The Community Service Initiative module at Taylor’s University was developed with the main objective to nurture a culture of respect and caring toward all members of the community by participating through in-service experiences with others. In this process, students and faculty take steps to meet the needs of the community, enhance their own need to use critical thinking, and to develop/apply their creativity and knowledge in a real life situation. The approach of projects will differ according to the creativity, knowledge and skills of the coordinators to complete the outcome within the 14-weeks of study.
For the March 2019 semester, the community-based services were transformed by approximately 97 students from Taylor’s Design School BA (Honours) in Interior Architecture (BIA) and Diploma in Interior Design (DID) programs. During this course, the students transformed an aging and stodgy mini-library located at Kampung Ulu Melaka, Serendah, Selangor to a pleasant and vibrant reading space for the Suku Temuan Orang Asli. Based on information from the census, an estimated 99 children at the primary level and 21 students at the secondary level utilise the space for reading and learning activities. Interior architecture teachers Edwin Chomen and Norji Nasir led the project, guiding the students throughout the process.
The mini-library transformation took almost 3 months from the initial ideas until the completion. The students were divided into 6 groups with tasks distributed fairly:
Group 1: Sponsorship Team
- Reading materials: books, magazines
- Stationary: pen, pencils, markers, colours, etc.
- Furniture: tables, chairs, and white board
Group 2: Exterior walls and surroundings
- Mural design and external wall painting
- Cleaning of the outlying area around mini-library compound
Group 3: Interior walls and floor transformation
- Mural design and internal wall painting
- Flooring restoration
- Repairing the door and window
Group 4: Reading materials, electrical appliances, and lighting
- Sorting books
- Labelling, signage, and coding
- Electrical appliances
Group 5: Develop interactive fun learning aids and materials
- English:alphabet puzzle and word game
Mathematics: Snakes and Ladders, abacus, and spinning cubes
- Science: growth observation, taste and food chain
- Arts: play dough and painting activities
Group 6: Pre- and post-pictures, video, food and logistics
- Record the process of renovation, before and after photos and video Post on social media: Instagram, Facebook and e-book
- Organize food for the students while working
Initially, the interior students were given three weeks to design and plan the work with the team. The design process was coordinated with the majority agreeing on a jungle theme since it connected to the library surroundings. The flora and fauna characters were identified to be sketched and painted on the feature wall with a combination of different shades of green and blues. Characters of animals were painted on the windows to match the environment of the village while for the exterior part, a colour combination of ivory white, blue, mambo grey, and yellow mixed in different patterns to form a complex theme. The wall also contained an interactive learning aid to enhance the excitement of the children while visiting the mini-library.
On site, there were four phases of renovations completed on specified times.
- Week 9 – Phase 1 : Exterior Transformation – 1st June 2019
- Week 10 – Phase 2 : Flooring Transformation – 8th June 2019
- Week 11 – Phase 3 : Interior Transformation – 15th June 2019
- Week 12 – Phase 4 : Launching Day – 22nd June 2019
Even though the location of the mini-library was distant, about 53 km from Taylor’s University, students were able to give their fullest commitment in completing the tasks. Most of them spent the whole day on site to accomplish a specified task. The renovation was completely accomplished on the 15th June and ready to be launched on the 22nd June 2019. During the event, the Orang Asli children were delighted with the reformation of the reading spaces completed by the Taylor students.
Without the opportunity given to us by Yayasan Salam as well the positive support by the Orang Asli Community, this brilliant project would not be happened. It required time, dedication, and support from each and every one to ensure that the dream would come true.
Taylor’s University would like to thank all of the sponsors: Kansai Paint, OD & A, MIL Design& Construction Sdn. Bhd., Glad Tiding Assembly of God, WLS Furniture, and New Covenant Assembly for their donations and willingness to allow the students to create this transformation of the mini-library.
The students of the diploma and degree Interior Architecture Programs appreciated the opportunity and trust to discover their creativity, showcase their capabilities in designing the interior space as well as manage the mini-library project from ideation through to the final execution. Students learned a lot through participating in this in-service experience and to use/apply their skills and knowledge in a real-life situation. Such experiences are thrilling, but it is equally important to be part of what is happening in the community. Design is about putting forward ideas and memories — it allows participants another way of looking at life and comprehending it.
With all the guidance and experience obtained, we know that the students have developed the confidence to take on other creative journeys.
Further information related to the project can be found at https://csiorangasli5.wixsite.com/bagus/finale