Three students from the Interior Design department were recently announced as the third place winner in the Taman Tugu Kuala Lumpur Greenovation Design Competition. They are – Ricky Tai Wei Lik, Sebestian Sia Hao Xuen and Tham Bing Tian, who together formed the team named R.S.T. They took home RM6,000 in cash prize and certificate of participation as well as proudly having their bench designs chosen to be constructed within the park for the use of public.
The idea-based design competition organised by Khazanah Nasional Berhad in collaboration with the Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia (ILAM) called for the design challenge of innovative benches or gazebos with sustainable energy properties that will be located within the 27 hectares Taman Tugu, serving as iconic features of the park. Open to Malaysians from all walks of life, the competition saw design submissions from individuals and groups alike, to be part of Malaysia’s latest green legacy – the Taman Tugu.
“None of us expected to have made it this far, as ILAM is the national professional association for landscape architects in Malaysia. We believed there were competitors who are professionals in the industry. In order to stand out from them, we had to take it as more than just a competition. We spent our spare time brainstorming and sketching for ideas, taking the competition seriously as we put maximum effort into it,” said R.S.T.
The third-year trio’s submission, titled ‘The Connectivity Within Unity’, was derived from the National Monument (Tugu Negara) – the world’s tallest bronze freestanding sculpture that commemorates the fallen heroes in Malaysia’s struggle for freedom. Their park bench designs, aptly named ‘History’ and ‘Victory’, incorporated the elements of the sculpture: leadership, suffering, unity, vigilance, strength, courage and sacrifice, by connecting the angles of the seven soldiers. Besides the aesthetics, they had also put a lot of consideration into the functions, materials and construction of the design.
Both designs feature seat made with seven pieces of teak wood as a sustainable material for outdoor furniture use, and bicycle holder made of concrete as it is durable and easy to maintain. ‘History’ features a solar panel to generate electricity for mobile phone-charging through the USB hub, while ‘Victory’ features Piezoelectric floor tiles that harvest kinetic energy from foot traffic to be converted into electricity. The energy generated is stored in the built-in battery backup system for use when foot traffic is insufficient to generate the necessary energy to charge the devices.
“Designers create, and that’s what we will be doing after we graduate. However, we never expected this to happen during our studies. Joining the competition gave us this opportunity, and there’s only one word to describe how we feel – proud,” shared R.S.T about having their designs chosen to be constructed within the park.