Design Anthology, Asia Edition, Issue 34
The Malaysia Issue
In our annual country special we focus on Malaysia and the many designers, architects, artists, curators and creators bringing a fresh creative vision to the nation
From the editor
It’s that time of year when we shift our focus from the regional to the local and take a deep dive into one nation for our annual country edition. The very first of these special issues was published in the second year of Design Anthology’s existence with Issue 6, when a seed was planted after my first trip to the Philippines. The team enjoyed the process of researching, visiting and celebrating one country so much that it became a yearly tradition.
I first travelled to Malaysia in the early 2000s, and have been fortunate to visit more than half a dozen times since. I’m always struck by the history and exoticism of the country — the smells, sounds and sights all so rich and lush, and utterly foreign to me.
Like all our country editions, this issue aims to shine a light on a place in the region that’s been under-represented and under-appreciated from a design perspective. While Malaysia is known for its food, beaches, cultural diversity and at least one architectural wonder, it’s perhaps fair to say that it’s been less lauded for its design credentials. Also like all country editions, this issue uncovers just the first layer of cultural and creative output, and we encourage you to explore more.
These editions are always the product of much collaboration, and while the pandemic and ongoing travel restrictions scuppered our plans to spend as much time on the ground as we’d usually like, our team has worked with an invaluable local network to tell some wonderful stories. Among the selection are a tour of aesthetic F&B spots, a peek into a few of the country’s creative spaces and a roster of renovated and repurposed buildings in Kuala Lumpur, and a preview of the new Soori urban resort that’s being developed in the UNESCO-listed clan home of architect Soo Khian Chan. We also talk to prominent players in the country’s art scene and round up a few stylish picks from the fashion world. And as always, we’ve brought together a selection of homes that we hope are representative of the exciting architecture that’s being built across the country.
We hope you enjoy this issue, and perhaps it will inspire you to start planning your own trip to Malaysia. To everyone who helped in some way to make this issue possible, we say a heartfelt terima kasih!