Australian International Design Awards

The Australian International Design Awards [AIDA] are held each year to award the best in design within Australia [this includes product designed in both Australia and overseas]. I was very privileged to attend the awards night as a guest of Dyson [Thanks Erica!] who are a major sponsor of the awards and co-established the James Dyson Award which is awarded to a student project.

It was a gala night with gorgeous frocks and black tie, champagne flowing and great food [courtesy of Peninsula at the Docklands in Melbourne]. Hosted by Julia Zemiro - a very funny lady [I loved the vintage Pucci dress she wore see below - in which she had been dubbed worst dressed at the Logies] the night ran smoothly, Julia I think was a highlight to what could have potentially been a bit of a long night [there were a lot of awards...].

Here are some of the highlights...

In the consumer category...

The Fisher & Paykel Izona cook surface - this fuses the best of ceramic and gas cookers. It has an easy to clean almost flush surface when not in use due to the retracting burners, smart thinking.

I had seen this oven before but never really understood why it was such a good idea to have the bottom of the oven drop down like that. I actually imagined that the food would get cold while you were checking it. It wasn't until the awards night when they explained that the Siemens liftMatic does quite the opposite - when the bottom drops down all the heat stays in the oven [due to heat rising and all that!] so the oven temp doesn't drop also making it more energy efficient. The food can be accessed from 3 sides without obstruction so the risks of getting burned are minimal. Very Clever!

I have a coffee machine that I love but I have been intrigued by the Nespresso system since a friend bought one - they are so simple and taste really great. The De'longhi Nespresso Lattissima Coffee machine is the smallest cappuccino maker in the market and we all need that extra space - I think I may be eying off one of these when my current machine decides it doesn't love me anymore...

In the Housing & Building category...

I have blogged about Methven before, their products are beautiful and well designed and now they have a AIDA to prove it! The Tahi Shower System consumes only 9 ltrs of water per minute - and has that look of simplicity that creates understated luxury. Perfect to create the spa feel everyone is after these days.

In the Architectural & Interior Products category...

Isn't this fire just divine -in that kind of cool retro way? I'm thinking sunken lounge with cream shag pile. But really, the EcoSmart Zeta fire is certainly a feature piece and it has amazing design flexibility, with its free-standing form this flue-less fire can be used just about anywhere. The swivel base means it can be turned to face any direction within the room and it runs on eco friendly ethanol.

The New York Guggenheim Museum Lamp won a Design Mark [all the other products I have mentioned have won a Design Award, a design mark is like a commendation] for its simple flat pack construction and unique concept. Based on the iconic Guggenheim Museum the lamp is easy to construct and the final product preserves the vision of Frank Lloyd Wright's seamless structure. I love the simplicity of this lamp that can only come with such a well designed product.

I should also mention the winner of the Design Award of the Year - congratulations to Qantas and Marc Newson for the Qantas A380 Economy Seating - I hope I get to experience it soon, especially seeing they managed to get an extra 2 inches space [I think that's right - I didn't jot it down on the night but that point has stuck in my head] and the ergonomics of the seat sound sooo much better than the current economy seating [those long haul flights are killers - especially if you then have to traipse around international trade shows the day after you arrive].

There were lots of other amazing designs for many categories, check them all out here.

One other thing I loved - the branding for this years awards was really sublime. You can see some of it in the top image, on the front cover of the program book. Thanks again to Dyson for having me as their guest, I believe it was another successful evening and I was happy to be a part of it.

[all images via Australian International Design Awards]

showering in a box

For a long time we have been seeing our bathrooms transform into larger spaces that are more about 'me time' and less about practicality. Once quite utilitarian, the bathroom has become an all important space and one that expresses design equally as well as the other rooms in your home. In Australia, the dilemma of all this has been the conflicting ideas of spending more time in your bathroom whilst fiercely saving water [how many of us have buckets in our showers just so we can water our favourite plants?]. There is also the problem that most homes just don't have the luxury of space to create the spa style bathroom.
I think the trend is on the move, luxury is still all important but design isn't good design if it doesn't function well, so in answer to this we see designers creating new solutions. Here are some examples of clever preening products & spaces...

Avec Toi is a shower 'cabin' designed for two. Its simple aesthetic of lacquered aluminium and glass complements the luxury features including touch screen controls and hydro-massage jets. Designed by PS+A - Palomba Serfini Associates for Kos, PS+A also designed the Dora armchair for Zanotta [one of my favourites]
[image from Kos Website]

The worlds first beauty shower, Methven's Satinjet Maia gives you a chlorine free, pure water experience with a multi-functional shower head that provides a body massage and a gentle face massage. The shower is fitted with a vitamin C canister that eliminates the chlorine in your water, preventing your hair and skin from over drying. Maia provides a luxurious spa experience with impressive water saving technology and its streamlined design is easy on the [design] eye. All this and it is designed in New Zealand - almost local!
[image from Satinjet Maia website]

Another shower 'cabin' with your personal wellness in mind is the Anthropos designed by Claudio Papa for Glass. This shower box can be customised to include hydro massage, steam bath, aromatherapy, chromotherapy, radio and the luxury of a heated compartment for towels and robes.
[image from Glass Website]

Of course all of these luxury bathing designs come at a cost but we seek to inspire those of you who are more cost effective...