Winners of Prestigious Designers Australia Awards 2022 Revealed

The Design Institute of Australia (DIA)—Australia’s peak national design body, has released the recipients for its highly sought-after Designers Australia Awards 2022. The final winners out of a shortlist of eighty-two  across the country reflect the designer’s ability to make a solid contribution to a better world, including  three National winners, a President’s Award and forty-five Merit Awards. 

The awards, a first for the industry, identify Australia’s preeminent designers and studios, calling attention  to the individual/s and their distinguished design processes as much as the outcome. Cobalt Design for  Cobalt – magAssist VAD Heart Pump received the winning ‘Use’ award, and Culture as Creative for SAY IT  LOUD Naarm Melbourne 2022 won ‘Interact’. Kennedy Nolan for Always won the ‘Place’ category, and Ros  and John Moriarty received the President’s Award.  

Backed by the institute, the DIA’s Designers Australia Awards are different in their categories and criteria to  most of the design awards currently offered in Australia. The awards recognise the most nuanced design  thinking applied across the categories Place, Use, Interact and dissolve the traditional silos, reflecting  a trend toward multi-disciplinary approaches and problem-solving. They replace conventional design  categories such as industrial, interior, graphic, digital, product, environmental, textile, fashion, etc.  

“The DIA believes that designers and their contribution shape  everything around us and that this ‘contribution’ is most effective when design is accurately investigated. The Designers Australia Awards represent design by ethics and promote ideas, creativity, diversity, and  processes. This year the award winners and merit awards reinforced great design’s social, cultural,  economic and environmental ramifications” said DIA President Gavin Campbell FDIA.

Awards juror Kate Goodwin, Professor of Practise, in Architecture at the University of Sydney, integrating curatorial practice with teaching and former Head of Architecture and Heinz Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts in London comments “As we face increasing ecological, social and economic challenges, globally  and locally, rethinking how we live in and interact with the world is vital. In selecting this year’s winners,  we were looking for great designers who reimagine our interaction with the world, creating inspiring  places, objects and experiences.

The DIA’s Designers Australia Awards exemplify the calibre of Australian  design ingenuity and integrity. It was fantastic to be a part of an awards programme distinguished for  recognising the link between the process—how designers work with clients and contexts and meaningful  outcomes.”


PLACE category winner

Kennedy Nolan for Always was identified for their exemplary approach focusing on a sensitive and holistic  design methodology that combines the inside and outside seamlessly. The architects were honoured for  sensitive and reflective material selections connecting and engaging with the landscape, architecture,  surroundings and history.


USE category winner

Cobalt Design for Cobalt—magAssist VAD Heart Pump was praised for their rigorous, intelligent and  valuable interdisciplinary design process and exploration of the concept, which translates to a life-saving  outcome. The first of its kind, Cobalt’s device provides blood flow to supplement or replace heart function  via surgically inserted inflow and outflow cannulas.


INTERACT category winner

Culture as Creative for SAY IT LOUD Naarm Melbourne 2022 has been recognised for its circular design  approach informed by investigation, understanding, assessment and interaction. The SAY IT LOUD  exhibition represented strong cross-disciplinary collaboration through partnerships and society,  encouraging design debate and access to vital information.


President’s Award recipient

Ros and John Moriarty, founders of Balarinji, were applauded for their unique approach toward  collaboration and inclusivity, respectful design processes, and overall enduring commitment to the  profession over the years.

Leading jurors representing a broad cross-section of the international and local design community  include Professor Cameron Bruhn, Gavin Campbell, Dr Nathan James Crane, Penny Craswell, Emma  Elizabeth, Kate Goodwin, Adam de Guara, Dale Hardiman, Tuba Kocaturk, Dr Laura Kostanski, Shay  McMahon, David Meagher, Liane Rossler, Andrew Scott, Thomas Skeehan, Ellie Stathaki, Abdullah M.I. Syed,  and Karen Webster.

The Winning recipients, and the Awards of Merit, are listed below. For more information on each recipient,  with link to the Designer’s Australia Awards 2022 ceremony can be found here. 

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