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Modern Living

The future is open wide

Igan D’Bayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The dystopians can paint the bleakest of futures all they want (from Orwell and Ridley Scott to the makers of UK’s Black Mirror and Utopia), but some people really believe the best is yet to come for the human race — in terms of technology and infrastructure. There are a lot of things to be awed with and take inspiration from, especially in design. 

That’s the heart of the 2014 Nippon Paint Young Designer Award (NPYDA), the regional architectural and design contest organized by the Asian paint brand that launched its operations in the Philippines in April this year. It aims to push Filipino architecture and interior design students to rethink, rethink one’s community, one’s home.

“Young creative minds now have a chance to showcase their talent to international judges and compete against other students all across Asia,” says Bernice Bobadilla, Nippon Paint (Coating) Philippines senior marketing manager. Creativity, she emphasizes, can help create sustainable communities.

The awards program was first launched in the region in 2008 to help foster growth in the local design and construction industry. Students across 10 countries in the Asia Pacific region are encouraged to apply creativity and innovation in improving their respective communities.

Working with professional societies such as Philippine Institute of Interior Designers (PIID), Council of Interior Design Educator (CIDE), United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), and Council of Deans and Heads in Architecture Schools in the Philippines (CODHASP), the NPYDA expects to see a big pool of talent from schools nationwide.

“Nippon Paint has a long-standing belief that the ability to break convention and boundaries is found in the minds of the young, the new generation who will be the designers and builders of the future,” said Gladys Goh, group general manager of Nippon Paint Malaysia Group. “Young talent is a valuable resource, one that needs to be nurtured and developed so that all of society can benefit. By giving them the opportunity to be acknowledged by their peers as well as industry professionals, we hope to give them a head-start in their chosen profession.”

Goh says the company wants to go beyond selling products and developing paint technology. “We want to shape and nurture the talent of the future leaders of the industry where we operate, so they will become productive movers of the community.”

The NPYDA has two categories: architecture and interior design, both open to students who are at least on their third year in schools affiliated with the UAP and the PIID. Each participant is given a fixed area size to “Re:Think Re:Create” their ideal future living space by showing their knowledge on how color and design can benefit the community.

Their task is to “further push the boundaries for future living by creating a township that is community-centric and sustainable, providing a high quality of life for both young and old, from every walk of life.”

Criteria for judging are Green Design Elements (30 percent), Color Elements (30 percent), Planning & Design (30 percent), and Design Statement, plus Site Planning in architecture category (10 percent). Deadline of submission of entries is on Oct. 31.

The Gold Awardee will win P50,000 cash prize, a six-month internship at Lor Calma & Partners plus a fully-paid trip to Japan for the Japan Learning Program, an exclusive workshop crafted specially for winners featuring internationally renowned speakers in the fields of architecture and interior design. Here, winners will be coached by world-class experts. The internship with architect Ed Calma shows that the NYPDA is not just about ideas on paper but also a rare chance to get real world industry experience.

The winner’s professor/adviser will also get P10,000 cash prize, while his or her academic institution will receive P10,000 cash prize and P10,000-worth of paint voucher.

The Silver Awardee will receive P30,000 cash prize and a plaque. Eight finalists will get P10,000 each. Special awards will also be given out to Best Color Choice and Best Green Innovation with P5,000 cash prize each.

The Gold winner per category from the Philippines will be attending the cross-country learning program in Osaka, Japan in March next year with other winners from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, China, Japan, and Hong Kong.

Goh explains, “When we started this contest in 2008, we only had 87 entries. Last year alone, we had 2,0003 entries. With the participation of the Filipino students, I believe the number will grow by leaps and bounds because there is so much talent in this country.”

She concludes by revealing the reason behind the theme of this year’s NPYDA:

“We want the students to decide and express what type of future communities they would like to have. Communities are very, very important. We don’t want people to look only at their tablets or hand-phones, we want them to live (in the moment) in communities.”   

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For information about Nippon Paint and the Young Designer Award 2014, visit

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