Nippon Paint announces the winners of the AYDA (Asia Young Designer Awards) 2021 India edition

New Delhi: Nippon Paint (India) Private Limited (Decorative Division), Asia Pacific’s leading paint manufacturer, today announced the winners of the prestigious AYDA (Asia Young Designer Award) 2021, India Edition, in a virtual conference. Mr. S Mahesh Anand, President – Decorative Paint, Nippon Paint (India), and a panel of illustrious Architects and Interior designers, awarded the title winners.

The shortlisted finalists were judged by renowned architects Ar. Biju Kuriakose, Co-founder, ArchitectureRED, Ar. Naresh Narasimhan, Principal Architect, Venkatraman Associates, and Ar. Dean D’Cruz, Co-founder, Mozaic, Ar. Lalitha Tharani, Collaborative Architecture, Ar. Deepak Guggari, Principal Architect, Varsha & Deepak Guggari Associates, and Ar. Sonali Bhagwati, President DPA, Design Plus Architecture Pvt. Ltd., Ar. Arun Karthik, MD and Principal Architect of DesignQube, Ar. Gita Balakrishnan, Founder & Curator of Ethos & ACEDGE, served as the mentor for AYDA India 2021 participants.

A virtual panel discussion on “Blurring the Academia-Industry Boundaries” was conducted on the day of the AYDA finale wherein the deans, HOD’s, mentors and senior professors of leading architecture colleges participated.

The 6th India edition saw the participation of more than 1000 architecture, interior design students, and young professionals across India. Out of the 21 shortlisted candidates, 6 students emerged as the winners. One winner from each category (Architecture and Interior Design) was awarded the gold, silver award, and honorary mention; and cash prizes of INR 50,000, INR 25,000, and INR 10,000, respectively. Maitri Shah won Gold in the Interior design category and Aum Gohil in the Architecture. The Gold winners will now represent India at the grand finale of Nippon Paint’s Asia Young Designer Awards 2021, which will be conducted in July 2022. They will compete with finalists from 15 other Asian countries.

Best Supporting College and Best Educational Institute’s cash prizes were INR 15,000 and INR 10,000 respectively. Whereas the cash prizes for Best Colour Choice, Best Mentor was INR 5000. Being a virtual finale, a new category of Popular choice award was introduced, the winners were declared based on the live voting by the audience for the best presentations in both the categories. The cash prize for the popular choice award was INR 5000.

Talking about the event, Mr. S Mahesh Anand, President – Decorative Paint, Nippon Paint (India) commented, “The last edition of AYDA was a phenomenal success for the Indian finalist Neha Harish won the Best Sustainable Design Award at the Asia Edition. We are extremely elated to announce the winners of the 6th edition of AYDA 2021 (India edition). We wish Maitri Shah and Aum Gohil all the very best for the Asia Edition. AYDA has grown in leaps and bounds over the years, uniting designers into a larger-than-life movement led by empathic and socially conscious practitioners. This year’s theme reflects the need for designers to evolve beyond designing one-dimensional spaces to spaces that address changing end-user demands considering critical environmental factors. Over the years, Nippon Paint’s AYDA has developed a close-knit network of design experts, industry groups, and top design schools. We are hopeful that our efforts through AYDA will continue to encourage outstanding architecture and interior design students to act as catalysts and influence the built environment of the future.”

Ar. Gita Balakrishnan, Founder & Curator of Ethos & ACEDGE, said, “This year at AYDA, the theme ‘Amplifying Empathy through Design’ reflected the need for designers to grow beyond designing for aesthetics and function but to also address evolving demands of the end-users while factoring in critical environmental factors. Empathy in design thinking is often the most crucial step, as it leads to looking through the lens of the user and understanding the problem, ideating and eventually prototyping the solution to serve the users better. Platforms like these ensure students of design and architecture are nudged to continue to respond sensitively to critical topics like the theme of AYDA every year. Under the guidelines laid down by our esteemed jury members, mentorship by Ar. Pulkit Gupta and support of Ethos and Nippon Team, the finalists have worked behind the scenes for over two months to improvise on not only their final presentations but also their public speaking & graphical skills.”

Ar. Naresh Narasimhan, Principal Architect, Venkatraman Associates, said, “The AYDA 2021 is a forward-thinking engagement, with a focus on encouraging emerging talent in design. Nurturing young talent is equivalent to investing in our design future. A more expansive understanding of what it means to support ‘emerging’ might shift to encompass new ways of working or even new partnering possibilities. Either way, to produce work that is worth examination and judgement, takes skill, determination and, critically, confidence. This year, perhaps more than any other, our imaginative faculties have been tested – reinforcing the fact that what matters most is the ability to improvise, adapt and invent. This makes AYDA’s design theme all the more current and relevant. Nippon Paint has done a wonderful job of the India edition of AYDA 2021, and it was an honour to be a part of the entire process.”

Ar. Sonali Bhagwati, President DPA, Design Plus Architecture Pvt. Ltd., said, “Most of the participants had worked very well on their narrative and trying to build the story which was a very good thing. What set the winners from the other participants was that they were very clear in their thought. The presentations were very crisp as they were guided very well in terms of introducing and explaining the project. I think AYDA is a very good initiative and the fact that the students who win Gold get to go international is a great opportunity. As a student it’s a wonderful learning experience. AYDA is a very good effort and it should only be continued and expanded further. Lastly, I want to add that the themes of the students’ designs were all socially relevant, in fact some topics were out of the box and need and things that need to be addressed.”

Aum Gohil, Academy of Architecture, Mumbai who won Gold in the Architecture category said, “My AYDA journey from the moment I was shortlisted to the announcement of the winners has been amazing. It feels like living a dream. The fun mentorship sessions, feedback on presentations had us prepared for the final lap. My project titled ‘Apparatus of Amusement’ is a critique on the current fast consumption based society, the mindless way in which we buy and discard. The proposal repurposes a dysfunctional mall, which is considered as an epitome of consumerism, from a space for consumption to a place for second life of objects. It is an alternate system which bridges the link between consumption and waste. Now, I’m eagerly looking forward to represent our country at the Asian stage. The excitement and adrenaline rush to perform at such a huge platform seems like a very fun challenge. I would like to thank team Nippon, team Ethos and everyone involved in the journey for giving such wonderful opportunity to all the young designers out there.”

Maitri Shah, BMS School of Architecture, Yelahanka, who won Gold in the Interior Design category said, “I have always heard that hard work pays off. I truly believe that the harder you work, the luckier you get. I would like to thank Nippon Paint India for this wonderful opportunity to be a part of the AYDA journey and I extend my gratitude to Ethos India for their constant support throughout this journey. All the sessions organized by Ar. Pulkit were very insightful and his valuable inputs helped me in my final presentation. I would like to thank all the jury members for their valuable feedback on my project: community library located in Kutch, it is a great learning opportunity. I feel very proud that my work got reviewed by the top architects of India and it gave me tremendous joy when they appreciated my work. Lastly I would like to thank my college, friends and family for their constant support and for believing in me.”

All the respective AYDA 2021 GOLD WINNERS from 16 Asian countries will compete for the coveted Asia Young Designer of the Year Award 2021, (Asia edition) and win a chance to attend a 6-week Harvard Design Discovery Summer Programme at Harvard University – U.S.A, worth USD 10,000. If the students opt to take the virtual course, they would be rewarded USD 5,000.

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