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Unveiling "Bird of Malaysia": A Triumph in Architectural Innovation


Students work

Ar. Aryton Kong

M Arch graduate 2023


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Aryton was a Master of Architecture Student graduated in 2022. He is the leader of the project, undertaken initially as an assignment of an innovation course led by Assoc Prof. Dr Mohamad Fakri Zaky Jaafar


My involvement in the creation of the Bird of Malaysia timber installation occurred during my tenure as a Master's in Architecture student at the University Putra Malaysia in the academic year 2021-2022. The collaborative effort involved a dynamic group of seven individuals, initially comprised of four from the architecture department and three from the engineering department. The experience resembled a thrilling rollercoaster, marked by a blend of both challenging and rewarding moments, ensuring that monotony was never part of the journey.


Figure 2- Formation of Groups in the classroom via Trello platform.


The project kicked off in March 2021 as an assignment, given in the class ARC5701 Architectural Innovation and Exploration, that brought together students from the Master of Architecture program (year 4) and the second year of the Engineering Degree program. This interdisciplinary collaboration, under the guidance of Dr. Zaky, the course coordinator and Head of the Department of Architecture, and assisted by Dr. Farah from the Engineering department, aimed to transform basic concepts into sculptures. Additionally, students were tasked with presenting their ideas to potential investors, including relevant authorities and companies.


Group Formation

Our team, known as Group 3: Boleh Land, stood out with its smaller size compared to the other 9 groups, each consisting of approximately 10 members. Our diverse composition included three locals, Aryton (myself) of Chinese descent, Yan of Chinese ethnicity, and Adlin of mixed Chinese-Malay heritage. Adding to the richness of our group were four international students – Muath from Saudi Arabia, Firas from Yemen, Nabhani from Sudan, and Mays from Iraq. As the group leader, I initially harbored some skepticism about our varied composition, considering potential language and cultural barriers. However, I transformed this concern into inspiration, christening our group "Boleh Land." Drawing from the well-known Malaysian slang, "apa-apa pun boleh," translating to "anything is possible," often used to criticize those with wealth and power, I adopted it as a motivational mantra. It became a means to convince both myself and my team members that together, we could achieve anything.



[ii] Elestina Abu Bakar, Knowledge, Attitude and Perceptions of University Students towards Educational Loans in Malaysia, November 2006, Journal of Family and Economic Issues 27(4):692-701

[iii] W M Nor W Daud, Islamization of Contemporary Knowledge and The Role of The University in the Context of De-westernisaton and decolonization, (Professional Inaugural Lecture Series), UTM Press 2016




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