De­sign­ing so­lu­tions that mat­ter

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - EDUCATION GUIDE -

tHE world of in­te­rior de­sign is con­stantly evolv­ing. To meet the ever-chang­ing needs of the peo­ple and to in­vent so­lu­tions that tackle global crises, the teach­ing of in­te­rior ar­chi­tec­ture needs to be per­ti­nent to cur­rent trends and is­sues tak­ing place glob­ally.

As such, to­day’s in­te­rior ar­chi­tects need to be equipped with not only a broad body of knowl­edge but also the skills to adapt their de­signs to a chang­ing world.

The burn­ing ques­tion is, “How are they im­bued with this adap­tive trait?”

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”, UCSI stu­dents bagged first and sec­ond place 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.

Pas­sion for en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion

Head­ing the 11-man win­ning team in the In­stal­la­tion De­sign cat­e­gory, fi­nal year stu­dents Morteza Bo­zorgi and Ed­ward Gan cre­ated a unique struc­ture fully made us­ing re­cy­cled items that demon­strates their pas­sion to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment.

They cre­ated a wooden box with an in­ter­nal ro­tat­ing gear in­spired by team­work and au­to­mo­tive sys­tems. Re­moval of any part will cause the ma­chin­ery to stop work­ing.

Bo­zorgi points out that this is very much like a team project.

“We also wanted ob­servers to join in the fun by us­ing the han­dle to spin the wheel. When they do, you can hear the ‘voice of their emo­tions’ through the gear mo­tions,” he says.

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 to a lovely re­treat.

De­cid­ing to rein­vent an ex­ist­ing build­ing, she took four el­e­ments – earth, air, wa­ter and wood – and weaved each into sep­a­rate bed­rooms to cre­ate dif­fer­ent moods.

While each bed­room is unique, the key mes­sage Tan un­der­scores is the im­por­tance of pre­serv­ing Mother Na­ture and she hopes that her art­work suc­cess­fully con­veys that to those who view it.

The right space to work and play

The ur­ban sprawl has also sparked much dis­tress among in­te­rior ar­chi­tects and one as­pir­ing in­te­rior ar­chi­tect, Wong Sye Jia, who was placed first in Res­i­den­tial De­sign.

Draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion from the small of­fice/ home of­fice (SOHO) 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.

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 wor­thy to note 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.

To find out more about UCSI Univer­sity’s School of Ar­chi­tec­ture and Built En­vi­ron­ment, call 03-9101 8882 or e-mail www.uc­si­u­ni­ver­sity.edu.my/on­li­neen­quiry. Info Days will be held on Dec 21 and 22 from 9am to 5pm.

Bo­zorgi do­ing a quick check on the struc­ture af­ter the 17th MIID In­te­rior De­sign Com­pe­ti­tion.

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