Resources From Hut to Palace: Connection Through Culture Grant Awarded

From Hut to Palace: Connection Through Culture Grant Awarded

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Francesca Boyd

13 February 2024

From Hut to Palace: An augmented reality exploration of building wisdom in the landscape

Connection Through Culture Grant Awarded – January 2024

Creating connections between landscape and buildings is an important part of landscape architecture and regional development. The Institute of the Malay World and Civilisation (UKM), the Ecosystems Knowledge Network (EKN), and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) are pleased to have been awarded a grant from the British Council’s Connection Through Culture grant programme. The digital innovation project ‘From Hut to Palace: An augmented reality exploration of building wisdom in the landscape’ is led by Dr Muhamad Solehin Fitry bin Rosley (UKM), Dr Mingyu Jiang (SRUC) and Dr Francesca Boyd (EKN). It aims to inspire students across both countries with the importance of building with the landscape.

Climate change and rapid urban development is changing how people engage with the environment, this is amplified by an increase in extreme weather patterns alongside a disconnect to nature. The creation of buildings that respond to the landscape can provide a reconnection. Through revisiting the wisdom within resilient historic buildings this project aims to bring to light how buildings in Malaysia and Scotland have traditionally been created in response to the environment.

This project advocates the importance of local wisdom in building design via the interactive Augmented Reality (AR) approach to visualise the building and technique. On behalf of Malaysian heritage, the project will look into Istana Puteri Bongsu, a movable traditional Malay palace. In the UK, the research will delve into Scotland’s bothy representation of resilient architecture in response to the environment. 

This project findings will be documented and showcased through an AR exhibition in both countries. The exhibition is sharing and advocating the importance of understanding the local wisdom to create buildings which can respond to climate change. Adaptability and ‘harmony’ with nature are pertinent values from both sides that can be adopted in modern architectural design and landscape planning process.

The Institute of the Malay World and Civilisation, Research Fellow Dr Muhamad Solehin Fitry bin Rosley, is looking forward to sharing the story of the palace with his students and bringing Malaysia’s cultural heritage to Scotland. The palace, which belonged to the royal family of Kelantan, an east coastal state of Malaysia Peninsular, is well known for its distinctive architectural characters and traditional engineering.  The palace is designated to adapt to the monsoon season and flooding issues that commonly happen in the state. Thus, it is one of how local people, especially the previous generations, are sensitive and resilient towards the climate.

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has a focus in Scottish rural landscapes and putting practice at the centre of teaching the next generation of students. Lecturer, Dr Mingyu Jiang has an interest in how landscapes and plants are used and experienced by the local population. This research provides Dr Jiang with the opportunity to explore the connection between natural and built environment in Scotland and share this innovative AR method with his students.

EKN and The Institute of the Malay World and Civilisation are proud to be knowledge exchange partners in this project. Dr Francesca Boyd is looking forward to the opportunity to bring different areas of expertise together to share wisdom from the landscape through digital tech innovation. Stay up to date with the project news and upcoming events through joining the Ecosystems Knowledge Network, and viewing the Institute of the Malay World and Civilisation webpage.