Doors open for young interior designers


Zachary (left) from City University of Malaysia and Hui Qi from UCSI University showing their trophies.

TWO Malaysian students have been named design champions in Nippon Paint’s Asia Young Designer Awards (AYDA) 2022.

Young Hui Qi from UCSI University won the architectural design category while Zachary Ding Tok from City University of Malaysia came first in the interior design category.

Both will represent Malaysia in the final against winners from 15 other locations for the “Asia Young Designer of the Year” title.

They will also compete for a three-week stint at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) in the United States.

The other finalists are from Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkiye and Vietnam.

Nippon Paint Malaysia assistant general marketing manager Datin Wong Meng Lee said, “AYDA has always been committed to nurturing young talents in architectural and interior design.”

She noted that design paradigms were always changing according to the needs of society.

Thus, she said, it was important for designers to be innovative to meet demand.

“Nippon Paint is proud to present the top two young designers to represent Malaysia in the final.

“Hui Qi and Zachary were able to use their critical and creative thinking skills to come up with designs that could uplift society.

“We hope they will reach new heights in the final,” Wong added.

Young said she had always dreamed about spending time at Harvard.

“I know that it will be tough going up against designers from Japan as they are known worldwide for their minimalistic elements.

“I hope I can make my family, university and AYDA Malaysia proud by winning through my ‘Unity’ project,” she said.

Ding, who incorporated his Sarawakian identity through the kamek design, hopes to bring his culture to the international stage.

“We see Balinese and Japanese-inspired architecture everywhere but not Sarawakian design,” he said.

AYDA chief judges for architectural and interior design respectively, Sarly Adre Sarkum and Ooi Boon Seong, said the competition had given young talents a chance to challenge themselves not just at the local level but also internationally.

Parked under Nippon Paint’s Colouring Lives initiative, AYDA 2022/2023 is themed “Convergence: Pushing the Reset Button” to challenge participants to think outside the box and merge man-made structures with personal rejuvenation and healing needs.

It received 1,101 entries from 58 colleges and universities across Malaysia, strengthening its reputation as a highly valued award among the design community.

Nippon Paint also provides students with funds to pursue their education at Harvard GSD through the Gennosuke Obata Fellowship Fund.

As believers of long-term collaborations, Nippon Paint is connected to Harvard GSD’s alumni around the world to allow more collaborations in the future.

AYDA was launched 14 years ago and has grown to be an important part of Nippon Paint’s vision to nurture future talents in the interior design and architecture landscape.

Over the past 10 years, it has collaborated with one of Malaysia’s top developers, IJM Land Bhd, to empower budding architects and interior designers across Asia.

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