narratives, archives, and knowledge transfer – making history accessible

online symposium

15 december 2022


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On 15 December 2022, we held our second online symposium in the framework of the project Dipl.-Ing. Arsitek: German-trained Indonesian Architects from the 1960s. Speakers from Indonesia and Germany dicussed how to make history accessible.

The contributions were:

How do we follow the paths of our protagonists?
Angeline Basuki, architect,, researcher, Jakarta Old Town Consortium, project manager, Jakarta

What is the impact of cultural exchange?
Interview with Leonard Maué, Federal Foreign Office of Germany, Cultural Relations Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific

How can we make archives speak?
Paul Spies, director, Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin (City Museum Berlin)

How can online archives contribute to the production of architectural history?
Setiadi Sopandi, architect,, Indra Tata Adilaras Architects, curator, architectural scholar, Jakarta

A conversation on experiences, teaching, and knowledge transfer.
With Dr.-Ing. Jo Santoso, urban planner, architect, sociologist, member of the advisory team on National Affordable Housing Programme (NAHP)

What can research contribute to public discourses?
Suryono Herlambang, senior researcher, Universitas Tarumanagara(UNTAR), Department of Architecture and Planning

A conversation on Germany and Indonesia.
With Laksmi Pamuntjak, novelist, poet, journalist, and food writer, Jakarta

Dr. Amanda Achmadi, University of Melbourne, associate professor in Architectural Design, Architecture, Building and Planning

About the symposium:
The exhibition Dipl.-Ing. Arsitek: German-trained Indonesian Architects from the 1960s was developed on the basis of extensive research in private and public archives as well as numerous conversations and interviews. Many of the exhibition materials will be accessible to the public for the first time. Against this backdrop, our second symposium explores the possibilities of making historical and current discourses tangible, accessible, and useful to a broader public.

Many topics in architecture and urban planning, be they historical or contemporary, are relevant to a society, its self-image, and its cultural identity. Yet they are often discussed only in closed academic circles, if at all. Historical materials may have been archived selectively or are not accessible to the public. This raises the question of how testimonies and knowledge from the past can be used to understand our present. How do we proceed once the material has been secured and assessed? Can we improve the future if we know more about the past?