BANDAR RIMBAYU, 1 April – The final judging of iLDA 2016 concluded on March 22, bringing forth two young and aspiring interior designers who will now compete in the final round of the contest. Leo Wong Kwan Theng and Goh Sow Yee came out on top with their interior design proposals for two different types of Penduline houses in IJM LAND’s own Bandar Rimbayu township. The award was launched by IJM LAND, with the aim to give young interior design graduates a chance to showcase their talent in a competitive environment and learn from an experienced jury about what it is that matters in terms of interior design and clients’ needs.
The theme of the contest “Reliving Nostalgic Memories” required the initially more than 100 contestants to think about their own understanding of nostalgia and then to transform their ideas into an interior design concept that does not only work on paper, but that can also be realised in an actual showroom in the township of Bandar Rimbayu. During the evaluation of the proposals the judges had to bear in mind that the submitted designs had to comply with the allocated budget of RM150,000 and potential customers’ likings: “The designs have to be a reflection of the target market and the things our customers like”, illustrates Fendarie Su, Chief Judge and Director of Santa Fe Interior Architecture. “Based on the value of the house we know exactly who our potential audience is and what requirements they impose on their lifestyle and ultimately their dream property.”
This is why sometimes the jury, consisting of industry-leading national and international architects and interior designers, had to step in and lead the contestants in the right direction, as Lim Ai Tiong, Principal Architect & Chief Designer of LIM AI TIONG DESIGN from Singapore, explains: “During the first round a lot of the designs were very personal, reflecting individual memories that were sometimes tailored too much towards the designer and not towards the customer. We cannot, with a clear conscience, judge a design concept that is too flamboyant or out of this world because the risk of building the showroom with too extravagant furniture that in the end no one is willing to buy would be very high.”
The high quality of the submitted entries did not make it easy for the 7-person jury to agree on the final two contestants: “The 14 candidates we assessed today were shortlisted already, therefore the quality of the presented material was expected to live up to a certain standard”, says Fendarie Su. “What really made the difference in the final two contestants was they were able to look at the whole picture from the interior design point of view and were able to convey a message with their ideas.”
Lim Ai Tiong adds: “All 14 schemes were almost showroom ready. They achieved a certain aesthetic maturity in their designs, but we as the judges had to try to be a little more stringent and look for a design that could really tell a story.”
The jury for the contest was deliberately assembled with judges from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and even Canada. Shuy Eng Leong, COO of Bandar Rimbayu, explains this decision as following: “The Bandar Rimbayu township is not only targeted to a local market, but to overseas customers as well. That’s why we wanted to bring in judges from different countries to get their opinions and perspectives on the submitted designs so that in the end our showrooms appeal to the biggest possible audience. We are very happy with the two designs our jury has chosen right now and we are excited to see them coming to life. It will be very enthralling to see how the audience is going to react when they see the realised designs for the first time.”
The two designs the jury chose for the final judging differ a lot from each other in their underlying idea. While Goh Sow Yee won the judges over with a clean and simple look based on a rural yet classy concept, Leo Wong Kwan Theng took a different approach: “My design is very much inspired by the concept of traditional Malay batik. I wanted to show the audience how this part of the Malay culture could be implemented into interior design and create a feeling of nostalgia through historical art.”
After the initial judging round on January 11, the 14 shortlisted candidates took part in a 1-day workshop organised by the sponsors that introduced them to companies’ portfolios and made them aware of the possibilities they had when furnishing the 2-storey houses with their products. The participants were then given time to improve and adapt their initial designs towards the new floor layout of the 1,898 sqft Penduline house.
The different floor plan that the contestants had to use in the second round allowed them to try out new ideas and gave them a new foundation they could work with like Goh Sow Yee describes: “The Type B Penduline house has more open space thanks to its bigger layout. Together with the large windows this created new opportunities for us to work with a lot of natural lighting instead of having to use a lot of artificial light.”
The two finalists now have to work closely together with the judges and the sponsors, factoring their comments and ideas into the process of fully equipping and decorating the Penduline houses in Bandar Rimbayu. Both showrooms tentatively will be open for public viewing on two weekends in May. Visitors will also be able to vote for their favourite design on the site, directly influencing the outcome of the contest. Besides that, the public also may vote on IJM Land Designer Award’s Facebook page for the most liked & shared design. The winner of the iLDA 2016 will then be announced during the award ceremony at the end of May 2016. The award is renumerated with a cash prize of RM18,000 and a Mac Book Pro for the Gold Winner and a cash prize of RM12,000 and an iPhone 6 for the Silver Winner.
Sponsors of the inaugural iLDA2016 include Signature Kitchen Sdn Bhd, Urban Culture Sdn Bhd by Fella Holding Berhad, Philips Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Jotun Paints (M) Sdn Bhd and Inovar Resources Sdn Bhd.