AN urban sanctuary and hospitality design solutions were among the creative responses that Filipino students proposed to address the country's pressing issues in the transportation and tourism sectors in the recent 2024 Nippon Paint Young Designer Award (NPYDA).

Established by Nippon Paint Philippines Inc. in 2008, the nationwide competition serves as a platform to motivate future artists through collaborative learning experiences and develop valuable connections with influential figures in the industry.

Themed "Converge: Championing Purposeful Design," this year's event encouraged learners pursuing Interior Design and Architecture Programs to reshape future spaces and craft practical proposal strategies.

Emylia Ginelle Poblete, an Interior Design student of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB), proposed "Da-an," an urban refuge project for passengers. By creating a liminal zone near the transit places, it sought to provide a sanctuary dedicated to travelers to ease their stress amid the uncomfortable transportation system.

It featured public services such as pharmacies, convenience stores, food courts, lounges, libraries and gardens. It also offered private amenities such as music and nap pods with aromatherapy oils, meditation areas, restrooms and shower rooms.

To promote sustainability, the layout incorporated open areas and low-emissivity film-coated glass panels to regulate indoor temperature. It utilized renewable materials such as Aria lightweight mineral coating furniture, natural woods, and rattan accent veneers for wall panels and ceilings.

"'Da-an' embodies humanness while celebrating the power of interiors to empathize with its users and connect with the environment," Poblete added.

Mysterious island

Maria Beatrice de Vega, an aspiring creative from the Benilde Interior Design Program, showcased the experiential hub entitled "Pahiwaga." She sought to give the visitors a glimpse of the natural beauty and unique heritage of the municipality of Siquijor.

The island located in the Central Visayas region has been saddled over time with frightening stories that involved witchcraft, mysticism and supernatural events that give fear and terror to visitors.

With these unsubstantiated misconceptions, "Pahiwaga" embraced maximalism through mixed patterns and saturated colors on the walls and floors. It incorporated multiple fabrics and numerous accessories in the rooms as they mirrored the richness and vibrancy of the island's ancestry.

It also employed the stillness of nature and biophilic design through wood furnishings and luscious green plants to encapsulate the breathtaking view of Siquijor.

"By unveiling the island's true essence, 'Pahiwaga' aspires to rewrite the narrative and discover the authentic charm of the province has to offer," de Vega highlighted.

Poblete and de Vega were hailed among the top seven finalists of the 2024 NPYDA. They were guided and mentored by practitioner and educator IDr. Candice Arboleda.

"I wanted them to learn to take risks for their designs and the causes they believe in," Arboleda said. "More than winning, it is also about putting their works out in the open, talking about it, and being on a platform where they can stand with their principles."

For more information on the 2024 NPYDA, visit


2024-06-17T16:55:15Z dg43tfdfdgfd