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123 | Design’s Race & Rescue Mission

Dr. Ken Yeang is a pioneering Malaysian architect, author and researcher whose work has tested the boundaries of green urbanism and green design.

123 | Design’s Race & Rescue Mission

Yeang is widely credited with inventing the bioclimatic skyscraper, upending conventional notions that skyscrapers were incompatible with climate-sensitive design. Throughout his career, Dr. Yeang has executed over 200 built works and a slew of theoretical treatises on ecological design and green building.

Yeang began his work on ecological design as a student; his doctoral dissertation “A Theoretical Framework for Incorporating Ecological Considerations in the Design and Planning of the Built Environment” (1975) became the basis for his eventual practice. Understanding at that time that the sciences of architecture and ecology had yet to be merged, he developed a set of design principles centered around the idea that a building can (and should) operate as part of a wider biosphere.

Yeang has continued to evolve and develop his theories on eco-architecture. Through celebrated residential and commercial works, Yeang has pioneered concepts like eco-mimicry: designing a building to emulate a natural system such as a forest or jungle. The practice yields a recognizable green aesthetic, especially as applied to high-rises.

His publications include: “The Skyscraper: Bioclimatically Considered,” “The Green Skyscraper: The Basis for Designing Sustainable, Intensive Buildings,” and his latest book “Ecodesign: A manual for Ecological Design.”

We were fortunate enough to be joined by Dr. Yeang on our podcast, Social Design Insights, where he spoke with host Eric J. Cesal about the arc of green thinking in design, and what the future holds for designers. Have a listen at the link above.


Our opening theme music for 2019 is "Bang Bang" and our closing theme is "Salvame" both by Eljuri from her album "La Lucha." The break music for this episode is "A Little Help From My Friends" by The Beatles from their album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band."