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Monday, 17 July 2017 | MYT 12:00 AM

Spotlight on the power of architecture

INNOVATIONS in architecture have changed the way buildings or structures are designed.

As cities grow and develop to accommodate the growing population, sustainable architecture has become increasingly important.

This is what Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival 2017 (KLAF2017) wants to highlight for its annual celebration of architecture and design.

Organised by Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM), the flagship event is ongoing until Sept 3 at various locations across Kuala Lumpur.

Through the theme “Power is/and/to/with/of/for Architecture”, KLAF2017 attempts to illustrate the complex and shifting relationship between architecture and power structures and organisations, said PAM president Ezumi Harzani.

The festival, he explained, is a platform to showcase creativity and innovation in architecture and design.

“Both play a vital role in creating sustainable architecture, as better architecture will lead to better cities.

“Architecture is an agency of transformative power. The festival will provide a stage for deliberation and demonstration, not just for the architecture fraternity, but also the public,” he said during the launch of KLAF2017.

Ezumi hopes the festival would spark conversations on the role of architecture towards creating a better Kuala Lumpur for all.

The objective of KLAF2017, he added, was also in line with Agensi Inovasi Malaysia’s (AIM) efforts to encourage innovation, cultivate a thinking culture and equip Malaysian youths with creative and critical thinking abilities.

AIM chief executive officer Datuk Mark Rozario also stressed the importance of innovation and creativity in architecture.

The hanging wooden house structures on display at Publika are some of the models from Sebelas Rumah: 11 Stories of Erasure – a reflection that captures a fleeting moment through Kampung Bharus rapid change.
The hanging wooden house structures on display at Publika are some of the models from Sebelas Rumah: 11 Stories of Erasure – a reflection that captures a fleeting moment through Kampung Bharus rapid change.


“If you look at megacities, more than half of the world’s population now live in urban cities.

“A megacity is a city with a population of more than 10 million people.

“Kuala Lumpur is not there yet, but in time to come, it will become one so it’s important to plan how we can develop and sustain that kind of urban migration,” he explained.

With innovation and creativity, problems such as flash floods can be dealt through the architectural design of draining rainwater, Rozario added.

KLAF2017 royal patron Selangor Princess Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah strongly believes in sustainable development and is looking forward to see Kuala Lumpur becoming a living space – one that encourages people to appreciate art, culture, innovation and creativity as these are key elements that should be incorporated into our cities.

“As Kuala Lumpur transitions into a leading regional city that caters to global audiences, we should place Malaysia on the world map by creating innovative, world-class architecture designs.

“We should also create an inclusive and environmentally-friendly city to benefit everyone in this nation,” she urged.

She added that there was room for more creative and innovative enhancements, especially in infrastructure and urban planning.

Tengku Zatashah, who officiated at KLAF2017 at Publika in Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur, called upon Malaysians to celebrate the unique talent, intelligence and energy of people who are catalysts of change in the Malaysian architecture industry today.

“I hope curiosity and civic consciousness will drive the public to come and participate in this festival, because everyone should have a say in how our city of today and tomorrow should look like,” she added.

This year’s festival will host a wide range of activities including exhibitions, forums, workshops, impromptu talks and Datum conferences that will feature local and international experts.

KLAF2017 is expected to attract about 15,000 participants – architects, designers, economists, development agencies, planners, academicians and members of the public.

KLAF2017 director Ang Chee, who was also present at the launch, highlighted the ongoing discussion within the architecture fraternity.

“After the worldwide boom in building iconic landmarks and cities, many questions are asked today as to what is the right architecture, where is it going, and who does it serve.

“During this festival, we will frame these questions to our participants and develop an ongoing forum, launching discussions on aspects such as housing, planning, urban infrastructure and transportation,” Chee revealed.

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