Thursday, May 7, 2009

UTM student won the competition in MIT

One of the UTM or Universiti Technologi Malaysia's architecture student has won a top price in the competition organized by world top university, MIT( Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Cambridge, Massachusetts,USA. It is a proud moment for Malaysia.

She is Chan Wai Lai, a senior architecture student took up the challenge and be different in her final year Design Thesis Project, to enter the competition as her thesis project in the beginning of the academic year. She finally was declared the top prize winner in the Just Jelusalum Competition, an international competition organized by MIT.

Initially there were total of 1,150 entries from all over the world, only 125 eligible proposals were accepted. The entries were go through the review of world class panel of jury convened at MIT. The panel of jury consists of 9 members, including Suha Ozkan and Herman Hertzberger , both world well known academician and architects.

Chan Wai Lai's design was " Children village in Jerusalem". It is in the children that she hoped the future community of peace would be nurtured and raised out of built environment that she has designed, hopefully in the end the proposed dwelling environment would help to address social equality and harmony among citizenry of Jerusalem.

As a winner she will be spending an academic semester in residence at MIT,she will be appointed as Jerusalem Visionary Fellow, will all expenses paid during her stay in MIT. As a fellow,she need to participate in the inter-disciplinary discussion on the implementation of the ideas.

Please visit the web site for further details.

4 Top Prize Winners

"Children’s Village for Jerusalem." Wai Lai Chan (University of Technology, Malaysia) Skudai, Malaysia

"Look Up: Rainwater Harvesting." Michael Lin (Miami University of Ohio, Program in International Studies) Fairfield, US; Ann Davis (MUO, International Studies) Oxford, US; David Orwig (MUO, International Studies) Oxford, US; Amanda Zazycki (MUO, International Studies) Oxford, US.

"HUMMUS: East Mediterranean City Belt 2050." Siegfried Atteneder (University of Art & Industrial Design) Linz, Austria; Lorenz Potocnik, Vienna, Austria

"Envisioning Jerusalem through Media Barrios and Performance Spaces: Proposing Pilot Media Barrios in Kafr Aqab and Shuafat RC." Nitin Sawhney, Cambridge, US; Julie Norman (American University) DC, US; Raed Yacoub (Youth Media Initiative) Ramallah, West Bank

Children’s Village for Jerusalem

Wai Lai Chan (University of Technology, Malaysia)

This project is inspired by the word ‘share,’ an idea that resonates with the writings of Gershon Baskin. The starting premise is that only through sharing will Jerusalem become a city of peace. Without raising awareness of the need for sharing, energies devoted to constructing iconic architecture or designing beautiful buildings do not make sense. To achieve new and true peace, we must solve the problems of man, not of buildings, facilities or land division -- because all these problems come from man alone. My view is that true peace can only be found by educating the new generation correctly. The aim of this project, then, is to produce a new generation in 40 years, who can start the work of changing the face of Jerusalem and bring it a brighter future. There might be failure along the path toward fulfilling this vision, but I believe if children can be educated to become a terrorist who do not fear to die in a given mission, they also can be educated to become peace-makers which will stand firm in the concept of love and peace in any situation. Terrorist are not born, they are taught. It is the same for a peace-maker. I have tried to bring these ideas to life by designing an environment as well as a place for specific users from Israel and Palestine to come together. This group of users will be defined by common needs which enable them to live together and become educated around the concept of love and peace. The proposed buildings are children’s village and children’s gallery.

(source:the citation and picture are from

Chan Wai Lai , as Malaysian we are proud of you...for contribution to the future of peace in Jerusalem. I am really totally surprised that you are from UTM. I cannot imagine the winner is from UTM. I was staying with UTM students during the seventy in Setapak, KL. At that time, the university was the top technology university in the nation, all top students expired to enter the university, as this is the only university that accept MCE/SPM result. Remember there was one tall Daniel Chow from architecture studies,who drove a mini minor car.
But later when my brother was there, and the university moved to Skudai, there were many negative incidents happen which was not good for university education. I am happy all is over, and the winner is from UTM, and especially so for a Jerusalem project. UTM, congratulation to you too, please keep on the good work.

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