IASTE 2014: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


DECEMBER 14-17, 2014

The Fourteenth Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments

IASTE 2014 conference program (PDF)
IASTE 2014 conference program
IASTE 2014 conference photos
IASTE 2014 call for abstracts poster
IASTE 2014 conference poster
IASTE 2014 Working Paper Series

Past IASTE conferences have called on scholars to consider tradition’s relationship to development, utopia, and most recently, myth. In response, scholars have advanced multiple perspectives regarding the construction of traditions in space and place. These discussions necessarily involve the dimension of time. Utopia implies the construction of a future ideal, whether religious or philosophical, while myth attempts to discover the origins of history, whether in the imagination or in reality. While myth usually invokes an invented past and utopia imagines an alternative future, the dimension of time is paramount. Thus, traditions are revealed never to be the static legacy of the past, but rather a project for its dynamic reinterpretation in the service of the present and the future. To understand how traditions are tied to notions of time and space, it is thus important to consider their subjectivity, authorship, and power. Behind the construction or deconstruction of any tradition also lies the subject, whose interests in the present are often hidden. To reveal this process of agency, one may ask: tradition, by whom?

In examining themes of authorship and subjectivity, this conference will seek to uncover in what manner, for what reason, by whom, to what effect, and during what intervals traditions have been deployed with regard to the built environment. Our current period of globalization has led to the flexible reinterpretation of traditions via the mass media for reasons of power and profit. A proliferation of environments, for example, adopt traditional forms of one place and period in a completely different contextual setting, while new design traditions may privilege image over experience. At the same time, the advent of new mobile technologies with the power to compress and distort traditional configurations of space and time has allowed for the flourishing of new, empowering practices. Such practices have led to new traditions of urban resistance and uprisings that travel fluidly between such diverse locales as Sao Paolo and Istanbul, Madrid and Cairo, and give voice to certain populations previously excluded. Questions of power, the other, and changing configurations of time and space will open up discussions of the ways in which traditional practices shape the histories and futures of built environments.

As in past IASTE conferences, scholars and practitioners from architecture, architectural history, art history, anthropology, archeology, folklore, geography, history, planning, sociology, urban studies, and related disciplines are invited to submit papers that address one of the following tracks:

Track I. WHO: Power and the Construction of Traditions

Questioning ownership and authority of dominant traditions deployed in the making of space is an essential first step. The historical development of any tradition displays patterns of selection that either negate or celebrate certain forms and practices. Which narratives become privileged in spatial practices and to what end? What are the politics of ‘choosing’ traditions, manufacturing or creating them? Further, what is omitted, negated, or silenced in the interest of those in power at any moment? Thus, to understand the transmission of traditions between generations, it is essential to examine linkages between tradition, authority, and power. Papers in this track should address traditions that are ‘produced’ and transmitted or deployed across time and place. Papers should consider spaces and practices that have been created, adopted, or invoked by certain social groups and/or governments for specific purposes.

Track II. WHAT: Place and the Anchoring of Traditions

In order to examine how traditions are manifest in space and time, it is important to consider which versions, particularities, or specificities of tradition emerge and are subsequently anchored in specific places. Understanding where traditions are established in built form and practice is equally as important as understanding whose traditions are privileged. For example, Southeast Asia and other parts of the world are witnessing a revival of urban agriculture which will no doubt influence the future urban form of our cities. How can new settlements incorporate the demands of food security and urban agriculture within their complex infrastructure and eco-systems? In Track II, papers should actively explore hegemonic spatial practices and their alternatives that either adopt or challenge and contest standard configurations of power and authority. For example, how have disadvantaged groups left out of dominant spatial traditions created their own traditions? How are such these spatial practices transmitted? And how do they subvert established norms, allowing new voices to enter and gain legitimacy? Papers in this track should explore how traditions are anchored in place.

Track III. WHERE: Mobility and the Reimagination of Traditions

In a rapidly changing postglobal world, traditions cease to be fixed or attached to given places for very long. The mobile nature of contemporary traditions can negate past forms of ownership and authorship that assumed a top-down power structure that privileged an elite. The celebrations and ways of one culture may be popularized through adoption by others. In many cases, this results in commodification and a loss of original referents. In others, a tradition common to neighboring geographies and communities may be strategically claimed by a distinct subaltern or minority group for political purposes. Technologies of reproducibility, such as photography, radio, film, TV, and advertising, have undermined the placed-based nature of traditions, allowing flexible interpretations as well as the creation of new meanings. In fact, the mass media have created their own traditions. The advent of the internet and wireless media has further facilitated new interpretations of traditions, with flexible temporalities and places. Papers in this track should consider the emergence and establishment of new mobile traditions and their possibility for both disruption and foreclosure.

Nezar AlSayyad, IASTE President, University of California, Berkeley
Rahinah Ibrahim, Local Conference Director, University of Putra Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
Mark Gillem, IASTE Director and Conference Chair, University of Oregon, Eugene
Jennifer Gaugler, IASTE Conference Coordinator, University of California, Berkeley
Tomi Laine Clark, IASTE Administrative Coordinator, University of California, Berkeley
Susanty Nazmi, Local Conference Coordinator and Administrator, University of Putra Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
Barry Gordon, IASTE Conference Associate, University of Oregon, Eugene

Hesham Khairy Issa, Gamal Abdelmonem, Khaled Adham, Heba Farouk Ahmed, Howayda Al-Harithy, Joe Aranha, Gabriel Arboleda, Vandana Baweja, Anne-Marie Broudehoux, Susanne Cowan, Cecilia Chu, Howard Davis, Tammy Gaber, Sophie Gonick, Clara Irazabal, Chee-Kien Lai, Morna Livingston, Laurence Keith Loftin III, Duanfang Lu, Robert Mugerauer, Mrinalini Rajagopalan, Mike Robinson, Shawhin Roudbari, Gunawan Tjahjono, Ipek Tureli, Montira Horayangura Unakul, Dell Upton, Jieheerah Yun

Norsidah Ujang, Marek Kozlowski, Kamariah Dola, Nor Atiah Ismail, Faziawati Abdul Aziz, Nangkula Utaberta, Susanty Nazmi

Universiti Putra Malaysia

Conference Supporters
Faculty of Design and Architecture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley, Ministry of Education Malaysia, Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board

We urge you to register as soon as possible. To keep no-shows to a minimum and to guarantee the comprehensiveness of each session, we will not include speakers who fail to register by June 15. Registration fees are $425 (which includes an annual IASTE membership) and $225 for current students (with proof of student status). Non-presenting spouses and partners of conference presenters qualify for the lower rate. These fees include entrance to all conference sessions and plenary sessions, the registration packet with conference preliminaries and program, and all conference receptions.
Online registration is available here.

Submission of Abstracts: February 17, 2014
Abstract acceptance: April 15, 2014
Early registration: June 15, 2014
Paper submission: August 1, 2014

General Registration (Early): $425
General Registration (Late): $525
Student Registration (Early): $225
Student Registration (Late): $300

Registration will open on April 15, 2014.

These fees include entrance to all conference sessions and plenary sessions, the registration packet with conference preliminaries and program, all conference receptions, and a local bus and walking tour of Kuala Lumpur. All conference presenters must register in order to participate in the conference and be included in the final program.

The PARKROYAL Hotel in Kuala Lumpur has been selected as the primary conference hotel. This five-star hotel is in City Center, a ten minute walk to the Petronas Towers. Complimentary wireless is available throughout the hotel. IASTE has negotiated a special price with the hotel for conference participants which is extremely affordable for a five star hotel. All presenters and attendees are encouraged to stay in the conference hotel, as IASTE pays a heavy tax if you stay elsewhere and we fall below the number of rooms booked by IASTE for the special value. In order to receive the special room rate, please book through the following link:

Post-conference tours should be booked through the travel agencies before the end of September.

Malacca (December 18th, 2014: one day trip)
The historical city of Malacca is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once one of the greatest trading ports in Southeast Asia, Malacca is now a popular destination for its unique glimpse into Malaysia’s multicultural heritage. Sites include the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple (Malaysia’s oldest traditional Chinese temple), the Portuguese ruins of Porta de Santiago, and the Stadhuys building, believed to be the oldest Dutch building in the East. This is a one day trip with travel by bus to and from Kuala Lumpur.

Travel agent (for Malacca trip only): Laras Travel & Tours SDN BHD
Link: http://larastravel.com/booking-packages/product/91-historical-malacca-full-day-tour-for-iaste-post-conference-2014/

Borneo (December 19th – December 21st, 2014: three day and two night trip)
On the morning of December 19th, participants will fly to Miri Sarawek and transfer to the Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort. Participants will have the opportunity to hike on foot paths through the rainforest, visit the orchard farm, take an educational tour of the domestic animal farm, and enjoy the cuisine at the resort’s café or restaurant. Participants will start the second day with a scenic drive to the Niah National Park, where they will visit the Niah Museum and the Niah Caves. On the morning of the third day there will be a tour of Miri City, which has developed from a small village into a modern cosmopolitan city with a bustling farmer’s market, Old China Town, and other sites of interest. This is a three day and two night trip.

Travel agent (for Borneo trip only): Planet Borneo Tours & Travel Services
Link: http://www.planetborneotours.com/iaste-2014/
Booking instructions: To book this tour please follow the instructions on their site to fill out the pdf form and email it to reservation@planetborneotours.com. Please note that the only way to pay for this tour is through wire transfer. Bank information can be found at the bottom of the page.

Regardless of your country of origin, your passport must be valid for 6 months after your scheduled date of departure from Malaysia. Travelers from some countries do not need a visa or will be given a visa upon arrival, while travelers from other countries will need to obtain a visa before leaving their home country. Travelers from certain countries may also require special approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Malaysia. Travelers from some countries may require proof of yellow fever vaccination. For more information about visas, please visit the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

Every year, the Jeffrey Cook award is given to two presenters at the IASTE conference: the author of the best paper by a scholar and the author of the best paper by a student. The winners will each receive an award of $1,000 and, after appropriate review and revision, their papers will be published in Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review. Papers should be concerned with the subject of traditional dwellings and settlements in a manner that challenges traditional scholarship on the subject and engages spatial analysis from an interdisciplinary perspective. We strongly encourage all interested participants to indicate that they would like the Award Committee to evaluate their papers.


Please use the following information when making inquiries regarding the conference.

Mailing address:
IASTE 2014
Center for Environmental Design Research
390 Wurster Hall #1839
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1839

Phone: 510.642.6801

Fax: 510.643.5571

E-mail: iaste@berkeley.edu

Website: iaste.org