AECOM and Harvard Graduate School of Design Launch

‘Designing the Public Realm’ at PAM Centre

Exploring new ideas to realize Kuala Lumpur’s great potential

The Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD), the premier design school in the world, in collaboration with AECOM, a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm, today opened the “Kuala Lumpur, Designing the Public Realm,” exhibition. The exhibition, a joint initiative by AECOM and the Harvard GSD, is open from 29 September – 5 October, 2018 at the PAM Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The effort is designed to be an idea generator, bringing next generation thinking from the world’s preeminent school of urban planning, the Harvard GSD, to the unique circumstances, environment and characteristics of iconic Southeast Asian cities. The 2017 studio in Kuala Lumpur is the fifth year in a six-year commitment by Harvard GSD and AECOM, following last year’s exhibition in Jakarta. In 2018, the project will be held in Manila.

“The rapid pace of development in Malaysia provides unique challenges and opportunities for architects, urban planners and designers,” said Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of Harvard University Graduate School of Design. “With support from AECOM, Harvard Graduate School of Design students and faculty members had a rare opportunity to explore holistic approaches to optimize access and usage of public spaces and critical transit infrastructure. Kuala Lumpur is an impressive global city and we are proud to contribute to a discussion about its future possibilities.”

The GSD’s program in Kuala Lumpur, made possible through AECOM’s sponsorship and support, enabled students to visit a number of city locations and connect with local stakeholders. Their mission is to create designs for a specific location with a view to facilitating real projects that enhance the urban fabric of the city.

Whether rethinking housing typology as an expandable unit with economic viability, while looking into inter-generational living at Kampung Baru; or creating a series of functional “tree-trunk-columns” as a means to connect across the Klang River; or weaving a multi-layer plaza within KLCC area with injection of new programs that connects the disconnected; or inserting a landscape plaza to link through multi cultures, the effort has successfully demonstrated a creative and resourceful approach by this new generation to transforming Kuala Lumpur’s public realms.

“The Southeast Asia Studio project is a fantastic opportunity to reexamine our present cities, and imagine the future with new eyes and from completely new perspectives,” said Mr. Sean Chiao, President, Asia Pacific, AECOM. “Southeast Asia’s mega-cities of Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila are in the midst of incredible, hyper-development. It is clear that Asia is at the forefront of global urbanization, and critically important to engage as many bright minds as possible in this transformation.”

AECOM supports Malaysia’s development through iconic infrastructure projects like the The River of Life, which has just opened Phase One and connects Kuala Lumpur’s 21st century present with its historical origins, as well as providing an enriching interconnection in the city central core. The River of Life is a demonstration of a city’s vision to transform its riverfront into an area with high economic and commercial value.

Through its services for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT), currently the largest infrastructure project in Malaysia, AECOM is helping to connect Klang Valley residents in new, faster and safer ways. AECOM has over 800 talented and dedicated professionals working on a host of projects to transform and build a better Malaysia, across offices in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Penang and Kuching. AECOM’s Engineering and Quantity Surveying practices are registered with the Ministry of Finance, Malaysia.

AECOM is built to deliver a better world. We design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations in more than 150 countries. As a fully integrated firm, we connect knowledge and experience across our global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, our work is transformative, differentiated and vital. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM had revenue of approximately $17.4 billion during fiscal year 2016. See how we deliver what others can only imagine at and @AECOM.

Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Founded in 1936, Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) has roots dating back to 1874, when academic degree programs in architecture and landscape architecture emerged at the University. In fact, Harvard can be credited with founding the disciplines of landscape architecture and city planning prior to the establishment of the School, and founding the discipline of urban design in the 1960s.

As the premier design school in the world, the GSD has a legacy of leadership, innovation, and social responsibility. The School sets the standard for design education, regularly ranking number one in two of its core disciplines. GSD alumni and faculty are world renowned for creating the modern era’s most iconic buildings, landscapes, and city plans, and the School is proud to have the highest number of Pritzker Prize winners and AIA Fellows of any design school.

Today, the GSD continues to explore vital, global issues with authority, synthesizing research and practice in a collaborative, holistic approach that empowers the design community to make a difference around the world.

AECOM Media Contact:
Jeffrey Siang
+603 7863 7800