3 may 2024 to 31 december 2024

learning from mangunwijaya

Learning from Mangunwijaya focuses on the architectural heritage of Yusuf Bilyarta Mangunwijaya (1929–1999), an Indonesian Catholic priest, writer, political activist, and architect. Mangunwijaya’s architectural legacy was shaped significantly by his studies in Aachen, Germany.

This project examines the enduring impact of his ideas on current generations of Indonesian architects and their relevance to contemporary developments in the region. Through a student workshop, exhibition, documentary, and symposium, Learning from Mangunwijaya aims to contextualize his work in the present day and foster broad local, regional, and international engagement.


Learning from Mangunwijaya focuses on the architectural legacy of Yusuf Bilyarta Mangunwijaya (1929–1999). An Indonesian priest, writer, political activist, and architect, Mangunwijaya studied architecture at RWTH Aachen University in West Germany from 1960 to 1966, after which he returned to Indonesia.

In his architectural projects, many of them realized in the Yogyakarta region, he sought to translate the universal principles of modernism into an authentic, indigenous expression. He was a forerunner in collaborative and sustainable architecture that responded specifically to the needs of the local environment.

This ethos remains relevant today and is becoming increasingly important in architectural discussions worldwide. A critical analysis of his work, focusing on its potential for the future, offers valuable insights to promote more sustainable architecture, not only in Indonesia and the region but also on an international scale.

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The German-Indonesian team has organized an extensive programme commencing on 3 May 2024, including a workshop for students from six universities from Germany, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Opening on 31 July 2024, the exhibition Learning from Mangunwijaya will take place at the Langgeng Art Foundation in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The exhibition will showcase the workshop outcomes and highlight Mangunwijaya’s formative years as a student in Aachen.

An online symposium in autumn 2024 will reflect on his work and working methods in a contemporary context, discussing their relevance to current regional and global developments.

Parallel to these events, a documentary will be produced, exploring the social, cultural, aesthetic, and ecological dimensions of Mangunwijaya’s architecture.

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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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