A Visit to the Institute of South East Asian Studies

Today, I had the opportunity to visit the Institute of South East Asian Studies (ISEAS). If you’re not familiar with it, this is the institute that publishes several books about South East Asia (nooo… really?) on a wide array of topics, but usually on cultural studies, economics, history, politics, and sociology. I’ve read several books published by them.

What makes this place so unique, that it’s worth visiting to take a look, is that their building looks something like a spa resort!


Look at that! Just standing outside looking at it makes me feel so relaxed!

Here are more picture of the exterior:


Here’s a look at the interior. Here’s the central passage way linking the front block to the library block. It really reminds me a lot of a spa resort.


If that’s not enough, you have beautiful lush greenery surrounding you on both sides of the passage way to enhance the spa resort effect!




Beautiful, isn’t it?

Well, what I loved the most about this place was the library!



What makes this library so wonderful is the arrangement of the study/work tables and reading chairs. They’ve cleverly arranged them such that you always have a nice view to gaze at and ponder while you work on your research.





At the moment there’s some construction going on at the back. But even with the construction work, there’s a really beautiful view of the garden if you sat there. Can you see the greenery in the photo below?


Oh… If only I could go there and do my work. There’s only a handful of people there doing research. Unfortunately, this library is a private library and is restricted only to members of the institute and to students whose professors have written to the institute to permit them to use the resources here.

Apart from the lush gardens and a really serene library with a great view, there’s also the Research Wing of the institute.


Behind each door is a researcher pouring through books, books, and more books! Commentaries, statistics, reports, ideas, etc. They’re all busy researching, reading, and writing – preparing their next journal article or book.


Or they could be Facebooking. =p

The work environment’s amazing! Every friend of mine who’s passed by or walk through this place has expressed a huge wish to work here. What’s not to like? With an environment like a spa resort, it probably helps reduce the stress and tension of work.

We need more work spaces like this!