March 2, 2024

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5th International Workshop on Asian Heritage (IWAH) 2023

Thirteen (13) Landscape Architecture students from the Faculty of Built Environment and Surveying (FBES) at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) took part in the 5th International Workshop on Asian Heritage (IWAH) 2023 at Hanoi University of Civil Engineering, Vietnam, from November 27 to 30, 2023. Coordinated by Dr. Lee Yoke Lai and Dr. Mohd Ruzaini Bin Che Zahari, UTM delegates played a key role in workshop preparation, activities, lectures, and final report evaluation. IWAH 2023, a collaborative effort by Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS), Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi (RMUTT), and Mahasarakham University (MSU), aimed to foster a network among Southeast Asian delegates, exchanging ideas and developing urban heritage wisdom.

The main theme of the 5th IWAH workshop was “Revitalizing the Connectivity of Local Space and Cultural Craft Streets of Hanoi Old Quarter.” Executed through three online sessions, the workshop covered input lectures, site briefing, group discussions, and mentoring sessions. The workshop encouraged delegates to identify issues in Hanoi Old Quarter alleys and employed heritage study methodologies, including Asian street overviews, cultural mapping, SWOT analysis, spatial configuration, sustainable development goals, cultural tourism, and creative city ideas. Through virtual sessions, delegates recognized the significance of Hanoi Old Quarter urban street culture and reconnected with adjacent traditional districts.

Fig 1: IWAH virtual session via zoom meeting

UTM delegates departed for Hanoi on November 26, 2023, receiving a warm welcome from Hanoi University of Civil Engineering (HUCE). A visit to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology provided exposure to Vietnamese history, anthropology, and local culture. An evening walk through Hanoi’s Old Quarter allowed delegates to share first impressions, fostering a rich connection with the historical and cultural essence of the place.

Fig 2: A warm welcome arrived at Noi Bai International Airport.
Fig 3: Group photo at Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.

The workshop’s first day commenced with an opening ceremony at the Hanoi Old Quarter Culture Exchange Centre, featuring speeches by Dr. Nguyen Cao Lanh (Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, HUCE) and the President of Hoan Kiem District. The day included a signing agreement ceremony and keynote speeches on various aspects of Asian street culture. A walking tour explored historical and cultural streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

Fig 4: Delight IWAH workshop delegates from HUCE, UTM, UNS, RMUTT & MSU during the opening ceremony.
Fig 5: Ice-breaking session

 

Fig 6: IWAH’s walking excursion and remarkable heritage nodes visit ended at Hoan Kiem Lake.

Day 2 involved a morning site inventory of traditional streets and afternoon keynote speeches, while Day 3 included a progress critique session. Students synthesized design ideas and presented schematic plans and sections. The final day featured presentations by each group, exhibiting solutions for revitalizing Hanoi Old Quarter’s alleys. Group 5 received the best overall presentation award. A farewell party celebrated the success of the international collaboration workshop.

The 5th IWAH workshop facilitated the exchange of ideas about urban street culture in traditional districts, contributing to the preservation of cultural heritage in South-Asia regions. The partner universities committed to continuing the IWAH agenda, promoting heritage conservation knowledge, urban design, and heritage architecture. Special thanks were extended to UTM International (UTMi) and the Faculty of Built Environment & Surveying for supporting and sponsoring the participating landscape architecture students.

Fig 7: Workshop delegates were interviewing one of the medicine merchants at Lan Ong Street.
Fig 8: Group 5 discussion on site inventory, analysis and synthesis.

Day- 3 is a progress critique session with group mentors. Students concentrate on preparing framework and site inventory mapping of the traditional street and Hanoi Old Quarter studies. Each group adopted and imposed an appropriate method and approach for site issues and potential. In the meantime, each workshop group needed to synthesize design ideas and present an interactive schematic plan and sections. The last day of the workshop is for students to finalize their work for presentation. The findings from all groups showed solutions to enhance the quality of spaces, creative ideas on commercial activities, and revitalize alleys of Hanoi Old Quarter through the final presentation. The expected results of each group are mainly to support Hanoi Old Quarter’s alley revitalization and to promote Hanoi to become a Creative City in the future. The final works of each group were exhibited in the lobby of the HUCE conference room. All groups showed an excellent effort to improvise the ideas of traditional street revitalization, and Group 5 won the best overall presentation. A farewell party and cultural performance were held to celebrate the achievement of an international collaboration workshop among five universities.

Fig 9: Group 1’s final presentation on revitalizing Lan Ong Street at Hanoi Old Quarter.

The 5th International Workshop on Asian Heritage (IWAH) 2023 workshop has created a good opportunity for scholars and students to meet up and share ideas about urban street culture in the old traditional districts of the city as heritage assets. Ultimately, the goal of IWAH is to advocate Asian experiences to perceive the valuable heritage essences in promoting the importance of safeguarding cultural heritage identity and heritage assets in South-Asia regions. Each partner university agreed to continue the main agenda of IWAH, especially to encourage new generations to be involved in heritage conservation knowledge and awareness of urban conservation, urban design, and heritage architecture. In short, we are grateful to UTM International (UTMi) and the Faculty of Built Environment & Surveying for supporting and sponsoring landscape architecture students who participated in IWAH 2023.

Fig 10: Token of appreciation from landscape architecture students to Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, HUCE (Dr Nguyen Cao Lanh).

 

Fig 11: UTM students’ cultural performance on: “Hari Raya Open House”.

 

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