I Am a Singer: A Conversation with Johan Silas, Architect and Urban Planner in Surabaya, Indonesia
Professor Johan Silas is an architect and urban planner whose name is closely linked to the development of the city of Surabaya. In this interview, he talks about the close cooperation between the Institut Teknologi Surabaya Sepuluh Nopember (ITS), where he established an architecture department, and the city government. Through the entry point of urban planning and kampung improvement, Silas shares his insights about social inequality, the precarious relationship between government and the real-estate sector, patronage in the government, and the way the army took over city government in the aftermath of the failed 1965 coup. After the coup attempt, the newly appointed mayor, an army officer, asked Silas to develop a master plan for Surabaya, and ever since ITS's Department of Architecture has maintained an exceptionally close collaboration with the city government. Apart from Silas's architectural designs and contributions to town plans, he has also published many books and articles, including those for an international audience and columns in the Surabaya Post. Silas is the recipient of a variety of awards, and the importance of his work has been acknowledged by Indonesian and foreign scholars alike.
Volume & Issue:
Page range: 7-30
Cornell University Southeast Asia Program