Master students: Topics (10), Abstracts (10), Research Proposals (4) and Viva (5) Slides of Theses

Master of Architecture Graduates and Thesis Titles (11)

1. Amatalraof Abdullah Abdulwahed (2014)
Zaha Hadid Form Making Strategies for Design

2. Nurzuliza Jamirsah (2014)
The Effects of Greenspace on Urban Residents’ Social Interaction in Malaysia

3. Nor Atiah Ismail (2003)
Cultural Responsive Landscape: Planting Composition in the Rural Perak Malay Residential Garden

4. Noor Ain Yatiman (2014)
Affordances of Home-school Journey as a Play and Learning Environment for Rural Middle Childhood Children

5. Nursuraini Shaffee (2013)
Complexity of the Floral Pattern in Ventilation Panel of Timber Building in Kelantan and Terengganu

6. Noraini Bahari (2010)
Assessing Greenway Network Connectivity in University Campus

7. Roshida Majid (2002)
Post Construction Evaluation of Play Therapy Garden at Hospital Segamat, Johor

8. Mohammad Shuhaizan Shamsuddin (2008)

9. Yeo Lee Bak (2014)
People’s Interaction with Attributes of Public Art in Public Open Space

10. Mega Suria Hashim (2015)

11. Janatun Naim Yusuf (2016)
Middle Childhood Sensibilities Towards Physical Characteristics of Everyday Landscape in Low Cost Housing Neighbourhood (2016)

Master of Urban Design Graduates and Dissertation Titles (4)
1. Seyed Hassan Ameli (2011)
People Behavior in Recognizing Niasarm Green Corridor, Esfahan

2. Chan Wai Lai (2010)
The Changes of Place Attachmnet Before and After 1975 in Ho Chi Minh City

3. Farnza Aliaghian (2009)
Meaning of Streets Perecived by Users in Urban Centre

4. Ahmad Amzar Abdullah (2012)
Placeness Bagi Pasar Besar dan Bazar di Kampung Jawa, Melaka


Thesis Abstracts (10)

1. Nursuraini Shaffee (2013)

Modern architecture is partly responsible for disappearance of wood carving in Malay architecture.  Wood carving is an art that portrays the identity of Malay traditional architecture. There are more than 20 carved components of a traditional Malay building which include ventilation panels on walls and above doors and windows. However, little is known on the complexity of the carving which has been passed from a generation of woodcarver to another. This study aimed to identify the trend on the complexity pattern of floral motifs on the carved ventilation panels fitted on Malay traditional buildings which from the period of 1840s to 2000s in the states of Kelantan and Terengganu. Data of carving motif were obtained from a set of 16 measured drawings from the Centre for the Study of Built Environment in the Malay World (KALAM) at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. From the drawings, 32 carved components were analysed using point pattern and visual descriptive analysis to find the changes on floral motifs. The results were then triangulated with the views of two craftsmen.  It was found that eight types of ventilation panels were used in four types of buildings which were palaces, mosques, houses and resorts. The patterns of the carving are categorised into floral design element, element design character, compositional pattern, principle design and principal form. For example, similarities and differences in floral design element existed in flowers, branches, tendrils, flower buds and leaves. As indicated by the value of variance to mean ratio, the complexity of carving differ from one building type to another. It means that the carvings found on mosques are not necessarily more complex than the palaces or houses. It also means that the pattern of buildings in Kelantan was not necessarily more complex than those in Terengganu or vice versa. The inconsistency on the complexity of pattern can be attributed to the reigning government, social status of owners, skills of craftsmen, and placements of carved components onto the buildings. Therefore, Malay woodcarving is an artwork which constantly evolving depending on particular function, environment and socio-cultural needs in the society.

2. Yeo Lee Bak (2014)

The fitting of public art in towns and cities around the world has become favourable and has gradually been used in urban regeneration schemes. As today people begin to appreciate public artworks by interacting with it. This study explores public art in palpable forms namely sculpture, mural and street furniture. Many researchers have studied on the value of art in public realm and its artistry toward aesthetic, economic, social and cultural claims. Several studies have been conducted on attributes of the artworks such as attractiveness, size, material composition, placement and its social identity. However, there is still a lack of study namely on size, material composition and the placement of public art that can contribute to people’s interaction, be it active or passive. This study began with an observation at Georgetown, Penang to garner a prerequisite understanding of the site and followed up with survey questionnaires (N=211) to generate the results of public art attributes, and eventually interviews (N=5) were adopted to strengthen the findings. The questionnaires were analysed using SPSS (Chi-square test) and AMOS (Confirmatory Factor Analysis) and observation and interview data were content analysed. The result suggests that people like to interact with a life-size public artwork, fabricated from natural and non-natural materials which located at streets, squares, plaza or parks. For those who took photos, touched or observed the artwork attentively, they are infused with positive vibes such as feeling pleasant, contented and excited. Whenever they felt positive, they are subsequently motivated to recommend their friends, family or relatives to visit the artworks. This research allows landscape architect, architect, urban planner, artwork producer, artist and local authority to understand the significance of adapting public art’s attributes structurally and socially that can contribute to the renewal of urban space.

3. Norain Yatiman (2014)

Outdoor environment has been recognised as the most significant place for children’s performances. However, children opportunities for outdoor activities have gradually declined in the past two decades. Generally, children spent most of their times in school and they did not have equal amounts of free time before and after the school period to engage in outdoor activities. The journey to school has been recognized as a place for children to engage with outdoor activities. However, there is lack of concern in children’s performance in the home-school journey especially in rural area. Hence, this study investigates the affordances of home-school journey for children’s performance in a rural area. The study was conducted at a village of Kampung Sri Gunung Pulai, Johor, Malaysia. A total of 54 middle childhood children, aged 9 to 11 years old, participated in the survey by sharing their home-school journey experiences through drawing, semi-constructed interview and participant observation. The sets of data were analysed using content analysis and were triangulated to build a coherent justification of the children’s performance. The result revealed that the children were highly engaged with perceived affordances compared to utilised and shaped affordances due to the limited time spent on the journey. They were highly engaged with natural elements more than built elements. The positive affordances, as perceived, utilised and shaped by the children, were six times more than negative ones. The study concluded that the home-school journey is important for the children performance and mobility that allowed them to interact with natural elements and permitted them to be physically, socially and cognitively active.

4. Noraini Bahari (2008)

Greenway is a route to connect people with places. It is a multi-objective planning approach in order to improve the quality of campus environment and to enhance its identity as an academic village. Campus greenway is composed of roadside trees, pedestrian way, cycle way and river or lake corridors connecting play fields, gardens and squares. Thus, to establish a greenway in a university campus, the road reserve which is a ready network is used as main linear resource. Nonetheless, the foremostchallenge in establishing a campus greenway is to counter the fragmentation of all physical elements such as walkways and trees along the road reserve. Therefore, the study analyzed the physical characteristics such as walkway width, trees shape and planting continuity as well as types of nodes which constitute a greenway in a university campus. The study has measured variables such as connectivity, naturalness and nodes within and along the campus road reserve. A site inventory was conducted and site photographs taken. ArcGIS 9 (ArcMAP release version 9.1) was used to visualize and analyze the data. The study has identified two factors, too narrow road reserve and too many gaps (breaks) and barriers that obstruct the flow of pedestrians and cyclists along the greenway and hence, constraint the formation of campus greenway. The gaps were road junctions, opened drains and discontinuous walkway, and the barriers were signage boards and lighting poles improperly located on walkways. Thus the study contends that to establish a greenway in university campus, the forms and functions of all linear and non-linear elements should be carefully analyze to ensure its appropriateness and connectivity so as to ensure a successful greenway on campus.

5. Amataraof (2013)

A considerable number of architectural students, architects, and designers of fashion and furniture around the world who admire Zaha Hadid‘s works generally find it difficult to understand her way of designing form. Therefore, this study‘s aims are to find out her techniques of generating creative forms and to investigate whether there are any form patterns in her works. Moreover, the study emphasises her strategy of designing architectural form as well as the principles she uses. Research methodology was a qualitative study using descriptive, analytical, and exploratory methods. Since there is a lack of academic sources on this topic, the data largely came from her published interviews, whether videos from internet or from magazines and books. A content analysis for Hadid‘s interviews was done through categorizing her words and phrases under different themes, clustering and partitioning them into variables. A study of her drawings, projects images, and their descriptions was done for 208 projects in regard to form notion. Through noting, quantifying, and tabularising the prevailing features of project‘s form, it is indicated that 53 percent of Hadid works was influenced by suprematism. While 24 percent of them was characterized by fluidity, 7 percent has organic features, 6 percent was inspired from the surface form of topography, and 10 percent was shapely designed in parametric manner. It is shown that Hadid often works within framework of five patterns for the project‘s shape notion based on their dominant characteristics that are suprematist, topographical, fluid, organic, and parametric. The content analysis has contributed in exposing main themes such as her strategy of design, form notion, and her techniques which this study has focused on. Moreover, it showed the techniques Hadid usually uses to generate form which are abstraction, landscaping the surrounding context, play of light, idea of the ground and gravity, layering, seamlessness and fluidity. It is expected that through understanding these patterns and techniques, many things might be clarified and these might help those who are interested in designing Zaha Hadid‘s architecture.

6. Nadzirah Jausus

Regular public space maintenance indicates efficient public space management yet it can be cost-exhaustive. Furthermore, many municipalities are facing with the issue of decreasing in allocation for maintenance works. Good public space management deals with not only operational system but also relationship between users and the space. Accordingly, neighborhood public space is owned both by the local authority and the residents. Public participation is a strategic approach to deal with maintenance of public space. It not only addresses the question of cost but also the relationship between public space and the residents. It also contributes to the sense of responsibility of the residents to their own neighborhood. However, the concept of the residents maintaining their own public space is still uncommon in Malaysian urban neighborhood. The responsibility of maintaining public space is always perceived as the duty of the local authority especially in the urban area. Hence, this study investigates the components that contribute to the willingness of residents in housing neighborhood to be involved in maintaining their own public spaces. The study begun by observing residents participating in public space maintenance activities at Taman Tun Dr Ismail in Kuala Lumpur. Responses of resident were elicited using open-ended questionnaires (n=229) which also contain a section that elicited the residents opinions on the barriers that may deter them from participating in public space maintenance activities. The data were analysed using SPSS version 16 (Explanatory Factor Analysis), SPSS AMOS (Confirmatory Factor Analysis) and NVivo (content analysis). Results suggest that 51.5% of residents are willing to be involved in public space maintenance. Personal motivation is the major element contributing to resident’s willingness to be involve in public space maintenance. Residents were motivated to be involved in public space maintenance activities whenever they recognized the potential on gaining new knowledge from the experience. Additionally, residents were also more willing to be involved knowing that by participating they will contribute to the greater good of the community. However, their willingness to be involved in their own neighbourhood public space maintenance was also influenced by attachment towards the neighbourhood as well as the strength of neighbourhood ties. Without the attachment and ties, the residents’ willingness to participate decreased. Through content analysis, “time” and “lack of coordinating body” were the two major barriers from participation activities. In relation with SEM, the community organizing affect neighbourhood ties immensely. The finding indicates that good community organization is necessary to create opportunities for participation activities. Such opportunities will trigger more participation from the residents.

7.  Nurzuliza binti Jamirsah (2013)

Malaysia‟s rapid urbanization is causing unprecedented competition for land acquisition such as residential, factory, school, and business centre, thus resulting in unprofitable landuse such as greenspaces being side-lined. A consequence of urbanization is critical greenspace loss causing no place for residents to fulfil their needs which are associating with nature or socializing with others. Urban greenspaces have potential in enhancing public well-being. Hence, this research aimed to discover which urban greenspace characteristics are affecting residents’ social interaction by examining the greenspace physical qualities and the influence on residents’ social behaviour. This research focuses on two neighbourhood parks located at Johor Bahru which are the Mutiara Rini Urban Forest and Bukit Indah Town Park. Both greenspaces were chosen due to their similar design and planning characteristics. Based on 172 completed survey questionnaires, coded into SPSS Software Version 18, it is found that 80% of visitors liked to meet new friends in parks. The results suggest greenspaces serve as means to encourage social interaction. The data were further analysed in AMOS Software Version 18 to create a structural equation model (SEM) for each park. The model serves as a graphic-correlation test to examine the connection between the variables of man-made character, natural character, social activity and park attributes that correspond with social interaction. Sets of behavioural maps were produced based on visitors‟ preferred spots. It is found that design elements such as fields and open spaces, vegetation and animal presence, vegetation maturity, park facilities, attractive designs, security systems, and cleanliness of parks contribute to positive social interactions. The variedness of greenspace characters including vegetation density, animal populations, undulating landforms, and water bodies were seen to increase the positive social interactions such as holding regular family gatherings. This research sets and defines significant criteria for designing active-interaction zones that will eventually increase greenspace usage.

8. Suhaizan Shamsuddin (2012)

Young children perceived outdoor environment as timelessness, dynamic, varieties in scale, form and colour, and non-made by man. Outdoor environment offers children plenty of functional properties affordances, for play and growth. The properties include topography, plants and animals permitting sensorial and motoric actions. This study investigates the interaction of middle childhood children with plants and animals in garden. Perceptual responses of 120 children, aged 6-12, on preferences towards the plants and animals in home and neighbourhood gardens were elicited using survey questionnaire and semi-structured interview. Both methods were conducted at the home gardens and at the children’s schools, one in rural and the other in urban settings. The rural setting was at Kampung Sri Bunian, Pontian, Johor which was characterized by agriculture crops and cluttered landscape. On the other hand, the urban setting was a housing neighbourhood at Taman Universiti, Skudai, Johor. Using SPSS version 15, the data was analyzed in frequency, cross-tabulation and chi-square test or fisher exact test. The data analysis involved levels of participation in gardens, children habitual range, children’s properties and attributes of garden for play and categories of affordances in gardens. The levels of rural children participation in home garden is 49% greater than the urban garden because of variedness of plants and animals and difference in space forms and scales. In rural setting, the children played in front yard, side yard, back yard, barn areas and bushes areas whereas in urban setting they played in paved open space and centred spaces for exploration, discovery and socialization. Moreover, rural children (25%) played with both; plants and animals than their urban counterparts (6%). It suggests that rural gardens afforded more functional play than urban gardens. Inasmuch, in affordances for nature-link, 88% of rural children knowledge on properties gained from direct and indirect experience in nature rather than urban counterpart. This study suggests that rural gardens afford more functional affordances than urban gardens for young children’s performances. This study implies that rural outdoor offers more opportunities and independent mobility for children to be physically and socially interactive.

9. Mega Suria (2015)
Pattern of Wayfinding and Spatial Cognition for Effective Spatial Planning of Theme Park
Theme parks have emerged as a major tourist attraction in Asia. Their design and layout are often sophisticated and thus constitute a challenge to the way people access this type of tourism infrastructure. Developing a theme park identity is essential for successful wayfinding and for creating space for a more legible and user-friendly experience. In recent years, wayfinding has become an issue for how visitors find their way around the theme park. However, only a few studies have explored visitor behaviour related to spatial planning and the choice of activities that visitors prefer most. This research investigates visitors’ wayfinding behaviour in the theme park by determining the pattern of movement to improve the physical environment. The study was conducted at Universal Studios in the city-state of Singapore. The researcher used a questionnaire survey to elicit data from 229 theme park visitors. The aspects investigated include visitors’ perceptions of the design, facilities, choices, and preferences. In addition, a behavioural observation was conducted to complement the questionnaire. The study data were analysed using the Rasch Measurement Model with the aid of Rasch Winstep software. This study found that patterns of behaviour based on specific intentions, attitudes, and motivation were most significant and were identified through the environmental and behaviour responses. It also discovered that the rules of human wayfinding ability could be grouped into three types: adaptability, visual connectivity and flexibility. Both behaviours can be merged to improve the flow of visitors, which indicates that spatial and individual factors do affect familiarity with the environment. Therefore, regarding wayfinding behaviour, visitors’ tend to be more anxious in looking for a strategy preference in facing the difficulties which they engage with the activities in each zone, base on individual cognitive performance. The findings of this research can definitely benefit to theme park management, space designers and policy makers in tourism and recreation industry which improve the overall theme park experience for visitors’ to revisit again.

10. Janatun Yusof (2016)


Home and its surroundings are the salient places of children’s everyday landscapes, where they live and play. The quality of the place depends on its environmental affordances that permit children to play. However, play is also influenced by children’s sensibilities with the environmental features, as they use their senses while playing. Their sensibilities enable them to recognise the physical characteristics of their everyday landscape such as size, form, colour and texture, which contributes to their cognitive development. Moreover, their sensibilities also trigger their affection towards the environment. Thus, a place should not only been viewed as capable of offering affordances for children’s play, but should also stimulate children’s sensibilities. This study explores children’s sensibilities to the physical characteristics of their everyday landscape elements in three low-cost residential neighbourhoods in the Johor Bahru district of Malaysia. The study was conducted with 32 middle-childhood children consist of age between 6 to 12. They shared their play experiences through photographs, play journals, in-depth interviews and direct participatory observation. The data was analysed using NVivo10 and was then triangulated. Through the photographs, direct participatory observation and in-depth interviews it was understood that children develop specific terms in explaining the physical characteristics of everyday landscape elements, such as using the word long to refer to big, colourless to refer to white, straight to refer to form and juicy to refer to the texture of rambutan fruits. The word frequency shows the size is the highest percentage frequency of words described by children which is 37% followed by texture 28%, colour 22% and form 13%. The children were able to recognize the potential of affordances base on the physical characteristics, in which 40 activities were reported to be affected by size, 39 activities by texture, 27 activities by colour and 18 activities by form. Direct participatory observation and play journals, followed by the in-depth interviews, showed that the children’s sensibilities varied according to their different types of place and play. Matrix coding showed that streets and alleyways were places where children were highly sensible to texture which had a count of 25 coding references. Space near to an acquaintance’s house was highly sensible to colour, which had a count of 38 references. Finally, space near to the child’s house was highly sensible to size, which had a count of 41 references. During functional play and games with rules, the children were more sensible to the size of the natural elements and the built environment, such as branches, fish and the width and length of the street. They were more sensible to colours of flowers in symbolic play. The findings suggest that children’s sensibilities to the physical characteristics of their everyday landscape are crucial for them to recognise the environmental affordances in their play. Therefore children’s sensibilities to the physical characteristics of their everyday landscape element assist them to transform a particular space became their place.


Research Proposals (7)
1. Noraini Bahari 2010
2. Yeo Lee Bak Research Proposal 2013
3. Deconstructivism and It’s Difficulties with Architecture’s Students
5. Influence of Public art on People Interaction
6. Public Participation as a Tool in Public Space Maintenance in Malaysian Towns

7. Research Proposal Janatun


Viva-voce Presentations (6)

1. Influence of Public art on People Interaction
2. Nor Ain Thesis 2014
3. Complexity of Flora Pattern in Carved Panels
4. Zaha Hadid Architecture of Form
5. Yasmin Tarok Viva 2015
6. Janatun Naim Viva 2015