Ahti Westphal (MS Arch/Sustainable Design) Works to Preserve Cham Culture in Cambodia

Ahti Westphal (MS Architecture/Sustainable Design) recently updated us on the progress he is making in Cambodia on the development of the Cambodian Center for Cham Studies. The Center's purpose is to preserve the Cham culture and language for generations to come.

While the Cham have resided in Cambodia for centuries, little connection exists today within the Cham diaspora due to years of genocide and political unrest. Westphal, who has previously worked with the renowned architect Maya Lin in New York and has worked extensively abroad, was a key facilitator in leading the Inaugural Symposium for the Cambodian Center for Cham Studies last month. Once complete, the Center will offer the Cham people a venue to publicly exhibit their culture and serve as the focus for reviving interest in Cham history, language and traditional practices.

"For my Masters of Science in Sustainable Design I developed this project over the course of the past several years," said Westphal. "My approach to sustainable design is one that really focuses on building culture and people, rather than just hard science. If we cannot save the ancient and beautiful pieces of our collective cultural history as a species and learn from the past, then we have no chance in the future. The Cham Cultural Center is a very complex endeavor involving international diplomacy, politics, inside knowledge, cultural respect and sensitivity, and strategic planning - and this inaugural event has only galvanized my commitment to the project."

To read more about Ahti Westphal and his project in Cambodia, check out the links below:

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CHAM 2.jpg Images provided by Ahti Westphal