In their continued commitment to fostering continued growth in the architectural and interior design industry among budding young designers from around Asia, the Nippon Paint Young Designer Award (NPYDA) 2015 was recently held in Bangkok, Thailand. The NPYDA Bangkok Learning Programme, held at the prestigious Chulalongkorn University, saw three renowned captains in the architectural and interior design industry - Ar. Paul Noritaka Tange (Japan), Ar. Serina Hijjas (Malaysia) and Ar. Amata Luphaiboon (Thailand) share their insights with young designers from 12 countries.
A study tour was also organised as the final part of the Bangkok Learning Programme. The participants had the opportunity to experience a guided tour around Bangkok to visit some of the capital’s iconic buildings, one of which was The Grand Palace of Bangkok that boasts a palace complex size of more than 2.3 million square feet, as well as the Vimanmek Mansion, which is decorated in a combination of European neo-classic style with traditional Thai motifs. The students also had the opportunity to view Wat Ratchanatdaram Temple, best known for Loha Prasat, a multi-tiered structure with 37 metal spires signifying the 37 virtues towards enlightenment, of which the gold-coloured spires were coated with Nippon Paint.
After an intense round grand finale, two winners emerged from among contestants. Tan Kwon Chong from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) took the top prize in the Architectural Category with his winning concept entitled "Evolving Nature: Eco-learning Market Centre" concept for Pontian Kechil, a fishing village in Johor where he grew up in. Whereas the Interior Design Category saw Soo Chunn Herr of Singapore walk away with regional award for his winning concept "Equine: Engage, Experience & Evolve" a lifestyle destination for therapy of the disabled and elderly while also providing rehabilitation and recovery for retired horses and ponies.
Both winning designs were conceptualized and focused around the overall theme of "Design with Heart: For a Sustainable Future: with People in Mind". Commenting on the wins, Wee Siew Kim, Group Chief Executive Officer of NIPSEA Group said, “Congratulations to the two regional level winners of NPYDA 2015. Indeed, it is not a walk in a park to emerge as champions on an Asian level. It takes a form of symbiosis for the artist and his art to speak the same tune, for the artist to present his art like an extension of himself. NPYDA’s success also lies in the network of industry veterans who share the same passion as Nippon Paint – in nurturing the talents of tomorrow. The real-work exposure and mentorship that complements their academic pursuit, will truly open greater doors for their future career, and that would be the vision of this award platform.”