Rethinking Modern Asia-Pacific Architectures: New Aesthetic Pedagogies International Workshop

A forum for critical reflection on the histories, pedagogies and practices of architecture in the Asia-Pacific.

A workshop, ‘Spaces in transition: globalisation, transnationalism and urban change in the Asia-Pacific’ will create a forum for critical reflection on the histories, pedagogies and practices of architecture in the Asia-Pacific.

Workshop participants will share their insights on architecture and urbanism in the Asia-Pacific region, using ‘global modernisms’ as a conceptual entry-point. The workshop will engage with multiple historical processes such as decolonisation, indigenisation, urbanisation and globalisation.

The proposed lines of critical inquiry are anchored in themes of urbanisation, governance, society and heritage and explore how interdisciplinary spatial theories and methodologies interrogate regional change.

The workshop is framed as a forum for Australia-based scholarship on Southeast Asian and East Asian topics, approached from an Inter-Asian perspective. A panel from CAMEA at the University of Adelaide will extend this focus towards other Asian regions.

The keynote for the workshop is Abidin Kusno from York University, Toronto, Canada. Professor Kusno’s research has been widely recognised in the field of Indonesian architecture and urban studies. His books include Appearances of Memory: Mnemonic Practices of Architecture and Urbanism in Indonesia (Duke University Press, 2010), After the New Order: Space, Politics and Jakarta (Hawaii University Press, 2013), and Behind the Postcolonial: Architecture, Urban Space and Political Cultures in Indonesia (Routledge, 2000). His visit is partly funded by the Indonesia Forum at the University of Melbourne.

Alongside his participation at the workshop, Kusno will deliver one of the keynotes in ‘GOLD: the 33rd Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ)’ and will be a panellist at the Indonesia Forum Panel Discussion, ‘Reading Indonesian Cities: Dreams, Nightmares and Memories of a Nation’.

The workshop will be followed by a postgraduate student plenary, ‘Rethinking Modern Asia-Pacific Architectures’. This plenary will be held in collaboration with the University of Hong Kong and the National University of Singapore. It is funded through an International Research and Research Training Fund workshop grant from the University of Melbourne. Collaborating academics include Cecilia Chu and Eunice Seng from Hong Kong University and Jiat-Hwee Chang and Lilian Chee from the National University of Singapore.

The workshop is organised with funding from the Strategic Initiative Fund at the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne. The initiative is headed by Anoma Pieris (Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning), Duanfang Lu (University of Sydney), and Cecilia Chu (Hong Kong University) under the umbrella of a nascent regional Society of Architectural Historians-Asia. It will be a busy and fascinating week at the Melbourne School of Design, as the workshop and student plenary precede the SAHANZ conference.

The workshop organisers are being mentored for this event by Kate-Darian Smith under the ACAHUCH (Australian Collaboratory for Architectural History, Urban and Cultural Heritage).

Organisers of both the events include Anoma Pieris, Amanda Achmadi and Sidh Sintusingha at the University of Melbourne, John Ting at the University of Canberra and David Beynon at Deakin University. Amanda is also the convenor of the University of Melbourne’s Indonesia Forum.

Project details

Major Sponsor

University of Melbourne

Associated Research Centres

Australian Centre for Architectural History, Urban and Cultural Heritage

Research Partners

University of Hong Kong (HKU)
National University of Singapore (NUS)

Project Team

A/Prof Anoma Pieris (University of Melbourne)
Dr Amanda Achmadi (University of Melbourne)
Dr Sidh Sintusigha (University of Melbourne)
Dr Cecilia Chu (HKU)
Dr Eunice Cheng (HKU)
Dr Jiat-Hwee Chang (NUS)
Dr Lilian Chee (NUS)


A/Prof Anoma Pieris (University of Melbourne)