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Architecture is built order. Louis I. Kahn

All Seven Wonders of the World, from the Pyramid of Giza to the Hanging Garden of Babylon, and from the Great Wall of China to the Statue of Liberty in the United States and the Taj Mahal of India, are the fine work of great architects and designers throughout the centuries. In every civilization, architecture has always played a very important role. Most civilisations, current and past, are readily identifiable by the architectural and design styles of its built environment. It is therefore not too misleading if we were to presume that visions which architects and designers conceive and manifest have and will inadvertently continue to contribute to profound and impactful effects on the social masses that interact with the environment.

Architecture and Interor Architecture are art forms in the designing and shaping of the human built environment. Owing to good architectural designs, buildings have become one of the most visible productions of man since time immemorial. They stamp their mark of civilization in the history of mankind over the centuries.

A number of architectural creations can be seen as cultural and political symbols. Generally these projects are perceived by the general public as architecture. To the designers and creators of the human built environment, their role will only be successful if both society and the built environment support one another through time. It is this constnt dialogue between society and the creators of the built environment that produces architecture.

We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us - Winston Churchill

International Needs for Good Architecture

From country to country around the world, buildings vary greatly in design, function, and construction implementation. Pivotal to all conception and construction of the landscapes and townscapes is the architect and interior architect. With insightful knowledge and creativity, these individuals will continue to transform the built images and structures of the modern world. Works of architects and interior architects touches every aspect of the contemporary built environment, from the design of energy efficient buildings, integration of new buildings within socially and culturally sensitive contexts and even the preservation and conservation of historical structures within a modern metropolitan city setting.

The extensive knowledge of construction and the ability to design structures within certain human settings sets the architect apart from other professionals of the built environment. This well-rounded understanding is constantly in demand in all areas of property, construction and design. The architect will always find himself to be an invaluable team member when there is a need to conserve and adapt old buildings, re-develop portions of towns and cities, understand the impact of development on local community, manage a construction programme or to render technical advice on the use and maintennance of existing buildings.

The role of the architect is central to the development of the nation, according to Mohd. Zani bin Zain, the Head of UCSI's newly-launched School of Architecture, Management and Surveying.

Society will continually look to architects to define new ways for them to work or live. Current and future architects and interior architects will have to continuously expand their creativity to develop innovative and exciting ways of utilizing existing buildings and creating new ones. The nation needs architects and interior architects who understand the complex processes of designing and construction to plan and build socially and ecologically sustainable communities and cities; all aspirations of Vision 2020.

All fine architectural values are human values, else not valuable. - Frank Lloyd Wright

Mohd. Zani also feels that an architectural and interior architecture student in Malaysia will contribute positively to the professional development as future architects and interior architects.

Good Architecture Buildings in Malaysia

No where else in the world can a person see a continuous number of building styles and functional uses, each derived from various cultures, places of origin, and periods in time so profoundly adapted into our rich multi-cultural city of Kuala Lumpur. Each building, each style, cleverly and clearly marks a historical point in the evolution of the nation's capital; milestones in the history of Malaysia itself, he said. The Federal Court, for example, is today housed in a nineteenth century building featuring the Moorish architecture; a reminder of our colonial past. Each building has a character of its own.

There are also other modern buildings, which are uniquely designed to give each building a different character. Kuala Lumpur is, in fact, one of the best cities for any foreign tourist interested in studying various architectural designs within the rich multicultural Malaysian context. We have one of the more identifiably famous architectural showpieces in the world, which is none other than the Petronas Twin Towers. The settings are what makes Malaysian architecture so unique and a true testament as to how Malaysia has embraced modernity and development without entirely sacrificing its cultural and religiously-based value and life systems, Mohd. Zani added.

The Malaysian architectural landscape has also been enriched by famous architects implementing their designs. Among the world-renowned architects and their designs are Cesar Pelli and his Petronas Twin Towers. The main landmark for the nation's capital, the Petronas Twin Towers, which stands at 1,483 feet (452m) tall, was the tallest twin towers in the world until recently. Pelli's architecture designs have also won many awards in other countries. Other notable architects are Sir Norman Foster and his Universiti Teknologi Petronas and Kenzo Tange and his Menara UniAsia.

Malaysian very own successful architects

Architecture is to make us known and remember who we are - Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe

A great number of homegrown architects have managed to establish themselves as "celebrities" within the Malaysian architectural scene. These individuals have managed to imbue their projects with Malaysian sensibilities - motifs, decorations and imagery. This in itself creates a taste of style and brings recall for brand names that are totally Malaysian in character and reading. Hijjas Kasturi, for example, has managed to produce creations which are sensibly very much Malaysian in image such as the Telekom Tower which takes its form from a bamboo shoot; a primary decorative motif in Malay traditional artwork. The fully-automated Telekom Tower, with its shark-fin profile, is certainly a marker that establishes Malaysian architects and architecture amongst the world's best.

Dr. Ken Yeang, another internationally acclaimed Malaysian architect, works in a vocabulary of contemporary architectural language but has managed to exemplify "green" or sustainable features that respond to local tropical climate conditions. Specializing in climate responsive design, Dr. Ken Yeang has also created a number of world standard structures such as Menara Mesiniaga in Subang Jaya and Menara UMNO in Pulau Pinang. His trademark design approach has managed to produce buildings that are unique to their localities and cultural context.

Architecture is, therefore, an art form, the learning of which requires professional practice, personal artistic development and technical knowledge of building, added Mohd. Zani. The constant dialogue between society and the architect is what produces architecture - as a product as well as a discipline.

Ah, to build, to build! That is the noblest art of all the arts. Painting and sculpture are but images, are merely shadows cast by outward things on stone or canvas, having in themselves no separate existence. Architecture, existing in itself, and not in seeming a something it is not, surpasses them as substance shadow. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Interior Architecture explores the link between interior and architecture where interior spaces are inhabited and experienced as works of art that are rich in spatial investigations and interventions. The programme embarks on a revitalisation and enrichment journey through the development of design, conceptual creativity, theory and philosophy of spaces to create exciting and practical environments in which people live, work and play.

UCSI School of Architecture

Mohd. Zani said UCSI School of Architecture offers various programmes including Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Architectural Technology and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Interior Architecture, besides also offering two diplomas in both Interior Architecture and Architectural Studies.

All those who study and work in the field of architecture and interior architecture need a framework of aesthetic and functional appreciation of buildings and the context in which buildings are designed and placed. This can only be achieved by a thorough understanding of design processes, building science and technology allied to an understanding of the important social, cultural, artistic, historical, political and economic factors which influence architectural and interior design. This philosophy will be the crux of all the teaching and research programmes that the School will involve itself in, he added.

The field of design for interior spaces, for example, has greatly developed from an area of study that concerns itself with just internal decorations. Specialists in the field of interior architecture are exposed to a wider and more comprehensive range of information such as building technology, building services, the building sciences and a host of other technical subject matter, apart from design. The interior architect now has the ability to integrate themselves more effectively into the team of professionals involved in the process of design and construction of a construction project. This functional evolution of the profession has contributed impressively to the construction industry as it now provides for more technically competent designers to deliver a building product that is of higher standards.

The Interior Architecture programme offered at UCSI is aimed at producing such a specialist within the interior architecture field. The curriculum will be supported by specialist modules in ergonomics and design, technology and services, communication methods and media, computer aided deign, professional practice, project research and planning which aims to enable students to successfully integrate the theoretical aspects and practical implementation of Interior Architecture, he said.

Students who have completed their SPM can also enroll in this programme via the Foundation in Architectural Studies offered by UCSI.

There are three intakes in a year (January, May and September) for both the Foundation and Diploma levels, and two intakes for the Bachelor programmes (in January and May).

For more information about programmes in Architecture, please contact UCSI's marketing department at 03-91018880 or email us here or visit their website at