• design

1 April 2021

From a world-first medical innovation, the transformation of a Melbourne icon and sustainable fashion, the best in Victorian design has been honoured at the Victorian Premier’s Design Awards.

Held as part of Melbourne Design Week, the awards celebrate the most significant achievements by Victorian designers, as well as stand-out student design. They also showcase ways that businesses across a range of industries use design to make better products, processes, experiences and services.

A world-first medical instrument that creates 3D digital images of the human eye was awarded the top prize, the Victorian Premier’s Design Award of the Year. Designed by Cobalt Design and Cylite, the Hyperparallel OCT (HP-OCT) helps specialists treat vision impairment, streamlining the diagnostic process by integrating the functions of five existing instruments into a single, automated platform. The machine also won the Best in Category Award for Product Design.

The other Best in Category winners were:

  • Architectural Design – Architectus, Schmidt Hammer Lassen and the State Library of Victoria for State Library Victoria’s Vision 2020 Redevelopment, which has dramatically increased public space and utility at Australia’s oldest and busiest public library.
  • Fashion Design - HoMie for their sustainability initiative Reborn, which transforms garments destined for landfill into desirable one-off pieces while raising money for charity. Pre-loved, or unsold garments are hand-cut, sewn and altered in Melbourne, creating unique pieces that encourage a radical rethinking of the industry.
  • Communication Design – Sebastian White for a series of posters promoting the Isol-Aid Live Music Festival, an Instagram Live music festival started by the Australian music community at the beginning of the pandemic. Sebastian designed and illustrated a unique poster for each weekend festival which feature ‘iconic’ items of 2020, like bulk toilet paper and hand sanitiser.
  • Digital Design – Transpire with Vodafone Foundation for DreamLab, a mobile app that uses networked smartphones to create a distributed supercomputer to process medical research data. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the team refocused DreamLab in order to speed up the discovery of anti-viral properties in existing medicines and in anti-viral food molecules that could help fight COVID-19. With a timeframe of just under three weeks they adjusted both the front and backend of DreamLab to not only ensure that brand new data could be processed correctly but also maintain the app’s seamless user experience.
  • Design Strategy – RMIT University, Public Journal and SBS for Bundyi Girri for Business. The world-first design-led set of frameworks, skills and techniques to assist non-Indigenous people to cultivate the self awareness required to be in active relationships with Indigenous peoples and Country.
  • Service Design – Today for the Working with Children Checks for Indigenous Applicants program, which has expressed the WWCC framework with sensitivity to the needs, rights and culture of Indigenous Australians. For Indigenous Australians, the process can be particularly difficult to navigate, to the point that it was subverting their culture. This project identified how to maintain the WWCC regulatory framework - essential for ensuring the safety of Australian children - whilst creating a service that vulnerable people could access and engage with in a supportive and inclusive way.
  • Student Design – RMIT students Charlotte McCombe, Tanuj Kalra and Jui Deepak Apte forAegis for hospital PPE made from marine weeds. They responded the short supply of PPE for medical workers while addressing sustainable solutions to increased medical waste. Long reaching global supply chains and increased use of disposable PPE had led to mass shortages, placing thousands of medical workers around the world in direct risk of infection. Aegis is an alternative that is completely bio constructed and biodegradable.
  • VCE Student Design - Hanna Gough for a craft kit that serves as an emergency economic tool, transforming recyclable waste into saleable fashion accessories.  The Lotus Bag was designed in response to the ongoing challenge of homelessness and poverty-stricken populations. It aims to provide a means to generate income from waste materials. The Lotus Bag includes a bottle-cutting tool and a set of instructions that detail how to create a bag using woven recycled bottles, which can then be sold for a profit. Through encouraging reuse of waste Hannah also touches on the important issue of waste and pollution.

The Premier’s Design Awards are a Victorian Government initiative delivered by Good Design Australia. This year’s winners were selected from a field of 97 finalists.

For more on the winners visit www.premiersdesignawards.com.au