24-hour design project tests architect students’ creativity
By Patricia Hului
WHAT STUDENTS LEARN IN the classroom will take form once given the opportunity to put them into practice outside the classroom.
That was what Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia Sarawak Chapter (PAMSC) did by giving a glimpse of the working world in to some 43 architectural students in a workshop held at Limkokwing Borneo Campus from July 25 to 26.
During the PAMSC Limkokwing 24 Hour Design Workshop, the students were given 24 hours to design a cultural pavilion to celebrate a key figure in Sarawakian history; former Sarawak Museum director Tom Harrisson.
The students were required to create physical space for the display and dissemination of information about Harrisson and the recommended size is 2.4×2.4×2.4 m.
According to PAMSC chairman Mike Boon, “The important thing is to teach students and give them opportunity to design studio in a short time frame and some of them actually stayed overnight to work around the clock.”
He asserted, “That is how we worked as students and sometimes what we do in the office.”
The participants were divided into 10 groups led by six facilitators.
Boon also said, “This particular exercise is interesting because there is no particular reason why we chose Tom Harrisson.”
Nonetheless, Boon emphasised that the project was to understand some historical figures, understand their lives and what they do and do a design based on that.
The final cultural pavilion would be an abstraction of the figure, he said.
He also mentioned that the workshop was research-based and that the students had to think, analyse, filter and process the information and think another way to present it.
Some of the students explored Harrisson’s love for birds while some tried to continue his anthropological legacy in their design.
“What is more important is not just ideas, they have to think about a structure that is build-able,” he added.
The students need to take into account various factors including construction, materials used and even vandalism.
The cultural pavilion also must be easy to dismantle and re-assemble elsewhere.
In the end, the winning design is an installation inspired by Marco Cianfanelli’s sculpture made of 50 steel columns up to 9.5 metres tall arranged to form a portrait of Nelson Mandela.
The winning design will be using pixelated portrait of Tom Harrisson and expected to be at least 3m tall.
According to Boon, the installation will be erected this October in conjunction with World Architecture Day.
The proposed site for the cultural pavilion is in Padang Merdeka.
Stay updated with The Borneo Post SEEDS this October for the final outcome of PAMSC Limkokwing 24 Hour Design Workshop.
The workshop is sponsored by United GI Products Sdn Bhd (UGI).
The next workshop is scheduled this September in University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) Sibu.