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Project part 1: Analysing Self

Architect: Ar Koh Sheh-Ren


Topic: Education
Written By: Bernard Ling Ching Chiong
Student ID: 0301892

Ar Koh Sheh-Ren started her early education in Methodist English primary School Telok Datok
Banting in her hometown, Banting. It was a primary school near her house where she could walk to school
everyday as a child. She then moved on to her secondary school education at the SMK Methodist English
Secondary School Telok Datok Banting, which was just a stone-throw away from her primary school. Her
early education was very academic orientated as her both her parents were school teachers teaching
English, Arts and KH. Becoming an architect was never an early decision as she didnt have any family
members in the construction line. However, Ar. Koh has a passion in arts and drawings but was never a
good artist. She was always amazed by the artworks of other people and wants to be just like them. In
addition to that, her father was an arts teacher in primary school, which makes her even more inclined
towards the learning of arts.

In upper secondary school, she took up the science steam because in those days, students with
good academic performances will automatically go to the science steam regardless of their passion in other
fields. Without much options, she just went with the flow and took up pure science studies. After graduating
from secondary school, due to budget constraint, AR. Koh went on for her form 6 studies in the same
school. She knew that her family could not afford her to study in luxurious private colleges and universities,
therefore she had a vision to do well in STPM and enter a good local university.

Ar. Koh scored good results in her STPM examinations, thus earning her a spot in the Malaysias
most prestigious local university The University of Malaya. It was like a dreams come true for her to be
able to enter a famous local university. From there, she started to ponder about the profession she would
like to further study and her choices came sort to either architecture or dentistry. Due to her curiosity in arts
and her passion to discover arts fully, she took the risk of applying for a spot in the architecture school of
University Malaya, leaving her second option for dentistry. She was lucky enough to be accepted to her first
choice which was architecture, and there she starts her journey in the architecture profession.

She was the first batch of architecture students in University Malaya and during that time, they
needed to share a lecture hall and class spaces with the engineering schools. Her class was quite small,
only of about 40 people. Therefore, she has quite a good bond with her classmates as they always do their
assignments together and help each other out. Being the first batch of architecture students, she didnt
have any seniors for reference and hence, she and her classmates had to depend entirely on each other
and their lecturers. She was also very lucky to have many foreigners lecturers who graduated from famous
universities overseas. This was considered to be a very rare case since University Malaya is a public
Malaysian school.

Throughout her architectural studies in University Malaya, Ar. Koh had a lecturer that helped her a
lot. She treated him as a mentor and also a good friend. The mentor was Heng Jee Seng from Association
architecture university United Kingdom and had worked with Ken Yang. He played a big role in influencing
Ar.Kohs style of architecture which Ar. Koh has now adopted these styles of designing. He looked highly
on the design principles of architecture, idealistic architecture, as well as looking into spiritual and spacial
designs. Ar. Koh graduated from the bachelor of arts in architecture in year 1998 and was granted a
scholarship by PAM to travel to Bath, United Kingdom. There, she was exposed a lot to the great
architecture of the world with her own eyes and was amazed by the great architectures.

After that, she returned to University Malaya to continue her master in architecture studies. In her
final year thesis project, she designed a church in Banting, her hometown. She studied and researched a
lot on the designs of churches as well as the spatial layout of the churches. She also looked into courtyard
designs as she would like to incorporate it into her final thesis. Ar Koh graduated from her masters in
architecture studies in year 2000 and from there, she started her career work in the architecture field.