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Interactive playground, green vacuum cleaner and even a new Golden Circle Chilled Juice Bottle. Good design never goes unrewarded!


It’s often said that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. For commercial designers, beauty usually lies in the eye of the consumer.

At the Australian International Design Awards — Australia’s design ‘Oscars’, if you will — top companies and designers showed off their form, functionality and distinct styles, last month, in everyday products as much as scientific devices and even heavy machinery.

If a simple bottle needed to be recreated in the eye of a designer, there was the Golden Circle Chilled Juice Bottle. The Backpack Bed trumped functionality without sacrificing beauty. And then there was a “green” UltraSilencer vacuum cleaner from Swedish giant Electrolux, a Big Mouth food processor (Whoever didn’t ever want one of those), and even a horse bit.

The winningest of them all was a Danish company’s interactive playground that integrates cool electronics with outdoor equipment, appropriately called Icon.

Kompan Playscape, which has its Australian office in Geebung, Queensland, claims the Icon is the most advanced playground it has built and calls it “the future of playgrounds around the world.”

One can’t quibble with the claims. Kompan says Icon’s innovative features and design were created to draw children to the outdoors while still teasing them with some cool electronic games, “giving children the best of both worlds.”

Good Design never goes out of fashion

Electrolux’s UltraSilencer vacuum cleaner won the sole sustainability award for its green features.

It is made from 55% recycled plastics and runs on an engine rated 35% more efficient than the average vacuum cleaner. Also, the quietest vacuum cleaner came in at a low noise level of 68 dB (decibels).

The Australian International Design Awards in Melbourne this year were the first under Good Design Australia, which bought the decades-old franchise from Standards Australia, which turned a simple sponsor. This year, 232 Australian and international products were evaluated by a panel of design experts, with 127 making the finals. Eventually, 47 products won awards and the remaining 80 received simple Good Design commendations.

“Award winners are the result of unwavering dedication to good design and commitment to a professional design process. Innovation, creativity and attention to detail are clearly at the heart of each project,” said Brandon Gien, managing director of Good Design Australia.

For the first time, the awards honoured the best in each category, with the highest scoring product in each of eight categories winning a Design Award. They were:

  • Architectural and Interior Products – Sayl by Fuseproject
  • Automotive and Transport – Audi A7 Sportback by Audi
  • Business and Technology – DaVinci Resolve hardware control surface by
  • Blackmagic Industrial Design Team
  • Consumer (Joint) – Nespresso Pixie by Les Ateliers du Nord and STIHL
  • Australia Cordless range by STIHL
  • Heavy Machinery – WorkArea Monitor (WAM) by GroundProbe
  • Housing and Building – Caroma Flow by GWA Bathrooms & Kitchens
  • Medical and Scientific – ResMed S9 Series with Automatic Climate Control by ResMed
  • Sport + Leisure – Icon playground by Kompan

Finally, something to remember – designs come, designs go, but good design never goes out of fashion.