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Asia Young Designer Award 2016: Be Bold. Be Free. Be You.

Four years ago, I traded in my designer’s pencil for a writer’s pen. It was a tough switch but the right one – and though I’ve changed career paths for good, there’s no doubt that I’ll always have a special place in my heart for design and architecture. More than just making places look pretty and Instagrammable, these have the power to influence moods, form behaviors, create solutions, and make life easier. And that’s exactly why I’m so stoked about this year’s Asia Young Designer Award (AYDA) sponsored by Nippon Paint.

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Nippon Paint (Coatings) Philippines General Manager Michael Chung welcoming guests

Good design is an enabler of a sustainable future [and] healthier living,” Mr. Michael Chung, the General Manager of Nippon Paint Coatings Philippines, said during the media launch of the AYDA. At its core, this competition challenges students to “think beyond convention” to create design solutions that address the “needs of our continually changing world.”

Ar. Guillermo Hisancha of the United Architects of the Philippines said, “The Asia Young Designer Award is a platform empowering Filipino students to showcase their talents. [It] encourages leadership, creativity, and resourcefulness.” IDr. Vincent Louie Tan of the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers echoed the sentiment, adding that AYDA fosters the mindset that designers are “not only planners but also builders of society, [helping to] usher growth.”

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Industry Associations and Commission on Higher Education showing their support to the AYDA 2016

I love how much value AYDA places on sustainability, transformative leadership, and international competitiveness. This is the chance for you students to leave a mark in the design scene and represent the Philippines—and jumpstart your careers too!

Here are some facts you should know about the AYDA 2016:

1. This isn’t the first time it’ll be held in the Philippines.

In fact, this is its third year in the country. Formerly known as the Nippon Paint Young Designer Award, it began in Malaysia in 2008 and has since grown to include a total of 15 Asian countries—Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Thailand, Pakistan, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, India, Taiwan, and, of course, the Philippines.

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2015 winners Jose Agustin Ricarte (Architecture) and Martha Joyce Tomas (Interior Design) with their mentors

2. There are two categories—Interior Design and Architecture.

If you’re a student on your third year or above in either course and belong to PIID/CDE or UAP/CODHASP, you can join the competition for free by downloading the contest entry form here and completing all requirements. You can only submit one individual entry due on the 15th of October (Saturday).

3. This year’s theme is “Be Bold. Be Free. Be You.”

Challenge conventions, think beyond boundaries, and express your uniqueness. While innovation is a must, your design should be practical too. As the official brief states: “It has to be a brave new idea that no one has ever seen, which carries commercial value and yet pays careful attention to the well-being of its surrounding community.”

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Mr. Michael Chung with Ar. Nina Bailon, Ar. Guillermo Hisancha, Dr. Leonida S. Calaqui, and IDr. Wilfrid Magcase

4. Designs will be judged according to four criteria.

Surprisingly, innovation isn’t the biggest factor in this contest. Instead, the Green and Sustainable Design Concept counts for 30% of the total score. Design Innovation and Color Concept each make up 25%, with the Design Concept Statement rounding out the tally with 20%. Heading the judges for the Interior Design category is IDr. Wilfrid Magcase, and for the Architecture category, we have Ar. Maria Nina Bailon-Arce

5. The prizes are generous and life-changing!

I exaggerate not. Aside from the expected monetary prizes for the Gold and Silver winners (P50,000 and P30,000 in cash, respectively), there are also cash prizes for finalists (P10,000) and the best in Color Design and Green Innovation (P5,000 each). Even the Best Professor/Adviser, Best College/University, and Best Supporting College/University are rewarded too.

But more than just the cash, the Gold winner will receive a 6-month internship at Lor Calma & Partners (for Interior Design) or AIDEA, Inc. (for Architecture), a once-in-a-lifetime learning program overseas, and the opportunity to represent the Philippines in the Regional AYDA 2016 competition. If those aren’t life-changing, I don’t know what are!

There are over 2 months until the competition closes. I can’t wait to see all the amazing ideas that’ll be unveiled come October!

For more information, don’t forget to check out the AYDA PH website.

 

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