Towards the Formation of Malaysian Architectural Identity: Lessons from the Methods of Dissemination Ideas of Deutsche Werkbund and Latif Long

  • Azreena Abu Bakar, Kamarul Afizi Kosman


The rapid development of Malaysia by the post-independence era has spawned various art styles due to various ideologies in the construction sector. However, the Malaysian architectural identity issue is yet to reach a consensus among academics and professionals in architecture. In addition, the understanding of the multiethnic civil society on this issue is also low, thus hindering the implementation of the agenda of national identity at the grass-root level. The successful realisation of the agenda of national architectural identity requires a combination of knowledge and competence in dissemination activities to the masses. Thus, an in-depth study on how the dissemination of knowledge about the architectural identity to the public by taking lessons from the past efforts to establish the architectural identity should be implemented. This paper discusses the preliminary study on the work of two architectural movements in Europe in establishing architectural identity in the 19th–20th century, which are the Arts and Crafts and the Deutsche Werkbund movements. This paper aims to look at how these two movements established their identities that ultimately highlighted the identity of their countries. Out of these two movements, the idea spread by the Deutsche Werkbund movement is discussed specifically in this paper because the dissemination of knowledge is more widely implemented and improved the outcomes of the Arts and Crafts movement. The work in educating the public about the architectural identity did not occur only in Europe but also in Malaysia, run by Master Latif Long. He was chosen because he has the same approach in establishing his artistic identity. The main objective of this paper is to identify similarities of the method of disseminating the idea of art by Master Latif Long based on five methods used by the Deutsche Werkbund movement. The study was conducted based on qualitative methods in which the discussion of methods of disseminating the idea in Europe was based on the work of earlier researchers and interviews with people close to Latif Long, personal observations, and related archives. Both aspects were discussed and analysed for the formation of effective methods to disseminate the idea of national architectural identity in the future.


Keywords: methods of dissemination of ideas, Malaysian architectural identity, Deutsche Werkbund Institution

How to Cite
Kamarul Afizi Kosman, A. A. B. (2020). Towards the Formation of Malaysian Architectural Identity: Lessons from the Methods of Dissemination Ideas of Deutsche Werkbund and Latif Long. International Journal of Advanced Science and Technology, 29(3), 2106 -2118. Retrieved from