Posted by Ling

Poskod Talks 6 was held on 26 August 2012, at Publika’s White Box. For this event, themed “Design: Making Things Happen”, we partnered up the British Council’s Everything Forever Now exhibition of sustainable design. Held the day after the exhibition opening, Poskod Talks packed out White Box with over a hundred people. We had invited four speakers to give short presentations from their different backgrounds: journalism, architecture, curation and research.

Left to right: Sze Ying Goh (moderator), Kevin Mark Low, Henrietta Thompson, Sali Sasaki, Ezrena Marwan

Our first speaker was Henrietta Thompson, co-curator of Everything Forever Now. Henrietta is editor-at-large of Wallpaper* magazine and also contributing editor to Tank. Henrietta introduced various projects in London that she admires for their use of existing space and resources, including the Urban Physic Garden and the Cineroleum, a cinema built from a derelict petrol station.

“Design has the capacity to make lives better, not just more beautiful,” Henrietta emphasised. She also mentioned that while there’s a knee-jerk tendency to see consumption as bad, this doesn’t have to be the case. Design can change the nature of what we want, so that we consume in a more sustainable way.

Next up was Kevin Mark Low, renowned Malaysian architect. Kevin’s talk focused on how to create designs that fulfill essential needs for the majority, not the minority. “We spend so much energy feeding what we want that we’ve forgotten to prioritise what we really need”, said Kevin. He used one of his own designs, a public toilet built into a bush, to highlight his “back to basics” theory in practice.

Our third speaker was Ezrena Marwan, who spoke about her project the Malaysia Design Archive. This is a free online resource that collects advertising, posters and other design artifacts from Malaysian history, categorised by different key periods of time. “There’s a gap between graphic design and our history”, said Ezrena. She explained that she created this resource in order to bring different generations of Malaysian designers together.

The final speaker for the talks was Sali Sasaki. Sali is a designer and writer at Cities x Design. She has also previously worked for the United Nations as a researcher. Sali spoke about how design is often overlooked in world development and is not seen as having a real role to play. This leads to a lack of understanding in why we make and build things.

BetterKL and would like to thank all our speakers and everyone who came to the talks. We would also like to thank the British Council for their partnership in this event.

For more information on our speakers:

Henrietta Thompson

Kevin Mark Low

Ezrena Marwan

Sali Sasaki