Selasa, 06 November 2012

Rumah Burung

Ketika pepohonan mulai hilang, memanggil burung hanya mimpi indah penuh warna.

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Senin, 05 November 2012

Questining Modernism, Urbanism, Globalism, Profitism, Humanism, Naturism, Localism

Questining Modernism, Urbanism, Globalism, Profitism, Humanism, Naturism, Localism
By Tay Kheng Soon (Akitek Tenggara)

Since the 90’s Arcasia has vexed over the professional politics of identity challenged globalization. Asia based its development model on the west unless we have more powerful ideas that address the crisis of capitalism itself we will repeat its errors. This is talk on architecture though it will touch on politics.
We need to re-position our focus. We need the re-think the mathematics of form. New architecture can only come from new planning. New planning comes from new methodology and new planning vision. The new methodology is 3D modeling of total floor space versus land area.
World Settlement Options
Lets look at the world first. World arable land is 19,500,000km2. If everyone needs 40m2  floor space each, the total floor area for 7,000,000,000 people is 280,000,000,000m2 or 1.4% if all buildings are one storey. If they are two storeys, the footprint is 0.7%. So there are many options for human settlement types.
Every architect of every building serve its master, thus every architect is an agent of someone’s idea. It’s time to lead.
Singapore Settlement Options:
Land                                        : 714,000,000m2 (714km2)
Population                               : 5,000,000
Per-capital floor space           : 50m2
Total floor area                       : 250,000,000m2
Total footprint for 4 storeys is therefore 1/12th or 8.3% of the island.
If average is 28 storeys, the footprint is 1/84th or 1.2% of the island.
If space between building is 4 times the footprint, then the land required is 4,8% of the island.
These calculation assume stacking all functions. It is the 3D design method. The more we density some place, the less we need in another. What Singapore could have been is totally rubanised.

Rubanitation is the solution to urban and rural areas. In India, Urban and Rural areas along the agricultural corridor creates the best of both the worlds. We can devide the area consists of cells at different densities:
·         Low density  (8,000 people)
·         Mid low density (23,000 people)
·         Mid high density (31,000 people)

Kamis, 01 November 2012

Symbolism and Architecture from AD 30,000 BP to AD 2100

Symbolism and Architecture from AD 30,000 BP to AD 2100
By Sumset Jumsai

In the second Inter-Government Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, sea rise due to global warming is projected at the high end at around a meter for AD 2100 or in three generations’ time. Of this, 70 cm is due to the ice caps and glaciers melting, and 30 cm to thermal expansion of sea water. The projection has since been overtaken by the acceleration of ice melting and sea rise.

The above in any case is insignificant compared to the temperature fluctuation betweenglacial and interglacial periods. Data for the start of the present interglacial period, or30,000 to 10,000 years ago, point to the fact that sea rise, due to ice melting, was asmuch as 187 meters. At that pointin time, the rising sea quickly submerged much ofthe Southeast Asian Continent, a part of which is now the Sunda Shelf seabed. This land mass, the size of present-day China, was a major mild zone for humans, animalsand the food chain to survive during the cold spell. The flood also broke up thecontinent into disparate units and created tens of thousands of islands in the Philippines and Indonesian archipelagos

Meanwhile, the rapidly encroachingwater meant that communities had to retreat constantly before the shorelines and inorder to survive, had to build houses on stiltsor floating. Moreover, in order to keep intouch with fellow humans marooned on islands which seemed to be getting furtheraway, people had to build rafts and boats.

Thus began a water-based way of life as reflected in the folklores, rituals, amphibioushabitats, nautical technology, navigational skill and the particular symbolism used as codal transmission of aquatic experience. The split gate in this respect can beseen as a poignant codal message of Bali being severed from the Southeast Asianmainland some 20,000 years ago. Quite possibly also, the distant memory of oceansundulating with shifting landmasses is replicated in the Hindu-Buddhist cosmologicalmodel which in turn shapes architectural plans and profiles of a great many religiousstructures in the region.
In the European West, human contact with the water element was confrontational and calamitous in the Biblical sense as shown by Noah’s Ark. Venice, however, simply shunned the waters by adopting a land-based architecture which then resulted in the yearly flood and damages to the buildings. In the Dutch case the whole country confronts the floods and the sea head on with polders and sea barriers. With half of its land below high tide, the Netherlands can be seen as a hydraulic machine constantly pumping and siphoning water in order to keep its feet dry. It is interesting to compare this water machine with the hydraulic complex at Angkor, and indeed the gigantic hydraulic works in ancient China which are unsurpassed in any culture. However, in the latter examples, the machines also perform other functions than engineering. They are part of philosophy, art, and culture.
On the philosophical note, it is interesting to note that recently a group of young architects in the Netherlands have built a floating new village in a flooded polder for which they intentionally breached the enclosing dike. The message was tha thumans can live with the forces of Nature and not against it. This resonates well with the region’s amphibious or aquatic houses. Here examples might include Panyi in south Thailand, the Japanese shrine complex of It sukushima, Kampong Ayer in Brunei, the floating city of Bangkok in the nineteenth century, Kenzo Tange’s structures on stilt sand R. Buckminster Fuller’s Triton City, both designed in 1960 for Tokyo Bay.

Can any of the above examples be put to use? Or must humans, indeed architects and investors, continue to fight against Nature and make end-users or innocent bystanderspay for the consequences ?

This material was presented by Sumset Jumsai at 15thArcasia Congress 2012, Nusa dua, Bali, Indonesia

pictures are taken from

Japanese Culture from The Point of View of Language, Landscape, and Gathering

Japanese Culture from The Point of View of Language, Landscape, and Gathering
By Fumihiko Maki

Globalization presents one of the most pressing issues today in threatening the identity of different regions and cultures. The question is centered on how cities and buildings could be preserved and further developed for the future.

Japan is fortunately an island nation, situated on the fringes of former centers of civilization (Europe, Middle East, and China). While foreign cultures have undoubtedly influenced the country for over thousands of years, it is significant that they never fully shaped Japan’s cultural heritage.

Yet Japan’s active interest in the essence of foreign cultures –whether ancient Buddhism
or Western Modernism–has never ceased. Unlike colonized countries in Asia, foreign influences could be assimilated and “Japanized” over long periods of time and at the will of the nation. Of course, geographic conditions play an important role. Taking such issues into account, I would like to discuss the uniqueness of the Japanese culture from the point of view of language, landscape, and gathering.


It can be said that language is the most powerful cultural asset. Both directly andindirectly, language influences the thoughts and feelingsof those who use it.From ancient times, a variety of languages have existed in Japan. Ever since the Chinesescript (ideograms known as kanji)was imported, anotheralphabet (known as kana) wasadded to give phonetic expression tokanji.

Many new words were introduced from the West once Japan began to modernize in the mid-19thcentury, after a long period of relative isolation. Under renewed pressure to ‘Japanize’ the language, abstract ideas were formulated inkanji while emotional expressions were phrased inkana. To this day, the two have been used together,incorporated intothe spoken and written languages to form one of the most unique linguistic structures. This may account in large measure for the dominant positionenjoyed internationally by Japanese manga and anime.

The thought process of design involves an incessant feedback loop between the rational and emotional compartments of the architects’mind. While Japanese architecture had made great strides in emulatingthe West,thisdual thought process has shaped the uniqueness of Japanese architecture since JunzoSakakura’s Japan Pavilion in the Paris Expo of 1937.

Nature and Landscape

The islands of Japan stretch north and south for 1000 km, with its center being occupied by mountain ranges. Being surrounded by the ocean and filled with mountains,the landscape is bestowed with a wealth of natural resources. The general storage of space and the lack of plateaus and desert shave created a landscape in which residential and agricultural zones occupy most of the land up to the foot of the mountains.As general rainfall is high and temperature levels are mild, an abundance of forests with a rich variety of plants and trees could be found. On the other hand, the threat of earthquakes has restricted the amount of masonry constructions. Rather than brick or stone,almost all buildings are therefore made of wood.Within the otherwise tranquil environment, buildings, villages, and cities have been designed to coexist with, rather than confront, nature. With the exceptions of a few castles, Japanese architecture tends to emphasize its horizontality.

Incidentally the room, with all its sliding screens and panels, acquires a level of spatial freedom from the ingrained genetics that enables many different uses. The whole does not dominate the part, but the combination of parts constitutes the whole. This breeds unique spatial aesthetics based on asymmetry and the concept of ma– the space in between.

Moreover, the practical limitation of space has encouraged its perceptual enlargement, accomplished by means of spatial layering to amplify the sense of depth; something that has been further enriched by including elements of the landscape, like shrubbery and trees, as additional layers. This kind of multi-layered system emphasizesen closure, which explains the tendency to endow space with a centripetal rather than acentrifugal order. Characterized by ma and oku, Japanese tradition is better under stood through such spatial qualities rather than material forms.In this way, the motivation to seek a harmonious relationship with nature has always been strong in the city and its architecture.


The Edo period was a feudal society in which social status strictly determined one’s domicile and privileges. In such a rigid society, the only areas of public gathering were places well-known for their scenic beauty, and often included the precinct of temple sand shrines. While few such places remain as parks, most of them have vanished with the modernization of the country. In its place, train stations and their surrounding shave become centers of gathering in large cities like Tokyo. As mentioned earlier, it was not possible to modernize the Japanese city by mimicking its European counterpart due to the importance of coexisting with nature. The rail system, however, suited the organic structure of the Japanese city.

Today the private suburban lines, the central subway system, and the originally public JR lines have merged to create a vast rail network that lacks comparison in other metropolises of the world. In biological terms,its speed, precision, cleanliness, and reliability is analogous to the body’s circulatory system, while its nodes represent the organs. Furthermore, the expression of the rail terminal takes on a wide variety of architectural styles, being neo-classic, modern,post-modern, and neo-modern, and mega structural. The stations become vital centers of activity, attracting and nourishing diverse urban functions in its surroundings. As such, it could be said that the station has become the new public space of the city. It is important to recognize that there exists a strong social force that supersedes the will of the individual architect. Socialization of this kind has generated a unique quality to the built environment.

Floating Moderism

What best characterizes the modernism of the 21st century is that it has lost its initial objectives, principles, and styles, dissolving into a large pool of information. Architects are no longer passengers on a big ship but are left wandering on the open seas. Of course individual architects each have their own objectives, principles, and styles. But in the open sea, one must know what to hold on to and what to swim toward. In thinking about the future of architecture in a context where all things are becoming relative, it is important to reevaluate the qualities of the local culture.

Time and Architecture
Time offers a fertile ground for personal memories and experiences.
Time is a mediator city and architecture.
Time is the final judge of architecture.

Space and Architecture
Space has no differentiation between interior and exterior.
Space accommodates a given function and generates new uses.
Space not form, fosters delight (venustas) for people.

This material was presented by Fumihiko Maki at 15thArcasia Congress 2012, Nusa dua, Bali, Indonesia

all pictures are from