Victorian Design Challenge: Waste Challenge shortlist announced

The NGV today announces the shortlist of the 2019 Victorian Design Challenge – the Waste Challenge, which this year is focused on reducing, recovering and eliminating waste.


The Victorian Design Challenge is an annual competition that provokes designers to respond to significant issues that Victoria (and Australia and the world) faces and aims to inspire impactful and implementable solutions that demonstrate the value of design and creativity to the creation of a better future.

For the first time, the competition opens up to school students and tertiary students alongside professionals. The Jury reviewed nearly 50 submissions to select a shortlist of the most innovative, scalable and effective entries in each category.  Three submissions have been shortlisted in the schools and tertiary categories respectively and four made the shortlist in the professional category.

On Tuesday 19 March from 9am, shortlisted teams will pitch their design solutions to the Jury and a live audience on stage in the Great Hall. Each team will have to convince the Jury that their idea is the best way to reduce, recover or eliminate waste. Who will be crowned the Waste Challenge Champions?


The shortlisted teams for the 2019 Victorian Design Challenge are:


  • Studio Periscope
  • Studio Edwards
  • Ideat Studio
  • Daniel Prohasky


  • Leixin Du, Pak Ying Tsang, Swinburne University
  • Maddison Ryder, RMIT University
  • Joshua Wait, RMIT University


  • Mill Park Library Makers Club
  • Katinka Weber, Northcote Highschool
  • Alia Ferdowsian, Preshil


The Victorian Design Challenge offers prizes across three categories:

  • Professional: $15 000 to realise the winning idea plus NGV Prize Packs for listed team members.
  • Tertiary: $5000 to realise the winning idea plus Exclusive Growth Accelerator workshop and six x one-hour mentorship sessions delivered by EY Climate Change and Sustainability Services to guide further development and implementation of the project along with NGV Prize Packs for listed team members.
  • Schools (primary and secondary): One-day tailored learning package at the NGV for up to 50 students, including learning resources, curatorial talk, exhibition tour, lunch, transport and teacher expenses plus NGV Prize Packs for listed team members and supervisor.


The 2019 Jury is chaired by Craig Reucassel from ABC’s War on Waste and comprises Abigail Forsyth, Managing Director and Co-founder, KeepCup; Shannon Bourke, Environmental and Social Initiatives Manager (Australia/New Zealand), Patagonia; John Gertsakis, Director and Co-founder, E-waste Watch Institute, Adjunct Professor, Institute for Sustainable Futures UTS; Tamsin O’Neill, Editor and Director, green magazine and Rebecca Gilling, Deputy CEO, Planet Ark.

The Jury undertook their evaluation considering the following criteria:

  1. Originality of the design idea
  2. Quality and strength of the design idea; potential impact and scalability
  3. Design approach: framing of the issue, quality of research and design development methodology, and
  4. Realisation potential: capacity to develop, implement, test and manage the design’s deployment.

The Jury commented: “The diversity of themes and concerns evident in the submissions make it clear that the aligned concerns of waste, pollution and resource management touch every aspect of our lives. From food and clothing, to travel and technology, there is no area of contemporary life that could not benefit from design-led disruption through an interrogation of waste and its impacts.”

The Jury was excited to see the level of innovative and creative thinking that the Victorian Design Challenge inspired in 2019. Across all three competitor categories the submissions demonstrated a high degree of practical understanding of the various sustainability challenges in the world today. The jury was impressed by the range and depth of sustainable solutions presented, many of which are both immediately needed and viable.

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