Proud achievements at AYDA 2020

Two Bachelor of Science (Honours) Architecture students, Lim Chen Hee and Ng Tze Way from Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science, and their architecture projects were recognised for their impactful designs at the Asia Young Designer Awards (AYDA) 2020, organised by Nippon Paint Malaysia, in partnership with IJM Land. The award ceremony was held virtually via Facebook and ZOOM on 21 January 2021.

Themed ‘Human-Centred Design’, the AYDA 2020 competition aimed to showcase participants’ new approaches towards innovation by incorporating design thinking, while also taking into consideration a human-centred perspective when solving problems through design. The theme also draws attention on cultivating deep empathy for the people the participants were designing for; generating ideas and sharing what they have made, and putting their innovative new solutions. The designs incorporated the emotional, social and economic elements, while ensuring that the spaces designed also provide consumers with a sense of security, accessibility and opportunities.

AYDA also serves as a platform to inspire architectural and interior design students to develop their skills through cross-learning opportunities and networking with key industry players, as well as fellow peers in the region. In designing their projects, AYDA encourages participants to apply a holistic approach which is aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, namely Goals 7,9, 11, and 13.

Awarded the Best Green Innovation Award and among the selected 14 finalists, Lim’s award-winning project, titled “Lost and Found in Paradise”, won the judges’ hearts with its architectural design as a solution to transform Kampung Perting in a sustainable and economic way. Lim also received RM1,000 cash prize for his award, and RM200 for being one of the finalists, along with certificates.

Official poster of Lim’s Best Green Innovation Award

“I always believe architecture can change the world, people and create a better lifestyle in the future. My project uses local mobility to transform a new kind of architectural design, as well as a solution to spread the massive growth of Kampung Perting in a sustainable, social and economic way. I believe that could have contributed to my win, and I am very grateful for this recognition. I am also thankful to UTAR and my lecturer Ar Loh Khang Yong for all the guidance, knowledge, and skills received,” enthused Lim.

He further elucidated, “Bentong is known as the ‘backyard’ of Kuala Lumpur and the ‘Fresh-Air-Lungs Destination’ in the country. This site is located between a natural forest and a semi-rural area, which is rich with natural potential and cultural community. Bentong has a strong ecological lifeline which offers much-unexplored discovery, and the place makes it a suitable spot for the young and old, especially those who enjoy micro-photo shooting and cycling. Therefore, the first impression projected from my design is the thought of offering “A Gateway of Discovery”. Imagine, if Kampung Perting is transformed into a biking sport, surrounded by magnificent landscape – it would be an ‘adventure gateway’ for visitors to travel and explore, while they appreciate the beauty of Bentong.”

“My inspiration stemmed from Bentong’s potential, energy, and mobility of stepping into a much improved and futuristic version through the resort. When studying the site, Deputy Captain of Bike Club Qing Shi Rong, explained that there were more than ten different cycling routes with different terrains, bring cyclists through mountains, rivers, forests, and hills. This natural terrain of Bentong inspired my concept design for the resort,” explained Lim.

Some of the architectural impressions from Lim’s design

Meanwhile, Ng was also one of the selected 14 finalists. He received RM200 cash prize and a certificate. His project was titled “The Horizon, An Eco Resort in New Village”. “The project was inspired by the amazing mountain views of Bentong and the exclusive sunrise experience which will be implemented into the resort as the main concept. The project aims to formulate a series of schemes to rejuvenate an ageing new village into a sustainable tourist spot through sensitive planning with minimum negative impact to the environment, while integrating local industries and heritage conservation with modern-day life and progress,” explained Ng.

Official poster of Ng as one of the finalists

He added, “I am grateful to be selected as one of the finalists and I am thankful for the experiences gained from this competition. This would not be possible if not for my lecturer Ar Loh Khang Yong, who through his knowledge, ideas, and experiences, has helped me in successfully completing my project, and motivated me to go further.”

Some of the architectural impressions from Ng’s design

The Asia Young Designer Awards (AYDA) was first launched in 2008 and is part of Nippon Paint’s vision to nurture the next generation of design talents. The award serves as a platform to inspire Architectural and Interior Design students to develop their skills through cross-learning opportunities and networking with key industry players, as well as fellow Architectural and Interior Design peers in the region. Since then, AYDA has grown in terms of reach and stature, and has now established itself as one of Asia’s premier design awards, having received more than 28,000 entries from over 900 tertiary education institutions to date, across 15 different geographical locations in Asia.

Over the years, AYDA 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 through personalised coaching, mentoring and skills-building via workshops. Besides exposure to first-hand industry knowledge, the platform allows designers to learn from their fellow peers from within and across borders. Every year, AYDA presents yet another opportunity for young design talents to further push their design boundaries beyond the norm. For example, the Asia Young Designers of the Year stand a chance to embark on an opportunity of a lifetime: an all-expenses-paid 6-week placement at Design Discovery Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (Harvard GSD) in the United States. There, they will have the privilege to learn and experience intensive studio work, lectures, workshops and field trips. From these experiential learnings, AYDA has established a close-knit design community comprising of professional architects, interior designers, industry associations, partners, design schools, alumni and design students.

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