The house in Indonesia; Between globalization and localization

Peter J.M. Nas
1998 Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde  
The main premise of the theory of globalization is that during the past few decades a 'third' culture has emerged which transcends national cultures and cannot be explained simply by looking at national states and their interrelationships 1 . In this article I will explore the adequacy of this premise in the field of residential architecture. The question at issue is whether the house in Indonesia should be considered part of worldwide 'third' culture or not, and, if so, whether this is a
more » ... phenomenon. I will deal with this question in three parts, developing the argument from the local to the global. I will begin by describing a number of present-day vernacular habitation styles to show their great variety, stemming from the diversity of local cultures in Indonesia. 2 Some of these forms of residential architecture are still widespread, but many of them have already disappeared or can be classified as endangered. In this section the focus is on the local roots of residential architecture. From there I will present the Hindu, Islamic and colonial influences on the house to show that worldwide cultural elements -those founded in the dual relations between states as well as those of a more general character -were not only present but were also characteristic, exerting powerful influences. Globalization is not just a recent phenomenon and often has strong regional connotations. Moreover, the so-called third culture should not be seen through western eyes only, because Asian variants abound. In the final section, I will analyse post-independence foreign influences. During this period the diffusion of habitation styles has certainly been accelerated by new means of communication and the intensification of their use. In some cases this diffusion has been based on particular concepts discussed on a worldwide scale and propagated by influential international institutions. In this section the localization of this intensification of globalization as well as the phenomenon of hybridization are also taken into account. Vernacular habitation styles The mainstream of residential architecture in Indonesia is clearly rooted in vernacular forms. These have always been predominant in much of 1
doi:10.1163/22134379-90003901 fatcat:aj6biimvxrhxblai5ybpgu7ify