Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia Launches Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival (KLAF) 2020

Launch of Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival 2020
Launch of Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival 2020
Launch of Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival 2020

Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM), the professional body for Malaysian architects, has launched Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival (KLAF) 2020 at PAM Centre, Kuala Lumpur. The launch was officiated by the Minister of Housing and Local Government, Zuraida Kamaruddin.

Open to the public, the annual festival is the premier event in Malaysia’s architectural calendar and will stage various programs until August 2020. KLAF2020 involves the architectural fraternity, designers, artists, academia and students as well as members of the public, coming together to celebrate architecture, art and design.

The theme for 2020 is “Beyond” and it seeks to look beyond the ordinary and mundane. To evolve beyond the same old way of doing things. The four sub-themed events as are follows:-

  • ‘Beyond Celebration’ in February focuses on celebrating unity among Malaysians with its Chinese New Year Open House, keynote talks celebrating architecture, sketching sessions and the launch of The Malaysian House Competition, as well as building and district visits.
  • ‘Beyond Green: Wellness’ in April focuses on greening Malaysia by promoting green school projects, nett zero houses, urban farming and more.
  • ‘Beyond Architecture’ in July celebrates the art of architecture beyond conventional architectural forms. During this period, the public can participate in the Art and Architecture Auction by Henry Butcher and visit ‘The Malaysian House’ showcase by architects who participated in the competition. ‘The Malaysian House’ competition offers architects a platform to explore and record the changes and evolution of the Malaysian house, with current and future aspirations in mind. Architects are encouraged to develop new ideas on what the Malaysian House should be like today and in the future. Registration for the competition is now open. The International Architecture, Interior Design & Building Exhibition (Archidex) and The International Architectural Design Conference (DATUM2020) will also be held in July.
  • ‘Beyond Imagination’ in August celebrates creativity among students, youths, academia and professionals.

PAM President Ar. Lillian Tay said KLAF is organised annually to promote appreciation for architecture among the public.

“It is an opportunity for architects from all over Malaysia and overseas to meet and share their ideas and aspirations. This year’s theme ‘Beyond’ aims to inspire the architectural fraternity and the public alike with ideas that are beyond the ordinary. KLAF is a significant event to PAM in driving excellence in the field of architecture and sets the standards for best practices and education,” she added.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said KLAF has made an impact in improving the well-being of the community as well as the quality of future residential developments.

“I’m happy to see ideas and efforts being put forward in the development of green buildings and homes. A sustainable approach to construction is important in preserving the environment, but what’s equally important are sustainable and wellness technologies in public housing as these will enhance the residents’ quality of life. I hope both architects and developers can work together to design future homes with these elements in mind,” she said.

KLAF2020 Director Ar. Dr Tan Loke Mun said: “Over the years, we’ve successfully drawn more than 35,000 participants to the various Festival events, and hope to continue expanding our reach to the community and increase public participation each year.”

In conjunction with the launch of KLAF 2020, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between PAM, represented by Ar. Lillian Tay, PAM President, and EPIC, represented by John-Son Oei, Chief Executive Officer of EPIC, on the “Home Empowerment Catalogue Initiative” was also held. The MoU signing ceremony, held at PAM Centre’s Dewan Presiden, was witnessed by Zuraida and marked another effort by PAM led by its Graduate Committee and EPIC Community in a collaborative partnership to provide suitable housing choices for marginalised communities such as the orang asli.

In KLAF2019, PAM collaborated with EPIC Homes to launch an international design competition to increase its design bank and, in turn, empower marginalised communities such as the B40 orang asli communities with the power of choice on housing suitable for their needs. The partnership, which resulted in design catalogue database, aimed to contribute to the push for policy change in the Government to ensure continuous improvement and adaptability of housing design selections with the support of the National Unity and Social Wellbeing Ministry, and other relevant ministries.

It is hoped that this latest partnership powered by professionals who volunteer their technical knowledge and time through a collective network, will produce a home empowerment catalogue for the marginalised communities.

Besides the MoU signing ceremony, there were also talks on the theme Beyond the Architecture of Celebration by Chong Yan Chuah, Ar Tay Kheng Soon and Professor Philip Cox.

Digital artist Chong Yan Chuah who uses the medium of film, drawing and installations and often explores the artistic vision of the imaginary reality of nature, spoke on the “Fragments of Lazarian Delights”.

Ar Tay Kheng Soon is currently an Adjunct Professor at the School of Architecture in NUS, Singapore. He spoke on how architecture today is going through a crisis as it focuses too much on narrative design and styling, and delves into what can be done about it.

Professor Philip Cox from Cox Architecture, a design-focused contemporary architectural practice with studios in major Australian cities, spoke on “New Internationalism versus Vernacular”.

Tomorrow there will be talks on heritage conservation by Dr Dalila ElKerdany, Professor of Architecture & Urban Design at Cairo University, Egypt and also PAM’s 2019 Gold Medallist Ar. Laurence Loh Kwong Yu.

Among the highlights of PAM’s Chinese New Year Open House was a spectacular acrobatic lion dance performance by world renowned troupe Kun Seng Keng that scaled the PAM Centre, climbing all the way to the seventh floor from the courtyard.

An auspicious tossing of Yee Sang for prosperity and lunch were also organised for all participants including the public who were later taken on a tour around PAM’s green building. A carnival sale of pre-loved items featuring more than 50 stalls was held at APW, Bangsar nearby the PAM Centre as part of its sustainability and recycling programme. The event concluded with an architectural Movie Night

The launch of KLAF2020 continues tomorrow on February 16, 2020 with more engaging activities for the public based on the theme “Beyond Heritage Conservation”.

Those who are keen to be part of KLAF2020 can learn more about the events and register their participation via the KLAF app that can be downloaded via Playstore or App Store.

KLAF2020 is organised by PAM in partnership with Green Building Index Sdn Bhd, NS BlueScope Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Sika Kimia Sdn Bhd, ROCA Malaysia Sdn Bhd, DML Products Sdn Bhd, Hume Cemboard Industries Sdn Bhd, Niro Ceramic Sales & Services (M) Sdn Bhd, Nippon Paint (M) Sdn Bhd, HP DesignJet Malaysia & DPI Technology Sdn Bhd. The media partners are Archilab, d+a and Archinesia, and APW is the venue partner. C.I.S Network Sdn Bhd is the partner for ARCHIDEX (International Architecture, Interior Design and Building Exhibition).