A group of 39 architectural students accompanied by 2 faculty members from The University of Kansas (KU), Lawrence, USA had visited the Faculty of Built Environment and Surveying (FABU) of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). 
Visits by Kansas University to UTM started in 2010 where KU has chosen Malaysia as one of the countries to be a case study for its ‘Study Abroad Program’. Other than Malaysia, the program has also chosen Singapore and Japan for their visit. 
The director of Malaysia Architectural Study Tour, our Head of ISIKL, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gurupiah Mursib said that this study tour which took place between January 4th and 11th received an unexpected response from KU students.

According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kapila Silva, head of the KU delegation, the rapidly developing Malaysia which is rich in culture is the main reason it was selected for the study, together with Singapore, and Japan.  “For this purpose, ISI, with the support from the School of Architecture, Faculty of Built Environment and Surveying UTM, had prepared a special programme of 8 days and 7 nights excursion covering Johor, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor,”. He also stated that architecture in Malaysia offers a different experience from the modern architectural era (1955-1970), through the postmodern era (1971-1990) and the global era (1991- 2017).

Dr. Gurupiah later explained that the global era are represented by skyscrapers such as the Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur Tower, The Fennel, and the OBYU Tower. Also included are buildings with special concepts such as PAM Center, Arc Rimbayu, Bamboo Playhouse House and PJ Trade Center. “The beauty of this programme is that the it directly features architects of the selected buildings. The 2018 study has featured Ar. Jimmy Lim as the highlight of the study while for 2019, the programme will involve Dato ‘Dr Ar Ken Yeang and Ar Wooi Lok Kuang. “Ken Yeang’s architecture was represented by Menara Mesiniaga, Roof-roof House, and the Suasana Putrajaya while Wooi showcased his architecture of houses including his own home,” said Prof. Gurupiah.

The welcoming session for the delegates was held at the Faculty of Architecture and Survey, UTM Johor Bahru campus on the 4th of January, followed by a lunch session at Ar. Razin Mahmood’s Denai House in Kempas, Johor Bahru. Also present during the welcoming session were the Executive Director of ISI, Prof. Dr. Syed Ahmad Iskandar Syed Ariffin; Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Survey, Prof. Dr. Mohd. Hamdan Hj. Ahmad as well as Associate Director (Student Services & Global Education Experience), Prof. Dr. Nor Haniza Sarmin. This programme reflects the strong ties between UTM and KU, and will soon to be made official via MoU, as mentioned in Prof. Dr. Mohd Hamdan’s welcoming speech.

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