You may have to wait a little longer until the winners of the Best Awards are announced, but to satiate your design appetite in the meantime, here’s a snapshot of the winners from the Australian International Design Awards (AIDA), with a few Kiwi winners thrown in for good measure.
This year 232 Australian and internationally-designed products were physically assessed by a panel of international design experts, with 127 making the finals. Of the finalists, 47 products, ranging from an interactive children's playground to a finless surfboard, were awarded a Design Award in recognition of design and innovation excellence. And you’ll be pleased to know that each of the three Kiwi entries in finalist contention snagged a Design Award. The remaining 80 finalists were recognised as Good Design
First up, Air New Zealand’s SkyCouch which, having already picked up a few other international design awards, is going great guns. This time round it nabbed its Design Award in the Architectural & Interior Products category.
Next up for the Kiwis is the Fisher & Paykel CookSpace, which picked up its award in the Consumer category. The oven can be easily installed in walls or under bench with the added advantage of easy access. It features a wide format allowing two dishes to be cooked side by side in its massive 79L internal space. Quadruple glazed doors cool the exterior and it has an auto cleaning function that eliminates the job despised by most — scouring or scrubbing.
Kiwi agritech company Simcro picked up the third Kiwi award, this time in the Medical and Scientific category for its animal vaccine safety injector the Sekurus.
While traditional injection methods involve the user having to use one hand to hold an injector while grasping a fold of the animal's skin with the other hand to prepare or ‘tent’ it for the injection — in the process risking self-injection by accident because one hand is so close to the injection site — the Sekurus self ‘tenting’ safety injector allows for one-handed application making the injection process faster and safer. All the operator has to do is activate the trigger with one hand and press the injector against the animal's skin.
The overall winner
But applaud Kiwi design and innovation as we might, there is still of course the grand supreme overall winner to coup over. And this year it came by way of an interactive children's playground designed with the attraction of electronic gaming to draw kids outdoors. Called ICON, the playground was designed by Denmark-based Kompan and as well as winning the supreme design award, it also picked up Best in Category design award in the Sport and Leisure category.
The playground encourages children to move around the playground, climbing, running and jumping on the equipment in response to the interactive digital games that encourage competitiveness and gratification.
The judges were impressed by ICON's layout, attention to detail, design quality and longevity, in addition to the simple yet innovative concept of combining electronic gaming with outdoor play equipment.
"The combination of electronic games with physical play equipment was a stroke of genius. In an age where childhood obesity is an epidemic, this is where design thinking can make a real difference," the judges commented.
"With its low running costs, intuitive layout, impeccable quality and versatility, this will appeal to children and adults alike."
Judges were also impressed by the well considered control panel, tamperproof stainless steel parts, injection moulded pieces, low voltage LED lighting, safety aspects and sustainability and longevity of the hardware which can be easily upgraded by incorporating new software.
And the sustainability winner is...
This year an award was also dished out for the most sustainably-orientated design. Electrolux’s ultra-quiet vacuum cleaner, made from 55 percent recycled plastics and using an engine 35 percent more efficient than the average 2000W vacuum cleaner, took home that honour.
It’s packaging is made from 100 percent recycled cardboard and 92 percent of the cleaner can be recycled at the end of its life.
"Addressing its biggest life cycle impacts of energy consumption, materials use and embodied energy, this product is 35 percent more efficient and uses 55 percent recycled plastic in its manufacture. But its quietness will be what wins the hearts of parents with young children," the judges commented.
To be in the running for the sustainability award, any product in contention had to meet nine additional criteria including product need, durability and longevity, energy and water efficiency during manufacture, as well as use and packaging minimisation.
FlipBike by Ideation Design (Australia)
QuickSmart Back Pack Stroller by Funtastic Ltd (Australia)
Artificial Alabaster Stone by Rong Gih (China)
HÅG Capisco Puls by Peter Opsvik AS (Norway)
Bolwell Edge by Bolwell RV (Australia)
Check out all the other winners here.