The Department of Landscape Architecture, Fakulti Alam Bina conducted a Workshop for School Landscape Design at Sekolah Menengah Bandar Seri Alam, Pasir Gudang, Johor Bahru (SMBSA) on Saturday, 17 January 2009. The objectives of the workshop is to test the methodological approach in group participation; and to establish the foundation of user requirements and preferences in planning and designing school environment in supporting teaching and learning program. Staff of the department participated in the program includes Assoc. Prof. Dr Mohd Sarofil Abu Bakar, Encik Ahmad Long, Encik Wan Yusrizal, Puan Suradiah Labintah, Dr Kei Saito, Encik Hassan Sahat and Encik Zoolamali Omar, together with 41 students of third year and second year landscape architecture course. The workshop was attended by teachers and students from 14 school of nearby district.

The workshop began with a formal launching session by the Pegawai Pendidikan Daerah of Pasir Gudang. An input lecture on School Landscape Design was then delivered by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Sarofil. In the meantime, two teams of students currently undergoing the studio of Resource and Landscape Planning conducted a site inventory and analysis through two Focus Group Discussion (FGD) methods. The first FGD method applied visual and landscape character approach; while the second FGD team conducted participatory survey for site inventory and analysis.

Teachers and students of the school were among the FGD participant. Subsequently, a conceptual and master planning session were conducted and presented to the FGD participants; which include two options of conceptual and schematic landscape master plan as basis for the department’s further design development. The workshop benefited both the department and the school.

Through the FGD approach, students of landscape architecture course experienced the potentials and constraints of establishing user participation in the design process. Students undergone impulsive changes of methodology and learn the capability to adapt with the situation to meet with user preferences. Simultaneously, the participants of the school were given opportunity to plan and design their learning and teaching environment according to their preferences.

Apart from the workshop, a road show that promotes courses offered by FAB was held at the school’s hall which attracted students and teachers to gain information through input from the slide shows presentation; drawings and models; and distribution of pamphlets.