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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Mida magic returns with a twist


Continuing a tradition of honouring design excelllence, this year's awards is the first organised by the country's two interior design bodies.

It will be a historic event for the fraternity of interior designers.

For the first time, the 2007 Malaysian Interior Design Awards (Mida) is being presented by the country's interior design associations, the Malaysian Society of Interior Designers (MSID) and Institut Perekabentuk Dalaman Malaysia (IPDM).


"The collaboration of MSID and IPDM makes this year's Mida very special," said MSID president Ronnie Choong, who is serving his second term. He is also concurrently council member on the International Federation of Interior Architects/ Designers (IFI).

According to Choong, the move to jointly honour winners is a positive one as it will represent a "doubling of efforts to promote designs that invariably lead to setting higher standards as more design entries are received".

"With the (MSID) Interior Design Awards (IDA) being incorporated as Mida (previously hosted by IPDM alone), we will not be hosting IDA anymore," he said, adding that Mida would set the benchmark for the best design entries for the industry at large.

This view is shared by IPDM president Hussein Hamzah, who believes events such as Mida are needed to make a success of the impending union of the two institutes to represent interior design professionals in the country.

"Rather than have the industry split in two, I'm all for unification," he said, adding that in his role as president of IPDM, he will try to finalise the details of the merger before his term is up for the year.

Hussein, who is founding president of IPDM, said the awards have become better over the years, to such an extent that "Mida has become more of a 'national award', rather than merely being reflective of an award organised by an interior design association".

Larger and grander

Past IPDM president and MIDA organising chairman Chris Yap Seng Chye said this year's theme, "Design Excellence in the 5th Decade", is to reflect the country's 50 years of independence.

IPDM and MSID are not only co-organising Mida, but will also co-host the annual dinner on Nov 7 that will demonstrate a show of unity among interior designers, he said.

Additionally, with the interior design profession being legislated from this year onwards, the combined event is being held to emphasise the significance of the profession, he added.

With the exception of the student category, Mida will only be open to MSID and IPDM members, to highlight the high level of quality demonstrated by professional interior designers, said Yap.

The Mida committee members, who include IPDM secretary Monie Mohariff, MSID council members Associate Prof Mohd Ali Yusop and Associate Prof Hilmiah Ismail, have also made an allocation for lower cost projects.

"In the past no reference was made to project cost, though higher budget projects were favoured to win... this isn't fair to lower valued projects that may also have the potential to win. So we decided to increase in terms of construction costs," he said.

Projects costing below RM120psf nett and those above this level will be judged in two separate categories Yap said, adding that it will apply to the residential, retail and exhibition cateogries.

Given that many developers have come up with impressive show units showcasing emerging lifestyle trends, the organising committee saw it fit to introduce a new category for show units.

"We thought it would only be appropriate to have this category, which also recognises the fact that developers have also assisted in the development of the interior design profession," he said.

A special category for students to showcase their work was also included.

"This will motivate them to explore interior design further while instilling confidence in their skills," added Yap.

By New Straits Times (By Yvonne Yoong)

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