Globalization or Localization – factors to be considered by architects in their architectural practices

African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure 8 (6) (2019)
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This research explores the effects of globalization to the Malaysian architectural practice in the current situation. The research explores three issues, firstly what are the reasons local architects are taking projects locally (localization) only, and, secondly, what are the factors which motivate local architects to venture into international projects (termed as globalization). It also explores, thirdly, what are the factors which influence foreign architects coming to Malaysia to practice. Research was qualitative in nature using semi-structured interviews. The interviews were transcribed and a thematic analysis was carried out. An online survey was conducted towards the end to a different group from the architecture fraternity to supplement the research and findings. Overall, the reasons uncovered for the first issue are the total lack of opportunities and insufficient capacity due to small practices. Reasons for the second issue are due to the more lucrative fees and the experience and technology transfer which are advancements to their practices. For the third issue, the factors were found to more personal reasons based rather than solely applying to practice. In summary, to go global or stay local is actually up to the individual preference of the architect and also the capacity of their practices. The findings can be used as a resource for architects and architectural students who are still deciding whether to globalize or localize their careers. As it currently the case, many architects are practicing in other countries to replicate architectural styles which may be more conducive to sustainable tourism, for example, hotel designs.


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