Aceh Post-Tsunami Housing Reconstruction: A Critical Analysis of Approaches, Designs and Socio-Cultural Implications by Dr Yenny Rahmayati
Date : 19 Sep 2017
Time : 16:00 - 17:30
Venue : Asia Research Institute, Seminar Room
AS8 Level 4, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
National University of Singapore @ KRC


Dr Meghan Downes, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore


The 2004 tsunami disaster in Aceh resulted in the destruction of man-made environments as well as unimaginable human misery. While natural disaster transformed much of Aceh’s morphology of urban space, the rehabilitation and reconstruction process that followed continued transforming the typology of domestic space in Acehnese towns and villages, profoundly affecting Acehnese socio-cultural life and society at large. In particular, a fundamentally new type of housing physically and practically changed social and cultural ways of living in Aceh. This paper examines the transformation of domestic living space that followed from large scale building of new permanent homes in post-tsunami reconstruction projects in Aceh and how new living spaces for private families influenced family cultures, lifestyles, do’s and dont’s, habits, customs, everyday happenings and practices. The overall study proposes a new type of action for post-disaster housing reconstruction based upon the real housing needs of stricken communities which takes into account non-physical aspects of family practices such as cultural living needs and desires, lifestyles and habits as well as physical aspects of location, typology, size and lay-out design of housing concepts. The approach which recognizes and respects the long-term socio-cultural needs of post-disaster housing recipients and their communities at large, rather than focusing on short term reconstruction goals that disregard socio-cultural practices which are integral to community survival. It is suggested that this approach can be successfully applied in post-disaster situations worldwide.


Yenny Rahmayati is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Centre for Design Innovation (CDI), Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. She is a Lead Researcher for Humanitarian Habitat and Design Project, one of the CDI’s core projects. Yenny received her PhD in Architecture from School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore and has a Masters in Sustainable Heritage Development and Management from the Australian National University. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Architecture from University of North Sumatra, Indonesia. She had been working with recognised International Aid Agencies and non-profit organisations including the UN-ILO, UNESCO, UNFPA, World Bank, Environmental Resource Management (Barcelona), Global Heritage Fund (California) and German Technical Cooperation Agency (GIZ), primarily in the area of disaster & reconstruction, architecture, cultural heritage, community development, housing and urban studies. She held various positions, ranging from Researcher, Project Manager, Consultant, Technical Expert, Project Officer, Project Coordinator and Program Assistant. She also had established and run a local non-profit community-based organisation that concerned on architectural and cultural-heritage issues in Aceh, Indonesia, particularly in post-disaster context for more than 10 years. Yenny’s work focuses on the processes of societal socio-cultural transformation and changing life style short term as well as long term, paying a great deal of attention to post-disaster new housing visions, processes and programs. Her current research proposed a new post-disaster housing reconstruction attitudes and a new type of action based upon local down-to-earth real contexts and concerns.


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Contact Person(s)
Minghua TAY