Currently in its 14th year, the Australian Interior Design Awards continue to unearth our most talented designers and this year is no exception. With a record 525 entries, including entries for the first time from all Australian states and territories, the judges were quick to note the originality on display this year.
“Separate to the prevalence of some currently popular material and colour choices, we saw numerous projects showing clearly defined concepts that were directly responsive to the project briefs. The judges collectively appreciated these projects that achieved a sense of originality and demonstrated attention to the needs of the client ahead of trend driven solutions,” says residential judge Nick Travers from Techne.
And while it’s typical of residential clients to follow trends, it’s heartening to hear that many are making braver design decisions. “Generally, we feel there is bolder design expression occurring which is more confident and less conservative in nature,” says Nick who also noticed an attention to detail not seen hitherto. “There was lots of refined detailing and a diversity in joinery design with a great sense of craft and workmanship,” says Nick of the 100 shortlisted designs.
“From our own project experience, we can also appreciate that investment by Australians in residential design is higher than ever which is affording designers a great deal of freedom in material choices, levels of detailing and bespoke solutions,” says Nick in what is no doubt music to many a designer’s ears!
Another strong trend to emerge was the importance placed on the integration of the outside with the inside of residential spaces. “We noticed the integration of landscape design and creating stronger connections between interior and exterior spaces of dwellings is higher on the agenda,” says Nick.
The shortlist categories include retail design, hospitality design, workplace design, public design, installation design, residential design and residential decoration, sustainability advancement and emerging interior design practice. There is also a Best of State Award and the Premier Award for Australian Interior Design. The final awards will be handed out in Melbourne on Friday June 9.
“Not only did we have a record number of entries but they showed a real depth in quality. It was evident in the best projects that real collaboration had occurred in the team dynamics between designers, consultants, contractors, craftspeople and the client.”
Photography: Tom Ferguson, Derek Swalwell, Nicholas Watt & Katherine Lu