Monday, 15 November 2010

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'.

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