THROUGHOUT the annals of history, the architecture profession has always been a time-honoured one that has left a physical legacy to mark the passing ages.
The role of an architect, however, has grown to encompass other related professions to truly make an impact on the community and society in general.
UCSI University Faculty of Engineering, Technology and Built Environment School of Architecture and Built Environment (SABE) deputy dean Asst Prof Ar Chia Lin Lin says: “Architects today need to have better understanding of interdisciplinary collaboration. Today, we are seeing architects explore other aspects of building, such as materials, new technology, engineering as well as IR4.0 elements.
“There is a need to embrace all the different disciplines and technology in the field of architecture to push towards new horizons. The time has come for architects to take the leap of faith.”
As a praxis university, UCSI offers a hands-on education that prepares students for their future. As part of this concept, several academics in SABE are practitioners who have found their niche in the field and aspire to mould and nurture students to reach their full potential.
SABE head Asst Prof Teoh Chee Keong says: “We are expecting architects to be more professional and play a role in helping the Government safeguard issues concerning the general public.
“Towards this end, education is much concerned about the broader aspects of architecture and emphasises the importance of creating responsible citizens who understand that architecture is for all layers of society.
“We also want to create architects who can foresee issues that will arise in built environment in future.”
SABE students work on community projects which give them the chance to speak to a lay audience and change perceptions towards architecture as being unattainable to the masses.
Through this, students work together with the community and non-government organisations (NGOs) to understand the real issues in society.
One such community project was the Vernadoc Taiping Market project, whereby students were given the opportunity to evaluate and assess the cultural values of the market.
As part of the project, their work was also displayed at a public exhibition. SABE students were also involved in the Sungai Buloh leprosy settlement project to build a small museum in the community.
Asst Prof Teoh says: “SABE complies with and fulfills the expectations of Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM). We are constantly exploring more and understanding the values of humanity within architecture. ‘Empathy architecture’ puts the heart back into architecture with compassion for the user and empathy for the environment.”
A collation between the Master of Architecture (LAM Part-2 accredited) and Bachelor of Science (Hons) Architecture (LAM Part-1 accredited) provides the academic pathway towards achieving the status of an acclaimed professional.
Upon fulfilling requirements, students can move on to complete the Master of Architecture and register as professional architects.
For those who want to go further, PhD courses are also available in specific fields.
Additionally, a new platform Colllab (Collaborative lab) has been created to gather alumni, students and academics to work on meaningful projects – giving rise for more opportunities in collaborating and building students’ skills and network in the industry.
A recent graduate, Tien Jun Xiang, says: “My journey at UCSI inspired me to think critically from a different perspective. The university not only taught me to become a better architect, but also as a better person.”
Meanwhile, another SABE alumni Ar Phyllis Wong started her architect firm and a small baking studio last year.
“UCSI gave me a platform to challenge the limits and continuously be a better person. With the support from my lecturers, I continued to pursue my Part 2 and 3 in architecture and finally completed my professional in year 2019.”
Asst Prof Teoh adds that many students have been hired even before graduation thanks to the skills developed during real-life projects and the hands-on experience. “Most important of all is their attitude and willingness to learn,” he says.
Take the first step towards becoming an architect with SABE today. Visit www.ucsiuniversity.com.my or contact 03-9101 8882/011-3592 0893.The university will be hosting its eEnrolment day from now until Sept 24.