Think of Barcelona, and architectural marvels like the Sagrada Familia by the renowned Antonio Gaudi come to mind, along with works of other icons like Picasso, Miro, and Dali, to name a few. Thus, it was no surprise when The Design School at Taylor’s University chose to visit this monumental city during the Activity Week, to give their students a first-hand experience and insight into the works of celebrated designers and architects.
Introduced as part of The Design School’s ongoing efforts to redefine the standards of design education in this region, the Activity Week aims to broaden the students’ horizons and introduce them to a variety of different design styles, which will shape and enhance their design capabilities. It also serves to develop the students’ inter-cultural understanding and allow them to explore the international design market.
“Many educators realise how effective experiential learning is compared to theory alone. Learning must always be an adventure. All the senses must be involved through the experience of being at the location, and the Activity Week allows that kind of experience,” said Mr Charles Sharma Naidu, Programme Director, Foundation & Diploma in Design, The Design School at Taylor’s
For the students, the unforgettable six-day trip to the Catalans was a visual feast that allowed them to pay homage to a city that openly and proudly celebrates its famous creative icons. Diploma in Interior Design student, Rachel Ching Hsin Li, said the trip changed her perspective on design.
“Before going to Barcelona, I wasn’t interested in sketching on the spot or looking at art works in museums. I don’t consider myself a good artist but now that I have done several activities from the trip, I feel that sometimes being neat and perfect in art is not everything. Being messy and sketchy in fact can have a more artistic view point. Because of this I have developed a skill from a different angle that I never expected before,” said Rachel.
18-year old Foundation student, Nur Ameera Nabeela Binti Abdul Jamal, also shared the same sentiments, “Before I went for the trip I couldn’t really appreciate the beauty of art. My idea and understanding of design was quite limited, and I was quite timid to express myself through art. However after seeing the art work from the famous Gaudi, I realize that in art, I can do anything I want. There are no rules in art.”
Far from being just a holiday, the students were required to actively carry out various assignments throughout the entire duration of the trip including analysing and interpreting Picasso’s and Miro’s works, creating a postcard, writing a poem inspired by their trip, as well as making observations and recording their journey and physical experiences through sketches and artwork.
Loy Zhen Yi, 18 years, who is also pursuing a Foundation in Design at Taylor’s University, explained that the trip to Barcelona has inspired him to look at different possibilities and think outside the box when solving design problems.
“I realised that most of the famous art works or buildings in Barcelona not only emphasise on the details of the design, but the aesthetic and usage of it as well. I feel that these three things are important towards all designs. The famous design works there were all out of the box, and I have learnt to put unrelated possibilities together to make my designs possible,” he explained.
Mr Ken Tan, Deputy Dean of the School of Architecture Building & Design at Taylor’s University, explains that the students could not have learned these lessons had they not experienced these designs and art works first hand.
“Students in Malaysia hear about Picasso, Miro and Dali in lectures and see their works in slides. To view these works in person adds an exciting new dimension to learning. To be surrounded by the artist’s works, which include sketchbooks and drawings, allows students to appreciate the full capabilities of the artist’s talents. The thinking and achievements of the artist comes alive. Thus, the cold theory learnt in class is experienced as vibrant practical expression.”
Established in 2007, The Design School at Taylor’s is devoted to excellence and innovation in the study and practice of the design disciplines. Its mission is to provide students with a meaningful, educational experience by challenging them to constantly expand their conceptual and technical capabilities.
For more information on The Design School or upcoming intakes contact 05-5629 5000.
About The Design School at Taylor’s (TDS)
Established in 2007, The Design School at Taylor’s (TDS) is devoted to excellence and innovation in the study and practice of the design disciplines. Its mission is to provide students with a meaningful, educational experience by challenging them to constantly expand their conceptual and technical capabilities. As they advance, students will realise that the only boundaries to their achievements are those they set themselves.
TDS currently offers foundation, diploma and degrees in the fields of interior architecture, graphic design and multimedia design, with the degrees being dual degrees in partnership with Northumbria University, United Kingdom.
Quality and commitment are reflected in numerous awards the institution, faculty and students have received over the years, including First place in Short Movie Category and Graphic & Visual Communication (Design Communication Category) at the 13th MSID (Malaysian Society of Interior Design) Interior Design Students’ Saturday 2008, First place – Best Institutional Design (ID Space & Design Category), First place in Corporate Montage Design, First place – Short Break/Commercial Category, Third place – Bunting Design Category (Graphic & Multimedia Category) and Second place – Evo Talentime (Performance Category) at the 14th MSID Interior Design Students’ Saturday 2009, as well as First place – Best Residential Design, Second Place – Best Institutional Design and Third Place – Best Montage Design at the 15th MSID Interior Design Students’ Saturday 2010 and SPADE Awards 2011, just to name a few.