Alumni Spotlight:
Andre Simapranata
(B.Arch. '12)

April 22, 2024

Name: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­Andre Simapranata
Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia
Major: Bachelor of Architecture
Graduation Year:
Employer: asimapra
Owner, Design Principal

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"I am most proud of seeing my first architectural design from start to finish – a residential villa, Tanatakah, in Bali, Indonesia. The Hines College fully prepared me with the skills to take on this kind of project and see it through."

Why did you choose the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design? What drew you to design?
I have always been interested in making models. When looking for an undergraduate architecture program, I saw the Hines College had an established fabrication space, the Keeland Design Exploration Laboratory. This intrigued me and served my passion, so I applied to the University of Houston. During my first semester, I remember feeling very happy with my decision as I was immersed in doing all the hands-on work I had imagined.

What is one of your favorite memories from your time on campus? Was there a particular professor who influenced your education?
Crunch time before studio reviews left an impression on me; however, as tiring and frustrating as they were, they taught me discipline, time management, and coordination with other team members. This is incredibly important in how I run my own practice now. The professors I crossed paths with at UH helped me become the designer I am today. Bill Truitt, Jason Logan, and Matt Johnson encouraged me to think about design more critically, spatially, on macro and micro scales, and include social-political-cultural forces in architectural design.

Tell us about a typical day in your job. Do you have a particular design or business philosophy?
In 2022, I started my own architectural practice, asimapra, in Jakarta. I usually do a weekly schedule so that I know what needs to be done each week. My typical day begins around 9:00 am when I step into my studio. I approach each project to address its specific needs. Projects must be in sync with their surroundings, in harmony with nature, and respond to the ever-shifting social, technological, political, and cultural forces.

above: Images of Simapranata's tanatakah, a residential villa in bali, indonesia

What is one career accomplishment of which you are particularly proud? How do you feel the College prepared you for this?
I am most proud of seeing my first architectural design from start to finish – a residential villa, Tanatakah, in Bali, Indonesia. The Hines College fully prepared me with the skills to take on this kind of project and see it through. Presentations during reviews are just like communicating your ideas to your client, and making clear and specific drawings and models helps see the project through construction and aid your client in envisioning the final outcome.

What is one valuable lesson you learned during your time at the Hines College?
In our reviews, we had to strongly defend our design intentions, and often, our professors were really tough on us. These processes taught me how to be tenacious with my design intentions. Critiques are really dialogues and conversations about our intentions as designers. Objectively receiving feedback helps you extract what you can do better.

What advice would you give to current architecture and design students?
Be honest while designing your projects. Design students already have respectable intuitions when it comes to envisioning good design. You know how beautiful shapes, drawings, and models can influence your work. Trust your gut feelings and ensure your designs solve the particular problems you are trying to solve.

Instagram: andre.simapranata


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