MASA Fosters Architectural Growth by Empowering the Next Generation

The Malaysian Architecture Students Alliance (MASA) plays a critical role in nurturing the next generation of architectural professionals. Through a diverse range of initiatives, MASA equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the evolving architectural landscape, with a particular emphasis on the growing influence of technology within the industry.

As Ar. Rushdina binti Ismail, Education Chair of Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM), explains, MASA operates as an organisation under the umbrella of PAM. This affiliation allows MASA to leverage PAM’s resources and expertise to provide students with valuable exposure to the professional world of architecture.

“One of the challenges faced by architectural students is understanding the materials. ARCHIDEX provides an excellent platform for them to better comprehend their designs. By observing the evolution of materials, such as bamboo or timber integrated with AI or 3D printing, students gain valuable insights.” she said.

Ar. Cheryl Quan of OTCQ Architect highlights the importance of this exposure, noting that “MASA welcomes students and provides them with a space to gain knowledge and network with practising architects. This platform facilitates crucial connections with the industry.”

Quan emphasises that ARCHIDEX, in its role as a platform not just for Malaysian architects, but one connected to the world, students get to witness the influx of products and technologies from various countries, broadening their design horizons.

Beyond material exploration, ARCHIDEX offers students valuable insights into real-world architecture. Sean Goh, a 3rd-year architecture student at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, highlights the importance of practical knowledge.

“University education shouldn’t be limited to theory. Students need exposure to materials, construction methods, and the experiences of practising architects,” he pointed out.

Programmes like the forums organised at ARCHIDEX and ARCHITALENT provide this exposure.

“Students can attend seminars, listen to architects discuss their projects, and learn not only about aesthetics but also about construction challenges, detailing problems, and navigating relationships with contractors and suppliers. This hands-on knowledge is crucial for their future careers,” Goh explains.

MASA further complements this experience by facilitating connections across Malaysian architectural schools. As Goh explains, “MASA bridges the gap between the educational sector and the industry. They connect students with professional architects, lecturers, and qualified architects, offering valuable real-world experiences.” Competitions, talks, and sponsorships further enhance this learning environment.

Finally, the ARCHITALENT program focuses on fostering creativity beyond the limitations of academia. “ARCHITALENT allows students to explore their creative vision without restrictions,” says Goh. “This freedom, combined with the opportunity to learn about materials and suppliers at ARCHIDEX, equips them to formulate stronger design solutions.”

Overall, ARCHIDEX serves as a bridge, connecting architectural education with the realities of the industry. Students gain valuable exposure to materials, technologies, and practical challenges, equipping them with a well-rounded foundation for their future careers.