Architecture programme in University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) was established in September 2014 with the introduction of Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Architecture, a 3-year undergraduate programme under School of Built environment (SBE). This is the first of a two-tier architectural education programme offered with a total of 120 credits. The curriculum is designed to produce graduate equipped with knowledge on architectural theories and design, building construction, materials and services, CAD and 3D software in producing design solutions, drawings, documents and communicating ideas at semi-professional level. In 2017, the programme received LAM Part I accreditation from Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM).
In September 2018, Master of Architecture, a 2-year postgraduate programme (leading to LAM Part ll accreditation) was introduced under the School of Postgraduate Studies. This is the second of a two-tier architectural education programme offered with a total of 60 credits. This programme is designed to produce graduate architects with critical thinking skills and competency in various advanced architecture fields. It takes on an integrated approach to learning architecture and adopts the teaching philosophy of ‘innovation and creative problem solving’. This programme is expected to be accredited by LAM for Part ll examination exemption by end of 2020.
University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) is the very first University in Malaysia to achieve a GBI “Platinum Index” rating through its futuristically designed campus and state-of-the-art facilities. It is a well-planned physical environment campus that provides world-class facilities, such as the studio, furniture, critique room and teaching equipment. Hence, the environment is very conducive for an architecture programme to be conducted whereby students can learn architecture and technological design and sustainable state of the art of facilities from the UCTS campus itself.
Located in Sibu, Sarawak, Architecture in UCTS draws on its rich Borneo context and niche. The school focuses on local issues and Borneo Regionalism in the courses and Design Studio, which have not been explored by other architecture programmes in Peninsular Malaysia. This includes documenting and studying the changes and evolution of Borneo Architecture and relates them to local needs and socio-cultural context, particularly in Sarawak. This is done through the newly set up Borneo Regionalism and Conservation Center (BORC) to enhance Borneo regionalism and identity. Students participated in real-life projects such as Conservation of Masjid Al-Qadim Sibu and Conservation of Sarawak Museum. The main objective of these projects is to expose the students to real-life practice in the industry. Students are also involved in Community engagement project between the school and the society such as Community Engagement at Rumah Panjang Mengga and workshop on Conservation of Fort Emma.
Apart from that, programme also facilitate extra-curricular activities for students such as annual Sibu Street Art Festival, Lantern Festival, Christmas Tree Competition, Bamboo Pavilion, Stem Playground, Minggu Alam Bina and Cardboard City Competition, ArchiNite, InfoDay, Architectural Drawing Convention workshops and Joint Summer Camp in Pontianak through Architecture Students Club (ASC). ASC is also open to all students from other discipline to participate and all the activities are in line with the vision and mission of programme, school and UCTS.
Students are expected to balance their commitment between extra curriculum activities and academic especially in their studio project. In studio projects, students are expected to produce innovative solutions within the cultural and regional context whereby aspects of science, technology and culture are integrated into design solutions. Apart from studio projects, students will participate in studio and course lectures, seminars, tutorials, site visits, fieldwork, workshops, and also architectural study trips, as well as extra curriculum activities.
Architecture students received many awards in the academic field. In 2018, Mr Chan Lek Heng won and Academic Award 2018 at University level and Ms Angie Fung won the PAM Academic Excellence Award 2018 at National level. In 2019, Mr Titus Ling How Zhe won the PAM Yayasan Feruni Scholarship Award while and Ms Lau Sing Yi won the PAM Academic Excellence Award 2019. Increased number of students received Dean’s list every semester shows that students are committed to being their best. It is hoped that these achievements will inspire other students to strive for excellence in both extra curriculum and academics in the future.
In line with UCTS vision and mission, Architecture in UCTS was envision as an educational platform to facilitate collaborative setting, not only to learn how to understand the complexities of our built environment, but also to nurture and develop a community of innovative, creative, educated and highly skilled Architects for the new and emerging industries.
Muhammad Khairi b. Ismail
Head of Programme, Architecture
School of Built Environment