The Twelfth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2010
Berkeley Prize 2010

Johannes Widodo

Students in Architecture in Asia are still heavily dependent to non-Asian textbooks written by non-Asian scholars looking from non-Asian perspective. In many Asian countries, a great number of fine buildings from the past were destroyed to give way to politically or commercially motivated developments. The urban communities in Asia were powerless in facing the fragmentation of their cities. Asian academics and professionals were disunited or compartmentalized because lack of communication and interaction. The identity and integrity of contemporary Asian cities and its architectural heritages are threatened by rapid economic development, excessive consumerism, fast changes, and extreme transformation.

Out of a deep concern over the lack of knowledge, lack of appreciation, and the denial of own heritage in Asia, in addition to the need of a cooperative body linking concerned parties in various Asian countries on the issue of modernity and modernism in Architecture, together with a number of scholars and architects from different part of Asia, a new network called “mAAN” (modern Asian Architecture Network) was created in 2001. The network was set up with the spirit of equality, friendship, freedom, and openness, and since then has organized annual international conferences, workshops, and publications to push forward the discourse on Asian modernity and conservation of modern heritages of Asia.
For Architectural education in Asia, it is crucial for us – especially the Architectural historian, theoretician, and critics - to consolidate the ground for a better Architectural teaching, research and training, by focusing to these strategic efforts:
1. Understanding of self by knowing the local history, paradigms, and practices in relation to the general history of humanity.
2. Replacing the narrow-exclusive-chauvinistic paradigms with more open-inclusive-reflective paradigms.
3. Revitalizing the discourses and debates on the local identity in relation to the universal aesthetical and ethical values.
4. Rediscovering links, layers, and continuity of nature, culture, and architecture across national boundaries.
5. Intensifying efforts to build a comprehensive database and critical assessments of Architectural legacies and heritages.
6. Continuing efforts in the training and production of culturally sensitive, socially responsible, environmentally sustainable designs.
7. Redefining the inherent relationships of ethics, art, science, and technology in Architecture.
8. Building networks, cooperation, links between different level of people and organizations for strengthening exchange, mutual understanding, and synergy.
Johannes Widodo
Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture
National University of Singapore
CASA (Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture)
Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture
National University of Singapore

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Johannes Widodo, Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture; National University of Singapore
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