LKC FES Architecture students emerge as top winners in design competition

Bachelor of Science (Honours) Architecture students from Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) emerged as top four winners in the “UTOPIA Architecture Students Design Competition 2020” held from 30 December 2019 to 18 January 2020. The competition was organised by the Malaysia Architecture Students Alliance (MASA). The winners were announced on 18 January 2020. The award ceremony was held at Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) office. Presenting the award were judges Ar Muhammad Qhawarizmi Norhisham and Ar Adrianta Aziz.

The competition aimed to collect the creation of a dynamic and adaptive vertical or horizontal community and encourage the exploration and adaption of new habitats and territories. It also aimed to look for an adaptive design capable of intelligent growth through the self-regulation of its own systems. Themed ‘Utopia’, the competition provided participants with an opportunity to present their ideas on the visions of our future imagined world as ‘UTOPIA’ can be on defining their own definition of a ‘perfect’ place.

As the competition also recognises outstanding and creative ideas that define the future city through the implementation of future technologies, materials, planning and organisations, the competition also served as a platform for the students to showcase their best works to the public with the intention to look for opportunity and make connections with others.

The first prize winners were Lau Chi Ying and Lim Chen Hee, who won RM300 and certificates for their project titled “Dandelion Dream”. It was designed by applying the metaphor of dandelion flower as a modular to redefine a new interpretation of a future city in terms of implementation of future technologies, materials, planning and organisation.

From left: Ar Muhammad, Lau, Lim and Ar Adrianta at the award ceremony

“As the future metropolis is moving towards a high-tech era and there might be some loss of humanity, we hope to trace and preserve the glory of nature and virgin forest from the past to the future generation and those living in a people-oriented world,” explained Lau and Lim.

“We participated in this competition, with the intention to challenge a new attempt, but we really did not expect this win. We also did not expect that we would get the opportunity to share our ideas and works at the Archidex webinar. This experience has taught me that chances will be presented to those who are well-prepared. A person who never makes mistakes will never try new things, so I believe we must be courageous to explore new horizons and seize the opportunities,” said Lau.

“We enjoyed the design development process and we are grateful for the opportunity to present our idea of a future city. It was really exciting when we won but there are still many aspects that we can improve on our project. Hence, it will be a new challenge and milestone for us in our architectural journey. In order to succeed, we must first believe we can. We defined ourselves as ‘comfort zone escapers’ because we know the best way to learn more is by stepping out of our comfort zones. Although we would have different opinions at times, we will eventually find solutions to the problems,” said Lim.

Lau and Lim also presented their winning project at the Archidex Fast Forward Webinar Series (Education) on 29 August 2020. The webinar, titled “Digital Innovation for Future Cities”, was organised by MASA.

The third prize winner was Chong Wai Xuan, who won RM100 and a certificate. His winning project was titled “Metempsychosis”.

“It was an honour to receive the third prize and the experience was rewarding. When preparing for the competition, I was actually in the midst of completing my three-month internship, hence it was rather challenging for me to balance my time between my internship and the project. However, I managed to pull through and the result was positive. The winning makes the entire journey worthwhile and I am grateful to UTAR for nurturing me with the right skills and knowledge to do well in this competition. I am also thankful to the competition organiser for enabling our voices to be heard and for providing us with a platform to showcase our talents,” enthused Chong.

From left: Ar Muhammad, Chong and Ar Adrianta at the award ceremony

“My aim with this project was to tackle the current world issue, which is to solve the problems of pollution and the consequences of those pollutions. As we know, pollution happens due to illegal deforestation, open burning and improper disposal of fuel and toxic wastes, which lead to various problems, including rising global climate and disruption of ecosystems. Metempsychosis is defined as “the supposed transmigration at the death of the souls of a human being or animal into a new body of the same or a different species”. The transmigration in this Utopia is towards the natural elements that were taken away by mankind, with the aim to sustain global balance; similar to the concept of giving back what was taken. The newly replaced elements will play the same role as the object that it replaces; for example, its functions and outlook, in order to maintain the element’s natural role and order,” explained Chong.

The fourth prize winner was Terrance Tian Kai Wei, who won a certificate. His winning project was titled “Flugel”, which means wings in German.

“I used this word because I wanted it to symbolise freedom, which very much relates to my design concept too. The main intention was to create vertical green living to minimise the harm towards Earth, which can result from overdevelopment of urban areas, leading to deforestation. This idea was also to make renewable energy as the main source of energy supply, as well as to use innovative technology, such as rocket system, for transportation. Fundamentally, this design concept combines existing concepts of future living and integrates it with technology,” explained Tian.

“Having able to share this idea was rewarding and I think it’s a good start for me to improve myself and the project. The judges also provided valuable feedback and gave me great suggestions to improve the project. I have learnt so much while preparing this project, and it was truly a good experience participating in this competition. I am grateful to UTAR and the organiser for this opportunity to learn something new!” enthused Tian.

From left: Ar Muhammad, Tian and Ar Adrianta at the award ceremony

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