Shortlist announcement: Designers Australia 2021 Awards

Today, the Design Institute of Australia (DIA)—Australia’s peak national body spearheading the design industry released the shortlist for its inaugural Designers Australia 2021 Awards. An impressive shortlist of 74 entries was 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.

DIA President Gavin Campbell FDIA said:  

“Valuing the designer’s influence over process and purchasing is integral to quality design outcomes that shape a better world. 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.”

Awards juror and trans-disciplinary artist Nicole Monks also commented:

“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.  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.”

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 GomezPeta Heffernan, Fenella Kernebone, Tuba Kocaturk, Dr. Scott Mayson, Nicole Monks, Lorenzo Palmeri, and Quan Payne.

All shortlisted designers are identified below, each with a link to a dedicated page on the Designers Australia 2021 Awards website, where you can find an image and more information about each studio and its projects.

Place representing the spaces we live, work, and play: 

A1 Office for Noma Consulting;  

A1 Office for Clevertronics;  

Anna-Carin Design Studio for body of work 

Bates Smart for Gandel Wing, Cabrini;  

Beatrix Rowe Interior Design for Malvern East 01;  

Billard Leece Partnership for Susan Wakil Health Building;  

Cameron Chisholm Nicol for RAAFA Clubhouse and Apartments;  

Comunitl for Davidson;  

Cox Architecture for Parmelia Hilton Hotel; 

Cox Architecture for Transurban Workplace;  

Cox Architecture for Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ 

Cox Architecture for 2 Market Street Lobby;  

Cox Architecture for Australian Museum Project Discover;  

Cox Architecture for Eagle Workplace; 

Danielle Brustman for Brighton Street Early Learning;  

DesiginInc Adelaide for DesiginInc Adelaide Studio;  

Elenberg Fraser for Market Lane 

Entro Communications Inc. for Australian Museum 

Gabbert Design for The Coolalinga Tavern 

Glenn Murcutt for MPavilion 2019;  

Hames Sharley for Finlaysons Workplace Strategy and Design;  

Latitude for SBB;  

Mata Design Studio for Applecross Residence

Mycelium Studios for Mycelium Studios;  

Ni Design for Brisbane Physio Clinic;  

Ohlo Studio for Dune House;  

Pierce Widera for Core Physiotherapy;  

Pierce Widera for Dux Coffee;  

Pierce Widera for Fitzroy Residence;  

Phillips/Pilkington Architects for Gunditj Mirring Keeping Place;  

Russell & George for Sarah & Sebastian;  

Skeehan Studio for Canberra Glassworks Shop;  

Stephen Varady Associates for Nasteski Apartment 

Studio aem for Inside outside house;  

studio-gram for The Guardsman;  

studio-gram from Leigh Street Wine Room;  

studio-gram for Fino Vino;

studio-gram for Bottega Bandito;  

studio-gram for Hotel Indigo;  

Trentini Design for Balgownie House;  

Trentini Design for Baron Cottage;  

Valentine interiors + design for Clemens Hill Ensuite;  

Walter Brooke & Associates for iTL;  

Walter Brooke & Associates for SOL;  

Walter Brooke & Associates for EOS by SkyCity;  

Woods Bagot for Central Park Tower Refurbishment; and 

 Zwei Interiors Architecture for body of work.  


Use describing things we use: 

Alex Eviston for ‘Viaso’ Clinical Virtual Reality;

BoardGrove Architects for MPavilion 2020 Stool Dolly;

Cobalt Design for KeepCup Thermal Cup & Press Fit Lid;

DesignByThem for August Lounges by Gibson Karlo;

DesignByThem for DL Range;

Hare + Klein for Bridge Table;

ism objects for body of work;

JamFactory for Solute Pendant Light;

JamFactory for Sit Furniture Range;

JDT Design for LEGO 3D printed Spinner;

JPE Design Studio for SEDI;

kitely kianoosh design for Ostra Light;

Pivate for Variation object ver;

Pivate for Variation furniture ver;

Pinto Tuncer for Canberra Centre Mall Furniture;

Skeehan Studio for ROU House;

Skeehan Studio for NAVE Collection;

Suzi Attiwill for contribution to the profession; 

The Classic Effect for Summit;

Uglykid.Org for Designs For The End of Life; and

Yellow Goat Design for H2O.


Interact depicting what or who we interact with: 

Black Squid Design for A-Lure Gin;

Black Squid Design for 5Nines Distilling Single Malt Whisky;

EJO for 100 Objects; 

Monash University Despartment of Design for HyperSext City 

Outspoken Entourage for Clarence Valley Conservatorium; and

United Studio for Markr.


The Designers Australia 2021 Awards is sponsored by Dulux Acratex. Winners will be announced at simultaneous hybrid events across each state on Thursday, 5 August 2021, with tickets soon to be released.

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