The Origin Project

The Origin Project


-2019 Rainforest Fringe Festival 'The Origin Project' Bamboo Pavilion - Primates Performing Ground
-Featured in 'Finding Borneo with Wendy Teo' written by Stephanie Peh, July 2019
-Featured by PAM Sarawak Magazine, July 2019

Time: 2019
Design & Build Timeline: 2 months
Covered Area: 140sqm
Location: Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo Malaysia
Status: Built

Project Credits SEAD Bamboo as our bamboo supplier, Tasik Kunik Village as our Attap supplier, Rover Crew of 5th Kuching Scout Group as our educational partner, UCTS Architectural department as our educational partner, and Borneo Carpentry as our facilitator.

As the zero point of the radial city development of Kuching, the courtyard provides a profound meaning to the creation of this pavilion design, geographically or metaphorically. The design sees an undulating landscape as the extended ripples of the fountain, with the cylindrically arrayed bamboo frames support the canopy made out of palm leaves with varied height. The pavilion making project is a cross disciplinary collaboration between Architect Wendy Teo (UK ARB/RIBA) and choreographers of Primates, local craftsmen and network of suppliers in Kuching.

Architecture making as an instrument for social discourse
We are interested in exploring how an architecture making process could be an instrument for social discourses. One of the beauty of working with Rainforest Fringe Festival is, we get to be part of the conversation of evolving material, technique, local craftsmanship and its societal value holistically. Over our previous project with Rainforest Fringe Festival in 2018 (‘Redesigning Bornean Crafts’ and ‘The Instrument- a Bamboo Musical Instrument’), the social discourses we focused on are about giving awareness to the issue of disappearing crafts industry, re-assessing the societal role of craftsmen and innovating on the crafts through infusing new inputs into local crafts practices.

In 2019, we are interested in seeing how to develop a participatory building model by engaging local community, architectural practices, interest groups and educational institutions. With collaborative efforts, we hope to open up the bamboo construction knowledge and showcase the capacity of our local makers’ network to a wider community.

''In Kuching you often hear people refer their location as 1 mile, 2 mile, 3 mile… It is actually referring to their respective distance from here, the zero point of Kuching. This pavilion is an outcome of collaborative effort from 60 peoples around Borneo, you all came in during different phase of participatory building process, most of you did not know each other before, therefore as the designer and coordinator of the project, I thought it would be beautiful and meaningful to conclude our collaboration with this lighting ceremony. To this I would like to share my favourite quote: ‘What the caterpillar thinks is the end of the world, the butterfly knows it's only the beginning.’ Lit up the origin, is also my way to bless all the butterflies here with new friendships and fly with passion in your heart. Without further due, I will start passing on the light to you, and we can light up the origin together. ''- Wendy Teo Boon Ting



Redesigning Bornean Experiences

Redesigning Bornean Experiences