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Balarinji named Design Studio of 2022

Creating exemplar projects and leading the way in collaboration and connection, Balarinji, headed up by John and Ros Moriarty, is the winner of The Design Studio.

Balarinji named Design Studio of 2022

Left to right: Yanyuwa man John Moriarty AM and Ros Moriarty of Balarinji in front of the RAAF Worimi Hornet.

The accolade of winner in The Design Studio category of the 2022 INDE.Awards has been announced, and the Aboriginal-owned strategy and design studio, Balarinji from Australia, has been crowned.

Balarinji co-founder and managing director, Ros Moriarty, says Balarinji has spent the past 40 years seeking to deepen the understanding of Aboriginal Australia for major art and design projects. “Our work is an authentic response to Place and Country that is informed by local Aboriginal knowledge holders, storytellers and creative practitioners. Design is a powerful visual language that can reveal universal understandings that spark curiosity and bridge cultural divides,” she says.  

“We are very honoured to receive the INDE.Awards Design Studio accolade. This win shines a light on the infinite potential of Indigenous co-design and its capacity to inspire new dimensions in Australian design.”

Burwood Brickworks Public Art Installation, photography by Dianna Snape.

Supporter of the Design Studio, Woven Image extends congratulations to the practice for its outstanding work and applauds the award.

Since 1983 Balarinji has honed its craft and created an exciting and dynamic studio and Woven Image understands that great achievements are refined by time and experience. Established in 1987, Woven Image has also made its mark in the architecture and design community, providing outstanding sustainable, design-led acoustic finishes and textiles. Refining business, process and offerings, Balarinji and Woven Image are indeed in sync, each creating design for today and the future.

INDE.Awards 2022 winner –  The Design Studio
2016 Rio Paralympic Games Projection on the Sydney Opera House, photography courtesy of Balarinji.

Reflecting on Balarinji as a practice, Alan Heath, sales manager – APAC, Woven Image remarks, “The legacy of the Balarinji designs are evident in every aspect of Australian lives, from civilian leisure, retail and corporate applications.

At a time when true recognition of Indigenous culture is needed, this team justly deserve the win this year. It serves as a reminder of the Indigenous culture that surrounds us and that education is still required. Long may the story telling continue for generations to come.”

As a practice, Balarinji continues to contribute to the broader community bringing place and culture to the fore in every project it undertakes as Heath comments, “The future of design in Australia should represent true Indigenous culture wherever possible. Never should the longest continuing human civilisation on the planet lose their identity or voice. We should celebrate the history and stories in all their splendid glory.”

Related: The full list of 2022 INDE.Awards winners

INDE.Awards 2022 winner –  The Design Studio
Macquarie Group ‘Warrane Exhibition’, photography courtesy of Balarinji.

Today the architecture and design community understands that there is much to learn from First Nations people and the very best projects are created where there is consultation, narrative and connection to both place and people.

In all aspects of life whether an individual or a business, where communication is foremost, the results herald a more inclusive and responsive community as Abi Eskdale, international marketing manager, Woven Image adds, “Woven Image are well known in the industry for being a sustainability focused brand, and part of building a sustainable future for all involves deepening our understanding of indigenous cultures. Having delivered many Indigenous design projects across the APAC region, we are delighted to see Balarinji win this award, and we continue to share their passion and commitment to authentic design, collaboration and respect.”

INDE.Awards 2022 winner –  The Design Studio
Nespresso ‘Doing is Everything’ Aboriginal Art Installation, photography courtesy of Nespresso.

Balarinji co-founder, chair and cultural director, Yanyuwa man John Moriarty AM, says, “There is much for everyone to learn from the deep, interconnected relationship Aboriginal people have with the physical and spiritual elements of Country. It is about belonging, where language, culture, knowledge, Dreaming, Law, and Ceremony are interdependent and one with Country.”

Balarinji’s commissions include many national and international projects and a wide variety of installation media on different interior and exterior sites over the years. It has been key to exemplar outcomes of multiple large-scale public infrastructure projects, interpretive precincts, parklands, national and international institutions, corporate offices, retail outlets, public spaces and also uniforms.

It’s been an incredible journey for the practice and we congratulation Balarinji as winner of The Design Studio in the 2022 INDE.Awards.


Woven Image

Darwin Airport Totem Pole Installation, photography courtesy of Balarinji.
Qantas-Balarinji Emily Kame Kngwarreye Dreamliner landing ceremony in Alice Springs, photography courtesy of Qantas.

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