Narratives, archives, and knowledge transfer –
making history accessible

15 December 2022

Moderation Amanda Achmadi

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

Amanda Achmadi obtained a doctorate in Architecture and Asian Studies at the University of Melbourne in 2007. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Parahyangan University in Bandung, Indonesia.

Her dissertation explores the role of architectural discourses within the 20th-century construction of cultural identity in Bali. She is interested in interactions between architecture and identity politics and how these unfold in different historical periods, i.e. the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial eras. Her primary focus is the architectural landscape of Indonesia and the Southeast Asian region. Her recent writings have appeared in ABE Journal (Architecture Beyond Europe), FABRICations, Space and Polity, and Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture (2019). She is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World (2022), edited by Prof. Marcel Vellinga. Currently, she is the undergraduate architecture pathway coordinator at the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning of the University of Melbourne.

How do we follow the paths of our protagonists? Angeline Basuki

This presentation takes a closer look at the preparations for the Dipl.-Ing. Arsitek exhibition. It reveals behind-the-scenes experiences starting from choosing the subject, cataloguing the archives, selecting the exhibition materials, and presenting the display. The talk will elaborate on challenges and strategies, especially how exhibition material is chosen to support the narrative.

Angeline Basuki, architect,, researcher, Jakarta Old Town Consortium, project manager, Jakarta

Angeline Basuki is an architect and researcher. She earned a bachelor’s in Architecture at Universitas Pelita Harapan, completed a course in Religious Heritage in Diverse Europe at University of Groningen, and, with a grant from Bodossaki Foundation, graduated Master of Arts in Heritage Management at University of Kent with distinction. In 2015, she joined Jakarta Old Town Consortium, a private organization focusing on heritage building management, where she currently acts as project manager.

Basuki has experience in masterplan design, including concepts for Gresik Estate Marina, Surabaya (2014), Aboge Village, West Papua (2014–2015), and Palu Special Economic Zone (2022). She was an architectural researcher for the Tana Toraja infrastructure development plan for the Ministry of Public Works and Housing (2021) and for the masterplan to preserve the Muaro Jambi national cultural heritage area for the Ministry of Education and Culture (2022). Currently, Angeline Basuki is also part of Global Decarbonization Solutions, an organization specialising in the protection of tropical rainforests and wetlands. Since 2020, she has been a contributor to

What is the impact of cultural exchange? Leonard Maué

We speak with Leonard Maué, who is responsible at the German Federal Foreign Office for cultural relations with Southeast Asia, among others, about the importance of joint research and cultural projects. In this talk we will consider available instruments, networks, and related issues.

Leonard Maué, Federal Foreign Office of Germany, Cultural Relations Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific

How can we make archives speak? Paul Spies

The museum for Berlin’s city history – Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin – is home to over 45 million artefacts. How do you identify the core elements to produce a compelling exhibition, starting from an idea, a conceptual approach, and the materials at hand? What are the underpinning methodologies and educational approaches? What makes an exhibition interesting in the first place? What objects are selected for display? These are questions we ask Paul Spies, who has transformed the museum world with his work at the Amsterdam Museum Foundation and in Berlin.

Paul Spies, director, Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin (City Museum Berlin)

Paul Spies is an art historian and archaeologist of the ancient world. In 2009 he became director of the Amsterdam Museum Foundation, where he oversaw the city museums. In 2016 he became the director of Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin and the chief curator of the Federal State of Berlin at the Humboldt Forum.

About Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin:
The diverse history of the German capital is presented in the rooms of the Märkisches Museum. Together with four other locations – Nikolaikirche, Ephraim Palais, Knoblauchhaus, and the Düppel Museum Village, it forms the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin.

How can online archives contribute to the production of architectural history? Setiadi Sopandi – or Yayasan Museum Arsitektur Indonesia – is a virtual museum and archive repository for Indonesian architecture, contributing to Indonesian architectural knowledge and discourse production.

Despite the abundance of accessible archival material from its colonial period, Indonesia is facing a crisis of architectural knowledge due to the lack of a local and national architectural archive. Until recently, publications on Indonesian architecture by architects and scholars were dominated by materials on colonial actors, making critical analysis and informative publications on Indonesian “indigenous” architects almost impossible.

Despite growing attention to and documentation of local architectural knowledge, there were only peripheral attempts to build an architectural archival institution for many years. In the 1980s, the Indonesian Architects Association hoped to establish one but ultimately failed to do so. Finally, in the early 2000s, in response to pressure from architectural conservation projects, a handful of renowned architects established Pusat Dokumentasi Arsitektur (PDA), a centre for architecture documentation. PDA grew as an important and pivotal institution, providing not only documentation services but also pioneering a tradition and standard for dealing with historical materials for both practical and scholarly purposes. Its work led to the formation of in 2017, which initially focused on modern Indonesian architecture and architects during the early period of Indonesian independence. Soon it grew to encompass architectural practices over different eras throughout Indonesia.

Setiadi Sopandi will present the repertoire of the institution’s engagement since its early inception and explain how it has survived and continues to grow today.

Avianti Armand, architect, Avianti Armand Studio, curator, architectural scholar, Jakarta

Setiadi Sopandi, architect,, Indra Tata Adilaras Architects, curator, architectural scholar, Bogor

Avianti Armand and Setiadi Sopandi are architects and curators based in Indonesia. Despite their separate individual professional practice, they had been collaborating in curating architectural exhibitions and producing architectural publications since 2013.

They curated and designed the Indonesian Pavilion in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, and the exhibition “Tropicality Revisited” held in Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt (2015), “Friedrich Silaban 1912-1984” in Jakarta (2017), “occupying > modernism” in Jakarta (2019), “apaituami”, Jakarta (2020), and several architectural publications, such as: “Craftsmanship: Material Consciousnessl” (2014), “Tropicality: Revisited” (2015), “Friedrich Silaban” (2017), “Gerak Jakarta: Sejarah Ruang-Ruang Hidup” (2022).

After granted a joint fellowship in Asian Cultural Council in 2016, Avianti Armand and Setiadi Sopandi (with Nadia Purwestri and Febriyanti Suryaningsih) established Yayasan Museum Arsitektur Indonesia – – the first dedicated architectural museum and repository in Indonesia.

A conversation on experiences, teaching, and knowledge transfer Jo Santoso

Jo Santoso knows Germany and Indonesia well, working in planning policy, urban development, and participatory planning and as a lecturer and researcher at academic institutions. We would like to speak with him about the nature of knowledge sharing in these different contexts.

Dr.-Ing. Jo Santoso, urban planner, architect, sociologist, member of the advisory team on National Affordable Housing Programme (NAHP), Jakarta

Dr.-Ing. Jo Santoso studied urban planning, architecture, sociology, and economic planning in Darmstadt, Berlin, and Hanover, where he received his doctorate in Urban History in 1981. He was a member of the teaching staff at the Architecture Department of Hochschule der Künste Berlin before returning to Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1983. He was among the first architects working with Declan Kennedy to promote Green Architecture and invited Bill Mollison, founder of the Permaculture Institute and 1981 recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, to come to Berlin for the first time. Santoso worked with Reiner Erst for the auxiliary exhibition Andernorts at the International Building Exhibition 1984/87, which introduced different non-westernized concepts of the city. He was a member of the working group Architecture in Developing Countries, which later published the magazine TRIALOG.

Between 1984 and 1996, he worked as an urban planner in several Newtown Projects in Indonesia, including as chief planner of Bumi Serpong Damai New City, Lippo Village, and Bukit Semarang Baru. Between 1996 and 2021, he worked as a consultant for development agencies such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and German Technological Cooperation (GTZ) in different ministries in Indonesia. During the last decade, he has been an advisor in the field of people’s empowerment, particularly in the local development of tourist destinations.

In 2003, he returned to the academic world and set up the master’s programme in Urban and Real Estate Development at Universitas Tarumanagara in Jakarta, where he was director until 2018. He is presently head of the Tarumanagara Urban Lab, which conducts research on the city of Jakarta in cooperation with leading foreign universities such as ETH Zurich, Minnesota University, Northeastern University, and UCLA. In 2007 he became a member of the scientific committee of the International Forum on Urbanism, an association of urbanists from more than 30 leading architecture departments in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Australia.

Santoso has been a guest professor at TU Karlsruhe, TU Darmstadt, Faculty of Social Sciences/Goethe University Frankfurt, and Williams Business College Sydney, among others, and has given public lectures at European, Asian, and American Universities.

Among his most well-known publications are “The Fifth Layer of Jakarta” (English) and “Kota Tanpa Warga” (City without Citizens) (Indonesian).

What can research contribute to public discourses? Suryono Herlambang

Suryono Herlambang has conducted studies on land policy in Jakarta, analysing urban planning and building policy documents of the last decades. Despite the broad spectrum of engaged individuals who are interested in such topics, access to such studies tends to be limited to academic circles. Research findings, such as analyses of historical sources, make arguments irrefutable, yet they rarely seem to be used in broader professional or public discourse. What paths can we take, combining research and communication, to reach a broader public in the future?

Suryono Herlambang, senior researcher, Universitas Tarumanagara(UNTAR), Department of Architecture and Planning, Jakarta

Suryono Herlambang teaches Urban Planning and Real Estate at Tarumanagara University (Jakarta). He is a graduate of Diponegoro University and holds master’s degrees from Erasmus University Rotterdam and Lund University in Sweden. His interests include land use, sustainable development, and urban transformations.

A conversation on Germany and Indonesia Laksmi Pamuntjak

Laksmi Pamuntjak is invited to our symposium for two main reasons: as an influential contemporary writer who has addressed national history in her work, and as the daughter of the Indonesian architect Mustafa Pamuntjak, who graduated with a degree in architecture from the Technical University Berlin in 1960. We want to speak about how her views on architecture were influenced by her father, and about her experience with the power of literature to draw readers’ awareness to issues and ideas.

Laksmi Pamuntjak, novelist, poet, journalist, and food writer, Jakarta

Laksmi Pamuntjak (b. 1971) is an award-winning, internationally-published bilingual Indonesian novelist, poet, journalist, and food writer. She writes widely on culture and politics, including op-eds for the Guardian.

Pamuntjak’s debut novel, Amba: The Question of Red, has been translated into several languages and won the German Literaturpreis 2016. The filmic adaptation of her second novel, Aruna dan Lidahnya, was screened nationwide in 2018 and had its European premiere at the prestigious Berlinale International Film Festival in February 2019.

In 2018, Pamuntjak’s first English novel, Fall Baby, was published in Germany under the title Herbstkind. One year later, the original version was published by Penguin Random House SEA and won the 2020 Singapore Book Award for Best Literary Work.

Since 2021, she has been hosting Kitab Kawin, a popular podcast based on her collection of short stories about women in relationships.

As a poet, Pamuntjak has published several poetry collections and was the Indonesian representative at Poetry Parnassus, UK’s largest poetry festival, in conjunction with the London Olympics. Her poems, short stories, and essays have appeared in numerous international literary journals.

As a food writer, her most notable contribution to Indonesian culinary history is five editions of the Jakarta Good Food Guide series, launched in 2001. The series is widely acknowledged as Indonesia’s first independent and literary good food guide.

As an art writer, Pamuntjak has been an international jury member for the Prince Claus Award, an annual award-giving body of the Prince Claus Fund, an Amsterdam-based international art and culture philanthropy organization. She published a short fiction collection inspired by paintings, written on art for various publications, and produced a number of musical and dance performances in Singapore and Jakarta.

She is currently co-curating an exhibition in Jakarta to commemorate the centennial of Chairil Anwar, arguably Indonesia’s greatest poet.

Online symposium
15 December 2022, 10 am – 1 pm CET (UTC+1) / 4 – 7 pm WIB (UTC+7)

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?

You can view the documentation of the symposium here.