Good Design Awards celebrate women, innovation & social impact

The Good Design Awards were announced last week at The Star in Sydney with the best furniture and lighting award going to Sway by Nick Rennie and Made by Pen, a floor lamp which is not tethered to any power cable or outlet and is completely free to move about.

The best consumer electronics award went to Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor, a miniature pulse oximeter that wraps around a sleeping baby's foot and wirelessly monitors a baby's heart rate and oxygen levels.

Dr Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia, says that this year it was all about looking to the years ahead through clever design and innovation.

“The Australian Good Design Award winners this year are an inspiring representation of the future,” he enthuses.

“At the heart of all the winning projects is a problem (big or small) that was solved through clever, considered and meaningful design that will have a positive impact on our lives and our planet.”

The Good Design Awards have been around for many years and celebrate the best new products and services on the Australian market and reward emerging areas of design including business model innovation, social impact and sustainability.

This year they also introduced the inaugural Women in Design Award which was awarded to Sharon Gauci, the executive director of industrial design at General Motors, the first Australian woman to hold this position.

“I’m really proud that we are doing our best to lead by example by not only establishing this award but by balancing the genders on our Good Design Awards jury and making that the norm from now on into the future,” says Gien.

General manager of Good Design Australia, Rachel Wye, adds that they want to inspire up-and-coming designers.

“We have created this award to elevate the women that are pushing the creative industries forward, not only to celebrate the amazing work they are doing but also to give up-and-coming designers more role models to aspire to.”

The Good Design Award of the Year went to Inventia Rastrum 3D Bioprinter, designed in Australia by Inventia Life Science and Design+Industry. The 3D Bioprinter is helping to cure cancer by building 3D cell structures which are then used to test a range of therapies.

Other award winners include RangerBot, which is the world’s first vision-based underwater robotic system designed specifically for coral reef environments. Designed by QUT and Designworks, it won the Good Design Award for Sustainability.

Blazaball won the Housewares and Objects category in product design. Blazaball was developed through sheer frustration and has changed the game. Its unique design creates a protective barrier for the fire starters that facilitates air to circulate. This is due to the strategically designed air pockets which allow the flow of air to distribute within the fire and prevent suffocation.

View the list of all winners here.