Taylor’s University students explore mesh of culture and tradition in Balinese architecture

Two students from Taylor’s University School of Architecture, Building & Design recently embarked on a study trip to Bali, Indonesia with VERITAS Design Group. Tan Ling Rong and Lim Joe Onn, final year students in the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Architecture joined the yearly trip with the VERITAS team, as a part of the alliance established between the School and company last year.
The three-day excursion led by VERITAS Design Group had the students observe different architecture around the island. According to Joe Onn, “This trip gave me a valuable opportunity to explore the multiple possibilities of forms and material usage in design. Being able to immerse oneself within an architectural masterpiece was more enriching than looking at pictures of them online.”

Some of the places they visited included W Hotel, Potato Head Beach Club, Katamama and Soori Resort. The highlight of their trip, however, was a visit to the luxurious SVARGA – an award winning four-bedroom tropical villa with a pool. The architectural icon combined the traditions of Balinese style with modern features and facilities, commissioned by renowned architects Geoffrey Bawa, Peter Muller, Kerry Hill and Ed Tuttle. It is a popular destination among celebrities and prominent figures in the political and social scene.


“The hotels we visited serve as useful precedent studies for academic projects. Each hotel and villa taught us how an architect can play around with space and materiality within a site – promising optimum comfort and luxury in their living spaces and landscape,” observed Joe Onn.

According to Ling Rong, “I was happy to have been selected to be a part of this trip with VERITAS. It helped me understand and appreciate local culture and how its architecture is influenced by their way of life. This trip inspired my design by looking deeper into spaces, which also made me more observant to the architects’ purpose of their structure.”

Upon their return, the students were required to present their observations to their peers and VERITAS Design Group. They shared insights and experiences on architecture in Bali, learned the stark differences between theory and practice, and recognised the importance of expanding their network within the industry.

Ling Rong and Joe Onn earned their spot in the trip by maintaining their academic grade, ability to express opinions and were specially selected by Tony Liew, Head of School for the School of Architecture, Building & Design. The two students were also interns at VERITAS Design Group as a part of their final year academic requirements.