Convenor, DATUM PAM Conference 2016
Every year we make our way to DATUM, to indulge in visually stimulating presentations with seductive images from renown architects. This year we want you to leave DATUM, thinking about the larger purpose of this work we do as architects and designers, that drives our passion and makes it worth the infamous long hours and late nights.
Aggressive high-density development, high rates of urban migration, swift flow of money across the globe today are creating instant megacities in Asia andemerging economies. This has led tosteeply rising cost of living, disappearance of affordable housing, gentrification of neighbourhoods with uprooting of old communities in the city besides erosion and loss of the historical fabric. Congestion, pollution, deterioration of environment, increased crime and nowthe fear of terrorism from the disenfranchised, are challenging cities and urban populations everywhere.
To reflect upon the fundamental purpose of our work as architects, the theme this year is “Future Communities” for the Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival2016. We want to re-align our focus ontothe more urgent and fundamental needs to improve urban living and the state of our cities and urban community.
We have gathered a diverse cast beyond architects,including planners, policymakers, building authorities, socio-economic thought leadersand community organizers for this discourse on where these rapid growth cities in Asia and the developing world are heading. How can architects better facilitate a kinder, more sustainable urbanization andshape the Future Communities of our cities?
New initiatives include the PAM Public Lecture by an Architect-social activist-turned Mayor who has mobilized and empowered the urban poor in his city and created powerful public spaces that has transformed Bandung and enhanced the quality of life in the city.Another new event is KLAFX Discourse, curated by our youngGen Y graduate architects, designers and studentscomprisingstand-up, short, impromptu presentations from diverse social practitioners on the same topic–a parallel street discourse spilling out onto the foyers and surrounds of KLCC and media through Facebook and Instagram.
This year PAMespecially set out to bring this festival to the public with more events for the public. We have made a special effort to open the doors to involve the youth and those others outside our profession to create a more diverse and inclusive celebration of architecture and design. We hope this year and the years to come, the Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festivalwill go beyond the architects’ fraternity and engage the local community and the public at large, on those common concerns on the well-being of our city, our community and our lives in our city After all the city and its community is ultimately the raison d’etreof the architect.