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.
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
Population : 5,000,000
floor space : 50m2
floor area :
footprint for 4 storeys is therefore 1/12th or 8.3% of the island.
is 28 storeys, the footprint is 1/84th or 1.2% of the island.
between building is 4 times the footprint, then the land required is 4,8% of
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:
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 ?
material was presented by Sumset Jumsai at 15thArcasia Congress
2012, Nusa dua, Bali, Indonesia
from The Point of View of Language, Landscape, and Gathering
By Fumihiko Maki
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.
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.
Japan’s active interest in the essence of foreign cultures –whether ancient
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
offers a fertile ground for personal memories and experiences.
Time is a
mediator city and architecture.
the final judge of architecture.
Space and Architecture
no differentiation between interior and exterior.
accommodates a given function and generates new uses.
form, fosters delight (venustas) for people.
This material was presented by Fumihiko Maki at 15thArcasia
Congress 2012, Nusa dua, Bali, Indonesia