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Monday, 29 August 2011


Thank you to Thinklab team and Dato' Anwar Fazal for inviting me to be a part of a very distinguished group of speakers - Anwar Fazal himself, Ken Yeang,  Huzir Sulaiman, Sali Sasaki, Kevin Mark Low and Khoo Salmah. 

I wish I could spend more time hanging out with them, but had to take care of MGTF's 'gardener-in-residence' Najjar Musawwir at the same time. Anyway, I am sure that my path will across again with those of Sali Sasaki, Kevin Mark Low, Anwar Fazal and Huzir Sulaiman in the future, especially when it comes to Penang as a creative city. 

I also had a good chat with Yusmadi (our very own MP, Member of Parliment or YB, 'Yang Berhormat', or more likely 'Young Brother') during the pre-conference dinner at USM. I'm not a PKR lover, but I see a lot of promising potentials in him.

The (longwinded) essay version of my presentation is available on this blog 

Those interested, please be warned that it is long. 

The following is the Conference poster cum pamphlet.


In conjunction with Georgetown Festival, thinklab© is proud to bring its now 6th DESIGN CONFERENCE to Penang this July! 

When you think of Creative Cities around the world; Singapore, Seoul, London etc comes to mind. Absolutely INSPIRED! Thus, to transform OUR local design industry, the thinklab© team has spot a HUGE potential in Penang, Georgetown becoming Malaysia’s CREATIVE CITY. And YOU are invited to join us in the 2 days Conference + Workshop that could very well transform Penang into one. We are OPEN TO ALL designers & non-designers to be part of this exclusive and history-making conversation.


Ken Yeang (World Renowned Architect)
Sali Sasaki (UNESCO Creative Cities Network)
Kevin Mark Low (Architect/Product Designer)
Dr. Anwar (Director of ThinkCity)
Huzir Sulaiman (Creative Director of Studio Wong Huzir)
Salma Khoo (Penang Heritage Trust)
Hasnul J. Saidon (new media/digital artist)
Venue: TownHall, Georgetown, Penang.
Date: 23rd & 24th July 2011, Saturday & Sunday.

...and an excerpt from a review of the above-mentioned Conference.

"In conjunction with George Town Festival in the month of July, 6th thinklab© Design Conference was held in promoting George Town as a creative city. It is the first time for thinklab© to organize a conference outside Klang Valley. The design conference ran for 2 days, with inspiring speakers on the first day and followed by workshops on the second day. It was an exciting experience as many of the participants were from Klang Valley that travelled over the weekend to participate in the design conference. A growing number of interests also came from professionals from Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Think City, and the European Union.

On the first day, Dato’ Dr. Ken Yeang, a Penangite and also a leading international architect in the category of sustainability, spoke about the use of technology to innovate high rise by focusing on the issue of ecology. A visionary of his time, he also receives the PAM Gold Award 2011 on the same day in Kuala Lumpur in the evening.

Dato’ Dr. Anwar Fazal shared his stories about what makes Penang a unique international cultural hub. An activist and also currently sits as the Chairman for Think City, a special project vehicle by Khazanah, he entertained the audience with his great insights about Penang and the spirit of its people.

Huzir Sulaiman, a Creative Director for Studio Wong Huzir, shares his creative life journey that brought him from the heights of Level 124 of Burj Khalifa, to the experience of writing a book on Temasek Holdings, an ultra private-investment arm for Singapore.

An Associate Professor of Electronic Arts at USM, Hasnul Saidon explores his personal journey of creativity entitled “GETTING HIGH OR GETTING REAL? SYNCHRONIZING WITH THE COSMIC DANCE OF OPPOSITES”. The didactic narrative was an interesting insight as he shared the exploration of Nusantara’s art as symbols and codes by being critical to his creative process.

Kevin Mark Low, an upcoming architect, made an introduction by debating what makes a city creative. Critical of the content of the city, he proceeds with the difference between inspirational content based against the backdrop of inspiration by form. He ended his speech with great concern of George Town’s identity in the future."

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