Y. B. Mangunwijaya

Y. B. Mangunwijaya

Y. B. Mangunwijaya

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Yusuf Bilyarta Mangunwijaya (Ambarawa, Central Java, 6 May 1929 - Jakarta 10 February 1999), was an Indonesian architect, writer, and Catholic religious leader. He was often called Romo Mangun (Father Mangun).


He was the son of Yulianus Sumadi and Serafin Kamdaniyah. At the age of sixteen, during the Indonesian National Revolution, he joined the People's Security Army and was shocked by the way the troops treated the villagers. In 1950, after hearing a speech by one of their commanders, Major Isman, about the harmful effects of the revolution on civilians, he decided to serve the people as a priest. He was ordained in 1959, while studying philosophy and theology at the "Institute Sancti Pauli" in Yogyakarta. He continued to study architecture in Aachen, Germany, and at the Aspen Institute of Humanistic Studies in Aspen, Colorado.

He was the author of many novels, short stories, essays and non-fiction works. His novel Burung-Burung Manyar (The Weaver Birds) received the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1996.

He was known as the father of modern Indonesian architecture. He received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1992 for his work with the slum dwellers on the banks of the river in Yogyakarta.

His disappointment with the Indonesian educational system inspired him to explore alternative systems. He founded the "Elementary Education Dynamics Foundation", as well as an exploratory elementary school project for those who were displaced by the Kedung...
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