Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Situation and Development of the Community Architects Movement

'The architect’s role is to assimilate, to assimilate technology, culture
and ideas of people who want to build and form all this
to create something new."

Fr. Jorge Anzorena

Before KIP
After KIP

KIP’s Infrastructure Development

1970s - Kampung Improvement Programme (KIP)
The Kampung Upgrading Programme (KIP) has been implemented in Indonesian cities since 1969 until the present. Over time, there have been various versions of KIP according to its project design and source of support. Perhaps the most renowned was the first stage of KIP, implemented by the government of Jakarta during the 1970s. Exceptional for its ambition, scale, and the political will, KIP in Jakarta was adopted as an affordable and effective way to improve the life of urban poor families through basic infrastructure development. The physical projects include construction of pathways, drainage, bridges, and community buildings. Through the fully stratified governance structure in Indonesia, KIP was able to reach around 3 million people or 60% of the city’s population, although participation remained limited to information and consultation. The project won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1980. Today, there is barely any evidence of implementation of KIP in Jakarta. Due to lack of maintenance, the KIP kampungs were densified and degraded; others were pushed out of city by the burgeoning commercialization which began in the late 1980s.

1980s - Kali Chode, Yogyakarta
Kampung Kali Chode is distinctive in the cityscape of Yogyakarta. It presents a picturesque composition of A-framed bamboo-timber stilt houses with bamboo infills, painted with imaginative colors and pictures, suggesting a strong sense of community and place. Who would have thought that in 1983 this urban poor settlement of 35 families, located on a steep bank of river Chode, was on the verge of eviction? Community leaders began to negotiate against eviction, with the assistance of the architect Y.B. Mangunwijaya (1929-1999). The resulting people’s alternative development plan convinced the municipality, and the initial threat was successfully turned into an opportunity for upgrading. Construction took two years, with the involvement of residents and volunteers, including art students, while financial support was provided by two local newspapers. In 1992, the project won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Unfortunately, like in some KIP cases, there is evidence of densification in kampung Kali Chode. Newer buildings have been constructed of brick masonry, diverting from the community’s initial architectural language.

Kali Chode, Yogyakarta

Kampung Ngibikan - Bantul Yogyakarta

1990s – Present

Indonesian urban areas in the 1990s were marked by burgeoning private developments. The architecture was dominated by super-developments of high-end retail, office, and residential facilities. Community architecture was much less active, with only a few sporadic initiatives taking place in less urbanized areas. One example is the work of Marco Kusumawijaya and Yori Antar on self-help housing in Kupang. The new millennium was marked by an increase of urban challenges and natural disasters, leading to a stronger demand for architects working with communities. Disaster rehabilitation projects involving young architects gave birth to a network of community architects calling themselves barefoot architects. This new generation of community architects continues to flourish in many architectural schools across the country. Community organizations and NGOs are proving to be an ideal developing ground for this young generation of community architects. A handful of architects have been involved in the works of UPC/UPLINK in some innovative housing developments for the urban poor and disaster survivors in Indonesia. A Jakarta-based NGO, Humanitarian Volunteer Network (JRK), has been providing urban laboratories for student architects. This publication features the work of this new generation of community architects in Aceh, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and Jakarta.

Download .pdf here 02-Situation and Development

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