USM architecture students grab first and second prizes in inaugural challenge


Overjoyed: First-prize winners (from left) Chew, Lau, Ng, Mun and Saifudin from USM’s Team Spark.

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) students grabbed the top two spots in the inaugural UDA Structura Design Challenge 2014.

The contest was meant to unearth the nation’s hidden gems in the field of design and architecture.

Team Spark comprising USM students Chew Hung Nien, Lau Kar Choon, Nicolas Ng Jin Szach, Mun Kai Hoang and Saifudin Mohd Salim bagged RM50,000 as the first prize winners.

Meanwhile, Team Catalyst comprising Chew Kah Heng, Choo Siew Ying, Monica Caroline Shenton, Syamira Suib and Lim Ai-Yin won second place and took home RM30,000.

USM Assoc Prof Dr Muna Hanim Abdul Samad said the lecturers were responsible for overseeing the projects.

“USM’s Studio Department helped the students produce the videos.

“We are grateful for the support from USM Architecture programme head Prof Dr Ahmad Sanusi Hassan and USM School of Housing, Building and Planning dean Assoc Prof Dr Aldrin Abdullah.

“Our students have won several awards since 2013 and this has inspired their peers to strive harder,” said Dr Muna.

USM had won first and second place in the 2013 Construction Industry Development Board Green Space Awards last year and had an honorary mention in the Lafarge Affordable Housing Competition last year.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Skudai finished third and won RM20,000.

Three consolation prizes of RM10,000 were won by Universiti Malaya, UTM Skudai and UTM Kuala Lumpur.

Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan, who presented the prizes, said the competition provided a platform for students to showcase their talents.

“We want students in higher education institutions to be creative and innovative to face the corporate world,” he said.

UDA Holdings Bhd Group chief operating officer (Property Development) Datuk Mohd Marzuk Basir said they were pleased with the quality of the submissions.

“We had 26 teams sending their designs and it was hard to pick the winner as all of them were great with outstanding research and development, ideas and creativity,” he said.

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