Jakarta Architecture Festival (JAF): Jakarta in Transit(ion)

Jakarta Architecture Festival (JAF): Jakarta in Transit(ion)

By vira

The Indonesian Institute of Architects (IAI) presents the Jakarta Architecture Festival ( JAF), an event that celebrates Jakarta in all its dimensions—past, present and future—through the lens of architecture and urban planning. The festival’s overarching theme, “Transit(ion),” encapsulates Jakarta’s status as Indonesia’s capital, soon to be succeeded by the new capital city, IKN (the Country’s New Capital). The event drew participants from various backgrounds, with architects and architecture students as the majority.

Photos by JAF and Indonesia Design

The Jakarta Architecture Festival (JAF) ran from 9-30 September 2023 and took place in several venues, including Thamrin 9 building, CGV Grand Indonesia, Djakarta Theater, Astra Tower and Cemara 6 Galeri. The festival offered a range
of outdoor activities, such as city tours by bus, bike, and foot, culinary tours, and even island-hopping adventures.

Conference & Talks

The speakers at Talks and International Conference came from multiple disciplines, although the majority were architects. Cosmas Gozali, Alwi Sjaaf, Doti Windajani, Novriansyah Yakub, Abimantra Pradhana, Christie Damayanti, Miranda Gultom, Fify Manan and Markus Tomaselli are to name a few. The International Conference featured Ken Yeang, Anton Siura, Daliana Suryawinata of SHAU Architects, and more. The topics presented in the forums varied, from public housing to biophilic city, from disabled-friendly city to approaching social media platforms.

Exhibition in Altitude

One of the highlights was the “Exhibition in Altitude” held in Indonesia’s tallest building, the Autograph Tower Thamrin 9, perched on the 77th floor. This magnificent exhibit showcased the creative works of more than 100 participants, including architectural models, photographs, videos, and sketches. From its opening on 18 September until the festival’s conclusion, the exhibition alone drew an impressive 21,000 visitors.

The exhibition was thoughtfully curated by a team of experts including Cosmas Gozali, Prima Abdullah, Imelda Akmal, Sigit Kusumawijaya and Alwi Sjaaf. Amongst the exhibited mock-ups were visionary solutions to Jakarta’s urban challenges, such as the “Jakarta Bicycle Freeway Lane Project” by Gujo Architects, as well as displays of existing landmarks like the “Tebet Eco Park” by SIURA Studio. Video monitors featured animated architectural designs and interviews with Jakarta citizens discussing various facets of the city.

Sketching and Workshop

Within the exhibition, a dedicated corner celebrated urban sketches of Jakarta, accompanied by a cosy bean bag area for sketching workshops. The exhibit showcased filled sketchbooks created by urban sketchers, lovingly displayed in vitrines.

Collaborating with the Heritage and Sketch community, architects Artyan Trihandono, Achmad Noerzaman, Seto Parama Arto and Febe Liana led captivating workshop. It featured live sketching sessions, capturing the majesty of Jakarta’s skyscrapers from a staggering 385 metres in altitude.

City Tours

To deepen the understanding of Jakarta, JAF organised a variety of themed city tours. Participants had the chance to explore kampung susun (stacked villages or flats), embark on island-hopping adventures to historical islands in the Kepulauan Seribu archipelago, cycle through historic buildings in Central Jakarta, savour the flavours of a Minang culinary tour in Kramat, and more. These tours typically occurred at weekends, and some were co-organised in collaboration with local communities and subject matter experts.

Film Screening

Akin to books, film offer windows to the world. Through films, viewers can journey back in time and witness places as they were before the relentless march of development. JAF treated attendees to select screenings, featuring films like “Dukun Kota” and “Bintang Ketjil,” which showcased Jakarta’s bygone eras. In addition, a German film titled “Undine,” exploring a city’s transformation, was also part of the event’s film offerings.

As Jakarta approaches its 500th anniversary in 2027, the city’s rich history is set to be celebrated in style. It is the hope of JAF that the festival will inspire its participants, igniting ideas and actions to make Jakarta a more sustainable and liveable global city. The event, in many ways, marks a pivotal moment in Jakarta’s architectural and urban journey, poised for a brighter future.

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