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Robin Hartanto Honggare

Robin Hartanto Honggare is a Doctoral Candidate in Architecture at Columbia GSAPP. He graduated with a BArch from Universitas Indonesia and earned a M.S. in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices at Columbia GSAPP. Building on his focus on the architectures of cultivation and histories of colonial modernities in Southeast Asia, his current research explores commodity buildings and their entanglement with environmental techniques and imaginaries in the Netherlands Indies. His work has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the Graham Foundation, the American-Indonesian Cultural & Educational Foundation, and the Nieuwe Instituut, where he is also involved in the Collecting Otherwise working group.
By the early twentieth century, private enterprises and state authorities had transformed East Sumatra, a coastal district in the Netherlands Indies, into a primary site for testing and producing global cash crops, such as tobacco, rubber, and oil palm. “Building Commodities: Environments of Colonial Plantations in the East Coast of Sumatra, 1869-1942” traces the conversion of native land into plantation fields and the creation of an extensive network of buildings sustaining commodity production in this region. Central to this intermingling of world commerce and colonial pursuit was how architecture mediated extractive practices by reconfiguring soils, plants, peoples, and microbes across space and time. Examining processing facilities built by Dutch and American manufacturers, labor recruitment offices in Java and Hong Kong, and botanical research stations in the region’s center, this research argues that the plantation system, the main source of capital in the colony, constituted spaces in which environmental techniques and imaginaries altered the living milieu in most profound ways.


Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A4348‑1 Fall 2023
Questions in Architectural History I
Robin Hartanto Honggare
W 11 AM - 1 PM
3 Points