Malaysia Design Archive started as a project to map the development of graphic design in Malaysia from the period before independence(1957) until now. It is a space to trace and document Malaysian ‘endangered’ design legacy, to preserve our historical past, as well as to create a resource of Malaysian art and design work.


Drawing from art historian Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”, the documentation and archiving of women in visual culture in Malaysia hold significant importance in acknowledging and recognizing women’s contributions to the cultural landscape. Women in visual culture have been under-represented and systematically marginalized, rendering their voices and perspectives invisible, particularly in Malaysia’s writing of visual history. Historically, records of women’s artistic works have been omitted and creating a repository of women’s reflections, creative processes and artistic practices will address these imbalances, biases and reclaim women’s place in Malaysia’s artistic history.

In a world where traditional cultural practices are threatened by rapid change, this preservation becomes even more urgent. This resource focusing on women in visual culture hopes to contribute to the narrative of a more diverse and inclusive cultural landscape in Malaysia.


The MDA Centre is located on the second floor of The Zhongshan Building, which is located in Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur. Housed in a newly refurbished 1950’s shop lot, MDA Centre is very close to Kuala Lumpur’s historic core. We have artists, researchers, music historians, photographer, and other creative/geeky types as neighbours. Being a part of a larger creative community is an important part of our collaborative and interdisciplinary aims. The location is also very close to the monorail and easily accessible by a younger public who rely on public transportation to get around KL. We envision the Centre to be a space where the bulk of our archiving work will take place, alongside public programmes such as talks, reading groups and workshops for children and young adults.

Malaysia Design Archive
Lot 84B, The Zhongshan Building
Jalan Rotan, Kampung Attap,
50460 Kuala Lumpur,

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