The programme is nothing new. It has its genesis from the Bauhaus and via the migration of the MODERNIST GURUS to the US; the same sort of programme has been implanted into the curriculum of the MIT, School of Architecture. Through the generosity of the Malaysian Government, JPA to be specific, at one time, to send the crème de la crème of theMARA scholar to the US, some of these scholars had the opportunity to dip into the these ex-Bauhaus programme and surface upward to be brought back to the Malaysian School of Architecture particularly the misnamed School of Housing Building and Planning, University Science Malaysia through the undying spirit of the avant garde‘Guru’ of individual of this sort, En. Wan Burhanuddin(on the rim of retiring into the business of HOLISTIC HEALTH CARE then architecture); to be installed into the naive minds of the 2nd year freshies of whom, at the material time, the author was one of them. The curriculum was rigid for the sake that there are more old gardeexisted since the inception of the programme and the birth of the phrase “if you want a degree, go to the school and if you want architecture, go to the club”, takes form as a manifestation of the sort of suffering and loneliness one of this sort of avant garde has to bear in the mainstream school of Architecture in Malaysia. The seed of seeing beyond the four walls of the formalized curriculum has been sowed to create an undercurrent of movements in the students club which co-incidentally shared by all schools of Architecture including the AA which has manifested in the forms of publication named ACROSS ARCHITECTURE as compared to the official publication of AA FILES, Picking on this premise, the Architecture Club of USM has initiated a series of publication raging from INTERSTICES to AMOK at the students’ own pocket money without subsidy and aligned with the manifestos of the Architectural Workshops, at the time has managed to put forth a declaration to be further crystallized in the more current workshops in UM and UIA and to be met with a pre-mature DEATH of the commercial and institutional onslaught of insufficient funds and the lack of momentum and commitment.
Unlike the local scenarios, the neighboring school of Architecture across the Straight of Tebrau, namely NUS has a better luck due to its fame and the fact that it is the only school of Architecturein Singapore. This school hires experts from all over the globe. The ex-Bauhaus programme was infused in an Atelier Concept of Master-Pupil of which the author has the opportunities to experience from the credits of SIF-ASEAN Student Fellowship Funding which meets it natural death somewhere in 2004, from the prominent Dr. Edward Ng, now lecturing in HKU. The emphasis on Urban Design in the Singapore experience is prominent and it is not surprising to note that the UM curriculum, from the perspective of Prof. Wood, has a very strong grounding on Urbanism for which along side with the accreditation process from LAM has been criticized as being too urban scale inclined rather then building scale inclined. Again, the paradoxes of what is Architecture, an urban matter or just a building tech-tonic has been raised similar to the age old question of who is the planner for which LAM-PAM itself has a difficulty to qualify and just don’t mentioned what Housing, Building and Planning stands for as for that the genetic make up of architectural strand has been mutated and transformed into new species like COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE, totally beyond the scope of this discussion. The disgrace of lack of regard to urban design issues has led to the many embarrassments within the built environment fraternities some of which has been highlighted in thePAM-Discourse in the 80’s with the participation of Mega Stars liked Kisho Kurokawa, Dr. Ken Yeang (now, a Dato’), En. Hijjas Kasturi, Datuk Lim Chong Keat and the prominent educator from the AA the late Alvin Boyarsky. The shed of dirty linens are obvious and until today, not much improvement has been recorded unlike otherwise the revival of new classicism via the Putrajaya Master plan in accordance to the Middle East Model, of which spark another debate on its socio-cultural contextual relevance.
In the college things are different. Firstly, with the concern of legitimacy as a recognized school, the school of Architecture should not have existed. The author with many others would have probably out of jobs following strictly by a matter of recognition of the programme by LAM. Only with the virtue of LAN that the programme has been made legitimate but to an extend that, all of those in the system know too well, the graduates are not recognize as Pt I in the career path of an Architect. Secondly, college is not a drafting school either for the Diploma that is offered was tagged with the title Architecture for which the school serves as feeding platforms for overseas universities. In view of the paradox of such nature, with the lack of both direction and niche architectural education model or philosophy, again the ex-Bauhaus programme has been modified incorporating the 3 scale of artifact, building and urban in the modus operandi ofdiscourses, implementation and documentation within the scope of master, project manager and crews has been implemented and tested and this time around the subject isDESIGN STUDIO 4. Presenting herewith are the accounts of such experimentation with the overview of the Brief and the products brought to you from the People who believes there is still tomorrow for Architecture.