The Asia Young Designer Awards (AYDA), established in 2008 is part of Nippon Paint’s vision to nurture the region’s next generation designers. Each year through AYDA, we discover young aspiring architects and designers to inspire them to be future beacons of change in our society. AYDA, over the years, has become one of the most sought after awards in the architecture world, where thousands of participants send their application from 15 geographical locations to win this coveted title.
The theme for 2019’s edition of AYDA, “FORWARD: CHALLENGING DESIGN BOUNDARIES”, was a quest to descry aspiring designers, to revolutionize the industry for bettering the standard of living for the people in their societies.
This year, Tanay Narendra Bothara, a 23-year-old student from the Vivekanand Institute of Technology’s Padmabhushan Dr. Vasantdada Patil College of Architecture, became the first Indian to win gold in all 11 years of the competition.
Tanay Narendra Bothara won the award in the architectural category. Upending over 8400 applicants, he walked away with more than US$10,000 worth of prizes, including the opportunity to apply for a fully-funded 6-week Design Discovery programme at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Tanay presented his design titled “Children Uprooted”, where he explored ways of transforming war-ridden spaces in Syria for their children. In his project, he has focused on revamping war-ridden spaces in Syria to provide an environment as conducive as possible for their long-term well-being, and in doing so, let these children know that they have the power to rebuild Syria and secure their future.
Tanay about his thesis said, he got this idea after getting inspired from a Facebook video shared by UN, where Syrian kids were talking about how their childhood was under ‘fire’ due to the war. That triggered the question in his mind, ‘How can we, as architects, help these kids find their lost childhood?’
Tanay believes that art and architecture is a tool which can revolutionize society, and tries to use art & architecture to restore hope of Syrian children, and put a smile on their faces. “The main activities of a child are learning and play. So, even in a war-ravaged country like Syria, children would make play spaces out of damaged buildings or basements,” said Tanay.
“We believe that as young designers entering the professional field, it is important to retain the mindset of using design to better the lives of the people, and Tanay Bothara’s design is high on emotional quotient and it reinforces the noble cause of the architecture profession,” said Ravi Sarangan, Founder Director of Edifice Consultants Pvt Ltd, one of the judges from the Architectural category.
With Tanay and other young architects, AYDA wants to change the way architecture is perceived from a human need of shelter to a form of identity for a society and culture. Architecture is the only applied art that could change how we look at the world around us. By inspiring and encouraging young socially-conscious architects, we want to infuse the change in society through architecture.