The Southeast Asia Architecture Research Collaborative (SEAARC) is a group based at the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore. SEAARC was founded by three faculty members – (in alphabetical order) Dr. Chang Jiat Hwee, Dr. Imran Bin Tajudeen, Dr. Lee Kah Wee – to promote the teaching and research of the built environment in Southeast Asia.

The group’s research and teaching activities focus broadly on the built environment of Southeast Asia with the following emphases:

  • Southeast Asia in the world– we see Southeast Asia not as an autonomous, clearly bounded geographical entity, nor as a homogeneous one. Rather we see Southeast Asia as a region inextricably connected to other socio-cultural and geopolitical regions of the world. We also see Southeast Asia as a complex region that defies some of the neat generalisations that currently characterize its study, is poised for tremendous growth both in built environment terms and in scholarship, and is simultaneously witnessing a heightened interest in knowledge relating to architectural and urban heritage, socio-technical and cultural-environmental issues, and late capitalist development.
  • Interdisciplinary approach – we take an interdisciplinary approach to our research of the built environment of Southeast Asia. While we maintain an architectural and urban focus, our theories and methodologies are influenced by various interdisciplinary approaches.  Members of this group have published their work in journals and books affiliated with various fields of research – architectural history, urban studies, area studies, vernacular studies and heritage studies.
  • Across different historical periods – we strongly believe that the present is shaped by the past and we are a group that is as interested in the study of architectural histories as we are in understanding the contemporary conditions of architectural production.

We can be reached at seaarc.symposium AT gmail.com

5 Responses to About SEAARC

  1. samudyatha subbarama says:

    Dear professors,

    Im a masters sudent at NUS Studying integrated sustainable design. The work you have outlined above is very interesting. I would like to know if there is any way in which i could learn from and be a part of this collaborative.
    thank you
    kind regards

    • jiathwee says:

      Dear Samudyatha,

      Thanks for your interest. Could you please drop us an email at seaarc.symposium AT gmail.com? We’ll send you details on how you could be part of the symposium.

      Best, convenors of SEAARC symposium

  2. Jacques Sheard says:


    I am an independant filmmaker based in Melbourne, Australia. The majority of my projects revolve around issues of archtectural heritage, especially those concerned with post-war Modernism. I am particularly interested in south east Asian modernist architecture and am currently developing a documentary film about the work of Malaysian architect Kington Loo.
    I recently came across this website and am wondering if anyone involved would be interested in participating in the project in any capacity (research assistance, interviews etc)

    Jacques Sheard

  3. Bryan Chee says:

    Hi Jacques,

    I am recently browsed through this page and found that we share similar interest on architect Kington Loo. I am interested on your project or perhaps would like to find way to participate if possible.

    Hope to hear more from you soon.

    Bryan Chee

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