Nias: From „stone age“ to internet

Alain Viaro

Der Fachbereich Baugeschichte::Bauforschung der Technischen Universität Wien und das IVA – Institut für Vergleichende Architekturforschung laden Sie herzlich zu folgendem Vortrag ein:

Zeit: 28.04.2015, 19:00 Uhr

Ort: TU Wien; Hörsaal 14a, Stiege III, 3. Stock; 1040 Wien, Karlsplatz 13

The image of Nias island through tourism booklets and guides was and still is that of a megalithic civilisation remote in time. This brought tourists there since the 1930s for the exoticism to visite headhunters and fierce warriors. In recent time, the island was mostly known by surfers from Australia for its beautiful waves.

When humanitarian aid workers arrived after the strong earthquake in March 2005, they felt to be in a very poor region with no infrastructure, no roads and huge destruction. The image they vehiculated was of a remote and primitive territory. This contribution try to reconstruct the history of the road development in relation to tourism in a first period and after the long process of reconstruction from 2005 to 2011.

We will try to measure the consequences of this reconstruction in terms of economic and social change.

Alain Viaro is an architect and urban planner who discovered the island of Nias in 1977. He visited regularly the island till 1986, his wife Arlette Ziegler doing a research about the festive systems in the traditional society. While teaching urban history at the School of Architecture of Geneva University, he continued his research on Nias about traditional architecture and villages planning. When the School closed in 1994, he joined the Graduate Institute for Development Studies, where he teached till 2009 urban management.

Since 2006 he collaborates with the TU Architectural Department to research projets in Indonesia, especially Nias. Moving from architectural analysis to urban planning changes, he tries to describe the changes in the territory resulting from the reconstruction process which took place after the earthquake in 2005.