What is the Study Pathway to become a Professional Architect?

Published by Afterschool.my on Mar 31, 2023, 11:29 pm

"Better comfort of living"—that’s what echoes in Yap Wei See’s mind when she reflects on her career choice. Architecture is more than just designing buildings for humans to shelter in or for the sake of aesthetics; it requires intricate details that take into consideration safety measures, sustainability, comfort, and quality throughout the design process.

In our local landscape, the role of architects is crucial to the state of the economy. With the rise of housing prices and raw materials, architects are finding ways to incorporate lower-cost materials that are also sustainable and less harmful to the environment. 

While it’s no easy feat to crunch on innovative ideas, the iconic Petronas Twin Towers proves that nothing is impossible. Yap Wei See, who studies a diploma in architecture at IUKL, believes that we don’t have to look far for a good example for students to study architecture, as our own KLCC is the prime example of how an iconic building withstands the test of time through its unique structure and design. "Petronas Twin Towers’ form is really interesting if you notice there aren't many cylindrical-shaped buildings like it these days. Its facade treatment is aluminium, while most buildings nowadays use glass or steel. Because of that, strong white light can pass through the building, giving off a shiny silhouette—a stark contrast to other buildings that use glass."

Technology also plays a crucial part in ensuring high-quality results. In comparison to conventional techniques, the cost is significantly reduced, time is invested less, and quality control is much safer with current technology like BIM and digital fabrication.

With a behemoth of possibilities to improve the nation's state of economy, this is the perfect time for students to dabble in this field. Yap Wei See has a lot to say about her experience in architecture, from visiting sites to enhancing her skills along the way.

1. What are the curriculum and key areas of study in your architecture course, and how are these preparing you for a career in architecture?

In IUKL, the course of architecture has a lot of variation. Aside from basic subjects like mathematics, we also study studio courses and physical courses like studio design. The exposure to different subjects hones me in becoming an all-rounder when learning architecture because I get to learn about engineering, aside from focusing on the aesthetics of buildings as an architecture student. Particularly, studio design allows me to be very open to challenges. For example, I need to learn about teamwork and be independent throughout the research.

2. Can you share your experiences working on any hands-on projects?

We had to first learn about the site before we could begin the project. Visits to the sites play a role in that. The next step is to perform a site analysis, which calls for extensive teamwork as we discuss the data being gathered and may even require us to interact with the locals. Studio design necessitates frequent discussion with fellow students and teachers, which improves my communication skills and makes me more outgoing. 

3. What are common misconceptions that people think about, when it comes to learning Architecture courses, that you think aren’t true based on your experience? 

One of the most common misconceptions about architecture is that people think architecture needs a lot of mathematics, which is not entirely true. Even though we study many aspects of mathematics, such as its structure and the formula used to compute physics, we don't need to know everything about it. Therefore, there isn't much math involved; when creating spaces for people, architecture is more focused on their comfort.

4. Can you explain the pathway for you as a diploma student, into becoming a professional architect? 

To get to the title AR (professional architect), first, we need to go through Part 1(LAM I)  and Part 2(LAM II), then the final exam for LAM. Your first step is to get a diploma, then proceed with a degree (LAM I). I took credit transfers for my degree, which saved me a lot of time and money. Next, I need to take a master's (LAM II) , which is considered part 2 of the pathway. Then, after I graduate, I will enter Part 3 (LAM III), where I will be working for at least 1 year before I can go for the LAM exam. Only after I pass the exam can I obtain the title AR (Professional Architect). 

5. Why did you choose to study at IUKL, among all the other universities for this programme?

I did my research online and from there, I found out that IUKL is one of the top architecture universities in Malaysia to study architecture. When I visited this campus, I was pleased to see that they have a whole block just for architecture, which shows that they are highly specialised in architecture. That alone convinced me enough to study at this university.

6. Why should students study architecture at IUKL?

The architecture course here really digs deep, and in my opinion, is all-encompassing. From theoretical knowledge, learning about sustainability in the environment, the history of architecture, model making, and studio design during every long semester— students will receive a decent amount of exposure that will shape them into well-rounded architects once they graduate.

7. What would you like to advise students who are considering enrol in this course? 

I suggest students be open to the idea of having a lot of face-to-face discussions with lecturers. The lecturers here are very helpful and always willing to talk with you about your design. You also must have a passion for design and not enrol in this course based solely on peer pressure. It takes a lot of time, effort, and enthusiasm to learn architecture. So, you must be certain that you want to enrol in this course.

If you're interested to enrol in Architecture at IUKL, our education counselors here at Afterschool.my can help solve your enquiries, and help you enrol in the course with ease! Click on the banner below to chat with them:


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