Taylor’s University’s Third Winning Streak Bagging Gold at AYDA 2018

Zachary Khaw, a final year student from The Design School at Taylor’s University, was recently announced as the Malaysian winner of the Asia Young Designer Award 2018 (AYDA 2018) for the Interior Design category. He will be representing the country, competing in the regionals with victors across Asia for the title Asia Young Designer of the Year 2018/19 in March next year.
Jointly organised by Nippon Paint and IJM Land, Zachary’s winning entry was one of 1,260 other entries from 18 universities to the competition this year. Currently pursuing his degree in the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Interior Architecture, Zachary’s entry called ‘THE WEAVE’ is a fashion incubator for local designers and an upcycling design facility to turn old or unwanted textiles into new garments.
“We are extremely pleased to hear Zachary’s win at AYDA 2018 and proud he turned his personal story into a design which has an impact on the future generations of designers,” said Ernesto Pujazon, Head of School for The Design School at the Faculty of Innovation and Technology, Taylor’s University. “The award is one of Asia’s premiere design awards, with many worthy submissions and to be recognised is a feat of its own. The acknowledgement is a further testament to the quality of Taylor’s graduates,” he said.

Zachary Khaw (middle), as student in The Design School at Taylor’s University, stands with his prizes when he was announced as the Malaysian winner at the Asia Young Designer Award 2018 (AYDA 2018) for Interior Design category recently
Taylor’s University was also awarded the best University and Ms. Nursuliana Sulaiman, lecturer at The Design School, as best Mentor. In its 11th year running, the theme for the competition was ‘Forward: Challenging Design Boundaries’, pushing the conventional limitations of design, and how a good design can bring positive impacts to environmental issues; infuse new values into societal and cultural contexts; enhance better community living and lifestyle; as well as encourage progressive growth and development in a city.
According to Zachary, AYDA 2018 was the most comprehensive platform to improve his skills and confidence. “It was a great opportunity for participants to showcase their masterpiece to the industry professionals and the public.” Having a deep appreciation for oriental arts and design, “THE WEAVE” transpired from a documentary about a traditional weaving machine. “I remember watching in awe, as two people navigate to operate the machine seamlessly and saw wonderful designs that resulted from working together.”

Taylor’s student, Zachary Khaw stands with his design project, “THE WEAVE” during the AYDA 2018 exhibition recently
“Drawing from this and my love for fashion, I wanted to create a space for budding designers to find a way to create, build and establish their brands independently. The platform looked to provide comprehensive facilities and environment for local designers to have a strong skill-set and necessary knowledge in order to run all processes smoothly – guided by the experts from the industry,” he said.
“THE WEAVE” looks at multiple facets including collaboration with educational industries and universities, giving a chance for design students to obtain knowledge and experience into the fashion industry;  serves as a platform for the public to donate pre-loved apparel; as well as addressing the wastage of clothing due to the fast changing fashion trends and giving clothes a second life. However, an intricate structure like this came with a set of challenges Zachary had to overcome, “The structure I designed needed three levels – each with a high ceiling and nomadic furniture to accommodate the key activities and purpose of the space. This will also ensure designers are able to create a better working environments based on their personal preferences.”
“During the design development process, I was immersed in the details and considered many possible scenarios in this setting for fashion designers. There was a lot of information I needed to condense, especially during my presentation at AYDA 2018. With only 10 minutes to share my thoughts, it was a real struggle to decide what to say – especially after working on one project for a year. However, after some coaching from the judges during the competition, I learned that as a designer, we are the deciders on what is important for the public to know and why it is important to pay attention to certain issues,” he said.

A group photo with the winners of the Malaysian leg of AYDA 2018, along with representatives from Nippon Paint at the awards ceremony recently
Zachary’s project demonstrated his personal dedication and passion for fashion design which impressed the judges in the Interior Design category. The most commendable insight was the design’s focus and impact for current and future generations of designers to utilise the space in the years to come.
Each project was reviewed by nine judges including Lai Siew Hong, Chief Judge for AYDA 2018, Chief Executive Designer, Blu Water Studio Sdn. Bhd.; Benson Saw, Director, Design Stream Sdn. Bhd.; and Ooi Boon Seong, Chief Executive Designer, Ooi Design & Associates.
As a gold award winner, Zachary bagged RM5, 000 in cash prize and will take his winning project to Singapore in March 2019 to be in the running to win a 6-week all-expenses paid design programme at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

A group snapshot of the AYDA 2018 finalists and winners for the Malaysian leg of the competition held at Berjaya Times Square Hotel recently