Best Office In the World – Realrich Sjarief and DOT

best office in the world

The entry statement as you walk into the office lobby/sitting room

Early last week I went to meet up with an former colleague from a past life in Singapore, Realrich.   I’d been keeping track of his steps over the years from afar but I hadn’t seen him quite some time.  In that time Realrich has been busy creating a name for himself as a serious up and comer in the Indonesian architectural scene.  He’ll deny it, but every Indonesian architect I come across knows him, has worked with him or taught by him.

Stacked Wide and High

Staff sit shoulder to shoulder, floor to ceiling.

His studio is a sight to behold, designed and built by his team at DOT (Design Oriented Territory Workshop) and DPW (Design Perfection Workshop) the team work in a converted garage. To make use of every available piece of space, the team work in a very tightly organised space.  “This is the office” I’m told, “now look up – and back there”  My first shock is how many people they have packed into a tiny space, then I look up, I look behind me. there’s people everywhere!  A single long desk space packed with computers, workers and files adorns the side wall.  Then above another level of staff.  12 staff in a 10m x 3m room!

Staff in every nook and cranny

Don’t stand up, you’ll hit your head of the water pipes.

The office has been equipped with ideas chalkboards, games, playstation, guitars, food and concept models by the bucketful.  Everything a high intensity design environment needs.  But what makes this office particularly special is the level of experimental architecture they are willing and able to undertake.

Ideas Chalkboard

All of the secrets are revealed


Company Logo

This is your first greeting upon arrival


The DOT studio and the Design Perfection workshop(DPW) work hand in hand, one informs the other and is a key part to the high level of design DOT can offer to the people that entrust them to create their dream home or economic future.

The Workshop

Behind is the workshop where all the magic happens.

 The DPW is also home to the staff that run the workshop and their family.  Having a workshop allows for the exploration of design ideas. Using discarded building materials Realrich has been able to explore design ideas while creating living spaces for his workers.  The workshop also helps in achieving the desired design outcomes he’s pushing for in his work.  If a builder refuses or can’t achieve the level of detail required in a project he and his team attack the challenge head on and create doors, windows, joinery and pretty much anything required to get the job done right.

Experimental Plywood Housing

Windows completely made from left over ply. Ply frame, ply tracks. All money made in this workshop essentially goes towards improving it and the living conditions of the workers.

Working Drawing DOT style

Why would you need any more?

Hard workers

One of the hardest workers in the workshop I presume.

Staff Housing

Due to the high waste of building materials onsite. Realrich was able to create a stylish home at minimal cost to his employees.

Having grown up in an artisan culture where if you didn’t have something you created it.  I find myself extremely envious of what Realrich has managed to achieve in forming his business.  For a number of years this same studio model has been something I have dreamt of pursuing, however that is a path I have yet to walk, I’m just lucky I’ve got friends to learn from.

A family lives onsite and runs a little stall in front of the workshop.  This I am told is the next project.

A family lives onsite and runs a little stall in front of the workshop. This I am told is the next project.


4 comments on “Best Office In the World – Realrich Sjarief and DOT

  1. Damien Tammer
    May 8, 2013

    sweatshop, rebranded? How do you compete with that…


    • scottyvalentine
      May 8, 2013

      Life’s a little different in Asia. competition is even more fierce than Australia and we all know the first rule of starting a business. KEEP COSTS LOW. In other words don’t rent space of you have a perfectly good garage. This is studio Mark 1, keep your eyes on here for studio mark 2 😉


  2. Pingback: Butterfly Collection – My Sketch Journal | My Mayonnaise Jar

  3. Billy Wirawan
    May 22, 2013

    I am a client of DOT and I can say I am amazed by how things are done sequencedly by Realrich. One of the next big man in Architecture.


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This entry was posted on May 6, 2013 by in Design and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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