This website showcases some of the research conducted under the auspicies of an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) grant, with supplementary funding from the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR), on the peri-urban regions of the city of Jakarta.
The research aspires to be both a city study and a contribution to the theory of cities. It is focussed empirically on the city of Jakarta (one of the world's largest conurbanations), and also draws on wider contemporary debates on cities such as Lagos, Brazzaville, Kinshasa, Sao Paolo, and Mumbai. Being focussed on the sprawling mega-cities of the South it is, more specifically, a study about the limits of cities and of city theory. The research hopes to contribute to the new styles of description and thinking that these unbounded cities solicit. It does so through the figure of the archipelago. A philosophical metaphor, an urban pattern, and the geographical context for the city of Jakarta itself, the archipelago is posed as an intricate figure and grounds for reflection on cities and settlements in the 21st century. This is to propose what Michel Serres has called a kind of thinking that 'establishes a ground that will found local inventions to come' .