James Cameron's Deepsea Challenger Research Submersible has taken out the nation's most prestigious design award in this year's Australian International Design Awards.
Designed and manufactured by four Australian companies - Acheron Project, Design + Industry, McConaghy Boats and Finite Elements - in partnership with Hollywood film director James Cameron, the Deepsea Challenger is the first single occupant research submersible capable of safely taking a human to the bottom of the ocean, 11 kilometres below the surface. Built in a factory in Leichhardt, the sub took Mr Cameron to the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean bed, on a research expedition in March 2012 and has received the 2012 Australian International Design Award of the Year.
A mine detector, garlic press, pool chlorinator system, family help network and child's nasal mask are some of the other Australian designed winners announced tonight at the 2012 Australian International Design Awards.
Presented by Good Design Australia, the Australian International Design Awards is Australia's oldest and most prestigious design awards. By rewarding companies that differentiate their products and services through design, the Design Awards aim to raise awareness of the importance of good design, encourage greater demand for well-designed products and propel Australian design to the world stage.
This year, more than 200 Australian and internationally designed products were judged against a common set of criteria focussing on innovation, form, function, quality, safety and sustainability.
From 105 Finalists, 37 received the prestigious Design Award in recognition of design and innovation excellence. This includes nine Best in Category winners of which eight are wholly or partly designed in Australia. A further 68 Finalists were recognised with a Good Design accolade.
Brandon Gien, Managing Director of Good Design Australia said this year's judges had a tough job assessing the diverse range of submissions.
"Our judges had to look at a range of products from kitchen appliances such as coffee machines and deep fryers to a semi-trailer truck cabin, pool chlorinator system and family help service. To be awarded a Design Award, judges were looking for submissions with the wow factor when it came to design detail, innovation and creativity," Gien said.
In the Australian International Design Awards, for a product or service to qualify for a Design Award, it must exceed the five criteria for Good Design (form, function, quality, safety and sustainability) and additionally, meet the criterion for design excellence: innovation.
"The highest scoring product in each category is awarded a Design Award Best in Category and put forward as a nominee for the prestigious top prize of Australian International Design Award of the Year. This year, eight of the nine nominees were designed in Australia in some capacity, a positive sign that Australian design is excelling at an international level. The top accolade is awarded to James Cameron's Deepsea Challenger Research Submersible which was designed, engineered and manufactured here in Sydney," Gien said.
According to Gien, the Deepsea Challenger was the standout winner for the judges because of the attention to detail and the way in which the collaborative design team was able to overcome so many challenges and design constraints. The judges compared the level of innovation in the submersible to a manned rocket going into space and all this was done right here in Australia - an amazing achievement for Australian designers and engineers.
In recognition of excellence in Design for Sustainability (D4S), the product representing best practice D4S receives the Design Award for Sustainability. This year's winner is Interface RAW, a modular system of carpet tiles designed for office spaces. Made from yarns with 100% recycled content, Interface's business model is based on being able to re-use the carpet tiles. No two tiles are designed the same, allowing for random install and dramatic reduction in waste.
This year, the Patron's Prize was introduced to recognise and celebrate the best Australian designed product or service. The Patron's Prize is awarded to one entry that has the potential to positively shape the future economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects of our planet.
Chosen by the Patron of Good Design Australia, His Excellency Mr Michael Bryce, this year's winner is MineLab F3 Compact Metal Detector - another fine example of Australian design and innovation.
Winners in the 2012 Australian International Design Awards were announced on Friday 20 July at the City Recital Hall Angel Place in Sydney. The presentations were followed by an exhibition and celebration at the Ivy Ballroom. Finalists and winners from previous years will be on public exhibition at Westfield shopping centres in Sydney from 2-24 August 2012.
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