Bandung: Ethnic Identity, Colonialism, and the Making of an Indonesian City

Rina Priyani
UC Berkeley

My dissertation examines the representation of ethnic identity through the production of a built environment in a capital city. Working under the premise that the built environment has been designed in the service of politics, this research looks at buildings not only as a passive container of political power but also as an active agent of change. Through case study of Bandung, capital of west Java, this project will examine the process through which ethnicity is formed through the building, destroying, and preserving the urban space. Specifically, I will explore how the architectural plan of Bandung’s government complex as embodiment of Dutch colonial ethical policy that promoted education and welfare for the native. This research revisits the origin of the city during three periods of transformation: late Dutch colonial period in 1930s, Japanese occupation and national revolution in 1940s, and post-Independence period marked by Bandung Conference in 1955.