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Architecture in Asia

Architecture in Asia
Spend 3 weeks traveling throughout Asia visiting architectural sites of historical and modern significance.
Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tokyo, Japan
Language of Instruction: 
Winter Break
Academic Disciplines: 
Graduate Courses
Program Type: 
  • Discover amazing modern architecture in the megacities of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo
  • Visit cutting-edge architecture firms in Singapore and Malaysia.
Program Summary: 

With a history spanning across several millennia and a rich cultural heritage shaped by diverse religions and ethnic groups, Asia provides an unparalleled context to experience life and loci that are vastly different from the western world. In order to provide you the opportunity for expanding your horizons of architectural and design sense and life, this Asia Study Abroad Program will take you to an unique part of South East and East Asia-Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. You will experience cultures and places that are based primarily on Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian, Hindu, and Islamic principles, and that are strangely intermixed with colonial influences of the Portuguese, Dutch, and the British, as well as with postcolonial globalization. You will be exploring both historic and contemporary architecture, urban planning, and design in these countries, interacting with both graduate architecture students and faculty in the host universities, and networking with leading Asian design and construction companies.


Depart Kansas City: Wednesday, December 26, 2018

In Singapore: Friday, December 28, 2018 – Thursday, January 3, 2019

In Malaysia: Friday, January 4, 2019 – Thursday, January 10, 2019

In Japan: Friday, January 11-Friday, January 18, 2019

Depart Tokyo and arrive in the U.S.: Friday, January 18, 2019


Students will spend approximately 8 days in Singapore, 7 days in Malaysia and 7 days in Japan.  Most of the program will consist of planned group activities along with some free time.

Visits in Singapore: Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority, Marina Bay Sands and Millennium Bridge by Moshe Safdie, National Library by Ken Yeang, Shopping Mall by Toyo Ito, LaSalle College of Art, School of the Arts by WOHA, Red Dot Design Museum, Bugis Junction Shopping Mall Preservation Project; Subway Station Design Tour; Walk around Clark Quay, Boat Quay, Orchard Road Shopping District, and China Town; New Chinese Temple, The ‘Garden’ Vertical Park, Apple Store by Sir Norman Foster, D’Leeden Apartments by Zaha Hadid, Sky Habitat by Moshe Safdie, The Beehive by Heatherwick, Singapore University of Technology and Design by UNStudio, Gardens By the Bay, Public Housing Designs Phases 1, 2, and 3, and visits to architecture/design firms.

Visits in Malaysia: City of Johor Bahru, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, A Series of Barns, Factory in the Earth; World Heritage City of Melaka (Colonial urban form in Southeast Asia; traditional Chinese shop-house design, historic preservation at urban scale, Taman Mini Malaysia vernacular house forms, Hindu temple, early form of Malay Mosques); Capital City of Kuala Lumpur (Petronas Towers, Batu Caves Hindu Temple Precinct, Mesiniaga Tower by Ken Yeang, Houses by Jimmy Lee, National Arts & Crafts Museum, the POD Pavilion by Manfredi Nicolleti, The Torika by Norman Foster, One Mont Kiara Shopping Mall, Star Hill Gallery), Bamboo Play House, Lantern Hotel, Pint02, The Capers, The Arc at Bandar Rimbayu; Administrative City of Putrajaya (Its urban design, Steel Mosque, Petronas University by Norman Foster).

Visits in Tokyo, Japan: (1964 Olympic Pavilions and St. Mary’s Chapel by Kenzo Tange; Collezione and 21-21 Design Gallery by Tadao Ando; Mikimoto and TOD’s Omotesando by Toyo Ito; PRADA by Herzog & de Meuron; National Art Center and Nakagin Capsule Tower by Kisho Kurokawa; Nezu Museum, Suntory Musuem and Baiso-in Temple by Kengo Kuma; Tokyo University Library by Shigeru Ban); and visits to architecture firms and many other historic and contemporary architecture

Academic Information: 


ARCH 690 Architecture Study Abroad (6 credit hours) Required for all students.

ARCH 692 Documentation (3 credit hours) Optional. Check with program directors.

Arch 690 and Arch 692 for a total of nine hours fulfill the study abroad requirement for the School of Architecture, Design and Planning.


Students will stay in centrally located hotels in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo.


This program is open to all KU and non-KU students who have completed their first year of study. Priority is given to KU Master of Architecture students who have completed either ARCH 208 or ARCH 502. 

Program Faculty: 

Jae D. Chang is an Associate Professor and Interim Chair at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning of the University of Kansas. He also serves as the Assistant Chair for Graduate Studies in the Department of Architecture.  He received his Master and Doctorate in Architecture from the University of Michigan.  Dr. Chang has worked with universities and companies in the US and internationally on research in healthy environments and environmentally responsive design.

Kapila D. Silva is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning of the University of Kansas. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, from where he received a doctorate in architecture, and at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka, from where he received professional architectural education. Dr. Silva’s research, in its broadest sense, focuses on the social, cultural, and psychological dimensions of architecture, urbanism, and historic preservation,  with a specific focus on non-Western traditions. In narrower terms, his research has so far been on global heritage conservation and management, addressing theoretical and pragmatic issues related to UNESCO’s World Heritage Program, which attempts to preserve and manage historic monuments and sites with outstanding universal value. He is the co-editor of Asian Heritage Management: Contexts, Concerns, and Prospects (Routledge, 2013), Cultural Landscapes of South Asia (Routledge, forthcoming), and co-author of The Architecture of Tampita Viharas of Sri Lanka (Moratuwa University, 1997) and The Architecture of Ambalam Buildings of Sri Lanka (Moratuwa University, 2002).

For more information contact:

Jae D. Chang Ph.D., Interim Chair and Associate Professor
Department of Architecture

Kapila D. Silva Ph.D., Associate Professor
Department of Architecture


Study Abroad Information Center
Walk-in advising
Monday - Friday. 9AM - 5 PM
Lippincott Hall, Room 105
1410 Jayhawk Boulevard
Contact: studyabroad@ku.edu

Study Abroad Financial Advising
Financial Aid and Scholarship Info Session
Wednesday, 4:00 pm &
Thursday, 2:00 pm
105 Lippincott Hall


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