Maitri Shah, Aum Gohil wins AYDA 2021 India edition


Both Gold winners have won a cash prize of Rs 50,000 each and will now represent India at the grand finale of AYDA, scheduled in July 2022. Results for the sixth India edition of the Asia Young Designer Award (AYDA) 2021 were announced recently. While Maitri Shah won the Gold in the Interior Design category, Aum Gohil won the Gold in the Architecture category of the contest.


Aum Gohil, Academy of Architecture, Mumbai, said, “At AYDA, the mentorship sessions and feedback on presentations had us prepared for the final lap. My project titled ‘Apparatus of Amusement’ is a critique of the current fast consumption-based society, the mindless way in which we buy and discard. The proposal repurposes a dysfunctional mall, which is considered as an epitome of consumerism, from space for consumption to a place for the second life of objects.”


Maitri Shah, BMS School of Architecture, Yelahanka, said, “I believe that the harder you work, the luckier you get. All sessions organized as part of AYDA were insightful. The feedback on my project, the Community library located in Kutch, was a great learning opportunity. I feel proud that my work got reviewed by top architects of India.”


The awards were presented in a virtual ceremony by S Mahesh Anand, president, Decorative Paint, Nippon Paint (India). Both Gold winners have won a cash prize of Rs 50,000 each and will now represent India at the grand finale of Nippon Paint’s Asia Young Designer Awards 2021, which will be conducted in July 2022. They will compete with finalists from 15 other Asian countries.


The Gold winners of the international finale of Architecture and Interior Design categories will win the title of ‘Asia’s Young Designer of the Year’ and will get to attend the six-week-long Summer Design Discovery Program at the Harvard University GSD worth USD$10000.


The India edition of the AYDA contest saw the participation of more than 1000 architecture, interior design students, and young professionals from across India, of which 21 shortlisted candidates competed in the finale. Of these, six students emerged as the winners. One winner from each category (Architecture and Interior Design) was awarded the gold, silver award, and honorary mention; and cash prizes of INR 50,000, INR 25,000, and INR 10,000, respectively.


This year, the theme of the contest was ‘Amplifying Empathy Through Design’. The jury and mentors included Biju Kuriakose, Naresh Narasimhan, Dean D’Cruz, Lalitha Tharani, Deepak Guggari, Sonali Bhagwati, Arun Karthik, and Gita Balakrishnan.


AYDA was first launched in 2008 by Nippon Paint (India) Private Limited (Decorative Division), as part of the vision to nurture the next generation of design talents. The event serves as a platform to inspire Architecture and Interior Design students to develop skills through cross-learning opportunities and networking with industry players and peers.