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Brunei’s Future Designers – Albee Yong Sin Yen and Maziyyah Rosli
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In continuation of our Politeknik Brunei focus, we return again this month to showcase the capabilities of the up-and-coming generation of Bruneian architects and interior designers, to whom the task of developing aspects of the Sultanate will fall to.



Loud and confident, and strongly inspired by Modern Contemporary design styles, Albee Yong Sin Yen, who is currently enrolled at the institution’s School of Science & Engineering, is not a shy young lady. Brimming with a controlled energy that threatens to overspill, both her eyes and grin widen dramatically when asked, “If your budget was not a problem, how would you design your very own house?”

Albee instantly starts listing off the various ways she would design and deck out every individual room, but what becomes apparent is not the obvious levels of enthusiasm and talent she possess for this field of specialty, but the fact that she is quite fond of implementing modernism into her own personal style.

This is supported by examples of her conceptual renderings; works she has produced throughout her studies. From an editorial office and photography studio in a high-rise building, to living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens and even walk-in wardrobe spaces; Albee’s designs tend to adopt wide spacious floor plans whenever possible. She also enjoys utilising neutral elements complemented by abundant sunlight, while a minimal use of earthy hues of brown add warmth to its surroundings. If anything, the Scandinavian style of interior design resonates enough in Albee’s works that it is easy to see how she manages to blend strict modern design with the ever-changing contemporary aspects.

An internship spent at Radio Televisyen Brunei resulted in this student leaving her comfort zone in order to design set pieces for locally televised programmes. “I had to help with creating original set designs, and this is something that was new to me. But I enjoyed it nonetheless because when it comes to my schoolwork, I definitely prefer the practical side of it. I love being hands on.”

Reveling in a moment of pride, Albee ends the conversation on a high note, sharing a story in which this talented individual designed a standing light stand from copper pipes that was successfully sold to the Cultivate Café & Bistro on the ground floor of Progresif Headquarters. A unique shape, the light was designed in accordance with the Form Space concept, which is dependent on the area it will occupy. Talk about unexpected, I wonder what else she can make.



On the other end of the spectrum we have the reserved and soft-spoken Maziyyah ‘Jiah’ Rosli, a 21-year-old student enrolled in Politeknik’s Diploma of Architecture course. Initially shy, this talented young lady who goes by the nickname Jiah didn’t take long to open up about her interests and passions regarding her studies.

“I love the outdoors. Anything to do with outside. This is why I like to use elements from our surroundings,” Jiah says, as she points out the major natural features that have been seamlessly incorporated into her conceptual renderings of suburban homes. Also, by focusing on one specific theme, this nature-enthusiast prevents her designs from becoming cluttered and unstructured.

Examples of her works include a residence on concrete pillars that utilise wooden beams as a skeleton covering for an external staircase. Extending to cover the lobby and front entrance at the top of the stairs, the beams double as an aesthetically pleasing focus area.

Another home takes the form of a 2-storey house that makes use of flora in a minimal yet effective manner, such as the tall shrubs that stretch up two thirds of the building. Also using wood, a 3rd design showcases Jiah’s use of decking as a solid base as well as beneath the roof. What all these designs have in common is an underlying modern appearance with open floor plans, which have large sections that seem to almost blend with their backdrop courtesy of clever use of nature.

“I’m also quite interested in mini homes and have spent some time researching them”. Now were on to something. With higher than expected interest levels in the pre-fabricated mini spaces available at Fabular.Co (see last month’s issue), the opportunities for designers and developers looking to move into the mini homes segment can only continue to take off in the foreseeable future.

“Again as you can see, I have made use of nature in the sense of what it has to offer,” Jiah references one of her mini home designs. Resembling a futuristic yet functional LSL container space that utilises step ladders indoors, this home’s tall windows allow light to reach every corner. I wonder what other aspect of nature she could utilise as a major theme in her design.

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