SAUH Asia’s inaugural workshop hosted on 4-5 July, 2016, at the Melbourne School of Design at the University of Melbourne, was funded by a Strategic Initiative Fund Grant from the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, and was framed as an inter-Asian forum for Australia-based scholarship on Southeast and East Asian topics.
A panel from the Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture (CAMEA) at the University of Adelaide extended this focus towards other Asian regions. Collaborators from among our membership at Hong Kong University and the National University of Singapore and visitors from North America internationalised the workshop.
Its overarching objective was to offer new, innovative insights on architecture and urbanism in the Asia-Pacific region, using “global modernisms” as a conceptual entry-point; to engage with multiple historical processes such as decolonisation, indigenisation, urbanisation and globalisation within this broader aim; and to encourage critical reflection on the histories, pedagogies and practices of architecture in the Asia-Pacific.
The proposed lines of critical inquiry were anchored in themes of urbanisation, governance, society and heritage and explored how interdisciplinary spatial theories and methodologies interrogated regional change.
The SIF grant application was mentored by Kate-Darian Smith under the Australian Collaboratory for Architectural History, Urban and Cultural Heritage at the University of Melbourne. Amanda Achmadi represented the Indonesia Forum at the University of Melbourne as an additional collaborator on the workshop, by hosting the keynote Abidin Kusno. The workshop included a book presentation by Nihal Perara on his most recent publication, People’s Spaces.
For details of this workshop please see Anoma Pieris and Duanfang Lu, Interrogating Asia: SAUH-Asia research forum in Fabrications, 2016 Nov., v.26, n.3, p.392-398.