GWKL 2019 | DiptoのBento Workshop

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ME.REKA Makerspace

Lot 1-3, Level G1 Publika Shopping Gallery, Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1

Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan 50480

Malaysia

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Event description
“Dipterocarps,” Greek for two-winged (dipteros) fruit (karpos), are the trees that changed the course of Malaysia’s history.

About this Event

In conjunction with Gallery Weekend Kuala Lumpur this coming November, we are hosting a Bicara session with The Tropicalist to talk about what is Dipterocarps.

“Dipterocarps,” Greek for two-winged (dipteros) fruit (karpos), are the trees that changed the course of Malaysia’s history. You didn’t know that?

Well, we’ve got it all bento-ed for you. Calling all Tropicalists!

Let’s Bicara about our roots, quite literally, at the Me.reka!

Event date: 17 November 2019

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If there is a tree that could be said to be truly Malaysian, it would be the mighty dipterocarp.In height and girth it dominates the forest landscape of Malaysia, and in commercial value too, it has, in the past, dominated the economic landscape of Malaysia.

Immense Height

Frequently growing to dizzying heights of 80m or more--the tallest trees in the tropics-- these trees dominate the canopies of lowland rainforests of Malaysia.

Yet, it is not that easy for trees to grow to such heights in the dark under storeys of the rainforest, where not that much light penetrates.

It is said sometimes, the life of a dipterocarp can only begin with the death of another.

It is only when a gap in forest canopy forms, through the death of a canopy tree, that saplings and poles get enough light to actually begin growing.

Even then, they must grow quickly, because it's not long before the canopy gap is rapidly filled by growth from surrounding trees.

Until that happens, seedlings must bide their time, leaning to tolerate shade and slow down their growth. Only those that can do so successfully, make it to adulthood.

Flowering canopyEvery few years, the dipterocarpaceae of Borneo burst into flower simultaneously, turning the forest canopy from green to yellow--sometimes over an area as large as Sabah--in a spectacle that has attracted much interest from ecologists and scientists.

Why this happens, nobody is quite sure.

There is a theory that it usually follows a drought of some sort-- a plant flowers when it is in distress in order to attract pollinators to raise its chances of survival--such as El Nino.

Economic Significance

The economic value of dipterocarpaceae cannot be overstated.

Historically, during more environmentally conscious times, every part of the tree had economic use--the timber, the resin (used as fuel), the seeds, the leaves, so on.

From the onset of the colonial age, however, the trees were harvested primarily for their timber.

While history books often talk about the spice trade bringing Europeans to Malaysia, it is just as likely that they stayed to exploit the valuable timber in Malaysian forests.

Most commercially significant species:

- Dryobanalops aromatica or Camphor

- Chengal tree

- Sal tree

- Explanation of name

The name dipterocarp refers to the two/di winged/ptero fruit/karpos produced by this family of trees.

Origin

The dipeterocarpaceae originated millions of years ago on the Gondwananan super continent.

When the Indian subcontinent broke off Gondwana to collide with the rest of Asia, it brought on board with it a majestic embassy of dipterocarpaceae.

Once they arrived at the shores of the Asian mainland, the dipterocarpaceae quickly established themselves throughout Southeast Asia, with the most number of species found in Borneo.

Date and Time

Location

ME.REKA Makerspace

Lot 1-3, Level G1 Publika Shopping Gallery, Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1

Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan 50480

Malaysia

View Map

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