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Ken Yeang: an Architect from Malaysia

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Ken Yeang (6 October 1948) is an architect, ecologist, planner and author from Malaysia, best known for his ecological architecture and ecomasterplans that have a distinctive green aesthetic. He pioneered an ecology-based architecture (since 1971), working on the theory and practice of sustainable design. The Guardian newspaper (2008) named him “one of the 50 people who could save the planet”. Yeang’s headquarters is in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) as Hamzah & Yeang, with offices in London (UK) as Llewelyn Davies Ken Yeang Ltd. and Beijing (China) as North Hamzah Yeang Architectural and Engineering Company.


Eco-design is designing in such a way that the human built environment or our design system integrates benignly and seamlessly with the natural environment. We have to look at it not just as designing a building as an independent object in the city or in the site where it’s located. We have to look at it in the context of the characteristics of the site in which it’s located, the ecological features and we have to integrate with it physically, systemically and temporally.

Ken Yeang Asked:

Can the work you do be used to improve the ecology of current buildings?

Yes. We shouldn’t just look at new buildings but at existing stock building because that’s an even greater problem than the new buildings being built. The renovation of existing buildings and making them green is just as important as designing new green buildings.

Ecological System Theory

Back to Top The ecological system theory was formulated by psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner. According to the Ecological Systems theory human development is influenced by the different environmental systems. The ecological system theory explains the difference in behavior of human beings in different environments. This theory believed that the development of human beings was affected by their surrounding environment.

This theory divided our surroundings into five different levels:

Microsystem: The system in which person is in closest proximity or they have direct contact system such as home, work place, school, daycare etc. Such systems include family, peers, classmates, teachers, neighbors or caregivers.

Mesosystem: It is next ecological system which consists of the interactions between the different parts of microsystem of person. The Micro systems of a person is always interconnected and assert influence upon one another. For example, parents neglect their child; he may have a low chance of developing positive attitude towards others like his friends or teachers.

Exosystem: In this setting, there is a connection between the context in which person does not have any active role and the context in which he is actively participating. For example; a child is more attached to his father and father goes outstation for some time, than there possibilities. Either there may be a conflict between the mother and the child’s relationship, or it may result to a positive relation between the mother and the child.

Macrosystem: This system encompass with the cultural environment of people. It connects other systems with people.

Chronosystem: It includes the life transitions and shifts such as divorce affects the couple’s relationship

To make existing building Eco building:

There is some of the ways we could make these buildings environmentally friendly, is just common sense. Better use of space, improving the insulation, getting more daylight into the buildings, reducing the energy consumption of the air conditioning and heating systems, making sure that the internal air quality is good, that we have increased natural ventilation opportunities in the mid seasons. *Another process that we should imitate is that in nature the only source of energy is from the sun. So in ecological systems everything comes from the sun through the process of photosynthesis whereas now in human built environment our source of energy is from fossil fuels, renewable, wood energy or hydro-energy but it is not from the sun. So until we are able to operate and run a human built environment by imitating photosynthesis it will be a long while before we can have a true eco-system.

Chongqqing Towe

Today more than half of the population of the world lives r in cities. This momentous shift from rural to urban living poses numerous challenges that have led to an increasing emphasis on issues of sustainability.

The high population density and the dependence on industrial and commercial productivity found in cities results in massive consumption of resources and acute pollution. Ecologically, natural habitats are either disfigured or destroyed by urban development

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Ken Yeang: an architect from Malaysia. (2019, February 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 23, 2021, from
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