The 2021 run of the KOHLER Bold Design Awards (KBDA) regional competition in Asia Pacific is now accepting submissions within the region from Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia and Mongolia. 

The international design contest, now on its 4th run in Southeast Asia, celebrates talented professionals who continue to innovate within the hospitality, residential, and commercial property industries. 

Angel Yang, Kohler Asia Pacific President virtually kicked off KBDA 2021 in a virtual press conference. “We’re looking for the best talent with exceptional work, offer them experience and bring it to the regional level – this design awards is a platform that offers to share their talent not just to the region, but to the world as well,” she said.

Call for entries for the KOHLER Bold Design Awards opens September 23, 2021

This year’s KBDA 2021 APAC regional competition includes categories such as Living (Apartment, Villa); Travel (Urban hotel, Resort); Leisure (Restaurant & bar, Retail store); Commercial; Sustainability; Prodigies; Influencers; The Icon; the Best of Best Projects; and Innovation. The competition welcomes project entries from retail and project architects, designers, property developers and hotel operators who have made bold and innovative contributions to the architecture and design landscape these past few years.

Panel of judges

The KBDA 2021 regional competition comprises a jury of prominent international designers and architects. Some of the judges present during the virtual press conference were Andre Fu of André Fu Studio Hongkong; Chris Godfrey, Global Principal for Hirsch Bedner Associate (HBA) Residential (UK & Singapore); and Brian Lum, Vice President of Design Services Asia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels Corporation (Hongkong). Other judges also include Alexandra Champalimaud, Founder & President, Champalimaud (USA); Ed Bakos, Partner & CEO, Champalimaud (USA); Steve Leung, Founder of Steve Leung Design Group Ltd. (Hongkong); and Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners (UK). 

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“It is important to see how projects are being represented – representation is relevant, which makes it more interesting,” Fu shared, as judges like himself are more keen to see fresh industry talent.

Present judges Fu, Godfrey, and Lum also talked about some of the emerging trends in design. They pointed out that space, a sense of well-being, and a perception of hygiene and cleanliness in designs are now important – even critical – given the effects of the current pandemic. 

“It is more of how we can balance the idea of social distancing while maintaining the energy, emotion of space moving forward,” Fu said. 

Lum also added that the impact of the pandemic made them rethink ‘space’ — its adaptive reuse, its utilization, and how it can be furthered. “In the hospitality point of view, guests consider cleanliness, air purification, and the like as necessities. We must communicate those additions to guests, to make them feel we care about the safety of their stay in our hotels. These measures may be happening temporarily now, but it may have a vital, lasting impact in the future.”

For his part and from a residential point of view, Godfrey said that there has been a reevaluation of what homes mean nowadays. “People like simple homes. Simple, this time, can be a comfortable chair, some greenery, some sense of the outside. [To most people], well-being means never losing track of life’s essentials,” he said.

Aside from bringing home a trophy, winners of the Kohler Bold Design Awards 2021 will also get a chance to showcase their works on Kohler’s various platforms which includes the Kohler Experience Centers, social media, literatures and collaterals, and as well as gain exposure on local and overseas media and entertainment publication.

Projects which have commenced from January 2019 and have been completed by August 2021 are eligible for the Kohler Bold Design Awards 2021. Interested participants may submit their entries through the Kohler Bold Design Awards website (kbda-ap.com) starting September 23, 2021 until on or before December 15, 2021. The nominees will be announced on January 15, 2022 and winners will be revealed at the gala dinner award ceremony in February 2022. 

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