Reshaping Organic Space by Creative Collective in George Town, Malaysia

Zaki Habibi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


In George Town, the capital city of Penang state in Malaysia, Southeast Asia, the creative collectives significantly influence the making of ‘organic space’. This refers to the way in which creative collectives perceive themselves as non-industrialised collaborative groups, employ creativity as the very core of their everyday life, and interact with each other or wider social actors in organic way. George Town is well known as a heritage city, officially listed by UNESCO in 2008. However, rather than uncritically accepting this kind of given identity, the everyday practices by the creative collectives in this city demonstrate a critical way in touching upon their personal and cultural identities. This research combines ethnographic observation, in-depth interview, urban walking, and visual method mainly photo-documentation in immersive way of documentary style. The purpose is to understand the everyday practices of creative collectives in George Town, especially those who reside in Hin Bus Depot. The study shows that this organic space becomes a cultural hub for the creative collectives and their social networks. The studied creative collectives are Pokothings who runs wooden crafts studio and workshop, Grafikdistrict Solutions who creates an open forum for young graphic designers and illustrators, KIWE - Weez Concept that manages a handmade studio and accessories store, and Hin Bus Depot that regularly organises a pop-up independent market, art exhibitions and social gathering. They run their own activities, while collaborate with each other as well as involve other collectives from their wider networks. What they do is a manifestation of city-making in building the meaning of the city as a central social stage of society upon which they experience each other lives. This can also be understood as their articulation to deal with everyday tactics and strategy of urban living in a heritage city by using creativity on a daily basis.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 18
EventThird International Conference of Young Urban Researchers (TICYUrb) - University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 2018 Jun 182018 Jun 22


ConferenceThird International Conference of Young Urban Researchers (TICYUrb)
Internet address

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Media Studies
  • Visual Arts

Artistic work

  • Digital or Visual Product

Free keywords

  • Creative collective
  • everyday life
  • cultural identity
  • organic space
  • visual method
  • urbanism


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