Friday, November 23, 2012

Preparation for an Architecture Course


assalamualaikum peeps!
okay. entri dekat atas ni adalah entri yang aku dapat dari blog orang masa tengah google pasal 'architecture' hell ya! it scares me a lot! tetibe pulak aku rasa macam tak nak jadi architect. rasa macam . . . . herm *speechless* nvm, aku cuma nak share benda ni. untuk aku usha2 balik lepas spm nanti. hehe. kbai
This is a copy of the email I sent to my friend who got offer letters to Malaysian local public university's architecture course admission interview.
Although I did not get through the interview last year, I just want to help those who are preparing for it, especially those who are doing their last minute preparations before the interview.

First of all, Congratulations to you

Before i start, there is something you should know.
Architectural studies is NOT EASY.

From what I'd experienced, understand, learned and heard form my seniors,
You must have interest (I'm sure you have this), be 100% committed, have passion and constantly creative if you want to study architecture.

Many students QUITED and changed course half way because they think that the course doesn't suit them.
The lifestyle you have when you're studying architecture is very much the same as you'll have in the future when you work.

The lifestyle of an architecture student:
- Must be constantly creative and inspired
- Have to stay up late at night just to finish the project or worst, NO SLEEP for 24hrs.
- Hectic life, hardly you'll have time to spend on other things.
- You'll always stick to your course mates and hardly you will get to know people from other courses because you'll be busying with your coursework
- Able to cope with stress, pressure and fatigue.
- Able to accept criticism from professionals - lecturers, which are architects themselves.
- Have projects and presentation almost every week.
- Able to accept bad grades. It's not easy to get A in architecture although you're good at it,
because architecture is a very abstract and subjective field, lecturers usually give a maximum of grade B and hardly they'll give A.
- Something you might think is nice, but others might think it's crap.
- Something which is right can be twist and turn to wrong. This is what architecture is.
- and these will be more of less the same when you work in the future.

Initially I was very determined to do architecture, I even planned to switch my course to it. But after I got advices from my seniors, I found out that it's not that I do not have interest or cannot accept the lifestyle, I just do not have enough creative ideas to be squeezed out from my mind every week.

I'm not trying to demotivate you, I just wanna help you to ensure that you are very clear of what you want, so you can make a wise decision and do not regret in the future.


You must be prepared,
Read more about this field, the roles, the responsibility,
besides designing new buildings, architects also in charge of urban planning, building pipe and water works planning, building conservation works, eg. heritage buildings. etc.

what is LAM - Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia and their roles,
what is PAM - Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia,
the papers you're going to seat as an architecture student
- LAM Part 1 and Part 2 in Univeristy, then work for a few years, and if you want, take LAM Part 3 - The professional paper in malaysia, if you pass, you'll get the title "Ar." - just like doctor(Dr.)
Other accreditations - RIBA,... etc.

If possible, go and visit PAM's office at 4 & 6 Jalan Tangsi 50480 Kuala Lumpur, near bulit aman, opposite of the selengor clubhouse, dataran merdeka and bank negara,
They have a small library. Check out their books.

Most local universities need their students to pass LAM part 1 to be allowed to do Part 2, except UTM - you do not need to do Part 1 in UTM(if i'm not mistaken).
Only UM will automatically give RIBA after you've passed Part 2.

Other private Unis: Many are not recognized by PAM.
Taylors - only provide Part 1, then you'll have to go to Australia to take Part 2.
Alfa - only offer diploma courses,
UCSI - you have to finish it in Scotland
LimKokWing - Extremely Expensive.

The interview:
Last year I had sat for the test and interviewed by lecturers from UTM. They only took half of the applicants.

There were 3 parts:
1. Aptitude test
2. Drawing test
3. Interview

Dress code: Formal

1. Aptitude test:

paper test on your understanding on architecture, skills and knowledge.
Remember to study on perspective drawing - x,y,z axis and plan (just like the one we studied in Kemahiran Hidup), and focus point.
-What is sustainable architecture?
Memorize the famous architect names and works of:
-local architects: Dr. Ken Yeang, Tengku Robert Hamzah...
-foreign architects: eg. Frank Gehrey, Le Corbusier...etc.etc
KLCC architect: Cesar Pelli
KLIA Architect:
Menara TM: Hijjas Kasturi
The tallest builing : Burj Dubai
China Olympic stadium & swimming pool..... etc.
they'll ask you for your favourite architect or their works (you must know even you don't know any). remember the spellings as well

Types of architecture style : Post War, Art Deco, Gothic, Victorian, Modern.. etc.


2. Drawing test:

I had this along with the aptitude test,
The title was an imaginary scene
Remember to bring your pencils, eraser, pen, some colour pencils.
Practice and pay attention on your strokes, tones, perspective, shadow and DETAILS.
All they want to see is your confidence in drawing.
so try not to use ruler when drawing buildings.
You must also be good at drawing people, objects, furniture, car, plants, landscape,.. etc

If you have no idea what they want, ask them, or try your best to draw something nice...
Try to recall a scene and draw it out.. use your imagination.


3. Interview:

In English and Malay
Remember to bring the stuff they mentioned in the letter, your certs, testimonials and your PORTFOLIO/SKETCHBOOK. (If you do not have any, get a sketchbook or papers and draw nice things on it!) Show them your drawings. If they love it and they ask whether they can keep it, give them, most probably you'll pass the interview and test.=)

The moment you walk into the room,
Stay calm (Though you're not)
Maintain natural
Don't Panic
Greet the interviewer/s
No dramatic actions - Don't bow or curtsey- Unless you/they are Japanese or Korean
Speak to them just like how you talk to your friends
Remember to get to know their names - very important and useful!

They'll ask you to introduce yourself
Why do you want to study the course
Probably your favourite architect / building and describe them
Ask you some general knowledge questions eg, who's the prime minister of Malaysia,
what do you think of the unrest in Thailand, etc.
Maybe some stupid questions:
do you have friends from other ethnics, Name 10 of them,
if you were the minister, what will you change?
what are you reading?
what will you do if you don't pass this?
- just to test your confidence.

The softwares architect use to design:


These are the websites that you MUST READ:

websites of the university faculty that offer the course

-Extremely useful for your interview-
So you're interested in ARCHITECTURE?, An academic guide to become an Architect:




& others: online forums, Google & Wikipedia for the topic!

Recommended book: Architecture: Space, Form and Order by D.K.Ching


You might not have enough time to prepare for this saturday if you start now. Coz I did my preparation quite early.

Anyway, just focus on the 2 Lowyat.net Forums & Tanggam, prepare your portfolio, practice your drawing skills and memorize some architecture names, terms (eg. facade, plan) and building.

Should you have any questions, you can ask Azarimy - aka. Mister Architect in the Lowyat.net Forum, don't hesitate to post up any questions there. I'm sure they'll answer any of their questions.

You can also ask me any questions, I'll try my best to help.

I hope my email will help you save some time on your preparation.
I tried to feed as much info as possible that i have. So i think this is all i have. If there's anything i left out I'll email you next time.

Give it your best shot, never give up and All The Best to you! You Can Do It!

Enjoy the experience ! =)


Forgive me if there're any mistakes, I just write what I'd experienced.
Good Luck !

Add ons:
Hey guys, thanks for posting so many questions,
I wished I could reply them on time, but unfortunately I couldn't,
If you have any questions, you could drop me an email at "jyphoon" - on gmail address.

For what is required to bring: Bring everything you could for drawing or should I say - Sketching: ie pencils, sharperner, erasers, colour pencils (if you want).

Yes you can 1st do a diploma and then continue with a degree in Architecture, so no worries on that.

Regarding the Kolej Laila Taib(KLT) whether or not they offers LAM papers. I've no idea, you'll have to call them up, meet them in person and ask about it.

If you're unsure. Call up and ask. There's no harm asking the right questions to the right people at the right time.

All the best to you guys!

1 comment:

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