Ng Wai How from University of Malaya and Shahmeena Labeeb from Taylor’s University Outshine Entries from 12 Other Countries with Their Amazing Ideas in the Architecture & Interior Design Categories Respectively!





Petaling Jaya, 19 March 2018 – The newly-crowned Asia Young Designers of the Year 2017/18 Ng Wai How (Architecture) and Shahmeena Labeeb (Interior Design) proved that they truly had the power to shape tomorrow in their hands, winning them USD5,000 each at the esteemed regional Asia Young Designer Summit 2017/18. The annual Summit, which saw more than 500 talented design students, judges, industry experts, and lecturers in attendance, is an established platform to nurture the next generation of design talents and to help them increase knowledge within a community of renowned industry professionals and peers across Asia.


Yang Berusaha Dr Mohamed Ali Haji Abdul Rahman (5th from left), Director (Governance Division, Private Higher Education Institutions), Ministry of Higher Education together with:

(From left)

  • Shahmeena Labeeb (Malaysia), Asia Young Designer of the Year 2017/18 (Interior Design Category)
  • Ng Wai How (Malaysia), Asia Young Designer of the Year 2017/18 (Architecture Category)
  • Mr Yaw Seng Heng, Group Managing Director, Nippon Paint Malaysia
  • Mr Wee Siew Kim, CEO of NIPSEA Group
  • Professor Michael John Driscoll, Vice Chancellor & President, Taylor’s University 
  • Regional speaker: Mr. Rene Tan, Director, RT+Q Architects (Singapore)
  • Regional speaker: Mr. Chu Chih-Kang, Founder and Design Director of Chu Chih-Kang Space Design (Taiwan, Region of China)
  • Regional speaker: Mr. Nicholas Ho, Deputy Managing Director, hpa (Hong Kong, Region of China) 
  • Regional speaker: Dr. Kamran Afshar Naderi, Branch Manager, Artelia Italia Company (Iran)
  • Regional speakers: Ar. Britta Knobel Gupta & Ar Amit Gupta, Founding Partners, Studio Symbiosis (India)




In the Architecture category, Ng Wai How, currently pursuing his Master of Architecture from University of Malaya, chose to honour the nation’s fallen heroes. His idea for War Museum – Extension of ‘Tugu Negara’ (Malaysia’s National Monument) features thematic galleries that use light, shadow and texture for greater impact. The planned site on the lower hill helps preserve the natural landscape as much as possible while paying homage to the original monument without overwhelming it. “From my childhood memories, I felt a lack of narrative behind the National Monument. There’s no point to the future if we forget what our ancestors have done in the past, hence my idea was to revive the untold story of the monument. This is because we must always remember that sacrifices were made so we could be where we are today,” said Ng. “Participating in the Asia Young Designer Award 2017 with this architectural idea was the best decision I’ve made in my student life! As the Asia Young Designer of the Year 2017/18, I’m eager to use all the design advice I have received from the coaches and speakers to make a difference in the world of architecture today.”



In the Interior Design category, Labeeb is a recent graduate in Interior Architecture from Taylor’s University, who centred her idea around the declining population of honeybees around the world. Using an abandoned space in Kuala Lumpur as her site, she designed a project incorporating bee-friendly fruit and vegetable trees, with design elements inspired by honeycombs. Named Plan Bee – City Beekeeping, it creates employment for urban beekeepers and gardeners, with a café and retail space for produce made from honey. Said Labeeb, “I’m so glad the judges saw the passion and creativity behind my idea! I’m passionate about what I do and Plan Bee was my final year project so this experience greatly broadened my spectrum as a designer. Moreover, the extensive research allowed me to create a design that would benefit the environment as well as people for a better tomorrow. I hope I will inspire other design students to dream big and work towards their goals.”




From left: Mr Yaw Seng Heng, Group Managing Director, Nippon Paint Malaysia; Shahmeena Labeeb from Malaysia, Asia Young Designer of the Year 2017/18 (Interior Design Category), Ng Wai How from Malaysia, Asia Young Designer of the Year 2017/18 (Architecture Category) and Mr Wee Siew Kim, Chief Executive Officer, NIPSEA Group
From left: Mr Yaw Seng Heng, Group Managing Director, Nippon Paint Malaysia; Shahmeena Labeeb from Malaysia, Asia Young Designer of the Year 2017/18 (Interior Design Category), Ng Wai How from Malaysia, Asia Young Designer of the Year 2017/18 (Architecture Category) and Mr Wee Siew Kim, Chief Executive Officer, NIPSEA Group



Mr Wee Siew Kim, Chief Executive Officer of NIPSEA Group, said: “At Nippon Paint, we have always prized innovation; our experience and willingness to push boundaries captures the spirit of the Asia Young Designer Award. For us, the theme ‘You for Tomorrow’ represents the future of architecture and interior design, and we are proud to see such a gathering of regional talents and experts united in an industry-wide initiative that lays the foundation for friendships and cross-learning opportunities.” The Asia Young Designer Summit is the climax of the annual Asia Young Designer Award whereby regional winners from 13 Asian countries namely Bangladesh, China and the region of China including Hong Kong and Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, gather for an intensive learning programme. This includes study tours, and sharing and coaching sessions by renowned industry professionals, besides competing in a regional-level finale for the highly sought-after ‘Asia Young Designer of the Year’ title. This year, the students had the privilege to be inspired by the Malaysian Institute of Architects’ headquarters which achieved platinum rating status under the Green Building Index, the iconic Malaysian landmark Petronas Twin Towers, the repurposed APW creative industrial space, plus other places of interest in Malaysia.



Aimed at nurturing the next generation of design talents, the Summit also saw various expert speakers expounding on topics supporting the theme of ‘You for Tomorrow’. They were: Ar. Amit Gupta and Ar. Britta Knobel Gupta, internationally-acclaimed architects and Founding Partners of Studio Symbiosis (India); Chu Chih-Kang, Founder and Design Director of Chu Chih-Kang Space Design (Taiwan, Region of China) who incorporates Chinese cultural elements with deep cultural connotations in his commercial designs; Dr. Kamran AfsharNaderi, Branch Manager of Artelia Italia Company (Iran) who is a renowned university professor and co-founder of architecture magazine Memar; Nicholas Ho, award-winning Deputy Managing Director of multi-disciplinary architectural practice hpa (Hong Kong, Region of China); and Rene Tan, Founder & Director at RT+Q Architects (Singapore) and 2016 recipient of ‘Designer of the Year’ at the President’s Design Awards. For more information about the Asia Young Designer Award and Summit, please log on to: www.asiayoungdesigneraward.com





About Nippon Paint Malaysia Group


The Nippon Paint Malaysia Group (“NPM Group”) is currently Malaysia’s No. 1 Total Coating Solutions provider, enjoying its market leadership position since 2008. The NPM Group is part of the Nippon Paint Group, which is currently Asia’s No. 1 coating manufacturer spanning 15 countries, built on a heritage of over 130 years dating back to 1881 in Japan. Established in 1967 as Nippon Paint (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., the company has since grown in leaps and bounds, and today, has emerged as a significant regional player within the coatings industry with presence in countries such as Pakistan, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Thailand and Indonesia. The NPM Group places strong emphasis in Research and Development (R&D) activities, which remains a core priority to its success in product innovation. As a global leader in coating technologies with a database of more than 10,000 paint formulations, the NPM Group prides itself in being a Total Coating Solutions provider with a multi-segment portfolio of offerings ranging from Architectural, Automotive, Industrial, Protective to Marine coatings. The Group has won consumer choice awards such as the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand Awards (2006-2016) and Putra Brand Awards (2010-2016), as well as received industry accolades such as the Best Company for Leadership in Paint Technology Asia by IAIR in 2014 and Frost & Sullivan’s Paint & Coatings Company of The Year in 2011, the Paint Company of the Year 2016 and New Product Innovation Leadership Award 2016. In its concerted effort to champion sustainability towards a greener footprint, the Group has received the Green Label Certification (by the Singapore Environment Council), EcoLabelling Certification Licence (by SIRIM QAS International) and several Green Excellence Awards by Frost & Sullivan.