Envisioning a Multi-Class Society in Jakarta

Research project, design studio, workshop, book contribution

Superkampung is a vision in a form of design proposals for an even a more mixed, dynamic multi-class urban fabric in Jakarta. The research and design will explore types of spaces which mediate different statuses and needs in Kampung Kebon Kacang.

Many kampungs (urban village) in Jakarta are subject to eviction. Land prices are increasing, while most kampungs are located on the best areas of the city. They are prone to being replaced by another gigantic shopping mall. Is there a way of ‘positive gentrification’ that can elevate the role of kampung in being the place of mixture between different social classes, the rich, medium rich and the poor? Can we imagine an economic model that balances the profit with a certain kind of subsidy to make coexistence possible?

Analyse the ‘rat circuit’! What kind of traffic can support the structure? What kind of vehicles can roam within this dense urban fabric? What can be so good about the intended informality? How to make benefit to the local existing, already complex microeconomy? How does it contribute to the city?

Make the ultimate lowest-rise, highest-density typology in Kampung Kebon Kacang, Jakarta (site to be confirmed). Experiment how the most diverse social mixture can be bred out of an existing situation where the rich, medium rich and poor live side-by-side. What would be the minimum sizes of commercial and living units thinkable? Can we make an inventory of maximum diversity of alleys?

This proposition would like to offer government, planners and communities an alternative to eviction: how to retain a certain characteristic of the kampungs yet with the ability to position themselves within the globalized city.

The results will form a part of an exhibition in the Museum of Tomorrow in Taipei and will be included in the coming T?F publication.