Editorial Team

The latest instalment of Asia Young Designer Awards (AYDA) International Finale organized by Nippon Paint came to a successful conclusion following the announcement of Dayana Aripin and Evva Lim Fee Yah, both from Malaysia, as Asia Young Designers of the Year 2020/2021. The winners were announced across 23 finalists from 13 participating locations including Neha Harish and Tasha Singh from India. The budding designers, whose empathetic instincts to envision spaces that are both innovative and sustainable grabbed the attention of the judges in the international competition this year.

“We are very proud of the work put together by Neha and Tasha. We want to share our sincere congratulation to Neha for winning the Best Sustainable Design Award. Being selected to represent our nation from thousands of global entries is no easy feat to achieve and we extend our best wishes to our finalists for putting our country on an international stage for design and architecture. The past year has shown the importance of innovation, sustainability and empathy as we continue to brave the global pandemic. This edition of AYDA therefore holds a great significance in our journey forward. In the next edition, we are hoping to see more entries and hopefully, winners emerge from India as we look forward to the impact that these spaces and designs will create for generations to come,” said Mr. Mahesh Anand, President, Nippon Paint (Decorative) India.

Mahesh Anand, President, Nippon Paint (Decorative) India

Held virtually, this year the international design competition revolved around the theme of

Forward: Human-Centred Design setting the stage for aspiring designers to create spaces that are socially conscious while being innovative and sustainable. This train of thought is a much-needed aspect to designing, especially in growing economies like Asia that sees a steady population growth. However, this growth is also tied back to rapid innovation and technological advancements in the region giving architects and designers an opportunity to design visionary cities with spaces that reflect the local culture and serve the many needs of its people as we move toward smart and sustainable infrastructures. This theme of Human-Centred Design was prominently displayed in the work of the finalists who represented their countries at the global design platform.

Neha Harish received the “Best Sustainable Design Award” at AYDA Asia 2020 – 2021 for her concept titled ‘Requiem for Tolerance’, which explores the architectural implications of forced migrations which often lead to marginalisation and loss of identity among minorities. Her attempt, serves as the aiding acts of remembrance and efforts towards societal edification helping open dialogues of tolerance.

On winning the “Best Sustainable Design Award”, Neha Harish said, “It was an honour to represent the country at such a high competitive level where I got to interact and learn from young designers from all over Asia. It was also a great experience in terms of learning about different issues from around Asia and the motivations that drive a more human centred design approach.”

“We are very impressed with the work that was put together by the participants and winners of AYDA this year. As we speed toward creating cities that support sustainable living, we will be challenged to create out-of-box designs and spaces that are able to support commerce and community and are able to withstand the many winds of change we are likely to face in the future. This forward-thinking outlook to design was reflected with great precision in many of the final submissions, making our roles as judges all the more challenging but interesting, nevertheless. My heartiest congratulations to the winners and I look forward to the same outcome for the next year as well,” said Ar. Sibarani Sofian, one of the judges for the Architectural Category and founder and director of Urban+.

“The entries that we received this year clearly show that participants are much more than designers and that they understand the human nature and construction of modern-day society. It excites me greatly to see how young designers are portraying a sustainable future through art and I wish all the participants good luck in their endeavours. Kudos to Nippon Paint and Asia Young Designer Awards for creating such a great platform for young creatives,” said Ar. Jabeen Zacharias, one of the judges for the Interior Designer Category and chief architect at Jabeen Zacharias Architects.

Adding a unique experience to the AYDA journey, this year the international design competition organised by Nippon Paint took special care to include several digital interactions and virtual coaching sessions to ensure that all the participants were able to interact with recognised industry mentors and coaches. The event proceedings even included online workshops for participants to sharpen their creative storytelling skills before the virtual awards ceremony that was held live and garnered over 700 views during the event.

“The past year has shown the importance of innovation, sustainability and empathy as we continue to brave the global pandemic. This edition of AYDA therefore holds a great significance in our journey forward and I am proud to have come across great entries that were visually stunning and focused on creating innovative space and design solutions with a human touch. As we move ahead, we will continue to nurture this platform for young designers and motivate them to create impactful spaces and designs for generations to come,” said Mr. Wee Siew Kim, Group CEO of NIPSEA Group.

Keeping the flame of creativity going, AYDA by Nippon Paint has begun the journey toward its 14th edition, bringing together young designers, mentors and industry professionals under one roof. Themed Amplifying Empathy through Design, AYDA 2021/22 is open for entry submissions and will push the boundaries of ingenuity even further.

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