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Architectural Study Trip to Malaysia, 24-29 June 2014

48 Year 2 & Year 3 full time students from the Diploma in Architecture, together with 3 staff, went on a 6-day Architectural Study Trip to Malaysia (Malacca & Kuala Lumpur) during the 3-week June School Break from 24-29 June 2014.

The 2 days in Malacca were spent understanding the history & culture of Malacca. There was a Heritage Tour organized for the students to visit the Baba & Nyonya Museum, A Farmosa, Dutch Square, Malacca River, etc. Time was also given to the students to explore the town and do sketches in order to understand more about the Genius Loci of the place. There was also a Clay Workshop during which students were to translate their impressions of Malacca onto clay tiles.

The second leg of the trip was in Kuala Lumpur where the students went on an Architectural City Tour of modern buildings in the capital city. Students were required to study building details & do sketches. They were to compare and contrast these with what they have seen in Malacca.

The last 2 days of the trip was spent in the Datum: KL Architectural Conference. The students enjoyed the conference very much and thought that the up-and-coming architects/designers were very inspirational in their design thoughts & methodology. The students were eager to test some of the ideas proposed by the speakers in their own design projects.

Below are excerpt write-ups by the students who have gone on the trip:

Malacca

The sense of peacefulness takes over you as soon as you start the journey into Malacca. The place is enchanting with the architecture, streets and most importantly the people. People there lead a simple lifestyle - a slower pace and a strong sense of self-sufficiency. It is simply amazing how the laid-back atmosphere still exists even with all the on-going attempts to modernise Malaysia. Malacca is without doubt strongly steeped in history, culture and social interaction.

Local people were rather friendly and easy to engage. To add on to the charm of the place, Malacca seems like a meeting ground for the different races.;

Some parts of the town have actually been restored to become a tourist haven. A majority of the shop houses located along the narrow streets of Jonker Street which were once owned by Peranakans (Straits-Born Chinese), have now been turned into souvenirs shops and eateries to cater to the demand of increasing tourism in the area. However, many descendants continued the trades of their forefathers. Thus, business like traditional bakeries, spices produced locally and handcrafts still stayed alive - providing the soul to Jonker Street.

Kuala Lumpur

KL Datum has been a really pleasant experience for us. We were graced by young rising architects like Colin Seah and Joo Hee Bong, who shared their insights on the theme, ‘Rejuvenation’, while showing how their works embraced the theme. Some of us paused to wonder if Rejuvenation was crucial and if there were other pressing issues that we could address.

However, looking back at Singapore, we recognise that rejuvenation of historical sites are vital as it makes us uniquely Singapore. We also visited ARCHIDEX which features hundreds of manufacturers, distributors, retailers and designers showcasing their products and services for the discerning design market. We were exposed to the professional world of architectural practice and were awed by the innovative designs adopted by the Architects/ Designers.