Contextually Appropriate Architecture

Guest Speaker:
Prof Dr Mohd Hamdan Ahmad(Universiti Teknologi Malaysia)
Dr Mohd Faris Khamidi
Subject Area:
Built Environment
Date & Time:
Wed, 21. February 2018, 12:00 h - 13:00 h
N3.24, University of Reading Malaysia - EduCity@Iskandar​


Architecture should reflect its context, a genius loci and local identity. Context is very much about site, climate, culture, time, and technology. The globalised world influenced the practice of architecture. Architecture solutions currently seem universal, thus contextually inappropriate. Green rated architecture strangely mostly looking non-tropical! Why green architecture does not look tropical? What are the issues? Can we improve? Thus, we need to start questioning, reviewing and reflecting our local architecture and green rating tools. The paper argues that thinking and making passive design to work increase the chance of producing contextually appropriate architecture. The understanding of tropical hot humid climate of the low latitude location is very important. What are the basic principles and design strategies. What are the must, the unnecessary and the extra strategies? What to avoid and when to harness? Is there an appropriate language for tropical architecture? In summary, this lecture discourses on knowing our climate well, doing good passive design first, looking into hybrid living, believing in low carbon society, promoting green design practices but sustaining the tropical architecture language, thus depicting contextually appropriate architecture.

Photo Biography

Prof Dr Mohd Hamdan Ahmad is currently the Dean of Faculty of Built Environment (FABulous), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and the UTM Director of MIT UTM Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program (MIT UTM MSCP). He was the former Executive Director of the Institut Sultan Iskandar (ISI), a wholly owned company of UTM with core business in research and consultancy focussing in urban habitat and sustainability. His research expertise includes sustainable cities and architecture design, building climatology, smart cities and architecture education. He has been involved in many green developments and practices including involvement in the Low Carbon Society of Iskandar Malaysia and Low Carbon Society 2030 for Kuala Lumpur blueprints. He was involved in the development of various public parks such as Hutan Bandar Johor Bahru, Taman Merdeka Johor Bahru, Linear Park Johor Bahru and Taman Tropika in UTM. He is also a green building promoter and consultant affiliated to GreenRE, Casbee Iskandar Malaysia, GBI and prominent judge for Green Accord Initiative Award (GAIA). He has developed two experimental houses within UTM Campus: the first is an Ecohouse, a hybrid low energy house system funded by Nichias Corporation Japan (Nichias Eco-House); and the second is Door House for the Poor (ODOORS) an open IBS low cost housing system funded by Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). Academically, he has been with UTM since 1988 and promoted as full Professor on the Beijing Olympic opening day (080808). He has graduated more than 20 PhD students and currently supervising another 10 students. He earned his PhD from University of Manchester in 1997 and BArch from The University of Miami, Florida, USA in 1987. He pledges to continue crusading green and sustainable development agenda that is appropriate to the Tropical context through involvement in teaching, research, consultancy and postgraduate supervision.

  • Admission is free.
  • UoRM staff RSVP by responding to the internal event invitation.
  • All are welcome, RSVP by 16 February 2018.

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