Cultivating design-thinking in grads

  • Education
  • Thursday, 16 Aug 2018

A group photo of students from the School of Architecture, Building and Design and The Design School during Activity Week in Rome, Italy

ARCHITECTS and designers today are confronted with an interesting choice – the professions are in between “utopia and oblivion”.

Choosing utopia requires tackling major societal or customer challenges and integrating technology into products.

The usage of sensors, smart devices and software makes it possible to learn what is happening to a product, how people interact with them and its effects. This translates and communicates the value of a business idea to consumers and is a fundamental part of creating a sense of belonging to the brand. It is no surprise then that many of the world’s top brands such as Apple, Pixar and Uniqlo are also design leaders.

Furthermore, designers play a crucial role in contributing towards the enhancement of the functionality of goods and services, directly impacting the profitability and success of a company.

According to the UK Design Council, 83% of design-led companies have doubled their market. From this, Fortune 500 companies and many top universities agree design thinking is an essential skill to own upon graduation.

The School of Architecture, Building and Design and The Design School at Taylor’s University believe in celebrating good design by applying the best of analytical and creative thinking to produce creative and practical business solutions.

Taylor’s University students from the School of Building, Architecture and Design finalise their structure before their presentation.

“A distinguishing feature of the Schools’ programmes is its cross-disciplinary nature,” says Faculty of Built Environment, Engineering, Technology and Design executive dean Dr David Asirvatham.

“Throughout their studies, students are encouraged to investigate a broad range of essential design ideas, principles and practices, and challenge the conventional parameters of design and its thinking.”

To support these creative thinking skills, the faculty provides state-of-the-art facilities such as the latest 3D design software, 3D printers, laser-cutters, design studios, photography studio and many more.

Students pursuing their degree in architecture, interior architecture, quantity surveying and creative media are given the opportunity to travel to explore new surroundings, cultures and languages that enhance their appreciation for design ideas.

Students learn the art of printing in the Printmaking Room at The Design School, Taylor’s University.

Through the annual activity week, field trips and site visits, students are given the option to travel to local sites as well as cities like Rome, Tokyo, Berlin and Krakow to immerse themselves in real-life architecture, culture and design concepts of these cities.

“In promoting a sense of good design, the Schools provide an avenue for creative outlets which stimulate design thinking,” says Dr Asirvatham.

“They are committed to expand and shift the paradigm of visual education and the creative process, which extends beyond the traditional confines of the classroom, instilling great awareness of different perceptions and values.”

The School’s extensive academic links and industry alliances ensure programmes are benchmarked against industry standards, remaining relevant with the latest trends.

Recently, the School partnered with the Klang City Rejuvenation (KCR) committee and Think City to help revitalise Klang town through the KCR programme – an urban design plan to address the needs of the Klang community.

Students at The Design School explore with various materials for their projects – piecing them all together in the Design Studio at Taylor’s University.

The collaboration is also a part of Taylor’s University’s flagship research project Rejuvenating Forgotten Waterfront Settlements in Malaysia, with Specific Reference to the Royal Town of Klang.

The university is committing to research into possible transformational needs of Klang town, headed by the School of Architecture, Building and Design. The students and academia will engage in research that focuses on five components to inform their design process for the city – identity and belonging, inclusive education, urban walkability, water management as well as food and place.

The School’s architecture programmes are accredited by the Board of Architects Malaysia, making Taylor’s University the first private university in Malaysia to achieve this recognition.

Additionally, the Quantity Surveying (QS) programme is also acknowledged and accredited by leading international boards including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Pacific

Association of Quantity Surveyors (PAQS) and the Board of Quantity Surveyors Malaysia (BQSM).

The RICS and PAQS accreditations place QS graduates on par with international standards, meeting the requirements for professional surveyors from over 140 countries.

Create value by solving problems at its roots by contacting Taylor’s University at 03-5629 5000, e-mail or log on to for details.

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