Bridging Architecture and Fashion: A Unique Collaboration Kalima Textile x UiTM

In an exciting endeavor to merge the worlds of architecture and fashion, Studies of Architecture, College of Built Environment at UiTM Puncak Alam recently hosted a collaboration that showcased the dynamic partnership between academia and industry. The event, held from November 2023 to February 2024, marked a significant milestone in the exploration of Malaysian-inspired patterns and their transformation into wearable art prints.

The project, initiated by the Studies of Architecture, College of Built Environment, aimed to leverage the expertise of Kalima Textile, a local textile company, to breathe life into meticulously crafted patterns derived from Malaysia’s rich natural species which aligns with the theme of studio project for this semester, Rekindling Malaysian Tourism in Cultiverse Journey. Titled “Kalima Textile x UiTM,” the collaboration provided a platform for exchanging ideas and aspirations between industry professionals and students. The collaboration sought to bridge the gap between architecture and fashion, infusing architectural narratives into ready-to-wear attire such as printed kaftan and printed shirt. The studio exploration also extended to daily items such as postcards, iPad cases, phone cases, and tote bags.

The event, which kickstarted on 27 November 2023, featured a panel discussion where representatives from Kalima Textile shared insights into the company’s profile and vision. Invited guest panels are En. Tabizi Tahir, Director of Kalima Textile, Pn Nurfatinah Rashidee, Managing Director of Kalima Textile and Pn Liyana Ahmad Zaini, guest surface pattern designer. The students had the opportunity to appreciate the intricacies of developing surface pattern design in the fashion industry, as well as the significance of promoting Malaysia’s cultural identity through wearable art. Through this collaboration, both parties aimed to produce a unique collection of wearable items that showcases the beauty of Malaysia’s native natural species.

An exhibition titled “Corak Coret” in commemoration of the studio project showcased a total of 47 patterns developed by students of first semester CFAP243 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Architecture welcomed participation from public to vote on the People’s Choice Awards. Public engagement through the open exhibition was initiated to create more engaging learning environment and to enhance the students’ soft skills and to boost their confidence to present their ideas to public. Speaking at the event, Ts. Azlan Ariff, the lecturer and studio leader of Semester One CFAP243 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Architecture, emphasised the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in fostering innovation and creativity. He expressed gratitude to Kalima Textile for their willingness to contribute their expertise to the project, highlighting the mutual benefits of such partnerships in advancing architectural education. The success of the studio project is certainly made possible with commitment from studio tutors, Ts. Dr Nurul Liyana Hanapi, Dzul Fadli Asraf Dzul-Kifli, Fairuz Reza Razali, Rashidah Jimi Sham, Fadzlan Rizan Johani and utmost dedication from Head of School, Dr. Hailane Salam.

The highlight of the collaboration saw the final product of the collaboration during Quantum Architectural Review 14 – 17 February 2024, where printed kaftan by Kalima Textile based on pattern designed by Muhammad Afiq Haikal (Semester 01 Meradent Studio) inspired by torch ginger motif, a local flower native to Kelantan is showcased on a mannequin and the table setup that features the company’s image. Also featured as Kalima Textile pick was The Vivacious Villain Plant by Nurul Izzah Jasni, inspired from Sarawak native species of Rafflesia, Rhizanthes Lowii which to be produced as printed shirt.

The collaboration with Kalima Textile represents a significant step forward in the College of Built Environment’s efforts to explore new avenues of expression and creativity. By merging architectural narratives with fashion, the project aims to empower the students’ works to embody and express Malaysia’s rich cultural identity through their wearable piece. With future collaborations on the horizon, the College of Built Environment remains committed to pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation in the pursuit of sustainable design solutions.