Migrating Technology Imposing Typology

David Hutama

Supervisors: Marina Lathouri, Murray Fraser

The enactment of the 1870 Agrarian Act and, followed by the 1901 Ethical Policy in the Dutch East indies urged not only migration of people but also the migration of systems from the Netherlands, as the metropole, to the archipelago, as its colony.  This migration engendered unprecedented industrial privatisations.

One noticeable shift was the increasing demands of technology and technical skills. The proliferation of plantations and other industries increased the needs of having more expert technicians who were able to comply with the Dutch regulations and standards from the Javanese people. That said, Dutch initiated three endeavours to overcome the challenges; 1. educating and training the Javanese the necessary technical knowledge and skill, 2. Re-inventing Javanese tradition and crafts, and 3.  setting the Hygienic standard for housing. 

The study discusses this dynamic through three sections. The first section discusses the establishment of technical and crafts schools in the Dutch Indies. The second section scrutinises how C.P. Wolff Schoemaker, Maclaine Pont, and Thomas Karsten appropriated Javanese craft to establish a new typology of building practice, and the third elaborates H.F. Tillema’s endeavour promoted the hygienic dwelling for the Dutch East Indies.

This study aims to argue that this migration of systems has transformed the Javanese craft and building practice. The appropriation of the Javanese culture as the primary source to establish a new typology did not change the fact that the objectification and the re-invention of the Javanese tradition is a form of displacement for the interest of Dutch industry.

Image: A craft school for the Local at Purwokerto, the Netherland Indies.

Biography: David Hutama was graduated from Universitas Katolik Parahyangan, Indonesia and Toyohashi University of Technology, Japan. His publications are including “Studio Talk: Home” (Co-Editor), “Craftsmanship: Material Consciousness” (Co-writer), “Don Jads De Buk Bai Its Kafer” a monograph on Sonny Sutanto Architect’s firm (Writer and Editor), “Sunyata: The Poetics of the Emptiness” (Writer). Some of his articles are also published at KOMPAS, the largest newspaper in Indonesia. In 2014 and 2018, he was commissioned as co-curator of Pavilion Indonesia at the International Architecture Exhibition la Biennale de Venezia. Currently, he is part of an architectural pedagogy laboratory “Critical Context”, a platform he initiated in 2016 to discuss and experiment teaching methodology in architectural schools in Indonesia. David Hutama is registered as a fellow researcher (2018-2020) at the KITLV, Leiden The Netherlands and 4th year PhD student at the Architectural Association, school of architecture, UK.