De­sign­ing so­lu­tions that mat­ter

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - HIGHER EDUCATION -

THE world of in­te­rior de­sign is con­stantly evolv­ing. As such, to­day’s in­te­rior ar­chi­tects need to be equipped with not just knowl­edge but also the skills to adapt their de­signs to a chang­ing world.

At UCSI Univer­sity, in­te­rior ar­chi­tec­ture stu­dents are con­stantly in­tro­duced to key is­sues and trends in the field through var­i­ous plat­forms. This in­cludes the re­cent 17th MIID In­te­rior De­sign Com­pe­ti­tion or­gan­ised by the Malaysian In­sti­tute of In­te­rior De­sign­ers that saw a group of stu­dents clinch 13 prizes in var­i­ous cat­e­gories.

Themed “Re-in­vent”, the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion saw UCSI stu­dents bag­ging first and sec­ond places in Res­i­den­tial De­sign and Com­mer­cial De­sign, first place in Hos­pi­tal­ity De­sign, In­stal­la­tion De­sign and Per­for­mance and another six awards in other cat­e­gories.

Forty five of them from UCSI’s School of Ar­chi­tec­ture and Built En­vi­ron­ment teamed up to net the mul­ti­ple wins, no­tably the big­gest haul in the school’s his­tory.

Head­ing the 11-man win­ning team in the In­stal­la­tion De­sign cat­e­gory were fi­nal year stu­dents Morteza Bo­zorgi and Ed­ward Gan who cre­ated a unique struc­ture us­ing re­cy­cled items.

The team cre­ated a wooden box with an in­ter­nal ro­tat­ing gear to show­case team­work and au­to­mo­tive sys­tems – any part re­moved will cause the ma­chin­ery to stop work­ing. “Work­ing along the com­pe­ti­tion’s think­in­side-the-box theme, our de­sign en­ables us to ‘think’ in­side the box but chan­nel out through the pro­tru­sions at the top dif­fer­ent thoughts, ideas and el­e­ments,” Bo­zorgi ex­plains, adding that each el­e­ment rep­re­sents val­ues like in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity.

Equally strong in her be­lief for eco-friendly struc­tures is Tan Chir Eye who clinched first place in the Hos­pi­tal­ity De­sign cat­e­gory. Fo­cus­ing on eco-liv­ing space, Tan’s con­cept board ti­tled “where sim­plic­ity meets na­ture” saw her con­vert­ing an aban­doned build­ing in Port Dick­son in Negri Sembilan into a lovely re­treat. She took four el­e­ments – earth, air, wa­ter and wood – and used them in sep­a­rate bed­rooms to cre­ate dif­fer­ent moods.

“The earth room is all about eco-con­scious­ness, like grow­ing plants while the Air (room) is more about good air ven­ti­la­tion,” the bub­bly teenager says of her de­sign.

“The wood room places em­pha­sis on the art of zen while I’ve de­signed a pool un­der the wa­ter room. Here, I’ve ap­plied ‘smart glass’ to the floor so the view of the pool can be switched on and off eas­ily, giv­ing users the im­pres­sion that they are ‘walk­ing’ on wa­ter.”

The key mes­sage Tan un­der­scores is the im­por­tance of pre­serv­ing Mother Na­ture and hopes that her art­work suc­cess­fully con­veys that.

Wong Sye Jia, who placed first in Res­i­den­tial De­sign, drew in­spi­ra­tion from the small of­fice/home of­fice con­cept. She de­signed a com­pact-yet-cosy home to tackle the is­sues of not just un­con­trolled ur­ban de­vel­op­ment but also ex­or­bi­tant land prices.

As part of her project, she in­ter­viewed Malaysian sculp­tor Ram­lan Ab­dul­lah and was able to de­sign an “ex­pand­able home” that em­pha­sises on in­ter­con­nect­ing peo­ple.

With­out ques­tion, such ex­pe­ri­ences pro­vide a good plat­form to help stu­dents like Wong, Tan and Bo­zorgi’s team re­late de­sign to the real-life needs of the com­mu­nity.

By con­sis­tently ex­pos­ing stu­dents to hands-on projects and com­pe­ti­tions, the school has shown ex­em­plary com­mit­ment to nur­ture learn­ers who ac­tively take on lead­er­ship roles to tackle global crises and in­dus­try con­cerns.

It is worth not­ing that UCSI is the first pri­vate in­sti­tu­tion of higher learn­ing in Malaysia to be awarded an ac­cred­i­ta­tion by the Board of Ar­chi­tects Malaysia and the Malaysian Qual­i­fi­ca­tions Agency for the BA (Hons) In­te­rior Ar­chi­tec­ture de­gree pro­gramme.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call 03-9101 8882 or e-mail www.uc­si­u­ni­ver­sity.edu.my/on­li­neen­quiry/. You can also drop by its Open Days on Dec 14 and 15 (9am-5pm).

UCSI In­te­rior Ar­chi­tec­ture stu­dents pos­ing for a group shot with UCSI vice-chan­cel­lor and pres­i­dent Prof Datuk Dr Khalid Yu­soff (mid­dle) at a gallery af­ter the 17th MIID In­te­rior De­sign Com­pe­ti­tion.

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