Center for the Study of Built Environment in the Malay World (KALAM)

  • Description
  • The Cen­tre was set up in June 1996 on the foun­da­tion of numer­ous intri­cate mea­sured draw­ing works done by the stu­dents of the Depart­ment of Archi­tec­ture out of con­cern for the rapid dis­in­te­gra­tion and elim­i­na­tion of Malaysia ‘s archi­tec­tural her­itage. With the accu­mu­la­tion of these works since 1975 (over 350 build­ings doc­u­mented), the research towards the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, clas­si­fi­ca­tion and analy­sis of the archi­tec­tural her­itage was estab­lished through under­grad­u­ate and post-​graduate studies.

    Back­ground and Role of Kalam

    • To pro­vide infor­ma­tion that would aid the process of plan­ning set­tle­ments and the design of build­ings which is more suited to the con­text and con­ti­nu­ity of the cul­tures of the Malay World.
    • The Cen­tre came into being out of a wider con­cern for the under­stand­ing of the Malay World which stretches out to a greater part of the Asian con­ti­nent and the Pacific arch­i­pel­ago. The Cen­tre was set up for the sole pur­pose of con­duct­ing research towards a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the fac­tors influ­enc­ing the rela­tion­ship between built form and the many cul­tures of the Malay World. Much of the plan­ning of cities and set­tle­ments in this part of the world were based pri­mar­ily on West­ern plan­ning con­cepts from the early mod­ernist move­ments dur­ing the early part of the twen­ti­eth cen­tury. These plan­ning con­cepts were rooted in the idea of pro­gres­sivism which is premised on the notion that there would even­tu­ally exist a com­mon global cul­ture amongst all the inhab­i­tants of the world. These final years of the twen­ti­eth cen­tury has seen the inevitable fact that although there exist some sim­i­lar­i­ties amongst the var­i­ous cul­tures of the mod­ern world, each cul­ture still holds strongly to some form of tra­di­tional belief system.
    • This real­iza­tion brought about the idea that the plan­ning of set­tle­ments must take into account the pecu­liar­i­ties of cer­tain race and cul­ture. The her­itage of built envi­ron­ment in the Malay World holds many keys to the bet­ter under­stand­ing of eter­nal design prin­ci­ples and lessons of cru­cial use to the present con­cerns of build­ings and cities.


    • Doc­u­men­ta­tion of build­ings and aspects of the built envi­ron­ment for the pur­pose of under­stand­ing the forces that influ­ence their designs.
    • Analy­sis of the his­tor­i­cal data for the pur­pose of adap­ta­tion and assim­i­la­tion of the past built envi­ron­ment her­itage that are valid in the con­text of cul­tural continuity.
    • Edu­cat­ing the pub­lic about the impor­tance of under­stand­ing the built envi­ron­ment her­itage from the per­spec­tive of its poten­tial pos­i­tive development.


    Phone +6.07.553.7310
    Location ,
    Address UTM Skudai

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