Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, is an extraordinary city informed by multiple cultures. Largely comprised of Bumiputera (Malay) and Chinese inhabitants, the diverse constituency likewise includes Indians and subpopulations of East Malaysia. Religious affiliations include Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and Taoist. The city’s landscape is shaped by this conglomeration and more. The research studio Kuala Lumpur: Designing the Public Realm focused on a complex area that contains the business district of Kuala Lumpur City Center, part of the channelized Klang River trapped between a highway and a Muslim cemetery, and the traditional Malay enclave of Kampung Baru. The site, which extends 1.5 kilometers, serves as an illustration of the city’s complex fabric and the pressures of development in Southeast Asia.
The studio research, exploration, and resultant publication was shared with Malaysian government officials and agencies with oversight, as well as civic groups, in an exhibition and lecture series in Kuala Lumpur following completion of the work.