The Equivocal (Inter)Subjectivity: Phenomenology in Architectural Discourse and Its Discontents

Qing Liu

Supervisors: Marina Lathouri, Tao Sule-DuFour

The thesis investigates what can be termed a tradition of architectural phenomenology, along with the criticism it encountered and its ongoing transformation, stressing on the problem of intertwined subjective and intersubjective experience in the development of architectural phenomenological thinking. Although Heidegger and many philosophers after him seek to explicitly preclude the possibility to thematize subjectivity in any phenomenological discourse, what has been destroyed turns out to be only the specific conception of a transcendental or universal subject rather than the subjectivity itself. Architectural phenomenology was frequently attacked for being based upon unchecked presuppositions, prioritizing a demarcated “proper” subject, a specific way of being-in-the-world, and thus uncritically establishing its authority in the discipline of architecture, but such deficiency is not necessarily inherent in the phenomenological method per se. On the one hand, there are previous misinterpretations of the relevant philosophical works, as well as an unclear definition of the relationship between architecture and phenomenology in theorizing. On the other hand, the overlooking of contemporary phenomenological studies and their contributions to the reemerging proliferation of the subject in correlated disciplines reconsolidates the misunderstanding of phenomenology in architectural discourse. While the existing reviews on architectural phenomenology shared a general propensity, to refrain from critically analyzing the philosophical thinking both within and beyond the scope of their research materials, the thesis provides a deep insight into the historical polemic that revolves around the phenomenological tradition. Through tracing the crucial notions in both the architectural and philosophical contexts, the thesis explores the paradoxical, complex, and dissenting arguments of architectural phenomenologists from the postwar era to the present, revealing that it is due to an equivocal subjectivity/intersubjectivity in philosophizing that restrictions were imposed to normalize or individualize experience in many of their writings. With this clarification, the thesis simultaneously secures the currently obscured potential of architectural phenomenology by reexamining its competency in penetrating perception and engaging concreteness, therefore shedding light on how phenomenology should still be heuristic as an indispensable theorizing tool in architectural discourse.

Image: Charles Moore (right) instructing students during a lesson. From Eugene J. Johnson, ed., Charles Moore: Buildings and projects, 1949-1986 (New York: Rizzoli, 1986), 39. 

Biography: Qing Liu graduated from Tongji University with a B.Eng. in Architecture (2015) and a M. Arch. (2018). Before pursuing her D.Phil. at the Architectural Association, she participated in the competition and bidding process of several museums in China with Rurban Studio, Shanghai. Her research interest involves the intersection between architecture and philosophy, in particular the phenomenology of perception, embodiment, and image consciousness.

Figure Ground: The process of prioritization in representing urban form

Aylin Tarlan

Supervisors: Pier Vittorio Aureli, Maria Giudici

This thesis studies the position of Figure and Ground in urban representation, from the Roman urban survey plans to today’s digital cartography. It will start by investigating the origins of the terms Figure and Ground in different fields such as optics, perception, Gestalt psychology, art and early representations of cities. Then, it will unfold both genealogically and thematically in a series of case studies of different representations of urban form.The thesis problematizes the process of prioritization of information during the production of urban form, the object through which we can directly assess Figure Ground. This question becomes more and more relevant in digital cartography where the organization of data relies on software, thus leaving the process of foregrounding and backgrounding unsettled. The thesis will initially study this process through an investigation of the use of this terminology in urban representation and theory. The word “Forma” was first used to address an object during the Roman Centuria. “Forma”, a document inscribed in a bronze tablet, collected the evidence of subdivision and privatization of land during colonization. It was a process of recording land ownership done by surveyors, marking the beginning of representation of urban form. Also, the theme Figure Ground has been a major topic in more recent architectural discourses, since it was placed by Colin Rowe in Collage City. Though Figure Ground isn’t merely an exercise of form; a black-white or mass-void drawing, as he mentioned and developed, it is an instrument of clarity. It creates legibility in the sake of hierarchy bringing with it ideological, cultural, political consequences. To further investigate this phenomenon, the thesis will analyze a series of examples from Forma Urbis, Buffalini and Nolli to Cassini maps. The genealogical research intends to explore the increasing scientific methods and technology used in the production of urban form. These representations, maps as we know them serve to make land ownership a readable data. First, it will explore Forma Urbis which is the projection of the city’s footprint on to a two-dimensional plane marking the beginning of cartography, therefore the production of urban form. Although, there are many other ways of producing urban form; such as figures, monuments, memory, imagination and symbolism-a. All of these are displaced by the Forma being an abstraction trough measure, which is instrumental to cadastral knowledge of the city. Then it will look at maps done by Leonardo Bufalini and Gianbattista Nolli, who were both experts in cadastral survey and applied this specific technique into the maps of Rome which they produced. These maps are particularly relevant because they created a gradual displacement of architecture as an artifact by the abstraction of cartography. These maps defined land ownership in the eighteenth-century Rome and were the basis for urban reform. We can observe a similar approach in the Cassini maps produced with a geodetic triangulation grid and served to detect limits of the kingdom’s territory thus consolidate internal economic markets. So, to understand the process of making urban form, it is imperative to investigate closely the scientific methods developed in these specific case studies. The design component will follow this, aiming to explore digitally produced maps. As a documentation, it will provide an evidence on the current condition of mapping processes and as a project, it will speculate the process of prioritization of data using contemporary technologies.

Image: Surveyors at work, drawing by G. Moscara, from the book “Misurare la Terra: Centurazione e Coloni nel Mondo Romano”, 2003

Biography: Aylin Tarlan is an architect, researcher and educator. Born in New York City, she studied architecture at the University of Florence, École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville and has a Masters in Architecture from Pratt Institute New York. She worked as an Architect and Curatorial assistant with Peter Macapia in NYC and as an architect at Tabanlioglu Architects and Autoban212 in Istanbul. She had her own practice since 2012 working in Istanbul, NYC, Miami and Cannes. She has published a New York guide book for Tasarim magazine, written Istanbul biennial reviews for The Guide Istanbul. She has taught both theory and design studio courses at Bilgi University in Istanbul until 2017 and is currently pursuing a PhD by Design at The Architectural Association School of Architecture in London as part of The City as a Project.

Homeostatic Urban Morphologies: An Evolutionary Model for Intelligent Urban Proliferation

Milad Showkatbakhsh

Supervisors: Michael Weinstock, George Jeronimidis

Nature was conventionally considered a source of formal and metaphorical inspiration in the architectural discourse. However, the contemporary reconfiguration as it is reflected in the difference between the revised and original editions of Steadman, 1979 ‘The Evolution of Designs: Biological Analogy in Architecture and Applied Arts’, has changed the idea of nature from formal metaphor to a repository of interconnected dynamic processes available to be analysed and simulated. Seeking deeper insights into the biological processes has sped up in the past two decades for reasons such as environmental crisis and a belief that architecture in closer conformity with nature needs to take lessons not only from organic forms but also from natural systems and processes.

Natural systems develop efficient means of adapting to the extreme environmental stresses throughout their evolutionary developments. This research examines the potential of homeostatic principles, and their connection to morphogenesis and evolutionary development of natural systems, to inform the design of singular and collective architectural morphologies across a range of scales. Homeostasis is the term for the biological processes by which individual beings and collectives maintain equilibrium in their environment, and there is a wide range of morphological and behavioural traits across multiple species. To examine and reflect on the interrelations of forms, processes, and behaviours can yield useful strategies for architectural design processes that require significant environmental performance enhancements. Although biomimicry has been established for many decades and has made significant contributions to engineering and architecture, homeostasis has rarely been part of this field of research. The ambition of this research is to abstract principles of homeostasis, morphogenesis, and evolutionary development of natural systems, to define and develop those principles through experiments to produce a computational design engine to generate testable mathematical models with specified degree of mutability, or adaptation to different circumstances or environments, together with an expository conceptual and computationally simulated design, evaluations and principles of implementation.

Image: Geometrical representation of highly organised and dense fractal morphologies generated by Milad Showkatbakhsh.

Biography: Milad holds a BSc. In Architectural Engineering from Shahid Beheshti University, school of architecture in Tehran, Iran, and Master of Architecture from Pratt Institute school of architecture in New York, the U.S.A. where he graduated with Sidney Katz award for design excellence in 2015. Milad is currently a Doctoral candidate at the Architectural Association researching under the directorship of Dr Michael Weinstock. Milad has been working and collaborating with different architecture and design studios in Tehran, New York, Washington, Shanghai and London as a computational design specialist. He was the project lead at Contemporary Architecture Practice (CAP) – Ali Rahim and Hina Jamelle where he has led several different architectural projects across a range of scales from 2015 to 2016. Alongside practising architecture, he has been a fellow researcher in different computer-aided design research projects which were culminated as published papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences, posters and digitally fabricated installations. Milad has been actively teaching algorithmic thinking and computational strategies since 2010 in the forms of workshops and highly specialised classes. He was a teaching assistant at Pratt Institute for advanced computational courses and design studios. Milad is the Emergence and Evolutionary Computation seminar tutor at Emergent Technologies and Design program at the Architectural Association and the co-director of the AA Visiting School Istanbul branch. Among many professional and academic activities, He is the Co-Founder and Co-Developer of ‘Wallacei’, an evolutionary multi-objective optimisation engine with an embedded analytics engine that allows users to have full control over their optimisation problems in Grasshopper 3D. Milad’s current research focuses on the application of homeostatic principles in biology within architectural design processes and correlation of such principles with evolutionary development and morphogenesis of species.

Symbolic Wood: Language of Wood and Techniques in Thai and British Cultures

Kornkamon Kaewprasert

Supervisors: Mark Cousins, Chittawadi Chitrabongs


The thesis is based on a conviction that wood is not only used symbolically but it is one of the objects that can become the symbolic of itself. This is not an attempt to include all relations in which wood and symbolism are combined but it restricts to the question where wood symbolises something as such. Even though wood can be treated as a natural substance but in reality, its distinction is not only about the object and the substance, but it is overlaid by the distinction between culture and nature. Because wood is usually thought of as something that can be worked on, it contains two uses first social use, secondly a cultural and symbolic use. In either case, it is social. This thesis approaches wood through language which enables us to see distinctions between science of wood and language of wood. Furthermore, an issue of untranslatability, we usually think of translation as a simple act of referring but the moment we recognise that the word wood is part of a language which is English not other languages. The whole situation becomes much more problematic. If there were only one language in the world, this problem would not exist in the same way. But not only there are many national languages in this world, there are regional, technical and verbal languages which constitute of conflict connotations and esoteric terminology.  

Wood is wood because it is worked on. It becomes especially important because anything that has been worked on and goes through a process in some extend becomes a different thing, a different mode. There is no wood as raw material. Every piece of wood has been processed; being planed, being sawn, being dried or being polished. Carpentry may seem as association between the carpenter and the material which is real thing but that is not quite right. Working with wood is working with a concept of the thing signified by the relation of it being used and being worked on. It has never been the physical. It is the concept of the physical and this is an important gab.

The idea of Western symbolism was a notion of an image thus the symbolism on wood would often be carved or engraved as an image. I have initially aimed to compare the use of wood in the UK and Thailand in respect to symbolism as though both of them use wood for symbolic purposes.  However, in Thailand, the rule governing working on wood seems to relate much more to what was appropriate and what was not appropriate in effect where one thing went with another. Working with wood in Thai culture would follow not the production of an image or so call a symbol of something else but was the consequence of techniques applied in a disciplined form. The question of Thai symbolism relates much more to technique. It is no longer practical but cultural approach which has no clear definition. Technique is so important that it often takes within itself an aesthetic question. Anything that works wood can function as a technique, can lend form and decorate the object. Then we are going to find symbolic as something very close to what people describe as form. The concept of form is always said that it lacks symbolisation. In contrast, this thesis, in a way, is saying that characteristic—form symbolises itself.

Image: The Wood, Chiang Rai Thailand, Kornkamon Kaewprasert, 2018

Biography: Kornkamon Kaewprasert is an artist who was trained as an architect at INDA Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. She is now being a PhD candidate at Architectural Association School of Architecture. She has been teaching on Curartistry: Trees in Bangkok at AA Visiting School Bangkok since 2018. She and her sister, Kanyaphorn Kaewprasert, have founded a multi-disciplinary design practice Made of Two since 2015. They worked on various scales and cross disciplines from architecture, exhibition, furniture to visual media but all central to the main interest which is wood, tree and forest. From 2016, they have started their wood workshop construction in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand to explore and experiment on wooden techniques and craftsmanship. In 2019, They exhibited an art piece titled The Wood at Royal Academy of Art, Summer Exhibition in London.   

The forest as a topos: A source of stories becomes a realm of transformation

Kanyaphorn Kaewprasert

Supervisors: Mark Cousins, Chittawadi Chitrabongs


The forest symbolically is a certain type of place—a topos whose physical boundaries are secondary. It is also a domain of experiences (i.e., stories, dreams, fears, hopes) and a special kind of emotional characters that has been using as vehicles of narrations. This source of stories provokes an emergence of transformations. Centre of the thesis is The Forest which resonates in different fictional and poetic conceptions. Stories reflect on the forest as prefigurations where going into the forest is going into different types of places. The forest as a topos is a site of transformations which produces narratives of those accounts.

The world of the forest is substantially experienced through its representations rather than its empirical physicality. In stories, the forest becomes like a setting. The setting that miraculously allows unrealistic experiences and emotions to emerge. Furthermore, the forest becomes almost like a character acting as an extravagantly fanciful agent who advocates the emergence of imaginary beings. This linguistic behaviour categorises the forest as a fictitious place where consequently transformations are originated by foretokened dominations. The paradox that The Forest as almost natural actually for human can represent what unnatural by being supernatural, magical, mysterious. Thus, it is this mechanism in which the natural can become an unnatural through settings. Under certain conditions, this natural object becomes almost the sign of the unnatural.The thesis is concerned to make an analysis of the cultural significance of the forest in addition to the obvious geographical, ecological and legal definitions of a forest. The thesis is concerned to combine this with a cultural analysis of the forest using materials drawn from children stories from poetries and from other representations of forests in popular culture. It will draw on English and Thai cultures and will attempt a comparative study of the forest in these two quite different cultures. This will require a study of theories and methods of analyses of folk tales and narratives. This is a very large literature but the thesis requires underpinning of a method which seek to analyse narrative.

Image: Lost, Udonthani Thailand, Kanyaphorn Kaewprasert, 2018

Biography: Kanyaphorn Kaewprasert is an artist who is currently a PhD candidate at the Architectural Association, School of Architecture. She was trained as a communication designer at CommDe Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. She has been a tutor at AA Visiting School Bangkok concerning the theme of Trees in Bangkok, ‘Curartistry’ since 2018. She as a co-artist with Kornkamon Kaewprasert has exhibited an art piece titled ‘The Wood’ which reflects on both of their interests on the subject of wood, forest, and craftsmanship at Royal Academy of Art, Summer Exhibition 2019 in London. They founded Made of Two, a multidisciplinary design practice, centred around wood, tree and forest, in 2015. It is where they researched and made projects in various scales from visual media, exhibitions, furniture to architectures. From 2016, Made of Two has started its own wood-working space to pursue their conceptual and empirical interests in the materials.  

Fake Cakes: Thai Weddings

Damnoen Techamai

Supervisors: Mark Cousins, Chittawadi Chitrabongs

According to the concept of hybridity provided by Bhabha, defining hybridity and studying a location of hybridity is a kind of a translation process and interpretation process within its “new” (hybrid) forms of representation, in its own space of difference, in the space of translation which he terms ‘third space’. For him, hybrid culture/space is not just a simplistic mixture of two or more different things, but part of a process of cultural hybridity. In this view the hybrid culture/space is a cultural process and indeed has its complexity. Since ‘hybridity’ has its complexity and logic therefore what is the logic of hybridity in contemporary Thai weddings? 

My thesis has an aim to investigate the contemporary weddings in Thailand which is categorised as one of a hybrid culture – a mixture of Western and traditional Thai culture at least on three levels: one is at the level of forms and spaces, second is at the level of expressions and the other is at the level of meanings or more precisely a relationship between two terms, a signifier and a signified. By using hybridity as a key concept to investigate the contemporary Thai weddings and their elements. The interpretation will mainly depend upon the anthropological interpretation of cultural analysis from all of the collected data through a range of cultural wedding materials provided by the wedding experts such as wedding magazine, wedding package, wedding photography and video.

Image: Pre-wedding photography, source: Naruephat photography

Biography: Damnoen is a PhD candidate and a lecturer. In 2009 he received his MA from the Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University (History and Theory unit). During his years of graduate study, he worked as a research assistant at the historical map laboratory where the studies focused on historical and morphological inquiries, he was a teaching assistant in architectural psychology, phenomenology in architecture courses at the same faculty. He has spent his time working as an architect and graphic designer on various projects. Since 2012 he has been conducting research and teaching at the Faculty of Architecture, Chiang Mai University before he applied to study for the PhD in a research programme at the AA in 2016. Since 2018, he has been working as a tutor at AAVS Bangkok workshop on Curartistry. His research interests centring around the area of place and space, spaces of hybridity, semiotics, contemporary culture and cultural anthropology.

We Have Never Been Private! The Housing Project in Neoliberal Europe

Ioanna Piniara

Supervisors: Pier Vittorio Aureli, Maria Giudici

The thesis puts forward an interpretation of the management of domestic space through the transformation of the concept of the private within the socio-economic regime known as neoliberalism. In this light, the thesis proposes a critical reassessment of housing privatization not merely as a policy introduced in the 1980’s to promote new contractual relationships, but as a post-war strategy to establish a change of ethos, culture and organization of housing. The thesis argues that the state has constantly partnered the market (‘private sector’) in the promotion of a carefully designed pedagogy of domestic privacy associated with property and individualism, to the extent that ‘the private’ has hardly existed as such in the neoliberal era. The daunting failures of this housing model in terms of inaccessibility and alienation of care in the urban domestic realm, negate privacy as an affirmation of essential autonomy and are reminiscent of its classical concept of deprivation. The thesis deploys a typological study as the main methodological tool to demystify the neoliberal rationale through selected urban housing schemes in London, Berlin and Athens, which mark both a geographical and chronological arrow of neoliberal advance: from anticipation to severe crisis. The investigation of typology renders neoliberalism a broader cultural project to recapitalize on urbanity through housing policy and sheds light on its links with the construction of a middle-class subjectivity and lifestyle, the proprietary logic of urban form, indebtedness as ‘a means to an end’ of home-ownership and the latest neoliberal trend: the colonization of housing infrastructure in crisis by large-scale international investment capital. As a response, the projective part of the thesis proposes a shift from the economy towards an ecology of the private , which acts as a spatial concept and an operational principle for an institutional and typological transformation  in  urban housing, which define the very social relations upon which the ‘right to privacy’ is to be reclaimed. Against private property, as the right to the city: a model for securing communally owned  urban land for housing. Against individualism, as the possibility to ensure a quality of being private through a practice of commoning.

Image: Unit Operation, from the final chapter “Towards an Ecology of the Private: A Manual for the ‘Trigono’ Community Land Trust in Kessariani, Athens. (drawn by the author)

Biography: Ioanna Piniara is a Greek architect, researcher and PhD candidate in Architectural Design (AA). Her research focuses on the spatial ramifications of the neoliberal doctrine in urban housing in Europe. Her design research proposes a synthetic model of a land policy, a juridical framework and a typological investigation as the way to re-claim the ‘right to privacy’ in the inner city. She is currently a teaching assistant at the ‘Projective Cities’ MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design programme and at the History and Theory Studies undergraduate course at the AA.

Staging Facts on the Ground: On the Historical Role of Buildings as Markers of Imperial-Colonial Expansion

Lukas Pauer

Supervisors: Pier Vittorio Aureli, Thanos Zartaloudis

This research investigates buildings as evidence for the projection of power, authority, and influence. Specifically, my doctoral dissertation studies the architectural resolution of imperial-colonial expansion throughout history.

The assumption that governance is an invisible and immaterial force ignores the physical manifestations of power. As facts on the ground, buildings can link a polity to its claimed domain, asserting governance spatially through structure, appearance, function, siting, and scale. Still, architectural techniques have rarely been subjected to theorizing throughout the history of imperial-colonial expansion. The question is how buildings have been employed to legitimize governance through which bodies and spaces were made subjects. This question guides my research, which hypothesizes the possibility of tracing back the historical origins of architectural techniques that have shaped how buildings are used to legitimize expansion. Structure of my dissertation are various types of buildings and their corresponding rhetorics of expansion. The first chapter looks at scenic tents, sacred barriers, and military standards. These buildings used scenographic techniques along ancient procession paths to lay claim to governance. Giving a description of extraterritorial techniques along trade routes, the second chapter analyzes how traveler inns, nation houses, and trade factories legitimized power in medieval times. The third chapter examines semaphore towers, timeball towers, and telegraph poles. In order to lay claim to authority, these buildings employed geodetic techniques along modern signal lines. Offering an account of inspectional techniques along transit corridors, the fourth chapter analyzes how quarantine facilities, detention facilities, and prescreening facilities legitimized influence in recent times.

In its larger aim, my research seeks to untangle how material conditions embody social imaginaries and relations in space. These can become apparent through seemingly minor or banal architectural techniques with often nevertheless enormous implications. My research seeks to interrogate the ability of design to manifest power where stable and extensive means of control are challenged. This will ultimately allow the audience of my research to reconcile with a condition that has always been inherent but never fully untangled.

Image: Blanco, Vistas de los Monumentos a lo Largo de la Línea Divisoria entre México y los Estados Unidos de El Paso al Pacífico (1901)

Biography: Lukas Pauer is a licensed architect, urbanist, educator, and the Founding Director of the Vertical Geopolitics Lab, an investigative practice and think-tank dedicated to exposing intangible systems and hidden agendas within the built environment. Currently engaged as Tutor in Landscape Architecture at the University of Edinburgh, Lukas pursues a PhD AD at the Architectural Association on the political geography of urban form with a focus on the architectural resolution of imperial-colonial expansion throughout history. He holds an MAUD from Harvard University and an MSc Arch from ETH Zürich. Besides numerous international recognitions, Lukas has been selected as Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum and as Emerging Leader by the European Forum Alpbach — leadership programs committed to change-making impact within local communities.

Impact Investing in Social Housing: A Case Study of Cheyne Capital

Serena Lehua Jarvis

Supervisors: Mark Cousins, Costandis Kizis

This thesis presents the first in-depth academic study on impact investing in social housing, specifically focusing on the case of Cheyne Capital, the London-based alternative investment manager, and their role in developing housing for disadvantaged groups. Looking at one of the earliest examples of impact investing – an emergent market that has not been institutionalised as of yet – this research examines the mechanisms that have been set up by Big Society Capital (BSC), the world’s first social investment wholesale bank, to introduce Social Investment Financial Intermediaries (SIFIs), suchas Cheyne Capital, in order to help build a new market to finance the social sector. It further examines the challenges that the hedge fund faced as a new social landlord, particularly those relating to inefficiencies in building procurement and their pledge to demonstrate a measurable social impact, alongside a financial return, for each investment. Moreover, the thesis shows how this new model was employed to invest circa £1 billion into housing for disadvantaged groups, in a period of austerity. Also, this case introduces a design for a proto-typical housing module for housing without a site, which can be replicated and scaled and briefly introduces a common framework for how we might measure social impact in future work.

Image: Integral Housing Strategy, the proposed design for Cheyne Capital’s first project with Luton Borough Council, Luton. Elevation view of three building blocks for social housing. Design and drawing by Gustav Düsing. 

Biography: Serena Lehua Jarvis is a Doctoral Candidate at the Architectural Association, School of Architecture in London. Prior to starting her DPhil, Serena graduated with distinction from the Bartlett, Faculty of the Built Environment with MSc in Building & Urban Design in Development in 2011, where she received a special commendation on her dissertation. Serena has experience in one of the earliest cases of impact investing in social housing. To achieve this, Serena worked as the Architectural Consultant of the Social Property Impact Fund of Cheyne Capital Management, the London-based alternative investment manager, in 2015. Serena’s interests focus on advancing the emergent field of impact investing in housing and examining how we might use design to strengthen the social impact in housing for disadvantaged groups and inform social impact measurement, in the context of this market.

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.