The 3rd International Conference on Dwelling Form
Department of Architecture Universitas Indonesia

This conference is in conjunction with the International Conference on Smart City Innovation (ICSCI), LASER PULSE Conference, and AUN/SEED-Net Conference*

“To say that social relations ‘project themselves into a space, becoming inscribed there’ is to say that in any situation, social life forms its spatial milieu in characteristic ways that are productive for it. The spatial project is this formative movement into space, this dialectic between social relations and space itself.” (Madden, 2013)

iDwell is a conference organized by the Department of Architecture Universitas Indonesia started from 2015. iDwell 2020 aim to explore how the notion of dwelling as the spatial projection of its inhabitants and various stakeholders in the built environment.

The main topic is “Hyperlocal Practice vs Global Thinking” on dwelling space. This topic seeks papers that explore the socio-spatial initiatives, actions and practices of community to appropriate, reclaim, pluralised, transgress, uncover, and contest urban space in order to thrive in the changing scheme of the city.

Cities in Asia is the home of almost 60 percent of the global urban population. Its cities are faced with the challenge of providing livelihood to its inhabitants. In order to catch up with the fast changing development, city is no longer an area designed with a modern and formal urban design, but a combination of space that has been formed through practice and the space usage by the government, academics, NGO, and the people themselves.


Addressing the issues, the conference will invite keynote speakers with international reputations and scholars/professionals from universities, governments, private sectors, and other institutions who are interested to disseminate their research paper on the following themes:

1. Design Activism

Design activism employs the process of design as a tool to drive change and transformations, be it social, political, or cultural (Fuad-Luke, 2009). It can also be the means to obtain a more sustainable development by incorporating and empowering things or stakeholders that are previously excluded within the dialogue (Thorpe, 2012). This theme is interested to discuss how design activism is influenced by different narratives and contribute to various design approaches and frameworks in design practices.
Design activism can encourage communities to care about the qualities of their environment. Some practices of design activism focus on the need to manage or re-appropriate environmental resources for use in the built environment in more sustainable and efficient ways (Fuad-Luke, 2009). Others campaign for social change by empowering marginalised communities through design intervention (Thorpe, 2012). Design activism may also transform ways of making and producing (Ibid.), and by doing so drive economic and environmental change and increase access of daily essentials for those in need.
These various narratives potentially create a more open and creative outlook on what design practice and design outputs can be. It may consist of creative ways of capturing attention of communities or bring them together. It can be rethinking on everyday objects or spaces for better use to the environment or evolving social need. It may inform alternative ways of production flows which better connect human and the environment. Such open outlook of outputs created from understanding design as activism arguably expands architectural discourse in a more dynamic and responsive way, and therefore is an important knowledge of current times. Related subthemes are as follows:

      • Compact design (incl. mixed-use)
      • Inclusive and universal design (incl. difable, aging and gender)
      • Human Comfort and Behavior
      • Community engagement

Panel Chair: Kristanti Dewi Paramita

2. Claiming-Reclaiming Space

The public space has long been the center of civic life for urban dwellers and provides the place for gathering, socializing recreation, festivals, and the places for protests and demonstrations. The public space is not only a physical boundary and material setting but also serving as a vehicle of political expressions, public discourses, and social relationships. However, the cities also have to deal with the rise of privatization and the erosion of public places. As a consequence, the privatization of public space creates singular places and narratives. They restrain what kinds of interactions and behaviors can afford, resulting in depoliticized, commodified, and passive public spaces. On the other hand, in the cities around the world, the small yet persistent challenges against the increasingly those regulated, privatized, and diminishing forms of public space have been represented. In contemporary cities, new expressions of the collective realms have emerged. There are tendencies of the predominantly marginalized communities to express the collective realm in the city through reclaiming the space, generating the self-made urban spaces, and initiating the temporary events. The public space no longer consisted of the archetypal and conventional categories such as parks and a public plaza.
This panel is looking for issues on how the claiming and reclaiming place potent to become the platform for inclusive and transformative dialogue. The central question is how the power of place-based awareness and action develop the more inclusive narratives? How does the idea of place-making act as a platform for transforming public places into spaces of dialogue, inclusion, and democratic participation? Related sub-themes are as follows:

      • Squatters / Slums and Cities
      • Sustainability and Social Responsibility
      • Community and land use planning
      • Neighborhoods and public space

Panel Chair: Evawani Ellisa

3. Identity vs Locality

In today’s 21st century globalization, modern architectural design of dwelling, offices and places of consumption compete in creating the most unique and most groundbreaking designs. Buildings are no longer evaluated by its function. The Muse Design Award, for example, considers “that the best architecture shapes the spaces within and without, making a lasting statement that inspires while pleasing the senses, complementing our surroundings and cultural identities.” As the world becomes more closely connected, the aesthetics of difference which foregrounds identity and locality becomes more prominent and urgent.
The architectural history has seen paradigmatic shifts towards more locally embedded design. Since Frank Lloyd Wright, architects and designers have paid attention to the way buildings blend and connect to the surrounding natural and human environment. The rise of ecological awareness has renewed interest in incorporating vernacular architecture in design. On the other hand, the lure of global travel has created dwellings with characteristic touch of cosmopolitan, “foreign” identities in the local. How do contemporary architectures embrace, experiment with, or embody localities and identities in response to the changing global environment? On the other spectrum, there has been scholarship that pays attention to the interaction and creative response of inhabitants and dwellers in readjusting, redesigning and responding to the given architectural design and building to adjust to their cultural needs and sense of identification. This panel section invites and welcomes papers which deal with locality and identity in these various contexts and conceptual frameworks. Related sub-themes are as follows:

      • Cities in Transformation
      • Design paradigms
      • Arts, Culture and Placemaking
      • Race, Gender, Ethnicity and Urban Issues

Panel Chair: Melani Budianta

4. Design Research vs Research Design

The subtitle “research design vs design research” was crafted as a trigger for the discussion on how people in design-related disciplines conduct “research”. To some disciplines, research is a formally procedural attempt at systemic inquiry, which requires a careful planning phase. Consequently, designing a research is a largely methodical sub-discipline in many fields of work. On the other hand, architects and urban designers alike conduct extensive research prior to/along with their design process.
This panel invites discussions on the different strategies employed by scholars in the field of architecture, urban planning, geography, demography and other disciplines contributing to the development and maintenance of urban built environment. The panel seeks to understand: (1) how people from different fields conduct their knowledge inquiries systemically; (2) the challenges faced by people from different disciplines, and; (3) how different systemic approaches can produce diverging results. Related sub-themes are as follows:

      • Rethinking Planning and Urban Design
      • Principles of Sustainable Development
      • Planning Visions: Past and Present
      • Civic Participation and Governance

Panel Chair: Ahmad Gamal

iDwell 2020 subthemes include but are not limited to:

      • High density living
      • Challenge of sustainability
      • Resilient design
      • Housing and renewal design
      • Equality, inequality and urban design


Abstract Submission 7 February 2020
17 February 2020
Early Bird Registration 1 March – 17 April 2020
Regular Registration 18 April – 25 September 2020
Abstract Review Announcement 21 February 2020
26 February 2020
Full Paper Submission 2 June 2020
29 June 2020
Paper Review Announcement  29 June 2020
30 July 2020 (for extended submission)
Camera Ready Paper Submission 24 August 2020
Conference Day 27-28 October 2020


Register Now

For additional info on fees and payment, please refer to this page.