By AP Dr. Alice Sabrina Ismail (Director Architecture program)
The International Open Design Colloquium is a unique online forum where academician and students in architecture and related design disciplines gather in an intimate setting to exchange ideas and experiences with peers from different backgrounds and cultures. This event which was conducted on the 22nd March 2021 was attended by almost 150 participants from the UK, Malaysia and India Architecture Schools. The Director of Architecture Program officiated it; AP Dr. Alice Sabrina Ismail, and the welcoming speech was delivered by the Head of Department of Leicester Architecture School – Ms Kate Cheyne. Four academicians represented DMU Leicester Architecture School – Ms Kate Cheyne (HOD DMU), AP Dr. Ben Cowd, Dr. Tim Barwell and Dr. Yuri Abdul Hadi as design crit panels with eight Masters of Architecture students – Ben Harrel, Madonna George, Can Ozerdam, Aminah Altuwaini, Hannah Bird, Jan Moore, Will Dudley and Lilie Bumford. Each architecture student from DMU Leicester Architecture School presented his/her architecture design projects in various UK sites covering heritage, culture, technology and the built environment. Four academicians also represented the UTM Architecture school – Dr. Aiman Mohd Rashid, AP Dr. Lim Yaik Wah, Mr Azari Mat Yasir and Dr. Leng Pau Chung alongside eight UTM Architecture students – Lee Siew Jing, Chuah Kok Sheng, Thing Kai Ren, Ahnaf Samsury, Akmal Hakim Jatmi and Beh Ming Yi. This four-hour design critiques session was a fruitful session, where the students and lecturers gathered together to comment on many aspects of design work in progress. It was an opportunity to enrich solutions between the divergent/generative beginning and the convergent/decisive end of a design cycle among students design thinking, process and outcome from both institutions. This event was beneficial because students and lecturers can gather valuable feedback from various aspects and dimensions. This kind of activity created an intellectual discourse that increases collaboration and peers learning among students and academicians that is valuable in building linkages and strengthening the relationship between international architecture schools from two continents. Many participants gave much positive feedback, and the UTM Architecture program will organise more international design crits events in the future.