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Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards showcase top-tier standards and highlight trends in interior design

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 December, 2016, 10:08am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 December, 2016, 10:07am

Outstanding interior design involves far more than simply making a room look more stylish and attractive. It is about making the most of a space and maximising the true potential through enhancing the living or working experience. These were concepts that were abundantly evident and showcased by entrants across the 13 award categories that featured in the annual Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards (APIDA) 2016, organised by the Hong Kong Interior Design Association (HKIDA).

Established in 1992, the 24th APIDA received over 630 submissions from the Asia Pacific region including those from Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea,  mainland China, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.

HKIDA chairman, Antony Chan says in addition to promoting public awareness of interior design as an important aspect of everyday life and recognising the accomplishments of talented designers, the APIDA programme enables participants to make best practices and creative peer-to-peer comparisons.  Importantly, says Chan, interior designers and their work featured in the awards programme continue to surprise, delight and enlighten an increasingly interior-design conscious public, clients and potential clients.

The APIDA also acts as a trends barometer. For example, Chan says the practice of incorporating environmentally sustainable design principles and materials into projects is no longer considered unique. "These days, it has become commonplace to see LED lighting and environmentally-friendly materials that reflect sustainably awareness incorporated across all areas of interior design, "says Chan the founder and creative director of award-winning architecture and interior design firm, CREAM.  Entrants were judged on four main areas: overall excellence; use of technology; impact in Asia; and commercial and societal success. Within the four main judging areas, judges also evaluated creativity and innovation, originality, usability, aesthetics and sustainability.  Entries were judged by a local and international panel of prominent designers, architects and academics.

Like other design fields, Chan says interior design is inextricably tied to changing styles and influences. "We are seeing a tendency towards bourgeois-bohemian, which involves the use of  aged or durable materials to create a sense of modernism  blended with tradition,'' notes Chan who believes the transition from shiny, ostentatious bling-bling materials and finishes to  more subdued industrial-finish aesthetics is a response to  the digitally ''always connected''  lifestyle that many people lead. "For every action there is a reaction so I believe a consequence of the techno, internet- driven age we live in,  is a sensory carving for warmth and spaces in our lives devoid of digital distraction,'' explains Chan who has been included in the list of the world’s Top 50 designers by the prestigious Andrew Martin International Interior Design Awards.

As the APIDA programme approaches its milestone quarter of a century anniversary, Chan says the high-profile competition has established itself firmly as one of the most prestigious events on the Asia Pacific interior design industry calendar. "The awards are widely recognised for the key role they play in uplifting professional standards and providing a platform for demonstrating creativity and innovation," he says.

With many people across Asia living and working in a relatively small space, two new categories,  small living space, less than 1,500  square feet and small office space, less than 3,000 square feet were added to the  APIDA programme for the first time this year. "Just because people live and work in small spaces, it doesn’t mean they are unable to enjoy and benefit from good design," says Chan.

Renowned as a cosmopolitan design hub, Chan says Hong Kong interior designers have a global reputation for providing quality-assured creative services, which match international best-practices. At the same time, he says, recognition of Hong Kong interior designer's professional skills put them in demand from clients from in different parts of the world including clients from the mainland. Chan says as part of its on-going effort to foster professionalism and design excellence in Hong Kong, the HKIDA has recently established a Certified Interior Designer (CID) progamme. "This ground-breaking initiative is similar to the education and technical certification process that architects undergo to become fully qualified professionals,'' says Chan.