Nippon Paint, Photo Credit to Nippon Paint
clock 06-12-2019
hit 1,984
Two Malaysian Students Named Winners of the Asia Young Designer Awards 2019

The Asia Young Designer Awards (“AYDA”), organised by Nippon Paint Malaysia Group in partnership with IJM Land Berhad, has announced the two winners of the Asia Young Designer Awards 2019. Following this competition, the Malaysian winners will advance to the regional level of the competition at the Asia Young Designer Summit 2019/20 which will be held in Vietnam from 11 to 14 March 2020. 

Elevating the learning experience to the next level, the two regional winners from the summit will have the opportunity to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime 6-week-all-expense paid Design Discovery programme at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Boston, USA.  This follows the establishment of the Gennosuke Obata Fellowship at Harvard, an esteemed partnership that provides both parties with the opportunity to exchange cross-cultural ideas and values.

Aimed at nurturing the next batch of design talents, AYDA is a platform that exposes participants to experiences that push them to challenge their design boundaries in the fields of architecture and interior design. Held across 15 geographical regions across Asia, this year’s AYDA saw a total of 1,230 submissions from 45 universities. 

The theme for this year’s competition – Forward: A Sustainable Future – encourages the next generations of architects and interior designers to break the boundaries of current design concepts by immersing their creations with functional and social sustainability elements in an effort to connect with the community. 

This year, Tien Jun Xiang and Sharifah Binti Mohamad from USCI University and City University Malaysia took home the esteemed title of ‘Gold Winner’ in the Architecture and Interior Design categories respectively, each taking home a cash prize worth RM5,000. Aimed at breaking the boundaries of conventional church designs, Tien’s ’Revival of Hope’ sees the revival of a burnt church, turning it into an ecologically-safe architecture that also reflects the merging of both modern and historical designs.

As for the winner in the Interior Design category, Sharifah’s ‘Ladang’ is envisioned as an urban agriculture organic farm market that aims to address the issue of obesity in Malaysia. Also aimed at encouraging Malaysians to practice healthy lifestyles, ‘Ladang’ is compliant with the Green Building Index (GBI) to ensure that the area is green and includes elements to promote sustainability within the area.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Ms Gladys Goh, Group General Manager of Nippon Paint Malaysia Group, said, “Beyond just a competition, AYDA also serves as an avenue where young designers are pushed to think progressively and develop ideas that are increasingly innovative, and it excites me to see how the young designers grow to be fine design leaders in their respective industry. The goal of this year’s theme – Forward: A Sustainable Future – focuses on functional and sustainable designs that connect with the community. The students’ presentations this year are truly remarkable and it’s impressive to see how they have conceptualised designs that will surely transcend time!”

On IJM’s continuous support for the AYDA programme, Mr Chai Kian Soon, Senior General Manager of Bandar Rimbayu at IJM Land Berhad, said, “As a progressive developer, we pride ourselves in innovative design, value-driven ideas, master planning and sustainability capabilities to enhance communities and society. In our pledge to help shape the future of our industry, we seek to empower the new generation of design talents, bonding creative education with the industry. Parts of its holistic appeal is interacting with and learning from the experts as well as fellow design peers and in the process, nurture their skills and knowledge for the betterment of the society. Design is very much part of our DNA at IJM Land, and we are proud of our continued partnership with Nippon Paint Malaysia on this initiative to nurture these change makers of the future, in paving the way forward for them. It has always been our desire to support the dreams and passions of our future creative leaders.” 

This year’s edition of the Asia Young Designer Awards 2019 Award Ceremony also sees an esteemed panel of industry captains, with the chief judges being Ar. Sarly Adre Sarkum (Architecture Category) and Mr Lai Siew Hong (Interior Design Category). 

Speaking on Tien’s design, Chief Judge for the Architecture category, Ar. Sarly, said, “Through ‘Revival of Hope’, Tien demonstrates that he is able to approach the reviving of an abandoned building in a very emotive, contextual and sound response to the reviving of a destroyed and abandoned site. I am truly impressed by how the sequential programming of the spaces are also well thought out and resolved. It is no wonder that this submission came out on top!”

Both winning projects have received high praise from industry experts. Commenting on Sharifah’s design, Chief Judge for the Interior Design category, Mr Lai Siew Hong, said, "Over the past few years, the entries that we have received continue to impress us, with this year’s submissions further showcasing how the students aim to align their projects with the theme of ‘FORWARD: A Sustainable Future’. Sharifah’s ‘Ladang’ is an epitome of this. Having also bagged the Best Green Innovation Award, her creation clearly demonstrates its inspiration derived from her childhood days growing up on a farm, brought together by modern elements of sustainability and green measures to make it a winning entry.”

While conceptualising ‘Revival of Hope’, one of the challenges Tien faced was ensuring that the new architecture is one that is modern. Speaking on his design, Tien said, “Despite being abandoned, I always felt that there are great opportunities to revive the burnt church in ways that blend in well with the surrounding environment. I personally believe in merging historical and modern architecture to come together. Hence, that was the approach I took in designing ‘Revival of Hope’. The feeling of having being announced winner is indescribable, but I am truly excited and eager to move to proceed to the regional level of the competition, and see where this journey takes me!” 

Sharifah’s ‘Ladang’, on the other hand, urges the public to take a more active role in ensuring that they live a balanced and sustainable lifestyle. “Through my project, it is my goal to design a conducive space that serves as a commercial, social and education centre for all. I never thought I would emerge the competition a winner but am honoured to be given the opportunity to move to the next phase of the competition where my creative boundaries will be stretched. I have learned so much from my journey thus far with AYDA, and can’t wait to see what the next few months will bring,” said Sharifah. 

“Year after year, I continue to be impressed and inspired by the creative minds of these young designers, and both Tien and Sharifah’s winning entries this year are no different! Both projects demonstrate a deep understanding of creating and designing sustainable spaces in innovative ways. Although I cannot wait to see what’s next in store for both our winners, I already know that without a doubt, they will continue to push their creative boundaries and make us all proud,” said Gladys.

Following Tien and Sharifah’s wins, the two winners will also stand a chance now to compete against winners across 15 other geographical locations across Asia for the prestigious title of the Asia Young Designer of the Year 2019/20. 

Now in its 12th year, AYDA has grown to be a prestigious platform supported by the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE), Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM), Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Youth Malaysia (REHDA Youth), Malaysia Green Building Confederation (MGBC), Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB) and the Malaysian Institute of Interior Designers (MIID). Together with collaborative efforts from all partners, the AYDA programme continues to see success year after year, with a notable increase in participants throughout each year. 

To find out more about AYDA, the entries and other information, log on to

Tags / Keywords:

footer tagline