I got annoyed to hear my hometown… …gets the bad nickname “Bandung ocean of trash”. I said that’s because the people aren’t creative,
…aren’t willing. So they can’t turn garbage into something useful. Since I’m an architect, I gather stuff to build my own house. This, a mosque in the New City of Parahyangan. I want to proof that, My time must give birth to something inspirative as well. Not just “cut and paste” from the previous generation right. They say if in Central Java, it must be ‘Joglo’ style. I said, “that’s a legacy from architects of antiquity.” We don’t have to copy it till the end of time. I’m from the present generation,
but still respect values. So it’s not the appearance that’s copied. But..
…the tradition, the values, is what we preserve. I don’t believe… … just copying previous generation’s inheritance. Without being critical. This is the Tsunami museum in Aceh.
Thank God we will do something with the interior. I designed a concept of an evacuation hill. So if there’s another tsunami, people can escape to this hill I created. Then I don’t want people to just
be sad about the tsunami. So it’s more about a Learning Center,
there’s a space where children can learn about Tsunami .. there’s a school there, a library. So we have to turn that tragedy into a source of learning. Not for me, but for the children and grandchildren
of the Acehnese. This one is in Jakarta, in Senayan.
I designed a sports building. Guess what’s the inspiration? From Ade’s muscles. (audience laughter) Seriously. (audience laughter) The origin was a request,
“Please design a sports building that visualize sports!” I asked myself, what’s the idea?
I said, “must be dynamic.. movement.” .. sports are dynamic right.. and there must be strength.. When the word “strength” comes to mind. I googled for sources of inspiration. What came up… And this will eventually get built, God wiling. Next year construction will start. (audience claps) This, I won a competition as well.
One of the 15 I won. Originally Jakarta Stock Exchange was to be moved.
I designed a building for them. When I design, I have to tell a story.. storytelling. That’s my architecture. So, this is a bundled up coins. Like change you prepare for parking. So, drawing wealth, that’s the symbol of the finance industry.
More or less so. And green, so when stock prices goes up
People would slide on the green. When prices go down, suicide from the topmost floor. (audience laughter) Everything I’ve prepared for. (audience cheers and claps) This, in Thailand, eventhough I’m in Bandung.
30% of my work is abroad. Thank God.. this shows that the times call us to “seize the opportunity”. That’s how I was being underestimated in the US. 5-7 years I don’t talk much there. I worked hard. .. and eventually proofed myself.
If you work hard, focused. You will be appreciated by society. So, don’t talk much, when you’re not doing much.
That’s pretty much my philosophy. All of this is done in Bandung. Most enjoyable is
when we live where we’re born. But have projects everywhere, that’s the ultimate. Indonesian people abroad aren’t always the best and brightest. But they often don’t have any choice. Because if they come home, they don’t get payed much. So they end up staying in the US and so on. Thank God I have a choice, living where I was born. … while doing global projects. One time, there’s an elderly lady who said this,
in a small neighborhood. She knows I’m into Bandung’s creative sector. “I wonder why sir, the creativity is just for people like yourself?” Creativity is not of much use,
if it doesn’t solve our problems.” That, that sentence touched me deeply.
That all this time, I maybe busily creating. But for myself or my own creative community. So I changed my perception,
that creativity must effect positive change .. in society. What use are high technology,
Rocket science.. When in Indonesia, slums still exist.
The poor can’t eat for three days. So I finally changed that. And I belive the theory that the future lies in the cities.
So I focus in my own city. The key is this, I stated a principle. That…
Kuncinya adalah ini, saya memberikan sebuah tujuan. Bahwa.. …our asset in Bandung mainly is, creativity. Only creativity will save the future of the city. So I focus on human resources. And don’t forget. We collaborate. The weakness of creatives are. They’re smart here and there, but can never gather. So that’s my feedback for friends in Jakarta too. Creative people in Jakarta abounds.
But can you? Create something, a cross-creativity gathering
cross-innovation, do something with Jakarta. Don’t just complain. Because if you wait for government,
even when computers can have children, .. nothing will happen. So I started Bandung Creative City Forum. 20 creative communities in Bandung gather. With just one intersection
“do something with the city”, more or less so. And then I remember, networking is everything. My life is easy, because I have many friends. If I have problems, my life is easy.
Because I do lots of networking. So never stop making friends.
Make more of them. So my friends aren’t just architects. From bicycle cab drivers, to celebrities. So then, I expand my networking.
Not just in Bandung. This is something reaching the stage of mutual MoU. We will “do something” with Kuala Lumpur, Bandung, and with Bali eventually. In Bali there is something called “Bali Creative Power”
And the likes. What makes me sad, this creative economy.
I happen to won in 2006. This year there will be screen and interactives,
I recommend you to apply. Deadline is end of August, in the British Council. I won and was sent off to London,
Tthat’s what also changed my life. One sad thing is,
in my own country, there’s lack of appreciation. 2 weeks ago I got a cal.
Being chosen as advisor on the creative economy. But in Taiwan, not in Indonesia, not in Bandung. Then I created a festival Because a civilized nation, is a nation that celebrates it’s culture. The more festivals there are,
show that a city or a country is more cultured. So, don’t hesitate to share like this.
Don’t hesitate to organize festivals. This, is my favorite public transport. Because of all of them.
It’s the most fun. So, the rest is ignored, this waits… Because these are the days of narcissism right,
this can be a background as well. This, we also do.. public space.
Nobody came here in the past. Now, taking photos, and update Facebook status. For profile picture, if the name starts with A, the photo is with the A. If the name starts with G, the photo must be with G. This shows that public space can be pretty. We will launch this next month.
There’s a gallery, and lots of things. This is provided by our friends, not the government.
Big dream, but we start small.
A lot of slums in the city. This I want to help, by buying land using someone else’s money. If you buy land with your own money, that’s not creative right? (audience laughter) I turned the land into a playground.
When the slum community got this park. It transformed their lives.
The mothers no longer throw away garbage mindlessly. They green their community, send their children to school,
…to my creative community. In the past, children don’t want to go out,
this was an ex-convicts neighborhood. I let them color their own neighborhood. So all the children got out.
And painted their neighborhood, to their liking. But there were guidance,
professionals from friends in the creative community. So what used to be a black, dark, gloomy neighborhood.
Is now colorful. Pretty isn’t it. They’re psychologically better off. Like this. There are 11 spots, places like this.
So the slum now becomes local tourist attraction. The economy, printing photos from mobile phones.
Now becomes a favorite business there. Because there’s not many people have mobiles there… So this, all started from
that grandma I told you about. “Do your creativity, to change your society”. Not for yourself. My hope, is that if one company can buy
just 100 square meters. We help create green spaces in cities. Don’t wait for government. That will take forever. So my hope is if more companies does this, we motivate them. Hopefully, small but plenty.
The gOvernment often said. “How can we expand green spaces, there’s no more forest or land to buy.” I said it’s all just the mindset. This is our way
to motivate people that… They can initiate change by themselves, more or less so. Common pattern in Indonesia’s cities.
Lots of people, slums, electricity is limited. Indonesia is an “Earth Hour” country right?
Because electricity often goes out I mean. (audience laughter) Without any consolidation.
The public electricity provider creates their own “Earth Hour” So me and friends from the Arts, Architecture and Electrical majors Because I teach a class about Creative City in ITB. We created a project, called Enerbike. So morning exercise,
maybe we can collaborate with Ade Rai. So when people do cardio,
not just exercising and getting slimmer. But also generates electricity. Something like this… This will launch next month. (audience cheers and claps) Originally, it will launch next month.
Hopefully will sell for $700. I also look for donors, anyone,
individuals, companies. We spread it to all the slums.
Where there’s lots of people. Who need creativity. If you want to update Facebook for an hour.
Do an hour of morning excercise first. More or less so. Because one hour of cycling.
Theoretically will generate… Electricity to power 8 light bulbs and a laptop for an hour. This first project will be in that neighborhood.
So electricity doesn’t have to depend from electricity company. So, all the children gets ligned up in the morning.
Excercise.. (audience cheers) Tonight.. (audience cheers and claps) Tonight we surf the web, or read with light from our own sweat. This, is done with the “Urban Guerillas” community.
But my point is, that.. We are.. I’m embarrassed if.. If we, according to Ade’s theory, may live to 60.. Would you, for 60 years, just get busy from 9 to 5.
And before you know it, you’re old. Not doing anything, history doesn’t recognize you.
You don’t become anything. I want in this 60 years, at least there’s something that can change society. My father passed away,
when I was doing my undergraduate thesis. That was the most difficult year, 1995. Thesis work was hard,
ITB’s lectures were ‘killers’. My first girlfriend dumped me. Because she had an affair with someone his uncle’s age.
something like that.. (audience cheers and laughs) And my father died that year.
That was a very tough year for me. One of my father’s message was… “Emil.. there are four kinds of youth in Indonesia. One is smart, but cares not.
Plenty of them. They go abroad. .. not proud of Indonesia.
But smart and clever. Twitter generation. Facebook generation. One, smart but doesn’t care about Indonesia. The second, are young people who… who.. Who cares, but aren’t smart.
They’re the ones doing all those demonstration.. Get payed.. (audience cheers and laughs) Pretends to be active, plenty of them.
That is not us. The worst is those who, on top of not being smart,
they also don’t care. Those are the thugs you meet in traditional markets. So I say,
be the fourth kind. Be a young peerson who is smart, goes to school,
clever, social. But also cares about Indonesia.
Cares about poverty. .. cares about the energy crisis, and such. If we can give birth to young people
who care, and are smart I think Indonesia will, God willing, be a country that’s.. .. most comfortable to live in. A country that.. our children and grand children can inherit. Last, was when I was in New Delhi.
This is what inspires me. A writing in a cafe, in India. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Thank you.. good afternoon. (audience cheers and claps)