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March 17, 2024 | Campus News

Mostafa Elsayed Elsayed Marzouk, a Master of Arts in Design Innovation Management student from the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU), has been awarded the Grand Prize in the 2023 Global Capstone Design Competition for his project, 'Murni,' in the Public Facilities Design category, inspired by local culture.

Murni, which means 'pure' in Malay, is not just a public washroom but a reflection of Malaysian culture. Mostafa designed it to meet the demand for cleaner public facilities. The project utilises rainwater harvested and filtered from nature, presenting a sustainable environmental approach. The design incorporates a pattern of Hibiscus blossoms and traditional Malay wood carvings for aesthetic appeal, merging existing technology with innovation to create a self-cleaning public utility.

Murni, a cutting-edge sanitary solution, maximises water efficiency and cleanliness by harvesting Malaysia's rainfall through a strategically positioned rain catcher. A sophisticated filtration system purifies rainwater before it reaches the tank.

Its automatic self-cleaning system utilises rainwater and eco-friendly solutions, ensuring thorough sanitisation of the toilet bowl and surfaces. Advanced sensors and energy-efficient components minimise electricity usage, optimising sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

In case of insufficient rainwater, Murni seamlessly switches to the local water supply, guaranteeing uninterrupted operation and maintaining hygiene standards during periods of limited rainfall. Additionally, the project aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), specifically Goal 11 (make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable) and Goal 6 (ensure access to clean water and sanitation).

Supervised and mentored by Mr Eekang Ooi, a Certified Industrial Designer (CIDe) Lecturer at APU’s School of Media, Art and Design (SoMAD), the project secured the Grand Prize in the Global Capstone Design Competition 2023 – Public Facilities Design Project Based on Local Culture Award.

The competition, a collaboration between APU and Jeonju University (JJU), aimed to promote innovation and cultural exchange. It brought together Korean and Malaysian universities to design product concepts inspired by their respective cultures.

Professor Song Joo of JJU’s Department of Industrial Design spearheaded the initiative, supported by the Korean Ministry of Education, the Leaders in Industry-University Cooperation (LINC 3.0) program, and the Korea Research Foundation. He worked closely with Mr Liew Yong Kian, Lecturer of SoMAD, for this competition.

The online competition, which took place from September to December 2023, received over 50 design entries from various universities. Ten shortlisted projects, including Murni, were presented to a panel of judges, and the winners were announced in early 2024.

Mostafa, originally from Egypt, emphasised the significance of cultural infusion in design. He stated, "The competition is more than just awards and recognition; it creates a unique opportunity to network with international design communities."

Mr Eekang Ooi highlighted the exposure APU students gained by participating alongside international designers, providing diverse viewpoints and pushing the boundaries of conventional thinking. He concluded, "The feedback from the judges was not simply an assessment but a masterclass in understanding and appreciating design through a global lens."

In addition to Mostafa's success, APU Industrial Design students Teh Yu Ting and Chan Jia Er received honourable mentions from the judges, including distinguished figures like Prof. Kee-Hong Song from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Ken Koo, President of the Asia Red Dot Design Award. J.H. Namgung of the Jeonbuk Design Centre in Korea also served as one of the judges.

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