Loo Yi from University of Malaya and Zachary Khaw Lit Siang from Taylor's University Bag Gold Awards for Architecture and Interior Design Categories, Beating 1,260 Other Entries This Year
Loo Yi from University of Malaya and Zachary Khaw Lit Siang from Taylor's University were announced winners of the prestigious Asia Young Designer Award (AYDA) 2018. The two winners will soon be representing Malaysia in Singapore in March 2019 against winners from 14 other geographical locations across Asia for the title of Asia Young Designer of the Year 2018/19.
In line with AYDA’s theme Forward: Challenging Design Boundaries, young designers across Malaysia took up the challenge to push the boundaries of design, thinking and innovating beyond the current norms of design while looking into the future to predict what would be sustainable and beneficial to the community, as well as humanity as a whole.
Now in its 11th year, AYDA is a well-known platform spearheaded by Nippon Paint and supported by IJM Land Berhad with the goal of nurturing and discovering potential talent in the fields of architecture and interior design, empowering them to be able to think progressively while guiding them towards sustainability in their designs to help shape the future with innovative ideas. This year, the stakes have been raised as the regional winners, one each from the architecture and interior design category, will receive placement in a 6-week all-expense-paid Design Discovery programme at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in the USA. This follows the establishment of the Gennosuke Obata Fellowship at Harvard, a partnership between the esteemed institute of higher learning and Nippon Paint. The Harvard University Graduate School of Design is a global academic leader in the design fields thus students enrolled in its programme stand to gain quality education with valuable knowledge and experience that will surely enrich their thinking, designs and ideas.
Winner of the Architecture category, Loo was awarded the top prize for his design, Mangrove Charcoal Living Museum, showcasing an unconventional museum concept, which incorporates a forward-thinking mentality in the harmonious integration of physical structure and nature. An activated space and living exhibition in itself, his design integrates existing traditional charcoal factories with nature and transforms the site into a new tourist attraction, at the same time achieving a sustainable development with the surrounding mangrove forest.
He said, “It’s such an honour to be chosen as the Gold Award winner for this year’s Asia Young Designer Award (Architecture) and I thank the judges for believing in my work. When I came up with this design, I wanted it to be not just a gallery to display collections of physical remains at Kuala Sepetang Perak, but also a site to incorporate the locals’ non-material cultural practices and natural forestry heritage.”
Meanwhile, winner of the Interior Design category, Khaw gathered inspiration from the local fashion design industry and manifested his ideas into The Weave, a fashion incubator for local designers, that draws upon the upcycling of old textile into new outfits as one of the foundations of his concept. This creative idea showcases how a building can be transformed into a future-ready concept to meet the inherent fashion needs of the society in a sustainable manner.
He said, “This project has actually been a personal one for me as I am interested in all branches of design and understand the struggles of a budding fashion designer. In creating The Weave, I wanted to give young fashion design students a leg up in the industry and help them become successful, thanks to the facilities incorporated into the design. My first time entering an award like this, AYDA has indeed been a life-changing experience, showing me what I can do in this industry, thanks to the guidance of the judges.”
As the Gold Award recipients of the Malaysian leg of AYDA 2018, Loo and Khaw each won RM5,000 and a chance to represent Malaysia at the Asia Young Designer Summit in Singapore, to compete for the coveted Asia Young Designer of the Year 2018/19 title. Meanwhile, Ngew Kah Sheng from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Low Kah Lim from Malaysian Institute of Art won the Silver Awards in the Architecture and Interior Design categories respectively with a prize of RM3,000 each; while Muhammad Nazli Bin Karamazaman from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Ooi Soon Theng (Jackson) from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Vevitera A/P Kalaivanan and Lauridson Liaw Fu Kang both from City University of Malaysia won the Honorary Mentions in the said categories with a prize of RM1,500 each.
Gladys Goh, Group General Manager of Nippon Paint Malaysia Group, said, “The goal of this year’s AYDA’s theme Forward: Challenging Design Boundaries was to dare our young designers to challenge conventional limitations of design, while considering how the act of designing can bring a positive impact to environmental issues, infuse new values into social and cultural contexts, enhance better community living and lifestyle, and encourage progressive growth and development in a city. We are extremely proud of the Malaysian winners who have raised the bar to win the Gold Awards and have shown us what it means to question creative perimeters and think in a forward-looking, innovative way that breaks the norm of design as we know it. We at Nippon Paint believe that the youth of today are able to bring positive impact to not only their surroundings but the overall design industry as well. It is truly rewarding to see that through AYDA, young and talented designers are given a platform that allows them to excel further by showcasing their talents, and later to contribute to the development of cities and communities in the future.”
Edward Chong Sin Kiat, Managing Director of IJM Land Berhad, said: “We at IJM Land are immensely proud of AYDA and the way in which it has evolved internationally, as winners prove year on year that they are designers shaping the future of our industry. Our partnership with Nippon Paint in its 5th year aims to connect students to the heart of the industry, to build places and spaces for vibrant living and thriving sanctuaries respectful of nature that resonate with families, business and communities. We strongly believe in shaping and empowering young talents who will essentially transform the architectural and interior design panorama of our future.”
Presiding over the merits of the entries this year while contributing constructive feedback and sharing knowledge with the AYDA participants, the judging panel included distinguished and eminent figures in the architecture and design industry, led by chief judges Ar. Sarly Adre Sarkum, principal of Sarly Adre Sarkum Architecture, and Mr Lai Siew Hong, Chief Executive Designer of Blu Water Studio. In line with the aim to help nurture an innovative paradigm amongst the finalists, AYDA offered opportunities for the young talents to engage and gain first-hand exposure through personalized coaching, mentoring, skill-building workshops and a study tour to Bandar Rimbayu by IJM Land Berhad.
Other than Nippon Paint and IJM Land, AYDA is also supported by the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE), Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM), Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Youth Malaysia (REHDA Youth) and the Malaysia Green Building Confederation (MGBC), as well as the Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB).
To find out more about AYDA, the entries and other information, log on to www.asiayoungdesigneraward.com.