- This event has passed.
Architecture & Independence
October 6, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Between 2001 and 2006, architectural historian Lai Chee Kien conducted a series of interviews with the key architects, engineers and artists who contributed to the landscape of Kuala Lumpur and its outskirts at the time of Independence. The 10 projects – Merdeka Stadium, Merdeka Park, University of Malaya, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Stadium Negara, Muzium Negara, Parliament House, Masjid Negara, Tugu Negara and Subang Airport – endowed the capital city with key structures for a functioning nation, and created fervour towards the sense of citizenship in Malaysia.
In collaboration with architect Ang Chee Cheong, these 17 interviews have been edited into a single volume for the first time, titled The Merdeka Interviews. Read collectively and inter-textually, they reveal not only the protagonists’ roles and work in shaping these architectural icons, but also the milieus, circumstances and larger historical contexts during which they practised. The book’s publication is relevant and timely, as we look back in time to discover the courage and spirit that forged a nation of peoples from multiple origins in the first decade of Independence, and their endowments on the landscape of Kuala Lumpur today. As a group of voices, it tells not only a history of the nation’s architecture and buildings at its birth, but altogether the story of Malaysia.
ANG CHEE CHEONG is an independent architect, writer and curator based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He maintains a broad interest in art, architecture, media, politics and culture; supporting a strong conviction in architecture as an agency for social organisation and transformation. Ang was recently the Director and Chief Curator for the revamped Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival 2017 and 2018, and also edited the Architecture Malaysia (AM) magazine from 2017 to mid 2019. Currently he is working on a range of projects and advisory roles that range from houses to city scale. He maintains an open collaborative office and works with a wide network of individuals and organisations locally and abroad.
MARIANA ISA is the co-founder of Heritage Output Lab, a research studio that has been working intensively on content for Kuala Lumpur’s heritage trail over the past one year. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and an MSc in Conservation of Historic Buildings from University of Bath, UK. As Assistant Honorary Secretary of ICOMOS Malaysia (International Council on Monuments and Sites), Mariana is set to promote empowerment among emerging professionals in the field of heritage.
- Lit Books