Jakarta | urban snapshots VI

Jakarta | October 14, 2008

Jakarta, October 10-15. A last series of urban snapshots, Jakarta as seen from and experienced by roaming its rooftops. Standing high-above the city, miniaturizing and monotoring the metropolis, adding a multitude of perspectives to an urban setting that now has become strangely familiar, but constantly unrecognizable, to me, I couldn’t stop thinking that anything, it seems, can happen from now on with Jakarta. As if Jakarta is a jungle of planning juxtapositions, an urban condition located in the urban researcher’s blind spot. A place outside the rigid realm of planning giving way to a mash-up metropolis of architectural styles, a collection of attempts to implement a diversity of urban policies.

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Jakarta | urban snapshots V

Jakarta | October 14, 2008

Jakarta, October 14. No better way to move through Jakarta than on a motorcycle. On our way to Trisakti University, Danny Wicaksono drove through little alleys, over highway intersections, in-between financial district and along residential compounds. From the back of the motorcycle I started scanning the city, at once hectic, randomly chaotic, but still moving forward. Motorcycles, cars, little trucks, big trucks, buses and pedestrians started moving towards us constantly from all directions, and once we could make speed Jakarta’s buildings started fleeting around us, turning the city into a whirlwind of styles and shapes. Some drive-by shooting doesn’t reveal the intensity of this experience, the daily reality of the inhabitants of Jakarta, the smells, colors and warmth through which we tried to find our way.

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Jakarta | urban snapshots IV

Jakarta | October 8, 2008

Jakarta, October 8-12. Crisscrossing Jakarta and spending hours moving through the city in-between seeing Architecture. Measuring the size and intensity, the diversity and flow of the metropolis, while taking notes and trying to make sense out of all that is moving. After a couple of days in the city, it appears to me that in whatever direction one drives, a journey through Jakarta offers a relentless sequence of similar architectural and urban programs. The metropolis is composed out of a mix of shoppingmalls and sheds, gated communities and open-air markets, highways and little alleys all filled with motorcycles and SUV’s.

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Jakarta | urban snapshots III

Jakarta | October 7, 2008

Jakarta, October 6-7. Two walks, two heights, two different cities. Two of the unlimited amount of cities that Jakarta has given birth to in its urban evolution. It would be too easy, after these few days, to describe Jakarta as a place where architectural adjacencies are the norm, a city of collisions and clashes, resulting in an obvious state of chaos. Jakarta shouldn’t be analyzed as a city, because it isn’t. It might have the pretense of being one but it isn’t.

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