Charles Prosper Wolff Schoemaker & Vincent Van Romondt: Modernism and national characteristics


Abidin Kusno
York University


In this booklet, the architectural theorist and Professor at York University Abidin Kusno discusses two lectures given by two influential professors in the former Dutch colony of Indonesia. The first one, ‘The aesthetics of architecture and the art of the moderns’, was given by C. Wolff Schoemaker in 1930. The second, entitled ‘Towards an Indonesian Architecture’, was delivered by Vincent Van Romondt in 1954. Schoemaker and Van Romondt held different views on the challenges of architecture in the world as well as in Indonesia. They nevertheless both sought to bring the notion of modernism and tradition into the context of their time. The lectures are published here for the first time in English.

Author Biography

Abidin Kusno, York University

Abidin Kusno is Professor at the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University in Toronto where he also serves as Director of York Centre for Asian Research. From 2004 to 2014, he was the Canada Research Chair in Asian Urbanism and Culture at the Institute for Asian Research at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He also held previous positions at New York University and Binghamton University, State University of New York. Professor Kusno’s academic background is in History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism (MA and PhD from SUNY Binghamton) and Architectural Engineering (Insinyur from Petra Christian University, Surabaya, Indonesia). His academic work draws upon a range of fields including urban history, politics, and cultural studies. His books include: Visual Cultures of the Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia (2016, Rowman & Littlefield); After the New Order: Space, Politics and Jakarta (2013, Hawaii University Press); Appearances of Memory: Mnemonic Practices of Architecture and Urban Form in Indonesia (2010, Duke University Press); and Behind the Postcolonial: Architecture, Urban Space and Political Cultures in Indonesia (2000, Routledge).



December 22, 2020

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Details about this monograph

ISBN-13 (15)


Date of first publication (11)


Physical Dimensions

133mm x 203mm