Taylor’s enriches digital talent pool with futuristic focused programmes

  • Nation
  • Monday, 16 Jan 2023

(from left) Dr Soon Lam Tatt, senior lecturer in the School of Architecture, Building and Design; Dr Charles Sharma Naidu, director of VORTEX XR Lab; Din Tan Chin Seng, programme director of the Bachelor of Interactive Spatial Design (Honours); Dr Pouline Koh Chai Lin, head of School for The Design School; Prof Dr David Asirvatham, executive dean, Faculty of Innovation and Technology; Dr Sujatavani Gunasagaran, programme director of the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sustainable Digital Construction Management; Assoc Prof Dr Veronica Ng, head of School for the School of Architecture, Building and Design and Faisal Athar Mohd Fadzil, XR specialist of VORTEX XR Lab at the launch of Malaysia’s first-of-its-kind futuristic focused programmes enhanced with Southeast Asia’s world-class future of extended reali

PETALING JAYA: Taylor’s University launches Malaysia’s first-of-its-kind programmes, the Bachelor of Interactive Spatial Design (Honours) and Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sustainable Digital Construction Management, to produce future-ready graduates to meet the demand for digital talent.

Offered under the Faculty of Innovation and Technology, the programmes are fabricated to nurture students with transferable soft skills such as critical thinking, effective communication, creativity, and adaptability to greatly boost success in the working environment, apart from broad-based knowledge attained.

Taylor’s University Faculty of Innovation and Technology executive dean, Prof Dr David Asirvatham, said the innovative programmes are complemented with Southeast Asia’s world-class future of extended reality (XR) learning centre, Taylor’s Virtual Online Future Technology and Extended Reality (VORTEX XR Lab).

“The XR facility integrating augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) with an investment of more than RM1.2mil has access to the latest real-life extended reality equipment and specialised skills, useful for teaching and learning content creation as well as for ideation, designing, and prototyping immersive experiences – in line with the varsity’s ongoing XR efforts, its journey to transform its curriculum and pedagogy by embedding tech skills and modules into degrees, and the overall growth of immersive technologies,” he said.

The VORTEX XR Lab supports all schools from hospitality and architecture to design, law, communication, medicine, culinary arts, and others.

Bachelor of Interactive Spatial Design (Honours)

The Bachelor of Interactive Spatial Design is designed to answer current world demands with technological advancement. Engaged through immersive learning, students will learn the theoretical foundations of spatial design alongside immersive technology and automation content for indoor and outdoor environments.

Global research and advisory firm Gartner predicted that 70% of enterprises, especially the retail sector will be experimenting with immersive technologies for consumers. Thus, graduates are not only needed to fulfil Malaysia's 2050 vision for highly functional living that is driven by immersive technology but are also needed to meet the demand for such skills.

The programme offers two specialisations, Smart Homes Design and Smart Environment Design, and students have three learning track options to choose from – conventional internship, work-based learning experience with industry partners such as FrameMotion Studio Sdn Bhd, Virtual X Malaysia, Ministry XR, HONOR and IMT Smart Home, or the technopreneurship mode that provides students an opportunity to start a business with mentorship by Taylor’s University’s entrepreneur start-up incubator, BizPod.

The Smart Homes Design specialisation produces designers to create a personalised smart living space that can operate automatically, catering to individual needs and living styles, while the Smart Environment Design specialisation designs experience to change the way we interact with products and consume information using spatial technologies.

According to Din Tan Chin Seng, programme director of the Bachelor of Interactive Spatial Design, the programme focuses on producing digitally design savvy designers, technologist and techpreneurs to stimulate immersive spatial experiences of urban spaces, performances, museums, galleries, and many more.

The discipline combines digital technology and traditional spatial design principles to improve the ways we interact with our surroundings as we have been using the environment as a medium to promote play, engagement, and communication.

“Today, brands and businesses are eager to take advantage of spatial-based technologies to engage their customers with interactive spatial experiences for marketing or social benefits.

“Besides, the design market size is expected to gain market growth with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 7.9% reaching 214,860 million by 2025.

“Hence, there is a growing demand for spatial designers who are able to design with interaction and space in mind,” added Din.

Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sustainable Digital Construction Management

As for the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Digital Construction Management, the programme is well-mapped to align with the competency standard and educational framework by the Construction Industry Development Board and Chartered Institute of Building.

The degree aims to prepare graduates in addressing the challenges of sustainability and digital transformation in the construction industry.

The programme is co-led by industry leaders and partners such as Eco World Development Group Bhd and Green Quarter Sdn Bhd ensuring hands-on practical experience in the built environment and industrial relevance on the curriculum developed. Students will have two learning track options to choose from – conventional internship or a year-long work-based learning experience with reputable industry partners to prepare graduates for the local and global Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry.

The programme offers two specialisations, Green Construction and Smart Construction.

While Smart Construction modules introduce technology that can improve construction management practices using the Internet of Things, Advanced Building Information Modelling (BIM) and extended reality in construction, Green Construction promotes energy conservation, waste reduction, and recycling emphasising sustainability approaches.

The specialisation for this new programme is aligned with the Construction 4.0 Strategic Plan 2021–2025 presented by the Construction Industry Development Board and is pertinent to Construction 4.0, as green businesses will contribute approximately 1.5% by 2030 to the nation's Gross Domestic Product, equivalent to RM60 billion.

According to Dr Sujatavani Gunasagaran, programme director of the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Digital Construction Management, the curriculum specifically tackles the BIM for construction management and planning as students need to be equipped with the digital skills to be at the forefront to support the digitalised construction industry.

Along with helping students embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the programme also incorporates digital technology like laser scanning, drones, artificial intelligence, AR, and 3D printing.

“An Industry Advisory Panel will work closely to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas between the board members to ensure industrial relevance is kept.

“They will also provide advice and assistance on curriculum development according to the latest needs, trends, and employment skills of graduates to become a green building construction manager, sustainability analyst, digital technologist, or smart technologist, among others,” added Dr Sujatavani.

The degree programme will also see adjunct lecturers who are local and global industry experts, invited to conduct classes.

“The blistering pace of the digital economy will open up more job opportunities, and while digital transformation is less about technology and more about people today, the ability to develop the next generation of skills, closing the gap between talent supply and demand by introducing futuristic focused programmes is essential.

“Such graduates then accelerate the nation’s digital economy for business continuity, recovery, and resilience,” added Prof Asirvatham.

Taylor's University’s new programmes will be open for its first intake of students in March 2023, and has two intakes yearly in March and August.

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