1 december 2022 to 1 february 2023

dipl.-ing. arsitek: german-trained indonesian architects from the 1960s

Modernist architecture in Southeast Asia is the subject of passionate debate among experts in the region and increasingly worldwide.

Dipl.-Ing. Arsitek: German-trained Indonesian Architects from the 1960s adds to this discourse by shedding light on a little-known chapter of German-Indonesian architectural history – with an exhibition in Jakarta, symposia, and a publication.


Encounters with Southeast Asian Modernism  and Contested Modernities. Postcolonial architecture in Southeast Asia have facilitated an intensive exploration of modernism in Southeast Asia since 2019, with research and events in Jakarta, Phnom Penh, Singapore, Yangon, and Berlin.

Dipl.-Ing. Arsitek: German-trained Indonesian Architects from the 1960s now illuminates the lives and work of Indonesians who studied in Germany and graduated in the 1960s with the degree of Diplom-Ingenieur (Dipl.-Ing.) in architecture. After graduation, many of the newly trained architects returned home and became the protagonists of modern Indonesian architecture. Some of them, however, remained in Europe, settling in Germany, Switzerland, or the Netherlands.

Jointly curated by a German-Indonesian team, Dipl.-Ing. Arsitek: German-trained Indonesian Architects from the 1960s combines a look at this seldom-discussed chapter of transnational architectural, educational, and social history with questions about contemporary urban challenges in Indonesia and Germany.

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From 12 December 2022 to 12 January 2023, the exhibition in Jakarta will give an in-depth look into the careers of the selected architects. Historical documents and previously untapped archival materials allow for an intensive examination of the work of these architects against the backdrop of their training in Europe, particularly from Germany. New photographs created for the project depict exemplary buildings by the architects in their present-day context and raise questions about the cultural significance and future of architectural modernism in Indonesia and Germany.

Two online symposia in December 2022 will present the contents of the project to an international audience and open up topics raised by this collaborative endeavour to an interested public.

An accompanying catalogue will be published in January 2023.

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encounters with southeast asian modernism

As a long-term project and growing international platform, Encounters with Southeast Asian Modernism provides a transdisciplinary forum for exploring the legacy of postcolonial modern architecture and contemporary urban development in Southeast Asia, as well as new questions on globalization, local adaption and sustainable approaches to urban design within the region and beyond.

Through its projects, Encounters aims to raise public awareness about the development of postcolonial modernism in Southeast Asia and to demonstrate its underlying potential for the future; advancing international exchange and cooperation in both the study and protection of the built heritage of this period.

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