4 award-winning ideas dreamt up by Singapore students

A ‘drive-thru’ cafe and social housing on a hill – these are just some of the fascinating ideas that took home the top prizes at the Nippon Paint Asia Young Designer Award 2017.

  • 4 award-winning ideas dreamt up by Singapore students

Text Janice Seow

Nippon Paint is a trusted household name that’s been colouring our homes for over five decades, but what some may not know is that Nippon Paint also has an annual Asia Young Designer Award (AYDA) that helps foster creativity and innovation amongst design students in Singapore and around the region.

“At Nippon Paint, we are committed to nurturing the next generation of interior designers and architects in Asia for the betterment of tomorrow,” says Lynn Lee, Senior Advisor, Nippon Paint Singapore. “AYDA cultivates young talents by driving aspiring architects and interior designers to new levels of excellence and providing greater visibility and exposure for them.”

Caroline- Board 1100x733 (2)
Winding Hill by Caroline from Singapore University of Technology and Design. Gold Winner (architecture category)

Starting in Malaysia in 2008, and launching in Singapore in 2011, AYDA has now grown to become one of Asia’s leading design competitions with presence in 15 countries, namely Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Taiwan and Sri Lanka. This year was a particularly big one for AYDA, with the competition receiving a record-setting 5,000 regional entries!

“To keep things exciting, the theme of the competition changes every year,” says Lynn. “This year we sought to challenge our aspiring designers to future proof their designs. Hence the theme ‘You for Tomorrow’.”

The Singapore winners for 2017 include:

Wong Yee Lin - Board 1100 x 733 (3)

Wong Yee Lin from Lasalle College of the Arts
Drive-thru Cafe, Gold Winner, Interior Design category

About the project: In Drive-thru Cafe, which is sited at 115 King George Ave Road, people with Personal Mobility Devices can drive into a cafe to order, collect food and exit the space, all without having to leave their mobility devices. Those who wish to sit down for a meal can also do so in a designated area designed just for that.


MUAFAH AMRAN - BOARD- 1100 x 733 (2)

Muafah Binte Amran from Lasalle College of the Arts
Industrial Revolution, Silver Winner, Interior Design category

About the project: Sited at The Refinery, 115 King George Ave, this is a recycling studio workshop for young designers to come together to give old things new life. It also doubles as a material library and central hub for designers to gather and experiment their respective trades, and showcase themselves in a multi-disciplinary environment.


Hong Yi Feng Board 1100 x 733 (3)

Hong Yi Feng from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
Inity House, Bronze Winner, Interior Design category

About the project: Taking Gillman Barracks Blk 47 as the site, Inity House is a project that gives busy working adults and their elderly parents more opportunities to spend time together in a singular live-work environment. The working adults get to work in a variety of flexible workspaces, while the elderly have facilities designed to their specific needs. Both groups can come together to bond given their proximity to one another. 


Caroline- Board 1100x733 (1)

Caroline from Singapore University of Technology and Design
Winding Hill, Gold Winner, Architectural category

About the project: Sited at the Bukit Batok area and responding to the hill conditions of the site, Inity House is a social housing that resembles a band of ribbon. This striking design serves to create multiple connections to the surroundings.


Commenting on AYDA, Oliver Heckmann, Assistant Professor, Architecture and Sustainable Design, Singapore University of Technology and Design says: “Such a competition pushes students out of the comfort zones of their home university. It will inspire them to go beyond what they have achieved already and broaden their horizons substantially.”

Nippon Paint partnered with Lookbox Design Awards 2017, and the student winners each received a cheque prize during the Gala Night on 14 Dec. Shown here: Wong Yee Lin, gold winner in the Interior Design category (right), with Lynn Lee from Nippon Paint

Members of the AYDA 2017 jury included Robin Chiu, Assistant Manager, Marketing, Nippon Paint Singapore; Astley Ng, Sky Creation + DC; and Serene Pang, Asuka Colour technologies.

Shown here: Caroline, gold winner in the Architecture category (right) with Lynn Lee of Nippon Paint

The gold recipients will now go on to represent Singapore in the Regional round.



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