Inaugural Designers Australia 2021 Awards Shortlist Announced

DIA-Awards-HyperSext-City-by-Monash-University-XYX-LabThe Design Institute of Australia (DIA) – Australia’s peak national body spearheading the design industry has released the shortlist for its inaugural Designers Australia 2021 Awards. An impressive shortlist of 74 entries have been announced across the three cross-disciplinary categories: Place, Use, and Interact.

The unique awards, a first for the industry identify Australia’s best designers and studios emphasising the individual/s and their design processes as much as the outcome.

Outstanding shortlisted designers and design teams identified include Bates Smart, Cox Architecture, Danielle Brustman, Edward Linacre, Glenn Murcutt on behalf of Naomi Milgrom Foundation, Hames Sharley, Ian Wong, Jen Lowe, Melissa Marsden, Nick Karlovatsis and Sarah Gibson, Phillips/Pilkington Architects, Pierce Widera and Tom Skeehan.

“Valuing the designer’s influence over process and purchasing is integral to quality design outcomes that shape a better world,” said DIA President Gavin Campbell FDIA. “The distinct attribution of our designers is fundamental to the Design Institute of Australia’s policy work.”

“Underpinned by our core values and purpose, we are thrilled to identify these progressive designers and their impact towards authenticity, diversity, equality, inclusivity, community, and the environment.”

The awards identify the best design thinking and processes applied across projects that would have previously been categorised by traditional design disciplines such as industrial, interior, graphic, digital, product, environmental, textile, fashion and many more.

According to the DIA code of conduct, which demonstrates a commitment to best practice, continual improvement, and excellence of the design industry, a jury of local and international industry leaders judged the entries.

They included Alessandra Baldereschil, Susanna Bilardo, Lisa Cahill, Gavin Campbell, Lidewij Edelkoort & Philip Fimmano, Marcus Fairs, John Gertsakis, Dr. Rafael Gomez, Peta Heffernan, Fenella Kernebone, Tuba Kocaturk, Dr. Scott Mayson, Nicole Monks, Lorenzo Palmeri and Quan Payne.

“The Designers Australia 2021 Awards focus on process, wellbeing, ethics, and advocacy; this shift is groundbreaking, and the projects highlighted are exemplary examples of this within the Australian design landscape,” said Awards juror and multi-disciplinary artist Nicole Monks.

“I’m interested in the change-makers, those who aim to leave a legacy in design by creating pathways for the next generations to learn and grow and encouraged by those designers who consider broader social and environmental issues and the impact of good design.”

“These awards show how designers can create connection and share the story of how ‘now’ matters in creating a better future,” said Monks.

Incorporated in 1958, the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) is the peak national body steering Australia’s design industry. Its purpose is to grow the value and role of design and the impact of our designers in Australia.

Having the most extensive design professional network, DIA is the leading advocate for design, champions design excellence, progress change, and is a trusted voice in the national conversation.

It engages with and educates designers, the government, and our broader society and fosters collaborations for designers to engage across the industry and community.

The Designers Australia 2021 Awards initiated after recognising an industry void acknowledge the breadth of the design disciplines advocated by the DIA. Formed as an opportunity to highlight and honor design processes defined by designers, the awards identify and celebrate Australian emerging and established designers.

The three entry categories differentiate the cross-disciplinary opportunities presented to Australian designers: Place – representing the spaces we live, work, play; Use – describing things we use; and Interact – depicting what or who we interact with.

For more information about the Designers Australia 2021 Awards and the shortlisted designers, visit: for detail. The Awards will be announced on Thursday 5 August 2021.

Image: HyperSext City by Monash University XYX Lab (supplied)