The Story behind PostPhone

Our city is constantly filled with stories and snapshots: of dreams and destinations, of history and narratives. The people at #BetterCities are curious about this intangible asset of our city.

What if we listen, what stories would our city tell?

Inspired by PostSecret, PostPhone is a traveling installation that invites the public to record their thoughts anonymously on a phone, and to listen to the other recorded messages.

PostPhone was initially developed as a part of #BetterCities’ While We Wait Project. While We Wait is supported by the Embassy of Finland, Malaysia. It first appeared at the KAKIseni Festival in Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur.

After its debut in Kuala Lumpur, PostPhone was commissioned as a month-long popup survey booth by George Town Festival 2013.

Throughout the festival, PostPhone invites you to record your stories, your thoughts, your views about George Town, and listen to the other stories collected. The booths offer a fun and lo-fi way of sharing shared stories of the city.

We believe your stories matter. They are what make George Town unique and beloved.

Tell us. Listen. Share.

PostPhone is open daily from 10am – 6pm, 6 June – 7 July 2013. Locate us here!

The People behind PostPhone

PostPhone is the brainchild of Okui Lala, an intern at #BetterCities. A media arts student who enjoys working with the community, she is also a visual designer for theater and music performances.

E Wyn is a media arts student who combines design, arts and programming to create an enjoyable experience for his users. He is a fan of minimalism and photography.

Bryan is self-taught multimedia designer. He works on a range of video, print, web and creative projects for PopDigital.

Sze is the #BetterCities Lead. She manages the campaign’s projects and partnerships.

What do you like best about George Town? (Tell us why or where to find it!)

Tweets and Snaps of #PostPhone (see more)[instapress tag=”postphone” piccount=”20″ size=”92″ effect=”0″ title=”1″]

Urban Residency: Meet our Participants

Our first Urban Residency programme is fast approaching! We have had a great response to our Open Call and we would like to thank everyone who applied, especially applicants outside of Malaysia!

The main criteria for the selection process were quality and relevance of portfolios. We were looking for portfolios that reflected skills as well as complemented the statement of intent. Additional points were awarded to those with prior experience working in community or neighbourhood projects, in constructing/building things, and have a keen interest in place-making.

We have selected seven people to join our first workshop. Our Urban Residency mentors, Lia Tostes and Hui Ping, will spend an intensive week with them brainstorming, designing and constructing ideas to improve a small public space in George Town, Penang. Let’s introduce our seven successful applicants!

Alex Lee is an urban explorer, DIY dude & greenie. He is constantly exploring, observing and apply interventions to cities to create conversations. Pint-sized but feisty, Alex believes the city is a living thing.


Bryan Chee completed his architectural education in London with professional experience from both Malaysia and UK. He is interested in design from visual art to urban scale installation, currently dividing his time teaching architecture while pursuing on some experimentation projects to transform the city experience through design making under MADE. One of the recent completed project was a series of urban sitting installation under the theme “Design Change Things”.


Justin Khoo, 25 year old Penangite, not from concentrate. He is a lover of food, culture, plants and nature. Architecture graduate with an interest in utilitarian design, context and sense-of-place. Enjoys going to markets, whizzing around on a bicycle and trips to the beach.


Sueh Li Tan is a Penangite. She loves type design as much as Assam Laksa. In 2012, she co-founded Typokaki with Karmen Hui to explore type design and typography in relation to Malaysia cultures through workshops, events and research. They have been conducted two type design workshops so far, with the theme ‘Petaling Street’.


Zi Hao Tan is an artist, designer, and writer whose works examine the socio-political details in the everyday life. Graduated as a Dean’s List Scholar from The One Academy, he has since participated in exhibitions across Malaysia and Taiwan. He recently completed his BA International Communications Studies in the University of Nottingham Malaysia and is looking forward to furthering his education in Southeast Asian history and politics.


Yulianto Qin, an Indonesian national, trained as an architect in Indonesia and Japan. He has been involved in heritage building documentation project with Indonesian Center of Architecture Documentation and Architecture History Lab at Toyohashi University of Technology, Japan. His main interest are architecture heritage conservation, documentation, and visual anthropology studies.


Rebecca Nayagam has graduated with a Bachelors in Architecture from Melbourne University. In 2010, she co-founded a non-profit called Novels for Nepal, built a library in Humla, Nepal and has been working on a few selected projects in Kuala Lumpur. She aspires to be more than an architect – she hopes to one day use all the skills and knowledge she’s gained through her formal education to contribute to resolving societal problems through design solutions.



Rofianisa Nurdin is a fresh-graduate architect from Bandung, Indonesia; devoted in writing and asking questions. With friends from college co-founded Vidour (2011), a collaboration-based architecture documentary group which have been engaged with layers of communities to document Indonesia’s most happening architecture and art events from Bandung, Jakarta, Flores, to Tokyo. Interested in arts, media, and culture; participating within Bandung Creative City Forum as a creative community activist; and currently a research assistant in Bandung Institute of Technology.


Chew Pui Cheng has worked with urban property developers, international resort designers, British commercial architectural firms, rural community architectural designers, Dutch film set production and designers. She is also a permaculturalist, a carpenter, an occasional lecturer, a researcher for a heritage publication, a transparency platform co-developer, a wannabe conservationist.


Urban Residency is a weeklong urban action workshop Urban Residency is organised by #BetterCities, supported by The Embassy of Finland, Kuala Lumpur, and in partnership with George Town Festival, George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI), Municipal Council of Penang Island (MPPP) and Think City.