Nippon Paint Announces Winners for Asia Young Designer Awards’ International Finale 2020/ 2021

Futuristic designs that accommodate the growth of sustainable communities and cities with a human-centred approach took centre stage during the virtual awards ceremony.

The latest instalment of Asia Young Designer Awards’ (AYDA) International Finale organized by Nippon Paint came to a successful conclusion following the announcement of Dayana Aripin and Evva Lim Fee Yah, both from Malaysia, as Asia Young Designers of the Year 2020/2021. The budding designers, whose empathetic instincts to envision spaces that are both innovative and sustainable grabbed the attention of the judges, beating other finalists from 13 participating locations across Asia to ultimately be crowned winners in the Architectural Category and Interior Design Category, respectively.

Along with gaining recognition of their designs and their country on a prestigious international platform, the crowned winners will also receive a chance to embark on a fully-sponsored, 6-week Design Discovery program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) in Massachusetts, USA, worth USD10,000. Made possible through Nippon Paint’s collaboration with Harvard GSD, this will give the winners a further chance to broaden their perspectives and sharpen their skills to eventually lend a new edge to their country’s design and architecture landscape.

In addition to the crowned winners, both the Interior Design and Architectural Category also included sub-awards, namely Best Design Impact, Best Sustainable Design and Nippon Paint Colour Award to recognise the efforts of the other participants. Winners in all of these categories were awarded prizes worth USD1,000 each. Recognising the quality of work that was submitted, this year both categories also announced honorary winners who were awarded prizes worth USD500 each for their exceptional efforts.

Held virtually, this year the international design competition revolved around the theme of

Forward: Human-Centred Design setting the stage for aspiring designers to create spaces that are socially conscious while being innovative and sustainable. This train of thought is a much-needed aspect to designing, especially in growing economies like Asia that sees a steady population growth. However, this growth is also tied back to rapid innovation and technological advancements in the region giving architects and designers an opportunity to design visionary cities with spaces that reflect the local culture and serve the many needs of its people as we move toward smart and sustainable infrastructures. This theme of Human-Centred Design was prominently displayed in the work of the winners titled Microhousing Within Heritage Context by Dayana (Architectural Design) and WO.MEN Women Empowerment Centre by Evva Lim (Interior Design). Both the winning designs were successfully able to combine human elements of heritage and empowerment respectively, and portray a sustainable design outlook.

“We are very impressed with the work that was put together by the participants and winners of AYDA this year. As we speed toward creating cities that support sustainable living, we will be challenged to create out-of-box designs and spaces that are able to support commerce and community and are able to withstand the many winds of change we are likely to face in the future. This forward-thinking outlook to design was reflected with great precision in many of the final submissions, making our roles as judges all the more challenging but interesting, nevertheless. My heartiest congratulations to the winners and I look forward to the same outcome for the next year as well,” said Ar. Sibarani Sofian, one of the judges for the Architectural Category and founder and director of Urban+.

“The entries that we received this year clearly show that participants are much more than designers and that they understand the human nature and construction of modern-day society. It excites me greatly to see how young designers are portraying a sustainable future through art and I wish all the participants good luck in their endeavours. Kudos to Nippon Paint and Asia Young Designer Awards 2020/21 for creating such a great platform for young creatives,” said Ar. Jabeen Zacharias, one of the judges for the Interior Designer Category and chief architect at Jabeen Zacharias Architects.

Adding a unique experience to the AYDA journey, this year the international design competition organised by Nippon Paint took special care to include several digital interactions and virtual coaching sessions to ensure that all the participants were able to interact with recognised industry mentors and coaches. The event proceedings even included online workshops for participants to sharpen their creative storytelling skills before the virtual awards ceremony that was held live and garnered over 700 views during the event. To watch the full recorded award ceremony, watch it on AYDA’s YouTube channel at:

“The past year has shown the importance of innovation, sustainability and empathy as we continue to brave the global pandemic. This edition of AYDA therefore holds a great significance in our journey forward and I am proud to have come across great entries that were visually stunning and focused on creating innovative space and design solutions with a human touch. As we move ahead, we will continue to nurture this platform for young designers and motivate them to create impactful spaces and designs for generations to come,” said Mr. Wee Siew Kim, Group CEO of NIPSEA Group.

Keeping the flame of creativity going, AYDA by Nippon Paint has begun the journey toward its 14th edition, bringing together young designers, mentors and industry professionals under one roof. Themed Amplifying Empathy through Design, AYDA 2021/22 is open for entry submissions and will push the boundaries of ingenuity even further. To find out how you can participate in the next edition of AYDA 2020/21 please visit