Anas hidayat

As a part of “99 Percent The Guild” Open House, Anas Hidayat shares a lecture to us about the hermeneutics.

Hermeneutics is the branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts. This is the theory and methodology of interpretation, especially the interpretation of biblical texts, wisdom literature, and philosophical texts.It started out as a theory of text interpretation but has been later broadened to questions of general interpretation.

The term hermeneutics were originally taken from “Hermes”, an ancient greek translator God who translating the Zeus word’s from the Gods language to the human language. From the mythology and theology which are distinguished the god-human interpretation, then the term expand to the human-human interpretation. It was originally started from architecture, in the case of babel tower.

The category of hermeneutics development are:

1. Cosmocentric: nature as a central
2. Theocentric: god as a central
3. Anthropocentric: human as a central
4. logocentric: language as a central

Hans-George Gadamer, one of the hermeneutics theorist in logocentric era said nothing exists except through language. Language is very important for the human being since it is the main tools for communication. The interpretation through language is not a passive process, but an active process of making a lego set – constructing our own creation in the interpretation, regarding the meaning of the flexible context that present to us.

The interpretation process always started from the intention of the creator then it raises the potential of the perception. At last, it gains a new interpretation as a new creation of knowledge. At the interpretation phase, we might say the architect has died. According to Roland Barthes, the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author. Anas Hidayat replaces the word of the author with the architect since it is in the similar context. After the design of the architect has been built, the dialog that occurs is only between the building and the user of the building. For Gadamer, dialogue is the function of a horizon. The horizon of the creator and the observer. The understanding process can prevail within the dialogue. Understanding does not occur when we try to intercept what someone wants to say to us by claiming we already know it.

Understanding always followed by the different understanding perspective since we have a specific historical distance and prejudices as a pre-understanding potential. In fact, history does not belong to us; but we belong to it. It is similar to the architecture, architecture does not belong to architect, but architect belongs to it.

In the creation context we might say 99% of understanding come from the architect statement and 1% from the others, but in the interpretation context, the architect only got 1% while 99% come from the others. This condition is what Anas called the strange death of the architect, since the border of the architect and the user interpretation being bias. It creates the author and the reader at the same time.

There is no singular present, it always consists of many rhizomatic relations. The architect is not a pure creation, they are always viewing and understanding something before re-creating the object of interpretation. Architect as an interpreter and viewer, not a producer or prosumer. This process will remain.

In this session, he introduces the hermeneutics in architecture, particularly in an interpretation of the Indonesian Architecture condition.

He has entitled this lecture with “The Strange Death of Architects in Indonesian Architecture”, through hermeneutics view of Gadamerian.
Started with the explanation about the recent condition of architecture in Indonesia. From his satirical point of interpretation, some conditions in Indonesian are:

1. Similartchitecture: typical design, similarity of the ideas,
2. Macrospia: looking something bigger than the reality, over rated into something
3. Brokerchitecture: act as a project broker
4. Melesat-Meleset: failure in looking the essential thing
5. Nge-less is more: failure in justification of ideas
6. Form follow budget and pragmatism
7. Practice not Praxis
8. In reserve condition not authentic condition

These conditions are made Indonesian architecture in the uncertain circumstances. We can learn the understanding process about these condition through hermeneutics methods.