Imagine sitting down with the world’s best architects to talk about architecture trends, the future of structures, smart buildings – anything you can think of. If you’re interested in architecture and design, if you’re a student or young practitioner, or a veteran keen to keep up with the latest, this opportunity will surely be on your wish list. This is what spurred the formation of Doma (Domain Of Malaysian Architecture) Initiatives, a independent nonprofit architecture programme aimed at examining contemporary issues in architectural theory and practice.
The newly-established programme begins with the Doma Initiatives Lecture Series that brings together internationally renowned architects, as well as the Malaysian architectural and design community, governing authorities and the public.
Another aspect of the Doma Initiatives is taking Malaysian talents out into the world, and helping the country’s best and brightest in design to make their mark. The programme also plans other initiatives such as workshops, symposiums, exhibitions and publications to promote excellence in architecture and design.
Working with and supported by Taylor’s University School Of Architecture, Building And Design, the inaugural lecture series will take place on Dec 16, Saturday at the university’s Lakeside Campus in Subang Jaya, Selangor (details below).
The event features Robert Greenwood, a partner and managing director at Snøhetta, a Norwegian architectural firm that has a global practice offering the services of architects, landscape architects, interior architects, graphic designers, researchers and artists. Greenwood joined Snøhetta in 1993 to play a central role in the design and construction of the renowned Alexandra Library in Egypt, which won the prestigious Aga Khan Award For Architecture.
In 2006, he became a partner and design director at Snøhetta, and from 2011 he’s been its managing director responsible for international projects. These include opera houses in Shanghai and Busan, Qasr al Hokum metro station in Riyadh, the headquarters for Banque Libano Francaise in Beirut, and the King Abdullaziz Centre For World Culture in Dhahran.
Founded in 1989, Snøhetta’s first commission that same year came from winning the international competition to re-imagine the great Alexandria Library. Since then, the firm has grown to operate in seven cities in six countries, and employs over 180 staff members of 30 different nationalities.
In 2004 the company received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and in 2009 it was honoured with the Mies van der Rohe Award. The World Architecture Award, best Cultural Building 2009, and European Prize for Urban Public Space in 2010 were received for the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet.
In 2011 Snøhetta received the Gold Award for Visual Identity for the new brand identity of DNB. In the same year the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Pavilion was awarded the World Architecture Festival Award as well as the ArchDaily award for Building of the Year 2011. In 2015 the Plus House Larvik obtained the WAN Sustainable Buildings Award.
The Doma Foundation was established this year under the purview of Kamil Merican as the Foundation Chair. Kamil is the principal designer and CEO of Group Design Partnership (GDP), one of the country’s top contemporary architecture firms that has won a range of awards including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007 for the design of Universiti Teknologi Petronas.
The Doma Initiatives come under the foundation and are aimed at encouraging discussions about architecture in Malaysia from a broadened perspective by creating a platform where architects and designers can share ideas with each other and the community.
The programme’s advisory panel comprises Fay Cheah, David Chan, Kamil Merican and Tony Liew, with a pro-tem steering committee comprising Chan Mun Inn (Chair), Assoc Prof Dr Veronica Ng, and Sarah Merican.
The foundation is part of the corporate social responsibility initiatives of Doma College that was established in 2012 by a group of Malaysian architects; the “Doma” in the college’s name stands for “Domain of Master Apprenticeship”, signaling its emphasis on industrial experiences for its students, who are prepared for positions in the real estate and construction fields.
The Doma Initiatives lecture on architecture features Robert Greenwood and will be held on Dec 16, Saturday at 11am at Taylor’s University, Lakeside Campus, Subang Jaya, Selangor. Admission is free but you need to book a seat. E-mail your full name and office/college/university name (if any) to firstname.lastname@example.org.