Architects can play a crucial role in maintaining local culture by weaving the essence of heritage into the fabric of modern built environments. Through careful research, architects gain an in-depth understanding of the historical and cultural context of a community. This knowledge empowers them to incorporate traditional architectural elements, materials, and design principles into contemporary structures, fostering a seamless connection between past and present.
In 2008, an architect named Ir. Gregorius Antar Awal, IAI, AA or commonly referred as Yori Antar visited the village of Wae Rebo in Flores and initiated the construction of traditional houses there, known as the Rumah Asuh movement. Yori Antar is nicknamed the warrior of Nusantara architecture due to his focus on preserving local architectural heritage.
The concern about the extinction of local architectural art, overshadowed by the grandeur of modern buildings, has driven Yori Antar to become even more determined in delving into local architectural knowledge, documenting, and also reconstructing Nusantara architecture in the form of traditional houses that are endangered. Since 2008, Yori Antar has led a movement he named "Rumah Asuh". This movement invites selected students to learn from local stakeholders and village communities for a period of one and a half months, participating in building traditional houses in rural areas throughout the homeland.
Aside from serving as a learning platform for architecture students, the Rumah Asuh program, supported by donors/philanthropists, academics, and the local community, has been implemented in the Wae Rebo-Flores region. All the activities carried out are part of the process of reinventing Indonesia, with the aim of rediscovering the traditional cultural roots of Indonesia that are starting to be forgotten by society today. It's like a collection of puzzles ready to be assembled and completed in order to construct a better future for Indonesia.