The 14th Asia Young Designer Awards (AYDA) 2021 in Malaysia successfully concluded with the announcement of Muhammad Afzal and Amirah Afiqah as gold winners for the Architecture and Interior Design categories respectively via a live virtual awards ceremony.
Organised by Nippon Paint Malaysia in collaboration with long standing partner IJM Land Berhad, AYDA 2021 garnered a total of 1,276 entries for both the Architecture and Interior Design categories.
The theme for this year, FORWARD: Amplifying Empathy Through Design challenges the next generation of designers to grow beyond designing one-dimensional space and incorporate the evolving demands of consumers while factoring in sustainability and environmental care.
According to Nippon Paint Malaysia Group Managing Director, Mr. Yaw Seng Heng “Today’s design demands the need for increased levels of emotional understanding. Designers are now required to make essential decisions in maximising commercial value while protecting the aspects of nature and human emotions. Our winners prominently portrayed the theme’s objective in their designs with conscious design solutions incorporating sustainability, and social and emotional factors in mind. Congratulations to this year’s winners!”
Muhammad Afzal bin Hasmi from International Islamic University Malaysia bagged the winning prize for the Architectural category with his project titled Sejahtera Community Center.
The design with innovative facilities aims to empower local entrepreneurships so that people’s livelihood and social needs can be sustained during the “new normal” in achieving a harmonious and resilient socio-economic community.
Amirah Afiqah binti Abdullah of City University of Malaysia emerged as the winner for the Interior Design category with her winning project Bakau.
The design aims to develop an agricultural hub with various activities such as commercial, social, education and a preservation center so that mankind can live within the ecosystem of mangrove forest for a sustainable living in the environment.
Both Muhammad Afzal and Amirah Afiqah will take their winning designs and represent Malaysia in the international grand finals against finalists from 16 countries.
The grand prize winners from the two categories will then receive a fully-funded 6-week Design Discovery programme at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in Boston, USA worth USD10,000 next year.
“The winning designs are refreshing and revolutionary. We are optimistic that our efforts through AYDA will continue to encourage brilliant architecture and interior design students, empowering them to act as catalysts to influence the environment of the future. It has been a great journey these eight years, and we look forward to more years together with AYDA”, said IJM Land Berhad Managing Director, Dato’ Edward Chong.
This year’s competition marks AYDA’s second virtual event in light of COVID-19 restrictions. Adding a unique experience to the AYDA journey for the participants, Nippon Paint Malaysia took special care to include several digital interactions and virtual coaching sessions, ensuring participants were able to interact with industry mentors and coaches.
Participants were able to gain first-hand industry knowledge and were exposed to various online workshops by experienced lecturers and industry professionals through the CAKAPLAH! Sessions.
Ar. Sarly Adre Sarkum, Chief Judge of the Architecture category shared, “The participants truly challenged themselves and produced designs that were not only aesthetically pleasing but also impactful. Their design pushed the boundary of innovation yet placed great emphasis on the emotional aspect to deliver a design that fulfills consumers’ ever-changing needs.”
“The judges had a tough time deliberating the participants’ design submissions, but we are proud of their impressive work. Not only did they display great technical skill in their design, but they were also truly able to understand the theme and applied great innovation and creativity to their designs”, said IDr. Ooi Boon Seong the Chief Judge of Interior Design Category.
Over the years, AYDA has evolved from a competitive platform in Malaysia to a community of designers across the world. Today, AYDA is a global community across 16 different geographical locations in Asia.
The award has impacted thousands of young and talented student designers, presenting them with various opportunities to engage with renowned speakers and key figures in the design industry.
AYDA was first launched in 2008 as part of Nippon Paint’s vision to nurture future generations of talents in the interior design and architecture landscape. It focuses on empowering and grooming budding architects and interior designers across Asia with the aim to become an active advocate to cultivate talents for a better future.
Watch the full recorded award ceremony on AYDA’s Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AYDAMalaysia