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Environmental Architecture (MA)

RS2 - The Orang-orang and the Hutan


Since 2018, The Orang-orang and the Hutan research studio has been working with research and community partners in Indonesia to better understand the inter-sectional knowledges and spatial structures entangled within the social and ecological tensions of a forest under fire. In this last year of the research studio, students have worked closely with Arus Kualan, a traditional school for indigenous knowledge sharing in the Simpang Dayak territory of West Kalimantan. Together, they have worked to interrogate the land's bio-resources—extracted and extracted from—through the specific social practices of the Simpang Dayak that provide for the healthy inhabitation of the forest. From the elemental to the geopolitical threats facing the forest, RS2 and the students of Arus Kualan have proposed alternative ways of thinking and designing architecture and environments through platforms—physical and virtual—that act as forms of a collective political practice.

For the past four years, RS2 has attempted to answer the questions: What kind of architecture could emerge when we think about and design with environments that shift paradigms of empowerment towards justice? The projects developed over the course of this studio have been varied in scale, scope, media, and method; with each having its own forward trajectory in the field of applied research and design. Working with the children of Arus Kualan has brought a new dimension to the spatial and material practices of building an inter-generational collective.