Senin, 08 September 2008

An Imaginary Conversation with Vitruvius Bahasa Indonesia

1 March 2008
Finally, Vitruvius has his way to come to the 21st century riding a time machine made by Leonardo Da Vinci, who invented a time machine to pick up Vitruvius and ask his explanation to finish his legendary work; the Vitruvian man. But it is another story. This time Vitruvius came to Indonesia to be interviewed about architect and architecture, and some relation to Indonesian context. Because he just wrote "The Ten Books of Architecture", then it is the hottest topic to discuss right now.

First, I'd like to congratulates your country; Rome, for the victory of Caesar.
Hey, thanks. But when I see everything in the future, in the 21 century back then, the early part my writing in the past is just for political reason.
As you see here now, people are still in amusement of Roman architecture.
Oh yes I see. Indeed, it's astonishing to see our culture spread worldwide. I've heard that modern architecture takes its base in Roman Architecture. Something that I see here too in Indonesia.
Considering that, would you agree that your culture infiltrate or even interrupt our culture.
That is a very critical question. I certainly will let go my responsibility to answer this question. It is not our fault that our culture is so powerful compared to the rest of the world.
Your work; The Ten Books of Architecture, is still learned in Universities. Even though not many people in Indonesia, I believe, read your work, the academics still base their idea of education based on your writing.
About theory and practice? Yes, because I can see that it's really universal. You can not abandon theory based practice. Every architect should have the theory, in order to create the practice.
Is it always in that order?
There is always theory based practice. Even when an architect is pushed to the boundaries of explaining his work, then it is always a combination of knowledge and skill, which are obtained from education. Knowledge represent explainable materials. But the rest can be unexplainable, which is part of the skill.
You explain too that education will let students to know more about their own history. How do you see education here in Indonesia?
It's a pity. You have your own culture but you don't know it very well. I heard that not many Indonesian students know the basic principles of Indonesian temples, for instance. And why it is not taught in Universities.
Like the Caryatides ornaments in Roman building?
Yes, like that. So that the the knowledge they have about their own culture and buildings are based on a kind of a 'root' of architecture. Not just being self assuming, because all his work will be determined by that.
And leads to a certain reputation he will obtain?
No, not that. Reputation is something else; a good will of his works recognized by the society.
And what else should an architect know?
Orders, like music. It helps architect understand the basis of the architectural orders that they use.
Something that Pythagoras have said before; about architecture as the frozen music?
Precisely, it is. And don't forget; the study of medicine that will bring knowledge to healthy environment.
We have a specific subject for that now. Even special term for that; sustainability.
Oh that has become a specific science? That's good news.
About the fundamental principles of Architecture.
My favorite.
What are the fundamentals?
It's written in the book; Order, arrangement, rhythm, symmetry, propriety, and economy. I don't have to explain this, right? Read it for yourself here
About propriety; Greek propriety is not suitable anymore for modern buildings nowadays.
Yes, I can see that. You guys are all screwed... I don't understand your principles of propriety. You said modern architecture takes its base on Roman architecture, but I don't see Dorics anymore. Don't you believe in Gods?
Oh, don't worry, in this modern age, we are all insane. And we separate architecture from faith.
But I see here in Indonesia, mosques and churches. I like Indonesian temples because they have deep root to the history of your nation.
Thanks, and if you value nowadays architecture with the value of your propriety, there will be many buildings inappropriate. Reading your writing on proprietary, is a high standard, even for now.
That's not what I mean. What I wrote about proprietary is for high class buildings, high class architecture.
In your time?
Yes. But of course, there's another fundamental; which is the economy factor. It determines how a building will be made, architecturally. Okay, now... will you excuse me, I have a plane to catch. Going to Europe again and see my previous work, is it still there?
Okay then, be careful.


by Probo Hindarto
© Copyright 2008 astudio Indonesia. All rights reserved.

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