Watson Institute at Brown University
International and Public Affairs
Matthew Lioe

Student Spotlight: Matthew Lioe '24

Matthew Lioe '24 shares how receiving a Watson Grant award contributed to his IAPA studies

What is the title of your project?

Participatory preservation, construction, and transformation: Ethnic architecture of Indonesia under global development

Where did you travel to? 

Jakarta, Indonesia

What was funding used for?

Jack Ringer Summer in Southeast Asia Fellowship, Thesis Research & Internship


How did this experience contribute to your studies in IAPA?

This past summer, I received the Jack Ringer Summer in Southeast Asia Fellowship which allowed me to head to Jakarta, Indonesia this past summer and work with architect Yori Antar at Han Awal and Partners (HAP). I gained a lot of powerful experience through my work in Indonesia—in particular, I am interested in urbanism, participatory policy, development, and nation building. My work at HAP allowed me to explore all these spheres, as I was involved in a multitude of projects. For instance, I prepared for the non-profit division of the company to hold an event for Indonesian Independence Day in a revitalized traditional village in East Nusa Tengarra. Pak (Indonesian abbreviation for Mister) Yori showed me how it was essential to bring donors to these types of traditional villages to encourage further investment in Indonesian tradition and culture. Under the mentorship of Pak Yori and other architects and designers in his studio, I was exposed to a multitude of government and private architecture projects that each came with their own interesting conflicts and experiences.

Additionally, on top of my work at HAP, I was able to use Jakarta as a base for my future thesis research. Over the summer, I was able to visit historical architectural sites like Prambanan and Borobudur in Central Java. I visited and attended an urban planning workshop at an informal settlement in North Jakarta. I explored libraries, learned about Jakarta’s public transport, and drank a lot of coffee. All in all, I was able to do a lot of reflecting, observing, and thinking about urban trends of rapid development in Indonesia.