Within two months of being adjudged India champion of the Asia Young Designer Award (AYDA) contest in January, Pune-based architect Tanay Bothara (23) has been crowned Young Designer 2019 (architecture) of Asia in the transnational competition organised by Osaka (Japan)-based Nippon Paint Holdings Co.
In the Asia final round staged at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Singapore on March 21, this young architect’s PowerPoint presentation titled ‘Children Uprooted’, showcasing an innovative way to transform the lives of war-torn Syria’s children, was adjudged the best of 15 presentations. The winner’s prize: an all-expenses paid trip to the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in Boston, for a six-week Design Discovery programme in June.
“After viewing a 2017 UN documentary on war-ravaged Syria, the idea to build subterranean play areas in the basements of abandoned buildings for the country’s play-deprived children came to me. I must also acknowledge the aid and advice I received from my mentors Bijoy Ramachandran and former professors Vijaya Srinivasan and Niranjan Garde,” says Tanay, a 2018 alumnus of the Vivekanand Institute of Technology’s PVP College of Architecture, Pune.
Launched in 2008, the AYDA contest — open to fourth and fifth year students and fresh graduates of architecture and design in 15 Asian countries — is Nippon Paint’s first-of-its-type initiative in Asia to nurture the continent’s next generation of socially-conscious architects and designers. The theme for this year’s AYDA edition was “Forward challenging design boundaries” with contestants required to improve the quality of life using architecture design innovations.
Moved by the plight of children in strife-ridden Syria, Tanay donated the India championship cash award of Rs.50,000 for their education. “I hope I can inspire others to donate for this noble cause. I am now looking forward to my design discovery programme at the Harvard Design School, and hope it helps me to successfully implement my project in Syria and other war zones,” he says.
Way to go, bro!
Sruthy Susan Ullas (Bangalore)