Rafael Arsono & Margareta Miranti

Rafael Miranti Architects

Honest and unpretentious solutions to everyday problems – not trend-driven outcomes – is the currency of Rafael Miranti Architects. Principal Architect Rafael Arsono and Managing Director Margareta Miranti established their studio in BSD City (Bumi Serpong Damai), Greater Jakarta in 2014 with a belief that good design belongs to the public. They work across sectors and at any scale, taking the attitude that resolving issues with simple upgrades or subtle refinements can be just as rewarding as designing a new building.

The conditions for the practice of design and architecture in Indonesia were a driver for the establishment of the studio. Say Rafael and Margareta, “We had always wanted to make some form of contribution to our country. In Indonesia, design is often not fully considered and utilised as a problem-solving approach. The infrastructure for our design industry is still developing and the idea of using design as a tool for progress is still something that you find in very rare occasions. This context is challenging yet exciting for us, which also spurs us in believing that we can design almost anything here.”

Seeking the best possible outcomes for all project stakeholders (clients, users and the surrounding community) sees Rafael and Margareta take a deep approach to understanding client and site, and a collaborative path forward with their clients. In the years ahead they hope to see a more collective push from all industry stakeholders to act on the climate emergency and amend Indonesia’s national building standards to champion more sustainable and regenerative methods.

Also key to their practice is the embrace of cultural heritage, which exists in a rich array in the Indonesian archipelago. They recognise however that bringing local traditions and cultures into contemporary settings must be done in the most respectiful and sensitive manner – with the avoidance of shallow interpretations. They add, “We are excited to see innovative ways in which traditional construction methods or design elements combined with new technologies. This may result in new innovative materials and techniques that are more efficient and environmentally responsible.”

Photography of Rafael Arsono and Margareta Miranti by Chris Bunjamin, Bubur Cap Tiger (2019, in collaboration with Sashia Rosari) by Liandro Siringoringo, Hunter & Grower (2019, in collaboration with Sashia Rosari) by Sefval Mogalana, Mother Monster at Plaza Indonesia (2017, in collaboration with Sashia Rosari and Takeo Sugamata) by Arti Pictures (William Sutanto), Private House in Permata Hijau (2016) by Sefval Mogalana, and Private Villa in Ungasan, Bali (2017) by Putu Adi Widiantara.