Workshop: Open Call

Undo-Redo is a community-based design workshop led by distinguished Malaysian architects which focuses on five specific themes in urban development. The workshop aims to inspire a new trend of thought in bottom-up architecture design, one that forms a partnership between architecture, the community, authorities and the developer.

In the duration of 2-weeks, participants will be mentored to re-imagine, to undo and redo the potential design of two plots of public land located in Damansara Jaya.


Together with the opportunity of working alongside esteemed architects, participants will be awarded a certificate upon completion of the workshop.

Fill out the enclosed form, and send it, together with your portfolio and resumé to hello@betterciti.es with “Application” in the subject line.

The deadline for applications is Friday, 13 February, 2015.



The workshop is open to architecture and urban planning students, as well as young professionals.

Working Hours

Participants are expected to work flexible daily office hours throughout the duration of the workshop.


The workshop will take place at Taylor’s lakeside Campus in Subang Jaya. Work space throughout the workshop is subject to the mentoring architect.

Download Application Form

The workshop is free of charge

Participants are expected to bear the cost of transport, accommodation and living expenses. There will be no reimbursement from the organizers of the workshop.

The Living City

The Living City is an interactive exhibition that explores city-making in a playful and hands-on approach using LEGO as a building medium.

The Living City, named after Archigram’s 1963 exhibition of the city of the future, is devised as an empty landscape on top of which players will contribute to the ever growing fictional living city.

As the game progresses, players will have to negotiate with existing constructions and depleting green space to decide what gets demolished to make room for new buildings.

The Living City aims to inspire participants and onlookers to view cities as living organisms; to explore architecture and city-making concepts in an interactive approach; to trigger insightful conversations about urban growth; and to mirror the impact urban growth has on memory and environment.

[instapress tag=”thelivingcity” piccount=”6″ size=”95″ effect=”0″ title=”1″]
More pictures of #TheLivingCity

Master Class: Open Call

Preceeding the exhibition at George Town Festival, there is a 2-day masterclass workshop led by the Danish-Icelandic architecture studio, KRADS. Since 2010, this team of architects has been involved in a series of workshops at the intersection where LEGO meets architecture.

Fifteen selected participants will get an opportunity to attend a 2-day master class workshop led by Danish-Icelandic architecture studio, KRADS. At this workshop, participants will be using LEGO as a building and thinking medium.


Participants are expected to bear the cost of transport to George Town (if necessary), and are in charge of their own accommodation and living expenses. There will be no reimbursement from the organizers of the workshop.

Fill out the enclosed form, and send it, together with your portfolio and resumé to Lia@betterciti.es with “Application” in the subject line.

The deadline for applications is Friday, 25 July, 2014.


The masterclass is open to architecture and urban planning students, as well as young professionals.


The workshop will take place at MPPP Town Hall, Jalan Padang Kota Lama in George Town, from Saturday, 16 August, to Sunday, 17 August, 2014, between 10am to 6pm.

Download MasterClass Application Form

The masterclass is free of charge.


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

Urban Residency


Passionate about improving shared public spaces? Can creativity and collaboration contribute to a better neighbourhood and city?

Urban Residency is a weeklong urban action workshop that will take place between June 10 -16, 2013 in George Town, Penang. Selected participants will design and build projects to transform overlooked public space into a more vibrant, responsive and liveable place.

Selected participants work together to make urban and public spaces in our cities more vibrant, responsive and liveable. The workshop comprises three phases: research, design and deployment.

Urban Residency aims to encourage participants to take ownership of shared public spaces as well as understand the local context before applying their solutions or projects. Urban Residency also introduces them to creative, participatory approaches to improving urban environment.

Team #BetterCities has worked closely with local institutions and groups to devise a relevant Challenge Brief, which will be disclosed on the first day of the workshop. The selected team of mentor and participants will respond to a Challenge Brief that will identify a site within George Town, Penang (as well as its users, the built environment, associated issues).

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

For more information, please contact: Sze Ying (Programme Lead) at Sze@popdigital.my or Lia Tostes (Lead Mentor) at Lia@betterciti.es.

Urban Residency is supported by The Embassy of Finland, Malaysia.

Safe Streets

Poskod Talks

The aspiration for Singapore to be a more livable city is strong in the hearts of many residents and non-motorized movement through the city such as cycling and walking appears to be key in realizing that vision. 

Sparked by an accident at Circuit Road at Macpherson Estate involving a young boy on a bicycle and lorry, the #betterSG team were driven to make a contribution and in conjunction with Archifest 2012, launched “Safe Streets”.


Taking the format of a design thinking workshop, engagement sessions with the local residents it hopes to explore further on what it takes to create streets that are safer, more livable and respectful which contributes to the overall well-being of the community at Macpherson.

The #betterSG team is currently working with various partners to prototype the ideas discovered in these sessions and hopes to unveil it in 2013.

Talk Series


In 2011, #BetterKL and our sister site, Poskod.my, co-organised a free public talk series, Poskod Talks, highlighting ideas, insights and individuals contributing to a better Kuala Lumpur. The monthly talk series aimed to create an open and critical platform to discuss relevant issues of social, cultural and urban importance to Kuala Lumpur — its city and community.

The talk series was hosted in different neighbourhoods (postcode areas) highlighting diverse themes on urban living, environment and engagement.


Throughout 2012, Poskod Talks had showcased projects and individuals mapping the city, organising community projects, rejuvenating neighbourhoods, rethinking art and design for social good, et. al.

Past speakers included Henrietta Thompson (editor-at-large Wallpaper*), writer/researcher Sali Sasaki (previously from UNESCO Creative Cities), urbanist Marco Kusumawijaya (RUJAK Centre for Urban Studies in Jakarta), architects Karsten Vollmer (Foster + Partners), Kevin Mark Low (smallprojects), Ng Seksan (Seksan Design), Nani Kahar (labDNA), Lillian Tay (Veritas).


Since the launch of #BetterCities, we have re-branded Poskod Talks to #BetterCities Talk Series. From 2013 onwards, #BetterCities will be organising a new talk series every quarter, on the last Saturday of the month.

For videos of the talk series, please visit our Youtube channel.


ReCAR is a model for a new public utility company that owns and operates carports throughout the city, equipped with compact and environmentally- friendly cars. This concept was nominated for the Living Labs Global Award 2012 in Rio de Janeiro and exhibited at the British Council’s Everything Forever Now, an exhibition on sustainable designs in Malaysia.

ReCar is an innovative break from the typical transportation model. The traditional model is a patchwork of best attempts at managing the various interests of city planners, individuals, and the transport authorities, often resulting in highly inefficient solutions. ReCar re-imagines the very idea of private mobility and proposes a solution that encourages the efficient use of public transportation while increasing urban mobility.

A typical office worker drives into the city in the morning and leaves the city for home around sundown. Even in the most traditional work cycle that’s an 8 hour stretch of her car sitting idle waiting for the return trip. Chances are it’s a single occupancy vehicle.

Multiply that by every office worker in the city and you have the single largest collection of idle metal concentrated in massive concrete structures called parking spaces. This creates massive dead spaces within cities.

The ReCar is an alternative model that allows people to move freely within a city, save time on traffic and save money on parking. Commuters would use public transport like buses and trains to get to the city.

They would then able to hire a ReCar at various points throughout the city for intra city commute, leaving their ReCars at the carport closest to their destination. These cars would run on natural gas.

ReCar is a model that could lead benefits in the economy, environment and in the community. More importantly, it would encourage more interactivity in the city, and could allow public spaces to be reclaimed from vast, idle car parks.

ReCAR is currently exhibited at Aedes Berlin’s Smart City: The Next Generation, Focus South-East Asia in Berlin, Germany from May 18 – July 4, 2013

ReCAR was showcased at the British Council Malaysia’s EVERYTHING FOREVER NOW exhibition from August 25 – September 13, 2012.

ReCAR showcase on Citymart, with LLGA scores: http://yumm.my/ctrecar

While We Wait

Much of an average commuter’s daily commute in Kuala Lumpur is spent idly waiting. In response to this scenario, While We Wait is a creative, interactive project devised to address and interact with commuters’ idle time while they wait for their bus to arrive.

The project consists of a series of activities, installations and surveys to initiate curiosity and conversations about shared spaces and quality of time/life in a city.

Bus stops are typically temporary, transitory congregation points with its monotonous design reduced to serve this said utility. The process of “hacking” a bus stop space looks at the potentiality of shared public spaces, i.e. “What is missing?” and “What could be there?”.

The purpose of While We Wait is three-fold:

  • to address commuters’ idle time through interactivity and creativity
  • to simulate a ‘pop up community’ through activities or surveys highlighting relevant urban issues

  • to improve the experience of bus stops as a shared, public space

It is also an attempt to understand, engage and instigate the commuters and their social encounters within this shared space.

While We Wait has been presented at several conferences:

While We Wait is supported by The Embassy of Finland Malaysia.


#1 Urban Cyclists

Tribes: Urban Cyclists
Fixies, foldies, cruisers, classics, hybrids, MTBs — the vocabulary that defines urban cyclists. This video montage showcases KLites and their passions for the two-wheeler, navigating and negotiating their spaces through our bustling city. This is part of a video montage series for #betterkl, a grassroots campaign in support of initiatives by KLites to contribute to a positive change in our city.