Eko Prawoto is an Indonesian architect and educator who combines contemporary design with local knowledge, commenting that he views his buildings as social entities as much as physical objects. Through using locally sourced and often recycled materials, his designs are not only environmentally sensitive but also reduce building costs so that builders' pay can be maximised. When building in remote rural areas, he carries out resource surveys to establish what building materials are available and works alongside local craftsmen and builders.
Prawoto has researched earthquake resistant buildings made from materials such as bamboo, straw and coconut wood and is working to reintroduce these to the general public. However, there is a preference in Indonesia for more modern concrete buildings which signal affluence, a similar situation to that in Colombia, where Simón Vélez and Marcelo Villegas are also pioneering contemporary bamboo construction. In contrast to Vélez and Villegas' approach, Prawoto's buildings are usually more modest in scale and therefore require less specialist training making them more suitable for self-building, a quality that allowed Prawoto to use his expertise in the reconstruction efforts following the 2006 earthquake, in which he helped villagers to rebuild their homes as earthquake resistant structures as cheaply as possible, and before the slow handout of governmental assistance for which not all can wait.
Typical of many spatial agents, Prawoto's practice expands beyond architecture, including collaborations with artists, exhibiting (including at the Venice Architecture Biennale), teaching and advocacy.
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