Open City Jakarta: Reciprocity as an Urban Strategy: Exhibition and Film Festival

Open City Concept by Kees Christiaanse

Jakarta’s rapid urbanization from the last decades of the twentieth century has seen it emerge today as one of the world’s largest mega-cities. Through the scale and complexity that come with that rapid growth, Jakarta poses a profound challenge to long-established foundations of urban theory and understandings of what a city might be. One such challenge that Jakarta poses is to take the informal seriously as an urban process and practice. ‘Reciprocity’ is a rich and significant principle for the informal city. Reciprocal forms of exchange, such as bartering, bargaining, giving, or gleaning, are amongst the many transactions that structure the city but are not usually acknowledged in the way it has been theorised, designed or planned. We propose an experiment in urban thinking and design practice by placing reciprocity as an urban strategy.

We ask: ‘what would a Recipro-City be like’?

Open City Jakarta is a continuation of selected exhibition materials from 4th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam in 2009. The exhibition consists of 12 innovative research and design projects which offer distinct scenarios for Jakarta as a Recipro-City. Each project exemplifies a distinct reciprocal relationship: between built environment and nature (Sponge City analyses the flooding patterns in Jakarta and proposes architectural interventions that ameliorate their effects); between formal and informal sectors (Jakarta Bersih focuses on the relationship between formal and informal waste disposal systems in Jakarta); between corporate and local spheres (Social Mall proposes to insert diverse public programs and facilities into malls, so that malls could become better embedded in the community in which they are located.

The 12 scenarios are accompanied by a cast of 12 contemporary wayang characters by Eko Nugroho, and anthropological urban photographs by Erik Prasetya. Open City Jakarta exhibition and related events are made possible with kind support from the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, the Netherlands Architecture Funds (Stimuleringsfonds voor Architectuur), Centropolis UNTAR, Edinburgh University, KCAP, ETH Zürich and SHAU.

Open City Jakarta Exhibition runs from 1 October - 1 December 2010.
Film Festival runs in November 2010.
Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Opening hours: Monday-Thursday, 09.00-16.00; Friday, 09.00-14.00; Saturday, 10.00-13.00
Date: 1 October 2010 - 1 December 2010
Location: Erasmus Huis



Komplek Perkantoran Royal Palace Blok C-3
Jl. Prof. Dr. Soepomo, SH Kav. 178A
Menteng Dalam - Jakarta Selatan 12870

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