Jakarta epitomizes and defies the definition of a megacity. The capital of Southeast Asia’s largest economy and the world’s second most populated metropolitan area appears as an agglomeration of villages, stretched across the 21st century mutation of a colonial entrepot. Interconnected with he interior of the island of Java through a capillary system of social and economic relationships, these settlements with their attendant forms of mobility contain salient elements of a long-standing regional superstructure. Tracing these features, we have uncovered a mesh of patterns that stretches across the Javanese landscape, harboring a logic of practice that seems to emerge out of the geologic.
Inhabiting Java’s Volcanic proposes an alternative entry point to Jakarta’s narrative as the quintessential megacity-at-risk. Looking past the rhetoric of coastal vulnerability to study the forms of living that have unfolded in Java’s highlands, the project re-reads the densely populated island situated atop the Sundra Trench, as a vast geomorphic machine and model. Investigating and imaging this active ground in relation to patterns of human activity, the project sheds light on the role of volcanoes as urban centers, as spinal cords of socio-spatial organization.
Master in Design Studies Final Project by Pedro Aparico (MDes Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology ’16) and Namik Mackic (MDes Risk & Resilience ’16)