Design duo Andrew Southwood-Jones and Alexander Kashin of studio daast, have been selected from 10 of the country’s most exciting and talented designers to be named the winner of the Temple & Webster Emerging Designer Award 2015. The four judges were unanimous in selecting daast as the overall winner — their approach of pushing creative boundaries and striving for originality and innovation set the unique pair apart from the other contenders.
Karen McCartney, editorial director at Temple & Webster and one of the judges, said: “The calibre of participants this year was incredibly impressive. The judges all felt there was a strong, stylistically cohesive body of work that manifested a distinctive sense of Australian design. Overall, all of the work was highly resolved, the quality of finish was exemplary and the variety of scale and type of objects on display was impressive. In the end, we all agreed on the outstanding work of Andrew and Alexander of daast and feel very proud to announce them as the winner of the Temple & Webster Emerging Designer Award for 2015.”
daast is a Sydney-based design house of bespoke solutions, projects and experimentation. 2013 winners of the SOYA Qantas award for craft and object design, the dynamic duo met while studying architecture at UTS. Recognising a shared fascination for putting unusual materials to innovative use, daast take a design approach which judge Andrea Jones from Sunday Life described as ‘pushing design boundaries’. David Clark, judge, author and former editor-in-chief of Vogue Living Australia said: “daast were formally interesting with a strong sense of materiality and are clearly striving to chart their own territory in the design world.”
The prize includes exposure to Temple & Webster’s database of over one million members, a publicity campaign and $5,000 cash from Temple & Webster. After generating an impressively positive response in the public vote and designer sale, the People’s Choice Award has been awarded to Canberra’s Nicholas Fuller, whose work the judges also felt anchored the exhibition visually, garnering a large amount of interest. David Harrison, judge and design commentator, said: “Nicholas’s incredible ability with timber is evident and he finds refined solutions to maximise the beauty of a product – for example, the leg detailing on his chair is carved away for a lighter expression.”