Saturday, 27 November 2010

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Visiting Lecture Series SAPPK Institut Teknologi Bandung 2010

Information are correct at time of upload. Please visit ADRG's website for latest updates.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Baskoro Tedjo Design Sharing Series at Institut Teknologi Bandung

Design Sharing Series on the Concepts, Processes, Approaches and Performances of 40 Selected Projects by Baskoro Tedjo
Date: Every Friday, 19 November, 26 November and 3 December 2010
Venue: Ruang Kuliah 6101, SAPPK, ITB

One of the most celebrated architect in Indonesia, Baskoro Tedjo's career has spanned for over 25 years. This design sharing series will be conducted in three parts, presenting 40 selected works on governmental buildings and public spaces, private buildings, and award winning projects. The presentation series are part of the book making process on the architecture of Baskoro Tedjo.

Urban Transformation Phenomena in Bandung - Pre Thesis Part 1

The proposed thesis is concerned with the process of urban transformation that is happening in Bandung today. The research is interested in these transformations because of its importance in understanding the whole phenomena of the city, which might lead to the development of the city in the future. This thesis, which deals with the practice of architectural and urban modernism and its transformation opens against a background in which expectation tinged with equal measures of uncertainty. Public and professional attitudes towards modern architecture and planning systems, and its continuing potential for reshaping cities had changed dramatically since the death of modernism was announced*. Although some continued to believe in and practice modernism as if nothing had happened, as what happened in Indonesia, elsewhere the mood was critical, apologetic and sometime confused (Gold, 2007). Architects and urban planners, who previously enjoyed general endorsement as built environment’s experts now faced criticisms and are accused of authoritarianism, dogmatism, unaccountability, elitism, hegemony, lack of ethical concern, arrogance, and above all, being a whore for those with capital strength. These criticisms usually come from the grass-root level of society that primarily are users of the places and spaces designed by architects and planners. These places which society celebrated in the past now stood condemned as dysfunctional, socially sterile, without respect for history and the collective mnemonic memory and monotonous. This kind of transformation is the primary research topic of the thesis, which tries to investigate and understand the evolution of use and functions of the designed places and spaces over the transformative period that had happened. Click to read more. 

*Architectural theorist and critic, Charles Jencks in his book on The Language of Post-Modern Architecture (1977) opens with the statement: 'Happily, we can date the death of Modern Architecture to a precise moment in time... It expired finally and completely in 1972'.

Slide Show Selasa Sore - Unrealized Presentation Series

The unrealized presentation series of Slide Show Selasa Sore at SAPPK, ITB, 2010.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Visiting Lecture Series SAPPK Institut Teknologi Bandung 2010

Information are correct at time of upload. Please visit ADRG's website for latest updates.

Pre Thesis Seminar - Urban Transformation Phenomena in Bandung

This presentation discuss the restructuring of my proposed thesis on the subject of urban transformation that is happening in the city of Bandung, with specific analysis along the area of Jalan Jenderal Sudirman. Download the presentation here.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Kevin Mark Low Presentation at Institut Teknologi Bandung

Kevin Mark Low (smallprojects)
Date: Thursday, 18 November 2010, 1300 WIB
Venue: Ruang Kuliah Planologi SAPPK, Lt. 6, Institut Teknologi Bandung

smallprojects is run by Kevin Low who returned to Malaysia and culture shock after nine years in the west with a bachelor's and master's degree in architecture and a minor in art and architectural history. Kevin has, over various periods in his life, been professionally involved in writing, environmental sculpture, illustrating, teaching and copyrighting. He has presented papers on building technology at Harvard University and lectured in the architectural department at MIT. While in the United States, Kevin worked in architectural practices both on the East and West coasts and studied closely with the Aga Khan Foundation, earning awards of research grants and fellowships to Italy, North Yemen, Spain and Bangladesh. He joined GDP Architects upon his return to Kuala Lumpur where he stayed for the next eleven years, running the r + d and special projects division.

His work while at GDP Architects included project branding, budget hotels and high end condominiums, a refurbished warehouse for a corporate office, various housing types, guardhouses, garden memorials, mailboxes and master plans; the last one being the master plan for Sentul in Kuala Lumpur. 

Kevin currently divides his time between architectural and product design, concept master plans, teaching architecture at University Malaya and providing design concept services to clients and other consultants.

He still designs mailboxes.
And unusual houses for unusual clients with an emphasis on what he calls the garden house.

(Text courtesy of Kevin Low)

Information are correct at time of upload. Please visit ADRG's website for latest updates.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Performative Urbanism - Rem Koolhaas’ Delirious New York

Delirious New York
This chapter will review and analyze Rem Koolhaas’ Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan (1978) – a book with an engaging review of modern architecture and urbanism. In this book, Koolhaas presents the city as world of the ‘fantastic’, disguised as the pragmatic, and termed the city as the Rosetta Stone of the 20th century. Manhattan, the main subject of discussion of the book was viewed as a world of illusion that was brought to life and became a factory of man-made experience. This condition had caused the real and the natural condition of the city to ceased to exist, lacking a sense of the real.

From Modernity to Performative Modernity
Throughout the 1970s, intense hostility toward the modernist approaches in architecture and urban planning provided motivation for a reengagement with architectural history, and stressed out upon an articulation of architecture as a system of communication. The parallel framing of architecture as a communicative system was influenced by methods from other disciplines, such as semiotics and structuralist linguistics. However, Delirious New York was written by depicting the architecture of Manhattan not in linguistic or representational terms, but as a kind of a performative drive.

In this context, Koolhaas’ processes of understanding the city were done through the analyzing of the block grid that is Manhattan. The block grid was conceived in 1807, breaking Coney Island into 2028 blocks, totally indifferent to topography. Manhattan was basically formed by the imposition of the mental over the real. The city form was a result of overlying the grids, shifted out of the real into the fantastic with the advent of the skyscrapers. This had made Manhattan became lobotomized, in the words of Koolhaas. The external image of the city representing the illusion of what a proper and monumental urban structure should be, while the internal being entirely divorced from the external, and being only what it was – be it fantasy or the mundane of everyday life.

Performative Driven Urbanism – The Culture of Congestion
Delirious New York was represented as the ‘popular’ American modernism – a modernism of unselfconscious density, which in Koolhaas’ view, the culture of congestion. What keeps Manhattan running is congestion, a world constantly on the edge of total gridlock. This is the similar phenomenon that Bandung is also facing currently. The simultaneous explosion of human density and invasion of new technologies, together with unregulated forces of capitalism and politics surpasses established urban planning and architecture theories. In the case of Manhattan, Koolhaas coined the term ‘Manhattanism’ – which is the undeclared modern phenomena that exceeds both the rationality of Le Corbusier’s machine age modernism and the irrationality of Salvador Dali’s paranoid-critical surrealism.

The reason Le Corbusier could not conquer Manhattan is that his urban form removed the congestion phenomena of the city, replacing it with an ideal city form to live in. This congestion, similar to what Bandung is facing today, forces the city to be divorced from reality – into a more speculative world filled with people with unique human desires. These desires were also caused by the systemization of the efficient city, which lack inspiration and surrender individuality to the automatism of a synthetic routine of living in the city.

Delirious New York as an Inductive Research
Koolhaas’ research on Manhattan operates predominantly in an inductive mode, involving the extraction of general principles (theories) from observation of specific phenomena (facts). His approach was in opposition to the deduction method, which is the testing of general principles through the production of specific phenomena. If the modernist manifesto was intended to be read according to logic of rationalist deduction, Delirious New York is a reversal to it. The research attempt to recuperate an alternative to the rationalist’ modernism through a parallactic historiography, in which the object of study is being reframed by the point of view assumed by a repositioned subject. This method led to the blurring of roles, which plays out in the book structure and way of writing.

This generative mode of polemical architectural research, directed toward theorizing urban phenomena outside of the architectural profession was, perhaps made famous by the work of Robert VenturiDenise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour’s Learning From Las Vegas (1972). My research for the thesis follows the similar approach of both Delirious New York and Learning From Las Vegas, looking to contemporary explosive locations of urban growth and transformation that are driven by the global and local market economy and socio-political factors, rather that the dictates of architects and planners.