Organised by Nippon Paint, the Asia Young Designer Awards (AYDA), will see its 13th year of empowering young, budding designers to be agents of change by creating a positive impact, through design, within their communities. Held annually, student participants go through a rigorous selection process to proudly represent their countries for the grand title of Asia Young Designer of the Year 2019/20 at an international level. Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, AYDA pushes boundaries to continue nurturing designers for a better future.
Last year saw architect Tanay Bothara from India take his place at the gold spot in the Architectural Category with his award-winning project that saw him spend six weeks attending the Design Discovery Program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design; an entire experience worth USD10,000 fully sponsored by Nippon Paint, as part of his winning prize, setting the stage for more to come this July.
Tanay Bothara attending the Design Discovery Program at Harvard GSD with his course mates
Tanay was able to attain a life goal following his gold achievement at the AYDA 2018/19 – to make it to Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design ‘Design Discovery Program’. “During my time at Harvard University’s GSD, I personally had the chance to design a unique civic centre project, which provided me with rare insights from design experts from around the world. It was a great learning opportunity and I’m glad my journey landed me here. I encourage students to take part in AYDA to be able to experience what I have been able to. All it takes is the courage to pursue the competition knowing you have nothing to lose and only so much to gain,” said Tanay Bothara, Asia Young Designer of the Year 2018/19 (Architectural Category).
AYDA 2018/19 saw Tanay channel humanitarian ideals with his award-winning project “Children Uprooted”. The architect achieved his personal goal of making a noteworthy contribution that will positively impact lives around the world as he showcased an attempt to recover the lost childhood of the Syrian children as he re-adapted war-torn spaces into playgrounds while strengthening colour, warmth and normalcy in a socially conscious process.
Children Uprooted, a humanitarian project by Tanay Bothara
In 2018, Nippon Paint announced the establishment of the Gennosuke Obata Fellowship Fund at the Harvard GSD – a fund that has been providing financial aid to GSD students from Asian countries for the past two years. This partnership brings an additional program that rewards the Regional Winners of AYDA a 6-weeks all-expense paid experience at the prestigious school. Nippon Paint is connected to Harvard GSD’s alumni around the world to make way for more collaboration between the prestigious school and AYDA.
Since its inception, AYDA has engaged more than hundreds of industry professionals in Asia Pacific to mentor the student participants and expose them to first-hand knowledge in the industry. Participants will also receive coaching and attend skill-building workshops to better prepare them for the upcoming virtual competition held on July 8th and 9th this year, where finalists will present their finest works to a panel of judges to be the next Asia Young Designer of 2019/20.
“Nippon Paint conceptualised AYDA as part of the brand’s inclusive business project to empower and groom budding architects and interior designers across Asia and we are very proud to have been able to showcase the extraordinary pool of talents we come across throughout the years with AYDA. Following the 2019 A Sustainable Future theme that set the motion for aspiring designers to bring to life a sustainable future, we’re eager to see what will be brought to the table for 2020’s Human-centred Design theme,” said Wee Siew Kim, Group CEO of NIPSEA Management Company Pte. Ltd. (Subsidiary of Nippon Paint Holdings Co.)
Despite the outbreak of Covid-19 and with safety measurements in mind, Nippon Paint has made the call to present this year’s awards via a virtual ceremony attended by international judges and esteemed finalists representing their country for the grand title of categories in AYDA. The event will see finalists present their award-winning work to an esteemed panel of judges in the Interior Design Category and Architectural Category on the 8th and 9th of July respectively. The finalists will also engage in a 10-minutes Q&A session with the judges and two of the 26 finalists will walk away with the grand title of each category.
The initiative by Nippon Paint will also organise international webinars where professionals from the industry and young designers are able to bring their knowledge and talents together.
Since founded in 2008, AYDA has grown exponentially since – garnering more than 35,000 entries from more than 1,200 tertiary educational institutions across 15 geographical locations that recognises Asia Young Designers around the world and also offers sub-award prizes in each category:
- Nippon Paint Colour Award – USD1k
- Best Design Impact Award – USD 1k
- Best Sustainable Design Award – USD1k