Design Destination: Kuala Lumpur in 24 Hours

Ever since the Malaysian government lent support to the Design Development Centre in 2008, shortly after which Stefan Sagmeister graced Kuala Lumpur Design Week in 2009; the sleepy mining outpost has blossomed as a melting pot for creative talents. The design scene though small, is growing at a steady rate, and there’s plenty to be optimistic about if one knows where to look.

We have been to Kuala Lumpur multiple times, a destination known to most Singaporeans for food. This time, we tried to do things differently.

11am – 3pm: Heritage Row 

We start our morning at the Heritage Row, a stretch of 22 dynamic shop houses converted into hip event spaces, restaurants and more.

From now till 18 September, the highlight has to be The Ryan Foundation’s  travelling collection of Warhol’s silkscreens and polaroids. The show was well-received in Singapore, and will be making a quick stop at Kuala Lumpur, before moving to other locations within the region.

The two-level industrial space has been masterfully transformed into Warhol’s factory, with live silk-screen printing sessions, iconic Campbell soup-cans, a Marilyn Monroe inspired photobooth and a silver balloon installation that takes centre-stage.

“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” – Warhol 

Warhol’s vision of a fast-food fashion generation has manifested in modern times. The exhibition playfully explores the spontaneity and instant gratification of our digital culture. Thus it makes perfect sense that almost everything at The Ryan Foundation’s exhibition is visually arresting and instagram-worthy.

Andy Warhol KL Ryan Foundation
Official hashtag: #AndyWarholSocialCircus

3pm – 6pm: Petaling Jaya 

Conveniently connecting us to Petaling Jaya is the LRT Kelana Jaya line. The trip from Taman Paramount to Dang Wangi (10 stops) takes around 20 mins, and not 55 mins as stated on Google maps.

Aside from local favourites such as Fatty Crab which is not to be missed, there are plenty of quaint cafes and galleries that would pique the interest of a design enthusiast.

Awesome Canteen
Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya

Awesome Canteen Petaling Jaya
Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya

Awesome Canteen regularly hosts culture-related events at Awe Gallery, such as Zine Canteen nights, local music showcases and more. Everything at the cafe is carefully curated, right down to the metallic stools which were bartered from an old kopitiam that accepted plastic stools in exchange for them.

Awesome Canteen, Kuala Lumpur
Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya

6pm – 11pm: Heli Lounge, Menara KH 

Round off the day with a trip to Heli Lounge, an open air bar overlooking the Petronas Twin Towers.

Get there earlier to experience the spectacular sunset. With no barricades, we felt like we are on cloud nine as we looked out into the horizon. Just cross your fingers that the weather holds up as no entry to the rooftop is allowed if it rains.

Bukit Bintang 34th Floor, Menara KH
Bukit Bintang 34th Floor, Menara KH

The Ryan Foundation’s Andy Warhol: Social Circus exhibition is held at Slate, 52 Jalan Doraisamy, Chow Kit, 50300 Kuala Lumpur.
Photo credits: Popspoken


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Explore latest trends in contemporary culture