Recognising Design Excellence

The Grand Award winners of the DFA Design for Asia Awards 2018 represent the best of the region’s talent

The DFA Design for Asia Awards was founded in 2003 and has since become one of the most prestigious awards in the region. Focusing on design that embraces uniquely Asian cultural values, the awards recognise sustainable development and technology as keys to improving the lives of the region’s population. 

An initiative of the Hong Kong Design Centre — its mission to promote the strategic use of design and design thinking across public and economic sectors — this year the DFA Design for Asia Awards received over 1, 000 entries from 18 economies. Out of these, 187 awards were conferred to projects for their contribution to social, cultural and economic progress, including ten Grand Awards and three Grand Awards for Culture, Sustainability and Technology respectively. Below is a showcase of the selected grand prize projects, all of which are designed by innovators and pioneers who collectively represent the power of design to enhance and enrich our lives. 

 
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01

Grand Award
To create a new burial concept of inclusiveness and togetherness, Japan’s UA Architects reimagined the traditional Buddhist cemetery by replacing the stack-up square graves common in Japan with a conceptual marble headstone called &(Ando). 

 
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02

Grand Award
Sony Corporation’s fourth generation robotic dog aibo merges technology and artificial intelligence into a life-like companion that behaves just like a real puppy.

 
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03

Grand Award
Featuring artworks by artist and designer Apex Lin, Pang-soong and co-organised by the Forestry Bureau of Taiwan’s Agricultural Council and Mount Ali Tea No. 35, DESCRY TAIWAN ALISHAN APEX LIN, PANG-SOONG X MOUNTAIN ALI TEA NO.35 is an exhibition inspired by the sights and sounds of Taiwan and offers visitors an immersive experience of the island. 

 
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04

Grand Award
LOOK Architects of Singapore completed the 19-kilometre-long elevated walkway dubbed the Fuzhou Jin Niu Shan Trans-Urban Connector to improve access to Jiu Niu Shan hill in Fuzhou and conserve the area’s ecology. 

 
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05

Grand Award
Cruising the Seto Inland Sea, guntû - luxury floating hotel - is a 19-room luxury ‘boatel’ designed by Yasushi Horibe Architect & Associates of Japan. 

 
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06

Grand Award
In Hong Kong, the PMQ Taste Academy is an innovative incubation initiative that equips budding executive chefs and restaurateurs with culinary expertise and business acumen before they enter the competitive F&B market.

 
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07

Grand Award
Located on reclaimed land in Tokyo, Shin-toyosu Brillia Running Stadium is a sustainable and inclusive 6-lane running track designed by E.P.A Environmental Protection Architectural Institute. Intended for use by future Paralympians and Olympians, as well as athletes and the general public, it also provides a prosthetics lab, fitting rooms and accessible shower amenities. 

 
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08

Grand Award
Located in a shopping mall in South Korea, The Starfield Library, developed by Shinsegae Property & Cenoplan, is a cultural hub and social space that houses over 70,000 books, more than half of which were donated by the public. 

 
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09

Grand Award
As one of the oldest and largest revitalisation projects in Hong Kong, Tai Kwun, managed by the Jockey Club CPS Limited, has become a heritage and arts destination for people of all ages.

 
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10

Grand Award & Grand Award for Culture
Hong Kong-based design studio Narrative Made initiated The Textile Atlas as the first platform to map, document and preserve the hidden stories of Asia’s traditional textile crafts and artisans. 

 
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11

Grand Award for Sustainability
In designing the luxury eco-resort Wild Coast Tented Lodge on the edge of Yala National Park, Dutch firm Nomadic Resorts strove to minimise environmental impact, use locally sourced materials and celebrate Sri Lanka’s design traditions. 

 
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12

Grand Award for Technology
Dyson once again elevates user experience, this time with the Dyson Supersonic™  hair dryer that merges design and mechatronic advancement with its new V9 digital motor and air multiplier™ technology.