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About The Speaker

Ar Alan Teh

Aspired to be an artist since childhood but inspired to be an architect after stumbling upon an article on renowned Pritzker Prize winner I.M. Pei during junior high school, Alan Teh initially planned to pursue architecture in North America, having enrolled himself in McGill University in Montreal, Canada. However a scholarship from University of Tasmania, Australia took him to the southern hemisphere for the next 5 years (1995-1999) during which he went on an exchange program in 1996 to Bergen School of Architecture, Norway for a semester plus three month of architectural pilgrimage tour in Europe. Alan believes the experience and exposure of studying in three different continents had helped to widen up his perspective as a person as well as shaping his design approach. Upon his return to Malaysia at the end of 1999, he worked in a few KL-based practices, learning the “craft and business” of architecture prior to the setting up of Atelier Alan Teh Architect in 2005. “Atelier”, a French synonym of “design studio” advocates a practice that is studio-orientated with strong emphasis on design, research & architectural discourse on current issues. Alan believes that in today’s globalized society, architecture should draw the inspirations from local places and people therefore while we think globally, we must act locally. To date, AATA has accumulated a diversified body of works mainly located in the KL region and northern region of Penang. In 2020, after being an active member of Rakan Bukit Mertajam, an NGO actively engaging community place-making, Alan has decided to dedicate a considerate amount of time to develop and build up his portfolio of work that engages with the local communities in his hometown of Bukit Mertajam - a ten year architecture vision which he terms it BM2020/2030. Alan Teh was installed as one of the “Top 30 under 40 Emerging Architects of Malaysia” in 2011 by PAM under the publication <30 Under 40>. He was also featured in the Taiwan’s leading ID magazine <My Home> as one of the “Top 50 Young Chinese Designers” in 2014. AATA won the prestigious 2016 PAM Awards in Architecture under Commercial High-rise Building category for the innovative Univ360 Sofo Suites project in Serdang, Kuala Lumpur. The project also won an award in the Star Property Award 2017 and the Malaysian Landscape Architecture Award MLAA “Project of The Year Award”, making it a triple awards winner. The innovative adaptive usage of containers as experimental urban homes won the 2017 PAM Awards under Show Room category. The recently completed SMJK Jit Sin High School new academic block in 2019 is the first public high school to get the Green Building Index GBI accreditation. And lastly, in 2020, the Federal Oats Mills project won the PAM Awards in Industrial category, truly demonstrating the firm’s versatility in design. Alan also teaches design and architectural management in several local universities and has been a regular external examiner for local architecture schools. He is actively engaged with the academic sectors to share his knowledge and promote critical design thinking. Apart from being invited to speak in several architectural schools, he also served as one of the jurors of PAM Student Awards in recent years. He used to curate art and design exhibitions at his art gallery which was part of his design studio set-up from 2013-2018. His interest in art and architecture crossover is a test bed for many place-making and architecture experimentations too. Alan has been frequently invited for media interviews on current issues in architecture and urban planning in particular with regards to conservation, community and sustainability. He recently appeared on 8TV at Media Prima to discuss on retirement homes and adapting homes for retirement. Alan Teh is also a founding member of Rakan Bukit Mertajam, an NGO championing community place-making in Bukit Mertajam since 2018.