BY MILINDRI PANDITHA
ASIA YOUNG DESIGNER AWARD LEARNING PROGRAMME
First introduced in Malaysia in the year of 2008, the AYDA (Asia Young Designer Award) Yogyakarta Design Program has witnessed an increased popularity year in and year out. The premiere award for interior design and architecture students was competed in countries namely, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea.
Sri Lanka was proud to represent two gold winners as an initiative taken up by Nippon Paint (Pvt) Ltd. Our very own Pratheepan Kalaieesan, with his silent demeanor and vibrantly gallant design initiative, along with a fellow student from the University of Moratuwa, won the gold award for his design concept for a Water Purification Plant which he was solely inspired by the filtration and cleansing characteristics of the Sri Lankan Wetland. Fused with the landscape, Pratheepan was able to achieve his design ideals which garnered him a position to visit Indonesia for the AYDA 2016 Regional Learning Program and Platinum Award Competition.
The program held from the 16th to the 18th of March 2017 comprised of various coaching sessions, study tours as well as sharing sessions with some of Asia's leading design practitioners and architects. Some of the main objectives of the program were cross learning with students from neighbour countries and with respective professionals of the ASEAN countries, discovery of thought provoking and impressive ideas and also, the program acted as a great incentive for the students to be coached/mentored by Architects and Interior Design professionals. The students were given the opportunity to visit many buildings and sites amongst which the Ullen Sentalu museum and Borobudur were some.
With the program coming to a close after a three day marathon of vast insights and thought provoking talks, it is safe to say that Sri Lanka is yet again immensely proud to produce young artists/architects with great talent who will, one day, pave the way in making this country a better place.