Thursday, November 13, 2008


It was my very first day at work. Yet, i have learned and realised a lot. Knowing the reality of malaysian architecture is such a big dissapointment to me. Now, what a friend of mine has told me about his dream of changing Malaysians attitude toward architecture starting to make a lot of sense. Joe Ng, I think i should join you..hee :D

My friends from architecture school and I used to discuss about this matter. We used to wonder where do all the overseas graduated architects go? Why our buildings are so boring. Why whenever malaysia needs a good architect to design her prestigious building, there is no one to find locally? Why this and that?

The answer is, all the overseas graduated architects if they dont practice overseas they are actually gone no where. They are home. In this country doing their practices. Yet, blame it not on them as the issue of our poor architecture isn't their fault. Then, who to blame?

Well, lets not point finger towards anyone, but the truth is we dont have enough budget to govern expensive buildings. Okay, then why dont we design it as interesting as we could but as cheapest as possible? Thing is not as easy as that. Most of our buildings are actually financed by the government and the chinese. Well, ya, chinese people are monopolying our economy especially here in Penang. The issues with the government is they don't fancy unusual building. With the chinese, they are money-minded people, buildings are designed to serve at it best performances in making money which means, everything is about functions. A design has to be mainly programatic and no single penny is to be wasted on estatical values. Hence, all the designs become extremely pragmatic and boring!

Due to these constrains our architects do not stand a chance to design at their best. Nothing is really new. Everything is boring. Then, when the time comes that Malaysia needs a good architect, its hard to find not because we dont have one but we dont have a chance to produce one. How pathetic! What a waste of human resources!

I was told that once i become an architect, all books shut! There is nothing much to do with designing, because everything is simillar and typical. What is most important is knowing the process of getting a building approved. What??!!!! I was devastated. frustrated.

From the very beginning, I know that there is lack of awareness about architecture amongts malaysian. Nobody really gives a damn about how a building looks. They are more wary where to park their cars rather than to notice the beauty of a building. However, this fact doesnt distract me much as i believe a really impressive building could do a change and civillians are more easier to impress rather than the financer. Nevertheless, knowing the reality of malaysian built-environment really pull me down.

On the other hand, I still have a little faith in future malaysian architecture. At midst of my dissapointment, my boss hand me AM magazine. Flipping through pages of AM, i see some hopes! Generally, ya, our architecture is really poor but there are some good buildings which are beautifully DESIGNED! A bit of relief i have to say..

I dont know what is the future could offer me, but i do have some hopes! Maybe my generation of architects could bring changes!


Pok Kam said...


Woi cepatnya dpt kerja. Anyway, congrat to you and welcome to the real world. Don't give up hope just yet, working life just started and it hold lots of promises.

~Ki@MbaNg~ said...

tq..tq..hhee..orang rekemen, cepat ler.. kerja sekejap aja sementara cuti...yup..will nver give up inshaAllah!