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About this talk

This talk reviews the evolution of a historic urban site, built on an island in the tropics, with materials to hand and by diverse skills, knowledge and cultural response to place, space and climate, in order to answer three questions: Was/is a historic urban site, a low carbon environment? If so, how?, How has the pattern changed?, and finally, can past wisdoms be part of a resilient future? With our earth’s ability to support life at tipping point and our climate under stress, it is time to rethink the way we design and use our urban spaces. How can we remove the complexities and return to a simpler more holistic way of life in balance with elements of modernity? Food for thought: old ideas are perhaps not so outdated after all and past wisdoms may offer us a chance for resilient futures.


Speaker & Moderator

Speaker: Dr. Gwynn Jenkins

Trained as a 3D designer, moved to live and work in the historic heart of George Town, Penang, Malaysia in 1995 and was initially employed in a pioneering Penang based architectural practice, whilst researching and gaining a PHD. Her work with Penang Heritage Trust included collaborating on issues arising from the Repeal of Rent Control as well as an affordable housing proposal. From 2007 Gwynn has practiced as a consultant in heritage architecture and cultural anthropology, consulting in such diverse conservation projects as Anglo-Indian, Indo-Malay and Straits Chinese bungalows, Chinese shophouses, the East India Company church, a south Indian Muslim Tomb and currently a Sikh Temple. Specializing in both ‘repairing in context’ and ‘traditional ways of building’, she is currently a board member of ICOMOS Malaysia and a member of INTBAU, the International Network of Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism. She is the author of Contested Space Revisited – George Town Penang, before and after UNESCO World Heritage Listing, 2019, Areca Books.

Moderator: Ms. Khoo Salma Nasution

Vice President of Penang Heritage Trust, Co-Founder of ARECA Books, and SEACHA Board of Directors

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