International Conference at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville (ENSAPB) PARIS 12-14 Juin, 2013

Theme: How Do Architectural and Urban Expressions of Modernity Relate to Heritage?

The conference deals with recent physical transformations and developments of Southeast Asian cities. This broadly defined geographical area is characterised in part by the diversity of its human settlements, which historically have experienced intense cultural exchanges with each other and with other cultures from beyond Southeast Asia. These historic interactions have led to the creation of distinctive spatial cultures.
Today, Southeast Asian cities are experiencing both rapid urban transformations and increased globalizing influences, which are reflected in the changing nature of the agents, models and tools of urban development. In analyzing these trends, the conference questions the influence of inherited spatial cultures in the shaping of recent projects.
Contemporary debates in urban studies often centre around the idea of a uniform kind of globalizing urbanization which is spreading worldwide. The conference examines this idea as a hypothesis in light of the history of each city, the persistence of ancient urban morphologies, and heritage policies promoted by various Southeast Asian nations. The conference is organized around five thematic panels, where paper presenters reflect upon how agents responsible for physical changes, and the operational tools employed in urban development interact in the designing and implementing of architectural and urban projects. They retrace the circulation of models and their reception by different kinds of agents — particularly by the inhabitants — who appropriate, transform or contest urban projects imposed “from above”. Papers also deal with questions such as: Do projects embody a particular vision and expression of architectural and urban modernity and, if so, how? Are these expressions of modernity specific to Southeast Asian cities because they are the results of the encounters between exogenous inputs and locally based cultures? In addressing these and other questions, the papers analyze the originality of recent projects and spatial solutions in Southeast Asian cities. The conference deliberately focuses on Southeast Asian countries, primarily because since the 1970s our research group has mainly conducted research within these countries. Furthermore, recently, analytical backgrounds and operational tools involved in urban development easily circulate among the countries comprising ASEAN, where transnational exchanges are becoming increasingly frequent. The conference explores the perimeters, parameters and networks associated with these exchanges, which sometimes extend beyond the limits of Southeast Asia, to include China, India, Japan and other nation states. The conference also questions the role of regionalisation — which has mainly been studied from the historical, geographical and political point of view – in shaping contemporary Southeast Asian cities.

Information / Conference programme / Registration:
Please contact Dr. Adèle Esposito at adeleesposito AT

Conference venue :
Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville (ENSAPB
60, boulevard de la Villette, 75019, Paris

métro: Belleville /Colonel Fabien