Meredith Miller + Etienne Turpin publish design research on Jakarta

Meredith Miller + Etienne Turpin publish design research on Jakarta 

Taubman College Assistant Professor Meredith Miller and part-time lecturer in architecture Etienne Turpin, in collaboration with Assistant Professor Adam Bobbette (University of Hong Kong), have published “Jakarta: Design Research and the Future of Hypercomplexity,” in the European journal of urbanism MONU, Issue # 17 – Next Urbanism.

Excerpt from the essay:
Celebrations of economic prosperity in Southeast Asia are easily dampened by focused attention on the inequalities of ‘cityness’ that persist alongside the varying trends of financial growth, increased exports, and other measures of disproportionate accumulation. While the financial excitation over the Next-11 designation by Goldman-Sachs promises a certain speculative attention to Indonesian markets, the question of what kind of affinities, solidarities, and support structures can be developed to prevent these economic trends from simply reifying the division between extravagant affluence and extreme poverty must be asked now, and this question must be asked by designers. The development of a practice of ‘trans-urban design,’ unfolding from our engagement with the work of the urban theorist AbdouMaliq Simone, as well as from our collaborations in Bangkok, Bandung, Depok, and Jakarta, is our attempt to situate the methods and results of our research within the network of various shifting and unequal actors, concerns, and capacities – or what we have, following Simone, called ‘cityness’ – as a means to emphasize the politics of design within a context of postnatural hypercomplexity. Here, the “trans-urban” stands in as a term to mark the work of the architect or landscape architect as an intercessor who, among the forces of urbanization that efface capacities for self-determination among the urban poor, asserts her practice as decisively political. In this we are in a strong agreement with Simone when he writes, “without a better understanding of what residents themselves are actually doing in specific sites and how those actions are reworked or abandoned for new ones, new policies may shape the actions of politicians, technicians, bureaucrats, and service providers without them having any foothold in the worlds of the urban poor.”

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Photo caption: Asst Prof Meredith Miller & Dr. Etienne Turpin INUNDATION Studio 2012