Designing solutions that matter
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.