The INDE.Awards 2018: The Night That Brought Asia Pacific A+D Together
With Zenith as the Official Platinum Partner of the INDE.Awards, we celebrate the outstanding design, architecture, material and culture of our region’s combined industries.
Opportunities for a region-wide gathering of Asia Pacific’s leading architecture and design-industry identities don’t happen often. But on the evening of Friday 22 June 2018, a crowd of over 800 gathered in Singapore and Sydney from far-flung corners of Asia Pacific for the second annual INDE.Awards.
They came together from countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, China, New Zealand, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and of course Singapore to discover and celebrate the year’s most progressive projects, people and products from our region – and to show the world why Asia Pacific remains a region to watch.
The sense of a united regional creative community was a topic of discussion heard throughout the evening at the incredible JW Marriott Singapore South Beach ballroom. Prior to the Gala, a series of INDE.Awards fringe events had placed this theme front and centre by unpacking discussions about where A&D in the region is heading.
The Gala itself had a celebratory tone – not just for the well-deserved winners, but for the opportunity that the event presented. New insights, new connections and new relationships were built, which brought deeper meaning to an important event on the architecture and design calendar.
Many members of the Jury were in attendance – Chan Ee Mun (WOHA) from Singapore; Luke Yeung (Architectkidd) from Thailand; Aric Chen (M+) from Hong Kong; Abbie Galvin (BVN), James Calder (Calder Consultants) and William Smart (Smart Design Studio) from Australia; Shashi Caan (SC Collective) and Stephen Burks (Stephen Burks Man Made) from the USA; and Indesign Media’s very founder and CEO Raj Nandan (Australia). Also in the audience were Launch Pad Asia Jury members Hunn Wai (Lanzavecchia + Wai) and Priscilla Lui (Studio Juju) from Singapore. A number of them graced the stage during the ceremony.
The first official address was by Raj Nandan, who made special mention of the wonderful support and working relationships enjoyed by the INDE.Awards with its official Partners.
At the helm of this support is Zenith. As the Official Platinum Partner of the program for a second year, Zenith continues to be a leading influence in Asia-Pacific design, embodying and celebrating the characteristics that make the region’s design universe so dynamic, exciting and diverse. Like our multicultural and multinational, industry, Zenith brings together a love of innovation with an individual design imagination influenced by our globalised everyday reality. Thoughtful, sensitive and optimistic, Zenith takes a trailblazing approach to supplying the best furniture to Asia Pacific’s leading projects across the commercial, health, education and civic sectors. And what’s more, the brand has done this for over 60 years. Pushing our region’s design capabilities in striking, functional and pioneering design, the brand continues to respond innovatively to game-changing moments in contemporary design: the .com explosion, the open plan movement, the war on talent, and the penetration of technology into every facet of our day to day lives.
In the Shortlisted projects from across the region, INDE.Award juror and alum, William Smart, noted some key trends emerging: a great connection to the outdoors, an appreciation of natural materials, and a strong representation of contemporary living. He said, “In my opinion, this is creating some of the most exciting architecture, interiors and products in the world. But the tremendous diversity doesn’t make judging an easy thing.”
Reflecting on his success in the INDE.Awards 2017 as winner of The Building, the Luminary and Zenith’s own Best of the Best, Smart said:
“Last year’s Luminary and Best of the Best awards were incredible for our practice. They elevated our profile, brought new opportunities and wonderful clients to our studio, and gave us the confidence to be stronger and more original in our architecture. Above all it gave our team a feeling of being established and appreciated.”
He closed by noting the abundant enthusiasm and optimism within the architecture and design professions. “It’s this dedication and passion that feeds our industry, inspires me and I’m sure you and makes our profession the envy of many others,” he said.
From the gala evening in Singapore, Zenith hosted a second audience in its Sydney showroom, who all followed the evening with a live streaming of the ceremony. Before long the ceremony had arrived at the final award, granted to the top-scoring project from the entire competition: The Best of the Best presented by Zenith. Jury member Stephen Burks introduced the award.
“In one way, this project is one that touched my heart because of the simplicity of the structure, the sophistication of the materials, and the reflection of culture. What I’ve learned here in Singapore, and looking across the region overall being one of the judges for INDE once again, is there’s obviously something going on here. Many of the buildings, interiors and products we’ve applauded tonight have a kind of legibility. What I mean by that is that they represent the construction, the materials and the culture of their own being in such a way that it teaches us something. I think tonight’s winning project is one such project.”
The Best of the Best for 2018 was awarded to Taylor & Hinds Architects with the camping shelter titled krakani-lumi. The project, located in Tasmania’s North East National Park, was created for the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania. Loud cheers erupted for Taylor & Hinds upon the announcement of their success.
Mat Hinds, Co-Director (with Poppy Taylor) of Taylor & Hinds, silenced the ballroom with the studio’s acceptance speech.
“We didn’t expect this. Thank you very much. We had an opportunity to work with a client who for a long time, since colonisation, had been told they don’t exist. So we saw an opportunity in making a statement in what we do, where we could clearly help them say: ‘We are here. Can you see us? We are here.’ There was a trust in us, as non-Aboriginal people ourselves, to make something that would help them tell their story. They will be over the moon. Thank you very much.”
That powerful moment was one of the many topics of conversation in the post-ceremony celebration that continued into the evening.
Our sincere thanks to all our speakers. We look forward to building the regional discussion further with an ongoing series of regional fringe events for the INDE.Awards.
View more photos here